Thread: SSD questions.

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  1. #1
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    SSD questions.

    I've never used a computer with an SSD before so I'm curious about a few things. Seems like a lot of people put their OS on it, but what about games? Will putting games on a SSD improve game performance at all? I've read a few times now that rewriting constantly on an SSD can shorten it's life span, how quickly does this happen and what is the worst culprit for this?

    I'm in the process of a building a rig and I was going to get a 120-240gb SSD and put my OS and all my games on it for quick loads. Is this wise? Should I get a smaller SSD just for the OS and use the money saved to buy 2 high RPM HDDs and create a RAID array for faster game load times?

    Thanks for the info!

  2. #2
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    I've traditionally said 'nay' to SSD's when it comes to building gaming systems, simply because SSD's to not improve FPS. Also, I come from a perspective of 'cheaper is better'. A lot of people here seem to have a couple grand to blow on a computer.

    That said, I recently upgraded (3-4 weeks ago) and got myself a Samsung 830 256gb drive, and I couldn't be happier. System boots in under 10 seconds. Comes out of hibernate instantly. Games load STUPID fast. I can shut down wow, and reboot it, and be playing again in under 10 seconds.

    Pretty much anything that gets used a lot, should go on the SSD. While yes, wear and tear takes a toll on it, the amount of 'wear and tear' will likely take years to accrue. People mention 'rewriting constantly' to avoid things like defragging, or constant scans, and things that do a lot, constantly. Games actually rewrite very little information.

    All programs ought to go on the SSD, period.

  3. #3
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    just don't use it as a movie/music database and you should be fine.
    also for gaming performance it only is improved loading screens, however for overall performance a system just speeds up allot and because way more responsive.

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    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    I second what chazus said. SSD's are one way to easily give an overall boost(aside from fps) to your system. Going from an HDD to a decent SSD is like a night and day speed increase in just about everything you do.

    I believe it has been said by various NAND manufacturers that most modern SSD's will last about 8-10 years now before finally being un-writable so even though they do have a limited amount of writes they can last quite a while now. I would definitely advise you put the OS and all of your major programs onto the SSD as that is where the biggest and most noticeable boost in loading performance will show.

    As far as Defragging goes, Windows 7 automatically detects whether or not you have an SSD and makes it so you cannot even perform defrag on the SSD using Windows Defrag. If you have Windows 8 then Windows Defrag will allow you to run TRIM commands manually on the SSD to optimize it alongside its automatic TRIM. Overall an SSD is an excellent upgrade choice though.

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    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks for the info everyone. If it increases load time like you guys say that's a pretty good performance increase in my books, a quality of life upgrade at least. I bet Skyrim is much more enjoyable running from an SSD.

    I suppose my next question is, are all SSDs built the same?

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    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathtakes View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the info everyone. If it increases load time like you guys say that's a pretty good performance increase in my books, a quality of life upgrade at least. I bet Skyrim is much more enjoyable running from an SSD.

    I suppose my next question is, are all SSDs built the same?
    i likely be one of the only who'll say to not get a samsung one. (sub par performance)
    vertex 4 or new corsair neutron series would be my pick at this time.

  7. #7
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks for the info everyone. If it increases load time like you guys say that's a pretty good performance increase in my books, a quality of life upgrade at least. I bet Skyrim is much more enjoyable running from an SSD.

    I suppose my next question is, are all SSDs built the same?

  8. #8
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathtakes View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the info everyone. If it increases load time like you guys say that's a pretty good performance increase in my books, a quality of life upgrade at least. I bet Skyrim is much more enjoyable running from an SSD.

    I suppose my next question is, are all SSDs built the same?
    Sadly not all SSD's are built the same. Each SSD usually uses a different manufacturers NAND(Intel and Samsung are the exception in most cases) but there are two main types of NAND. One is Asynchronous which essentially means that in a compressed data environment it will not perform as well. The second is Synchronous which does handle compressed data well and will run with much faster write/reads most of the time. I'm quite sure that Windows handles much of its data in compressed states as well.

