SSD in laptop, jaw on floor [Archive] - Glock Talk

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stooxie
04-10-2010, 10:51
I have a MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core2Duo with the 7200 rpm 160GB drive.

I finally broke down an ordered the Intel X-25M 160GB SSD from New Egg ($414 delivered). I installed it yesterday and lemme tell you. My CPUs don't know what hit them. They have been loafing about for a couple years now, waiting for my HD to return data. Well, THAT'S not a problem any more!

Everything happens like instantly now. I can run virtual machines, a Time Machine Backup and open applications at the same time. Any rotating media would be crippled but I swear if I put my ear to my laptop I can hear laughter coming from the lower left corner.

If anyone is contemplating this move I highly recommend it. The reviews all seem to indicate the Intel is still the champion of sub 4k IOPs (which most of it is).

If you are buying new, get a slower processor and an SSD. All this clock speed is a waste of money and battery life versus reducing I/O wait times.

-Stooxie

Drjones
04-11-2010, 17:27
Thank you VERY much for posting this!!

I've been doing a lot of research & some serious thinking about getting an SSD.

While the one you got is out of my price range (and I'd rather buy a whole new computer if I was going to spend that much money...or buy an iPad) I've been about a second away from clicking "buy now" on this puppy: http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Value-Retail-Package-SSDSA2MP040G2R5/dp/B0031X8HG2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1271028261&sr=8-3

It seems like quite a good value - what do you say? How much of a difference is there between the "V" and "M" series of Intel drives?

The system I'd be plugging this into, by the way, is an old 2.4Ghz P4. It runs great, but no computer is ever fast enough. :supergrin:

stooxie
04-11-2010, 17:57
Hello, Dr. Jones!

The Intel V series is a fine drive. Essentially fewer chips so a bit slower on the maximum sequential read/write rates but Intel's firmware is still king when it comes to random IOs. (There is a rather long story behind the troubles that SSDs have with IOPS that are under 4k or odd sizes, meaning not divisible by 4k. The firmware makes all the difference and Intel's is the best.)

It's fair to say you'd see even faster speeds with a newer laptop (with a faster bus speed) but it's also very safe to say you'll get a big speed boost. Just listen to your drive. Every time you hear it grinding just think-- that will be essentially gone with an SSD.

A bit of fine print: technically the SSD will not last forever. The write cells will eventually croak one by one but, statistically, it should take years and years for that to happen. I am expecting no less than 5-8 years out of my SSD, if not more. Enterprise grade SLC SSDs are calculated to last for 22 years under a "read mostly" workload. Seek time is, of course, zero. Access time is about 100 microseconds.

-Stooxie

Drjones
04-11-2010, 18:07
Thanks again. I understand that I get less performance for the lower price, but based on what I've read, even the low-end SSDs pretty thoroughly trounce the highest-end traditional drives.

I'm not worried about capacity (obviously) nor overall life - for $100, if it lasts me 3 years, I'd be happy.

I think I'm gonna get that drive now.... :)

Drjones
04-12-2010, 08:45
In your opinion, is it worth my money to get the SSD, or would it be better spent on a new computer w/newer, faster processor? An SSD just makes so much darn sense....I'm actually fairly happy with the way my current rig performs after a clean install of Windows 7. I can only imagine what it would be like with an SSD....:drool:

stooxie
04-12-2010, 09:16
Well, if you buy a newer computer, sure, it will be faster but you have to determine what your bottlenecks are.

I have a dual core 2.4ghz CPU wth 4GB of memory. There was no question that my harddrive was a massive bottle neck, especially if I have a few things going on at once.

As for yours, what you will find is this. Once you put in an SSD you will painfully realize how slow other things may be. You'll be waiting on CPU instead of IO. Perhaps, though, if your workloads aren't that heavy it won't be bad.

The order of upgrade impact is almost always: memory, storage, CPU.

I can't get my head around a $500 laptop as it is. A college of mine, with a PC laptop, looks at my screen and says "How do you get a laptop screen to look so good? So clear?" I said, that's what happens when you spend $2,000 on one.

I know, I know, not everyone's cup of tea. Just sayin...

-Stooxie

majette
04-12-2010, 09:23
a little off topic but i have converted a few friends and colleagues to mac. once they get over the initial cost of ownership they realize you get what you pay for and thoroughly enjoy using the computer. better screens, better architecture, better operating system.

Drjones
04-12-2010, 09:27
Stoox - understand what you're saying. Most of my computing is very typical; email, internet, few word docs or excel spreadsheets - NOT processor-heavy stuff like photoshop, CAD, whatever.

