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 Post subject: Don't walk, run to your nearest store and buy a SSD now.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:17 am 
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(This might be obvious to some, but I just had to post)

All I can say is WOW. I'd done it all pretty much all- fanless/passive PSU, passive vid card, only a really slow moving fan on the massive coppuer cpu heatsink, no other fans. My HD was in a silent drive 2002c enclosure, thought my system was pretty quiet, almost silent even.

Then, I ordered an Intel X25-M. All I can say is, there is a difference between quiet and 100% silent. I stop typing between sentences now just to listen to the silence! :lol:

I cannot stress strongly enough that if you're OCD about quiet you NEED a SSD. My only regret is not buying one the moment they were available. If I would have gotten to test-drive one back then I would have sold a kidney in order to afford buying one! :lol:

Ted


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:48 am 
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It sounds very enticing ( no pun ) but how do you like the performance of the drive?
I'm contemplating getting a OCZ Vertex drive as i've heard/read that they should be very suited for a primary drive but i'm far from done researching SSDs yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:59 am 
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From looking at the deals forum it seems your old drive was a Raptor 150gb inside an enclosure. That drive isn't quiet by any standards at all, even enclosed. So of course you're going to see massive improvement :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:46 am 
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X25-M?

I can haz 450€?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:02 am 
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Here is a couple of problems.

Is the hard drive slower than my WD 640GB Caviar Blue? I don't want a performance impact. I've heard bad things about SSDs over time slowing down.

And...well...unless I'm getting 300+ US dollars for this run to the store I'm not going to buy one, I don't have that type of money.

Lastly, I don't think any stores around my house sell these, maybe I could run to my PC to order one off of the web...but I can't run to a store to get one, and even if I could wouldn't I take a ride in a car? Seems a bit faster than a run...

:)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:25 am 
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Well, intel plans to cut significantly some of their X-25's prices. Some rumors say 50% price cuts very soon...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:52 am 
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Wake me up when the 80GB X25-M costs less than 100€. Then I just might consider it :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:40 am 
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Yes, my old drive was a WD Raptor in the Silent Drive enclosure. However, I own 4 other 7200 RPM drives that I've swapped in at times and they were still only marginally more quiet. The Raptor's are surprisingly quiet. It's tested at 42.5dB on Storagereview.com

For performance - It's pretty much faster than any other mechanical drive out there, save for 15k+ RPM stuff. It's much faster (noticeably so) than my Raptor was for example.

For price - I paid $470 CAD including shipping, which works out to 265 GBP, 300 Euro, and $400 USD.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:47 am 
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thepwner wrote:
Is the hard drive slower than my WD 640GB Caviar Blue? I don't want a performance impact. I've heard bad things about SSDs over time slowing down.


I don't know about Intel, but OCZ has released a beta software which, together with the 1370 firmware, is implementing the TRIM command and thus eliminating the problem of slowing down issue with their Vertex disks (only works on vertex). If I remember the Anand article correct, though, the intel drives wasn't punished very hard when they filled up all the sectors with data.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:54 am 
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I don't know about you, but I don't know any ssds that are cheap and can also store like 2.5TB of data. Wake me up when that happens ;) Even one drive will ruin the silence of many ssds! I am interested in one as a boot drive for performance sometime next year, but that won't help quiet my normal drives.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:05 am 
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thepwner wrote:
Is the hard drive slower than my WD 640GB Caviar Blue? I don't want a performance impact. I've heard bad things about SSDs over time slowing down.

And...well...unless I'm getting 300+ US dollars for this run to the store I'm not going to buy one, I don't have that type of money.


Any SSD near the price of your WD 640GB drive will be slower. The Intel X25M would be faster. The OCZ Vertex might be faster. But Vertex or Intel SSD you aren't going to be getting a faster than traditional hard drives SSD below $100 any time soon and by the time you can the 640GB WD will be a $40 item.

You'll just have to wait unless you are willing to pay extra to be an early adopter.

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Last edited by dhanson865 on Fri May 01, 2009 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:05 am 
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Ya there's no denying that SSDs are in their infancy right now. The upsides are great, 0 dBa, low power consumption, and no heat production. Downsides - low capacity, high price, performance might not be amazing.

