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Thread: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

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    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    Unless you are living under a rock these days, you have heard of an SSD. A Solid State Drive is a hard drive composed of non-volatile NAND memory, rather then mechanical parts like a standard hard drive. The benefits are many; no moving parts means less chance of mechanical failure, far faster seek, read, and write times, ZERO noise, ZERO vibration, much less heat output, lighter weight, and potentially less power consumption. (Independent testing of power requirements show great variances between brands and models, so Iíll leave the power savings as a possibility.)

    Well, with all of these great benefits, why donít we all have SSDís, and hard drives can be completely retired?

    The cost of an SSD means that we end up paying substantially more for similar capacity, and not all applications need the consistently higher speeds that an SSD can offer. The SSD in this test is 160gb, and cost nearly $500 CAD. A standard 2.5Ē (laptop size) hard drive will cost you around $60; a fairly large margin of difference! Standard hard drives are now available in 2TB (2 Terabytes, or 2000 Gigabytes), and cost around $250, depending on where you shop.

    Comparitively, you can get 2 Ė 2TB SATA HDDís for the same price as ONE 160gb SATA SSD. With those two 2TB HDDís, you could set up a RAID stripe, and get a very healthy increase in performance that will come close to the speed of the SSD. Close, but not quite. Plus, you now have two possible points of failure, and twice the weight, noise, heat, vibration, and added complexity of a RAID. You also get 25 times the storage capacity. Decisions, decisionsÖ

    Keep in mind that most notebook computers do not offer dual hard drives (some do, not all that have two drives offer RAID ability), and that the current largest 2.5Ē (notebook size) hard drive Iíve seen is 750gb, so ultimately, you *could* get 1.5tb RAID setup in a notebook. If you *really* want to.. I donít recommend it.

    AnywaysÖ

    Today Iíll be replacing the hard drive in a Fujitsu Lifebook T-Series tablet PC, to see how much of a gain in performance you can realistically expect from an SSD. The existing hard drive is a Fujitsu 160gb, 5400rpm SATA drive. The SSD we are replacing it with is an Intel X25-M, 160gb.

    At a cost of almost $500 for the SSD, this is not a cheap upgrade. However, the read and write speeds of the SSD make a pretty good argument for a performance gain! Once you factor in the cost of reinstalling your OS, apps, data, and the time spent on all of that, you could be looking at a $600-700 upgrade for your laptop. If you are buying a new OS, include another $150-200. Is your laptop worth spending $900 to upgrade?

    The Victim.. err.. System

    The base system specs are as follows:

    Fujitsu Lifebook

    Model T5010

    CPU: T9550 @ 2.66ghz

    Ram: PC2-5300 (1x1gb, 1x2gb)

    OS: Vista Business SP2 (32 Bit)

    Current HDD: Fujitsu CP224812 Ė 160gb, 5400rpm



    With this configuration, I recorded a baseline boot time of 46 seconds from Pressing the power button, to the Windows Login box, ready for the user password. The system was tuned up before the test, to ensure the best possible response time. Temps and recycle bin were emptied, unnecessary services were disabled.

    Iím using Paragon HDD Manager to clone the hard drive to the SSD, with all the partitions and data kept exactly as is. This will give the best possible comparison, since there are no other factors to consider in the speed difference.

    There are 3 partitions on the drive; a small diagnostic partition, a recovery partition, and a primary NTFS partition of 140gb. The clone is being done on a separate computer, with both drives attached to a PCI - SATA controller card, and the estimated time to complete is 34 minutes.

    This seems unusually long to me, but there is approximately 100gb in use on the drive, so I suppose itís not unreasonable to assume 50mb/s for the copy process.

    After the completion of the drive, I attempted to boot the SSD. I was prompted with a repair startup error, so I dropped in the Vista Biz dvd, and ran the repair tool. After that completed, I shut the system down completely.

    From a cold startup (first try), the system booted to the log in prompt in 34.4 seconds! Thatís a 12.2 second improvement! Substantially faster!

    Part 2 to come...

    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

    R9 290X+Kraken+Corsair H90, Xeon 5649@4ghz, Asus P6T-WS Pro

  2. #2
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    Should be interesting. I never tried to quantify my SSD performance increase, especially since I went from an old, dying HDD to two SSDs in a RAID0, so the difference was exaggerated anyways.

    BTW, WD does make a 1TB 2.5" HDD:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136545

    It's a 5200RPM drive though, so I wouldn't recommend running your OS off it. I think it's more likely aimed at laptops with dual HDD bays anyways. That way you can have a fast SSD running you OS and this for storage. ..or you could just wait for the hybrid drives to get bigger..
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    I wish I had done more testing, with apps opening and stuff, but alas, the customer was in a hurry to get it back.

    I'll write more tonight when I get a chance, to explain some of the necessary changes in windows, and how they affect performance, stability, etc.

    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

    R9 290X+Kraken+Corsair H90, Xeon 5649@4ghz, Asus P6T-WS Pro

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    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    If the SSD had its way, Windows would boot in a couple seconds. Unfortunately, most of the boot process is Windows examining installed hardware and not the loading of software. So that 12 seconds is probably 90% of the software load time that was just cut off.
    Trust me, the rest of your PC components have been flashing your HDD dirty looks for years...since HDDs have long been the very slowest part of any PC, even the lowliest of SSDs is a pretty big upgrade.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

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    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    even the Windows Experience score says so lol.

    Here's mine (q6600@ 2.4, 6GB DDR2-800, 2x 3870x2 in crossfire, 1.5TB Seagate 5400Rpm)
    Processor: 6.2
    Memory: 6.2
    Graphics: 7.1
    Gaming Graphics: 7.1
    Primary Hard disk: 5.9

    IIRC most people here, no matter what the HDD (standard mechanical one), speed, etc are getting 5.9 for it. strange...

  6. #6
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    Yeah, I think it basically just looks to see if you have any platter HDDs in the system, and if you do it caps it at 5.9.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

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    Water Cooled Diamon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    Something that can't really be scientifically proven is the feel of having an SSD. Believe me when I say that all aspects of your life will improve from having one
    Projects: RGB Tower - Custom CPU water block

    Watching someone else use your computer is like watching a drunk orangutan solve a rubix cube. They have no idea what they're doing and you just wish they'd hand you the damn thing so you can do it yourself.
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    .
    Here's what an Intel SSD did for my index

    .


    .

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    Resident EE mtekk's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by jevery View Post
    .
    Here's what an Intel SSD did for my index
    ...
    .
    Heh, I get a 7.8 with my x25-m 80GB G1 SSD.

    lol, your graphics performance went down while everything else went up.
    Quote Originally Posted by xRyokenx View Post
    ...I'm getting tired of not being able to figure this crap out because it's apparently made for computer-illiterate people by computer-illiterate people. lol

  10. #10
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much of a benefit does a regular system see with an SSD?

    Sorry I didnt post any more to this one guys, the day after I completed this part, I got offered a new and much higher paying job, so I gave notice, rushed to finish the optimization on the system for the customer, and forgot all about this!

    But yeah, after just swapping the ssd, 12 seconds off the startup time, which works out to about a 25% improvement!

    I can definitely say that the machine just felt so much snappier too.. things jumped open more quickly, document saves/opens were almost instantaneous, etc.

    Definitely a cool upgrade, but damn... $500?

    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

    R9 290X+Kraken+Corsair H90, Xeon 5649@4ghz, Asus P6T-WS Pro

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