I just think that if I could get a pretty significant boost for 25% the cost of what I'd spend on a whole new computer, well, right now that's pretty tempting. :)

Majette: You forgot to mention that you get significantly LESS RAM and CPU speed when you buy a Mac, all for 3x MORE than you'd spend on a Windows box. Compare them side by side & there's no arguing that fact. ;)

cgwahl
04-12-2010, 09:35
The HD is a major bottleneck in a machine. However, is the cost of the SSD worth it for the amount of space you get?

For certain activities, yes. The other issue is you only get a certain amount of writes on these things. I think the hardware is getting better at making it so it spreads out the writes over the whole drive instead of repeatedly on the same area. And while it's fine for a thumbdrive or whatever which you might use to copy stuff from one machine to another or just read off of...using it for your OS, swap file and just downloading crap, which is just repeatedly doing writes instead of reads. I don't know and am unsure if I want to bother with it for at least a few more years.

Having said that, I have no doubt that this thing will fix a major bottleneck in computers. Don't have to worry about fragmentation, seek times, etc. to get the file into memory. But does the cost outweigh the benefit for what most people use their computer for (dinking around on the internet for instance)...I just don't know. If you're a hardcore gamer, it's probably awesome.



If you can get at least 3 years out of this thing, great, but I really wonder if you can actually get that much. How's the warranty? Is it 1, 3 or 5 years?

stooxie
04-12-2010, 09:47
Dr. J, sounds like you're a good candidate for the SSD, then. For $114 (or whatever) I'd say go for it.

Regarding Mac pricing, the delta is not 3X. There are a lot of features in the Mac that don't matter to the person seeking a $500 Dell laptop. Cheaper laptops user slower memory that is shared with the video card. The processor families are not always the same (cache sizes, etc), graphics chips are not the same, etc, etc. Plus the intangibles like case materials, user experience, etc. Makes a difference to some.

Like I said, it's not for everyone. Is for me! ;)

-Stooxie

stooxie
04-12-2010, 09:51
The HD is a major bottleneck in a machine. However, is the cost of the SSD worth it for the amount of space you get?

For certain activities, yes. The other issue is you only get a certain amount of writes on these things. I think the hardware is getting better at making it so it spreads out the writes over the whole drive instead of repeatedly on the same area. And while it's fine for a thumbdrive or whatever which you might use to copy stuff from one machine to another or just read off of...using it for your OS, swap file and just downloading crap, which is just repeatedly doing writes instead of reads. I don't know and am unsure if I want to bother with it for at least a few more years.

Having said that, I have no doubt that this thing will fix a major bottleneck in computers. Don't have to worry about fragmentation, seek times, etc. to get the file into memory. But does the cost outweigh the benefit for what most people use their computer for (dinking around on the internet for instance)...I just don't know. If you're a hardcore gamer, it's probably awesome.



If you can get at least 3 years out of this thing, great, but I really wonder if you can actually get that much. How's the warranty? Is it 1, 3 or 5 years?

For the most part you're talking ancient history (which in this industry is a couple years). SSDs are a world apart from consumer grade USB flash devices. That said, you HAVE to get a decent one, hence all the website comparisons and reviews.

SSDs are still not without some issues, but I fully expect to get years and years out of this. Warranty from Intel is 3 years.

-Stooxie

havensal
04-12-2010, 09:51
When I was looking to boost my desktop I looked into SSD's. I just couldn't justify the cost difference between them and buying two new HDD and going RAID0. It's MUCH faster now with the HDD RAID. :wavey:

Now in a laptop you don't have much of a choice, no space for second drive.

I wounder how fast a SSD RAID0 would be? :supergrin:

GenX
04-12-2010, 09:57
I wounder how fast a SSD RAID0 would be? :supergrin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs

I know, its overkill.

MavsX
04-12-2010, 10:48
a little off topic but i have converted a few friends and colleagues to mac. once they get over the initial cost of ownership they realize you get what you pay for and thoroughly enjoy using the computer. better screens, better architecture, better operating system.

that can be said about a lot of things in life...or at least I've slowly learned that over my short life thus far

MavsX
04-12-2010, 10:53
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs

I know, its overkill.

thats pretty awesome. I know i wish i had some SSD's.

lanternlad
04-12-2010, 10:56
You might want to use a Mac version SSD next time. OSX is to slow for regular SSDs, so OCZ made a special one for Macs that has been certified by Apple labs.