But let's see, what can be imporved upon in time? We can get higher capacity drives that cost lest. A couple years ago 1TB was an external USB drive that was gigantic and like 500 dollars. Now you can get an internal one for about 100. Back then 100 dollars would buy you what...around maybe 200GB? I don't know. In a couple of years SSDs will be much more affordable, and much higher in capacity. As for performance, (that dude's law) computing doubles in speed every 1.5 years. (Right?)

SSDs have tremedous upside but in many areas aren't well accepted yet because they are new. Same thing with Blu Rays, same thing with DVDs at the time, same thing with every new type of technology. It's the world of technology, most of you, like me, are addicted, and we have to live with our addiction...and this is one of the consequences.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:36 am 
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Well I think it's not just a hardware issue. Modern operating systems, drivers and much of the hardware that deals with I/O has been tuned over many years to talk to hard-drives, and to work round the short-comings of hard-drives. SSDs have rather different characteristics, so it's shouldn't be a surprise that it'll take a while for the software to adapt to get the best performance out of SSDs.

In the meantime SSDs are going to remain an expensive solution of dubious benefit to my mind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:48 pm 
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merlin wrote:
Even one drive will ruin the silence of many ssds! I am interested in one as a boot drive for performance sometime next year, but that won't help quiet my normal drives.

My solution for my main PC (link in sig) with an SSD for an OS drive and a traditional HDD for storage was a bit of soldering and a switch that allows me to turn off power to the HDD. Basically, I normally just use my PC with the SSD only. Once the 60Gb OCZ Vertex I've got starts to fill up, I turn my PC off, flip the switch so that power is allowed to flow to my storage HDD and reboot. The storage HDD is then detected as part of the bootup process and I then transfer all my files to my storage HDD. After another quick reboot and flicking the switch back the other way, there is no power to the HDD again, for quiet operation.

I don't flip this switch when the computer is on though, only when it is powered down.

I find this to be a pretty practical solution (except for the bit of rebooting, which is really quick with a SSD anyway - 40 to 60 seconds on Win 7 Beta). The 60Gb Vertex is big enough that I don't have to do a lot of small file transfers, just one or two multi-Gb transfers a week normally.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:10 pm 
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Ummm... OK. Why not use the normal power management features to power down the hard-drive?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 2:46 am 
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My solution to the storage problem is spelled NAS :D Found a dirt cheap cabinett that I've stored in a storage area in the house where noone will ever hear the two HDDs I've loaded it with:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:38 am 
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Tobias wrote:
My solution to the storage problem is spelled NAS :D Found a dirt cheap cabinett that I've stored in a storage area in the house where noone will ever hear the two HDDs I've loaded it with:)

That's definitely a good option esp. if you have a 1000m/b network. I'm surprised no one has mentioned eSATA yet. You can have a 2m cable and no real loss of speed compared to internal eSATA. A 2TB drive encased in a drive muffling external case sitting on on the floor 2m away with a bit of foam for decoupling can be inaudible. Ditto firewire- -- tho it is slower.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:52 pm 
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nutball wrote:
Ummm... OK. Why not use the normal power management features to power down the hard-drive?


I find this an interesting comment. From looking at the options in windows I don't see an equivalent to what was being proposed though. Is there a way to tell the OS to turn off a hard drive then turn it on again even if the computer is in use?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:15 pm 
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darkgreen wrote:
nutball wrote:
Ummm... OK. Why not use the normal power management features to power down the hard-drive?


I find this an interesting comment. From looking at the options in windows I don't see an equivalent to what was being proposed though. Is there a way to tell the OS to turn off a hard drive then turn it on again even if the computer is in use?


You can do this within Power Settings / Advanced Power Settings as well as set the power management of the drives to 'Quiet' in the BIOS.

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 3:08 pm 
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The thing with SSDs is that they have extremely fast, nearly non-existent seek times. The rest depends on the controller design and here's where the differences between manufacturers come up.

