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Old 07-01-10, 06:41 PM Thread Starter   #1
LoneWolf121188
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Recommend me an SSD!


Hi all, I've decided to make the jump to SSD-world. I'm looking for a drive around $300 to be used as a boot drive in my laptop. The number 1 concern is speed; power usage and capacity are secondary (I figure even 32GB will be fine). Last time I looked at this stuff, SLC was the way to go, but I've heard that's changing? Is the X25-E no longer the drive to beat? Also, what's with all these reliability problems I've been hearing about?

Thanks, I hugely appreciate it!

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Old 07-01-10, 07:54 PM   #2
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Er... SLC will last you a good big longer than MLC. That being said, MLC lifespan isn't too bad with good firmware that has good wear leveling.

My Vertex is good, but old, so i'll let other guys help. I've heard the X25 (not sure about the X25-e) is a great drive though. Writes are... meh. But the reads are good.

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Old 07-02-10, 04:47 AM   #3
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Price wise SLC is uncomfortable. Also, most SLC based drives have their frimware tuned for server work and can thus be slower than MLC drives. I.e. there are desktop benchmarks where the MLC based Intel X25-M beats the SLC based Intel X25-E. A decent sized SSD with good wear-leveling and a low write amplification it would take you a hundred years to wear out. One caveat I should mention. The smaller the drive the bigger the risks are that it will wear out, both because it has less physical flash to wear-level over and it will fill up more quickly which will make wear-leveling harder as well as affect performance.

As for all the reliability issues you hear about, non of them have anything to do with them using MLC instead of SLC flash. Most of them are the kind of issues you have when being an early adopter. Unforseen issues that nobody expected because everybody are still pretty new at making SSDs. Like completely weird frimware bugs that wouldn't matter in another kind of device or weird interactions with other hardware which were never designed with SSDs in mind.

As for recommendations I suppose I should toot this horn: Choosing a Solid State Drive.
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Old 07-03-10, 02:45 PM Thread Starter   #4
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I read that, thanks. Very nice article. I'm probably going to go with the Vertex 2.

Why'd you place the 120GB models lower than the 100GB ones? I understand that when close to capacity, the 120GB will be slower than the 100GB, but when only half full or so, shouldn't they be exactly the same?

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Old 07-03-10, 03:24 PM   #5
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Depends on how full you intend to fill it. I'm sure if you fill them up almost to their capacity, the 100GB will have more spare space to keep performance high so it should outperform the 120GB. 28GB is alot of extra space.

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Old 07-03-10, 04:18 PM Thread Starter   #6
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Well, I was looking at it from an absolute standpoint. If I fill a 100GB drive to 90GB and a 120GB drive to 90GB, they should perform exactly the same, right?

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Old 07-03-10, 04:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf121188 View Post
I read that, thanks. Very nice article. I'm probably going to go with the Vertex 2.

Why'd you place the 120GB models lower than the 100GB ones? I understand that when close to capacity, the 120GB will be slower than the 100GB, but when only half full or so, shouldn't they be exactly the same?
If you stick the same amount of data on a 100 GB and a 120 GB version of the drive they will perform the same. But people generally do not buy the 20 GB bigger version if the do not plan on using the extra 20 GB. Sure, as I mention it is a small, but a difference nonetheless. It is not the only case where the performance difference between drives is quite small in that roundup.
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Old 07-03-10, 04:27 PM Thread Starter   #8
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Gotcha, thanks.

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Old 07-04-10, 05:46 AM   #9
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Looking at your configuration you might be a little better off with an Intel drive or a first gen OCZ drive. Let me explain my reasoning. In normal desktop use, you would be hard pressed to tell a difference between any SSD with a good controller. You're in a rare situation where you're booting between OSX and Windows 7. The last time I checked, OSX doesn't support TRIM commands. You'll have them in Windows, but I have no idea how it handles erases done under another OS. My best guess is it wouldn't do anything with them. So you could have unnecessary performance hits.

Now to combat that possibility, you could go two routes. An Intel drive will give you the ability to run their SSD Toolbox. That will clear up any cells erased and not cleaned in OSX. A first gen Vertex or Agility would be viable as well. In that case you have aggressive firmware level Garbage Collection, TRIM support, and their wiper tool at your disposal.

That's not to knock the Sandforce based drives. They're certainly some of the fastest drives available at the moment and Anandtech's test show them degrading very gracefully. But as I said before, it's hard to tell a difference in most instances and it would seem you might be better served with a more robust drive. OCZ is supposed to be working on a tool similar to the wiper available for the Indilinx drives.

Just something to consider.
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