OSX news here:
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/4/9/ocz-had-to-slow-down-its-ssds-because-mac-osx-cant-handle-the-speed.aspx

OCZ had to slow down its SSDs because Mac OSX can't handle the speed
4/9/2009 by: Theo Valich


Recently, OCZ introduced its line-up of products for Apple platform, as we covered it in our news story. What was weird was the fact that the Vertex Mac Edition SSDs come with different speeds compared to its PC version. If you compare the PC Version of Vertex SSD to a Mac-certified one, you will see that unfortunately, Mac SSDs endured a spec-down by 10MB/s, both in the areas of read and write.
I am a PC - I can handle speed. I am a Mac - I am cute and cuddly, but fast things break me.
I am a PC - I can handle speed. I am a Mac - I am cute and cuddly, but fast hard drives can break my soft soul.

Now, this is quite unusual, and we decided to ask OCZ directly. We received an unexpected answer from Mr. Tobias Brinkmann, OCZ's Director of Marketing EMEA: "The Mac version has different read and write specs due to Mac OS limitations. The product was tested by Apple's ADC but works on other systems as well."

You might be wondering, "what limitations?"... we conducted some research and discovered a reason. Folks, Mac OS X has an issue with couple of things, and this was bound to happen - the Apple-written SATA controller driver can get saturated by a single SSD drive on ocassion, but two will definitely saturate the bus. The underlying issue is the fact that Mac OS X comes with journaling filesystem, a feature not present on Windows-based file systems.

Regardless of this, OCZ had to modify the specifications their Vertex drive in oder to qualify/certify the part for usage on Macs. If you use a latest-gen, SATA 2.0-spec busting SSD and the drive manufacturer didn't qualify the parts, you might experience some technical difficulties over the course of time - nothing radical, though. We thank Tuan for this clarification.

The only way to avoid this is by buying an external RAID controller that comes with its own drivers, independent of the built-in SATA drivers. Now, brace for impact - upcoming Mac OSX Snow Leopard WILL NOT fix this one in its initial release, we will have to wait for an Apple Update, if it ever comes out. The issue is present in all Mac OS X releases with SATA drive support, so you lose 10MB/s if you use a very fast SSD drive.

Bear in mind that OCZ's Mac drives currently are the fastest certified SSDs you can get for your Mac, so they had to be slowed down by 10MB/s in order to avoid saturation on the software side.

SSD here:
http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/solid_state_drives/ocz_vertex_series_mac_edition_sata_ii_2_5-ssd

If you can get at least 3 years out of this thing, great, but I really wonder if you can actually get that much. How's the warranty? Is it 1, 3 or 5 years?

As far as SSDs go, the mean time between failures (Mean Time Between Failures, MTBF) is OCZ with 1.5 million hours (171 years). The Stobresistenz maximum of 1500 G. In operation, the drive consumes about 1 watt in standby mode about 0.375 watts. (OCZ entry level drive)

lanternlad
04-12-2010, 11:05
And this video is great. It shows just how fast SDDs can be...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26enkCzkJHQ

havensal
04-12-2010, 11:43
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs

I know, its overkill.

There's nothing wrong with overkill. :supergrin:

Futuristic
04-12-2010, 11:47
I don't see any particular mention of this above, but the pretty much ideal setup (for now) is to equip your desktop with a speedy, name-brand, but smallish SSD for use as a boot drive to hold the OS and Programs/Applications.

Then, add one (or more) traditional spindle HDs to handle your large storage needs.

I have this setup on my new Core i7 machine and it rocks. I can use the SSD as a high-speed scratch space for file revisions while editing photoshop or dreamweaver docs, then offload those files to a 2TB spindle drive once I'm done working on them.

I get the uber-speed of the SSD for my OS, Apps, and currently working files, then the large, cheap space of a spindle HD for my actual information storage.

I highly recommend the combo.


Futuristic

proguncali
04-13-2010, 16:56
I have an OCZ SSD in my Dell D830.
Man what a huge difference!
Now if the computer would just keep up with the drive.

I almost put on in my new Precision quad core but I don't have a spare 400.00 right now.

mrwintr
04-13-2010, 17:28
This is great news to hear first hand how fast these SSD's are.... it has me sitting here with a big grin.:supergrin:

stooxie
04-17-2010, 08:21
You might want to use a Mac version SSD next time. OSX is to slow for regular SSDs, so OCZ made a special one for Macs that has been certified by Apple labs.

OSX news here:
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/4/9/ocz-had-to-slow-down-its-ssds-because-mac-osx-cant-handle-the-speed.aspx

It's a BS explanation and thoroughly confuses the OS with the file system and the hardware (which they all lump into "OS X can't handle it).

The media knows as much about computers as they know about guns.

-Stooxie

stooxie
04-17-2010, 08:21
BTW, if you really want a cool SSD array, check this out:

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/storage/disk-storage/043967.html

Now that is some cool stuff.

-Stooxie