Marketing types like to boast as high numbers as possible so many an SSD could be, and have been, designed to achieve high sequential transfer rates. That is not the most important figure however in normal use.

What makes a system responsive or what can become the bottleneck that kills a system using a bad SSD is a slow random write speed of small files. When your OS does anything, it writes small stuff all over the place. An SSD controller that hasn't been designed to optimize this aspect of performance can start causing hang-ups (this is called stutter) of up to half a second or more! Sure, mechanical spinning hard disks are slow too, but that was eventually solved with ever-increasing large write caches. If an SSD design isn't mature and it doesn't do what must be done to get around the weak point of SSDs just like hard drive manufacturers fixed theirs, you won't be enjoying your SSD. Imagine opening a browser, Skype or any program and wait for a full second every time there's a small write to the disk!

I recommend reading this Anandtech article, especially the latter parts about the new OCZ drives and how the new new Vertex dodged the stuttering problem that threatened to make it just as unusable as the previous models:

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdo ... i=3531&p=8

Now the new OCZ drives would appear to be practically as fast as the Intel SSDs and are looking like winners.

Intel's SSDs work great, you can trust that, but their pricing isn't exactly consumer friendly. I'd like to have a mature, well designed SSD as an OS and software drive for the speed and reliability, but for now I'll stick to my 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 inside a suspended Scythe Quiet Drive - it's inaudible already, so only the performance and reliability aspects remain. I will be getting an SSD at some point, but for me it won't be for the purpose of silencing. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Tobias wrote:
My solution to the storage problem is spelled NAS :D Found a dirt cheap cabinett that I've stored in a storage area in the house where noone will ever hear the two HDDs I've loaded it with:)


I'm planning a NAS too, which I might combine with westmere in mini-itx form along with FreeBSD 8 on ZFS. Unfortunately I like having a big chunk of storage that isn't networked too, so that's not really going to reduce my noise levels. Honestly though, the noise levels are already low enough that I have to pay attention to notice them, only hd seeks are kind of noticeable, and they're still quite muted. I'm going to focus on SSDS for performance first and someday possibly to eliminate hard drives in 2-3 years (if we don't end up with something even better).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:22 am 
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Jokoto wrote:
The thing with SSDs is that they have extremely fast, nearly non-existent seek times. The rest depends on the controller design and here's where the differences between manufacturers come up.

Marketing types like to boast as high numbers as possible so many an SSD could be, and have been, designed to achieve high sequential transfer rates. That is not the most important figure however in normal use.

What makes a system responsive or what can become the bottleneck that kills a system using a bad SSD is a slow random write speed of small files. When your OS does anything, it writes small stuff all over the place. An SSD controller that hasn't been designed to optimize this aspect of performance can start causing hang-ups (this is called stutter) of up to half a second or more! Sure, mechanical spinning hard disks are slow too, but that was eventually solved with ever-increasing large write caches. If an SSD design isn't mature and it doesn't do what must be done to get around the weak point of SSDs just like hard drive manufacturers fixed theirs, you won't be enjoying your SSD. Imagine opening a browser, Skype or any program and wait for a full second every time there's a small write to the disk!

I recommend reading this Anandtech article, especially the latter parts about the new OCZ drives and how the new new Vertex dodged the stuttering problem that threatened to make it just as unusable as the previous models:

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdo ... i=3531&p=8

Now the new OCZ drives would appear to be practically as fast as the Intel SSDs and are looking like winners.

Intel's SSDs work great, you can trust that, but their pricing isn't exactly consumer friendly. I'd like to have a mature, well designed SSD as an OS and software drive for the speed and reliability, but for now I'll stick to my 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 inside a suspended Scythe Quiet Drive - it's inaudible already, so only the performance and reliability aspects remain. I will be getting an SSD at some point, but for me it won't be for the purpose of silencing. :)


I have an OCZ vertex and upgrading from a noisy 7200 rpm drive was worth it for both the speed increase and noise reduction. OCZ has done a great job releasing new firmware for the drive that should help add TRIM support which is currently a performance hurdle.