    Another aspect of SSD's is the controller which is normally between Sandforce, Marvell, Intel, Samsung and a few others. Overall I would advise looking at reviews for SSD's to determine your pick. The most common controller available is Sandforce. My suggestion brand-wise is to aim for the following:
    (Not in specific order)
    Mushkin
    Crucial
    Kingston
    Corsair
    Intel
    Samsung
    OCZ(I'd mainly aim for Vertex 4's)

    Other people have preferred brands and such but those are most of the main ones. Currently one of the best I'd say is Samsungs 840 Pro SSD.

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    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    A lot of "SSD's will die from lots of use" also comes from the future tech industry. The way SSD are made, the technology is sort of "self defeating". Each newer, faster iteration of the technology (Such as SLC, MLC, and TLC) have more dense cells, that can only suffer so many writes. Newer drives, pretty much what everyone is buying now, are MLC. The older ones are SLC. MLC only supports 1/10 of the writing of the older models, but we're talking billions of writes. Years. The newer stuff thats coming out that uses TLC, can only do half of what the current ones do. But sometimes those are for less use, too. A flash drive obviously sees less action than an OS drive.

    It's more speculation and understanding the technology, rather than 'omg when will my drive die'. I suspect your drive will either die of other problems, or be replaced, before it begins to suffer from cell degradation.

    All of this is also a reason to improve the technology before we hit that point.

  10. #10
    Bloodsail Admiral TheCrusader's Avatar
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    when the ssds were kind of new and expansive i wasted some money on a 64gb ssd and put my system on it ... and wow ... and the drive was FULL ! ... no programms, no other games ... just that ...

    i then bought another 128gb ssd, a newer model ... now i have my OS and programms on the 64gb ssd which is sufficient, and all the games on the 128gb ssd which is just great!

    so if you're going to have multiple games installed at the same time, have your OS on the SSD and the standard programs like office, musicplayers and so on you'll likely need a 250gb ssd... (I'm running out of space on my 128 where there's just games ...

    for the beginning a 128gb will do fine for you, i guess ... you can extend your ssd space by simply adding another drive to your system at a later point.
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  11. #11
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    one of the best I'd say is Samsungs 840 Pro SSD.
    I was going to say the 830 might be more worthwhile, due to cost/performance... But when I got the 830, it was $190, and the 840 was $250.... It looks like they're the same price now so the 840 is probably a good bet, if you go the samsung route.

  12. #12
    Bloodsail Admiral TheCrusader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithes View Post
    Mushkin
    Crucial
    Kingston
    Corsair
    Intel
    Samsung
    OCZ(I'd mainly aim for Vertex 4's)

    Other people have preferred brands and such but those are most of the main ones. Currently one of the best I'd say is Samsungs 840 Pro SSD.
    as far as your suggestions go:
    i use a vertex 4 - 128gb ... good ssd, works like hell. can only recommend.
    a friend of mine got his hands on a Samsung 840 250gb ... also a very very very nice card.

    I'd recommend those two

    which i cannot recommend are:
    Adata (don't know the model name atm) ... broke down after a couple of weeks use.
    OCZ Agility 3 - a friend has this one and it's constantly crashing, since he's having his system on the drive this results in about 3-4 bluescreens a day ... very annoying.
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    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrusader View Post
    as far as your suggestions go:
    i use a vertex 4 - 128gb ... good ssd, works like hell. can only recommend.
    a friend of mine got his hands on a Samsung 840 250gb ... also a very very very nice card.

    I'd recommend those two

    which i cannot recommend are:
    Adata (don't know the model name atm) ... broke down after a couple of weeks use.
    OCZ Agility 3 - a friend has this one and it's constantly crashing, since he's having his system on the drive this results in about 3-4 bluescreens a day ... very annoying.
    Same, I have a Vertex 4 256GB in my laptop and it runs real nicely OCZ did so badly on their Vertex 3's and Agility 3's so I can never recommend those ever.

  14. #14
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithes View Post
    Same, I have a Vertex 4 256GB in my laptop and it runs real nicely OCZ did so badly on their Vertex 3's and Agility 3's so I can never recommend those ever.
    Actually they only had issues with solid series and propane named ones (vertex3 is still a reliable force to be reckonend with)

  15. #15
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    Actually they only had issues with solid series and propane named ones (vertex3 is still a reliable force to be reckonend with)
    Performance wise it is yeah but the quality seems to be another question entirely. There seemed to be more failures with Vertex 3's/Agility 3's than any other SSD for quite some time.