Unless you're running a raid array, the performance gains from moving to an SSD are obvious and becoming increasingly worthwhile as performance increases and prices drop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 1:18 pm 
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So, do most people here feel that SSDs are already fit for being their main OS drive? I've read that Windows 7 is going to be more TRIM campatible. Would it be better to wait until Windows 7 comes out?

I'm still sitting on the fence, waiting to make the plunge into SSD land.


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:57 pm 
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whispercat wrote:
So, do most people here feel that SSDs are already fit for being their main OS drive? I've read that Windows 7 is going to be more TRIM campatible. Would it be better to wait until Windows 7 comes out?


It's better to wait for that reason *and* that they'll less expensive when you buy!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 4:29 pm 
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With recent price drops, models like the Vertex are worthy OS drives for anyone willing to accept the price/capacity compromise.

The reason to walk slowly rather than run to the SSD store is that many here have made their platter drives practically silent already. Also, we are in a period of extremely rapid SSD development that would render current models outdated in terms of speed/capacity/value fairly quickly.

If my current drive died I would look at a Vertex or similar, but otherwise no need to fix what ain't broken. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:39 pm 
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My main drive is a 2.5" 5400 that is perfectly inaudible compared to the fans spinning in my system. My data disk is a 640GB external Spinpoint F1 over USB-soon-to-be-eSATA that is much louder than anything else, even on foam. It is bliss when it is turned off, but normally I don't notice it. I can understand that losing it completely is like a silencer's heaven.

Why I chose an external drive I don't really know. I guess I like the flexibility. USB is a bitch though. I have had my filesystem go corrupt one time already; I've had to restore it completely from backup, but my backup also has some corruption, so I will have to restore it from main, if I want to get rid of it. Luckily (lucky lucky lucky), I will have eSATA support in about a week or three. I'm hoping eSATA does better when going to Standby/Hibernate, and returning out of it.

Perhaps I would choose a NAS if I could stow it away somewhere where I have network, but only the meter cupboard is eligible, and of all places it doesn't have a power outlet. So I choose external usb/esata and bear with the (moderate) noise.

On the topic of SDDs, I couldn't care less at this point in time. My main drive is fast enough for my needs. It is silent, while my data disk is not. No use replacing my main disk.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:57 pm 
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Over the past few weeks, the several PCs in the SPCR labs have been upgraded with 30~60gb Intel or Samsung SSDs, replacing mostly larger capacity 3.5" HDDs, all elastically suspended. We restored an NAS in a closet in a stairwell, with the single fairly high vibration 1gb drive suspended w/ elastic from rafters. You can hear it when the door to that closet is open, but not when it's closed.

An old early single drive NAS was there before; a much more capable QNAP TS-109 Pro has replaced it. Now all the PCs save to the NAS through the network also upgraded not long ago to gigabit, with an 8-port switch in the closet and a 4-port one next to the cable modem. The appropriate NAS folders are mapped on each PC. The speed of data transfer is about the same as with a USB drive. One big advantage of all this is ease of data security: Only the NAS needs to be backed up, and this is done with a simple external USB 1tb drive connected directly to the NAS.

So every PC has become a bit quieter -- they were all very quiet already -- and draws a bit less power. Except for the PC in the anechoic chamber which has no moving parts, the other two have just one fan, a smooth 120mm that runs ~500rpm or lower. Both have fanless PSUs (one a silverstone, the other a picoPSU + 110W power brick). The absence of any HDD noise is nice -- but the improvement over the previous configs is really noticeable later at night or when you're right next to the PCs.

The thing I'm really looking forward to is a larger selection of mITX, mATX (too bad about mDTX!) "heatsink cases" for DIY builders (like the old Zalman TNN series, the recent Silverstone mini-ITX one we reviewed, and the mCubed cases).

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:58 pm 
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It's worth mentioning for the thought behind the title of this thread that I'm going to wait for SATA 3 motherboard + SATA 3 SSDs before I jump to SSD. I'm expecting them to come out this fall since the spec was finalized and published this month.

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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:54 am 
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I'm convinced by the performance of SSD's but I'm still a little concerned about degradation and the price (Mostly the price)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:08 am 
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For a fanless netbook, sure. But for a proper desktop workstation - really?


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