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    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    I was going to say the 830 might be more worthwhile, due to cost/performance... But when I got the 830, it was $190, and the 840 was $250.... It looks like they're the same price now so the 840 is probably a good bet, if you go the samsung route.
    between 830 (or Crucial M4) and 840 I'd go with 830 based on the proven reliability and in my opinion better NAND (write performance) or go one step further and get the 840 pro which is more expensive though. Pleased to know they also fixed the failure firmware the 840's first shipped with.

    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    i likely be one of the only who'll say to not get a samsung one. (sub par performance)
    vertex 4 or new corsair neutron series would be my pick at this time.
    Lol sub par performance, I bet you enjoy those SSD benchmark leader-boards =p
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  17. #17
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    between 830 (or Crucial M4) and 840 I'd go with 830 based on the proven reliability and in my opinion better NAND (write performance) or go one step further and get the 840 pro which is more expensive though. Pleased to know they also fixed the failure firmware the 840's first shipped with.



    Lol sub par performance, I bet you enjoy those SSD benchmark leader-boards =p
    Only pro versions are performing, regular 830/840 are slower vs alternatives not even starting on loss of quality chips on the 840 regular with lesser quality hardware.
    Personally I'd stay clear of a company with such business practices.

  18. #18
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    Only pro versions are performing, regular 830/840 are slower vs alternatives not even starting on loss of quality chips on the 840 regular with lesser quality hardware.
    Personally I'd stay clear of a company with such business practices.
    Yet you bought an OCZ Vertex 3 where OCZ decided to use cheaper NAND chips on them from about 4 different manufacturers and had one of the highest failure rates of any SSD manufacturer.


    Samsung 830 128GB vs Corsair Neutron 120GB
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/704?vs=533

    So far it looks as if the Samsung 830 is faster overall.
    Last edited by Saithes; 2012-12-29 at 09:36 AM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    Only pro versions are performing, regular 830/840 are slower vs alternatives not even starting on loss of quality chips on the 840 regular with lesser quality hardware.
    Personally I'd stay clear of a company with such business practices.
    So offering a cheap version to make SSD's more mainstream is a bad thing? I thought that was good. I have owned 9 SSD's since 2010, 1 of them was OCZ Agility and it was utter crap. Couldn't wake from sleep mode, blue screen etc. I bought a Corsair Force 3 after that, still had the same problems. Then I switched to Samsung 470 and I stopped having any problems. I got the missus a Crucial M4, no problems. I got a Kingston SSD now for my work computer, no problems.

    Since then I have bought 3 830's due to price/performance with the 256GB I am using right now as the fastest one. And, I took the libert of ordering a 840 120GB yesterday that I will use in my steambox instead of taking away the missus' RAID. I don't think a disk costing almost 30% less than it's pro version should be considered bad business politics or whatever. That is a good thing.

    It's kinda like calling intel evil just because they have more CPU's than 3570K and 3770K. You know, cus the other ones are cheaper and has worse onboard graphics?

  20. #20
    Field Marshal Bags-'s Avatar
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    I got a 120GB Kingston HyperX and I've put most of my current games on it besides WoW. Just make sure you have a 500GB - 1TB internal/external to keep all your non-program files in.

    I did not experience ANY improvement in loading WoW onto my SSD; nothing in game, and nothing in load times (mine were near instant before). Due to this I don't recommend installing it on your SSD because it's around 20GB. However, Steam, Skype and photoshop all load instantly and a game such as Planetside 2 went from taking 3 minutes to load to 30 seconds, so while your actual game performance isn't faster, you're in the action A LOT faster. I am sure games with a lot of loading like the TES series will also benefit greatly from being on an SSD. I try to avoid putting games that load instantly on it and generally install them on my other harddrive unless it won't work (ie Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 refuses to work off my F: drive).

    TLDR: SSD are great for load times, pointless for WoW due to its short load times.

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