Solid state hard drives

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by scorpionldr, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. What's the big deal? So it's faster, it has a shorter lifespan and less storage.

    All I hear about is boot times.....are they really worth it?

    Lately by the time I get a chance to turn on the laptop (5200rpm drive) I walk away, get to the bathroom, get back, boom, there's my desktop.
  2. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    It isn't just boot times, its application load times, cache writes, technically battery life (though you won't notice).
    The big one is prefetch and cache. Just makes everything feel much smoother, assuming youhave a somewhat modern disk controller. Wouldn't bothers either unless you are running a modernish OS like Win7 or like a recent Linux distro.
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Yes, they are worth it.

  4. Yea I DID see a video where a guy hooked up a number of solid states and managed to do some crazy file transfer speeds.

    I really don't get it tho.....isn't that the job of ram/processor (which as far as I can see lately, ram is being used at BARE minimum levels....why only use 8 if you can go 32?)? I mean if you're rich, sure, I can see going all solid state to some benefit, but when I go and see people talking about gaming rigs with SSD as a "must-have" I'm just thinking "so what are you really trying to do??"
  5. It's a relatively newer tech at the consumer level, it isn't going to completelly displace or outpace the existing tech in the near future, nor is it without teething problems.

    The RAM and Processor need to get the information from the harddrive in the first place, so drive speeds are always going to matter.

    We're getting pretty close to the theoretical max-density for disc drive platters, so increasing disc space will come from stacking numberous platters per drive (already happens). SSDs are just the next step in data storage, they have a significantly larger theoretical maximum storage density, plus you're talking about storage in 3D vs storage in 2D. We should also get to the point where SSDs are cheaper (fewer rare materials) and more reliable than HDDs (not mechanical).

    Prices for SSDs have also been dropping fairly quickly, which is why they are more common in consumer products. Do we need them? At the moment, we can do without, but it's new tech starting to blend in and replace the old.
  6. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008
    I haven't used one in a build yet, but I noticed a huge difference between using a 5400rpm harddrive and a 10000rpm one as my "programs" drive on my last computer build. It's an incredible difference in load and start up times. I can only imagine how much better a solid state drive would serve the same purpose without sounding like a jet engine or aspiring to match the surface of the sun for heat output.

    I'm not a tech guy, but from personal experience I can say that if you already have decent ram and a good CPU, the read speed on your hard drive turns into the the system bottleneck pretty quickly, especially if you're a multitasker who's constantly opening various programs.

    And who says it's so expensive? Pick up the 1tb 5400 rpm drive you were going to build the pc with anyway and use it as file storage, then just drop an extra $100 on a SS for your OS and most important programs. That's as cheap as upgrading ram and cheaper than the difference between a good CPU and a really good CPU.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It might be worth it if you're constantly on the go. The product where it makes sense is the MacBook Air, which seems to be designed specifically for the needs of college students. With that said, there are Linux distro's that boot in less than one minute on conventional hardware. And there are OS's that don't "boot" at all.
  8. Speaking of which, how much does reliability in HDDs drop when speed increases? The book I'm reading makes some offhand remark like "drop a 15000 rpm hard drive in your system and see how quickly it fails", but I'd have a hard time believing something manufactured to that spec would be created to not function well.

    Nah, I'm not going to be on the go, I'm looking to make a first home desktop I've had in years....

    OS's that don't boot at in boot to an OS selection screen??
  9. Hard drives are a bottleneck in most builds. An SSD is the most noticeable upgrade you can make if you've got a relatively modern machine.

    For an average user, the lifespan of the drive will exceed their length of ownership so I don't really see that as an issue.

    If your on the fence, I would definitely go for it.
  10. I had one of the WD Raptors in my last system. It was fast, don't get me wrong, but it was annoyingly noisy.

    With higher speed drives, the tolerances need to be tighter and there is more strain on the internal components. Wear will happen quicker and the drive will be more susceptible to that wear. Of course, that's all very generic as much of it comes down to the QC of the manufacturer and the production specs they use.
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In a contemporary computer, especially one that runs on batteries, "booting" is just one of the many different ways that the computer manages the relative capacity, speed, and power consumption of different types of memory.

    Disk memory is slow, but has high capacity, and consumes no power when it isn't being accessed.

    RAM is fast, but capacity sufficient for running an OS like Win32 or Linux requires a type of RAM that consumes a lot of power.

    So, among its other ways of managing power, the computer stores the guts of the OS on disk and loads them into RAM when the computer starts. That's "booting."

    But there are computers that require less overall memory, so they can use memory that consumes a lot less power, and eliminate the need for a low-power storage medium. An example is the old PalmOS, where the OS and all apps were all "running" concurrently, even when the device was turned "off."

    The idea of the solid state disk is to change the balance of capacity, speed, and power, in a favorable way for people who need a computer to come up and down quickly. For your use, don't bother. I'd recommend the cheapest possible desktop system that will run a modern OS, unless you're a gamer. I just got a new desktop for under 300 bucks, and I expect it to last a decade, like its predecessor did.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have one in a new HP Ultrabook. Boots in 20 seconds, accesses files quickly, and will travel in my briefcase getting bumped around - but there's no longer anything to worry about.

    Solid state laptops.

    In a desktop, there's nothing wrong with big disc-based hard drives as far as I'm concerned.
  13. Wagz


    May 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    They really shine in a laptop or ultrabook.

    Lower battery consumption, dead quiet and most importantly, a lot more shock resistant than a set of platters spinning at 5000 rpm.

    I go with 7200 rpm conventional in my desktops because I usually have a massive amount of RAM in a desktop so no file swapping, and I don't care about boot times. If I really need fast file speeds I stripe a RAID with the conventional drives.
  14. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008

    I only have anecdotal experience with the raptor I used, but it lasted four years until the motherboard on my last PC fizzled out. I have it sitting around somewhere and it continued to run just fine the last time I plugged it into an external dock. The thing is noisy as hell though. I wouldn't have wanted it in the same room I'm recording in.
  15. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    When you have 4 or 5 HDDs in a tower like me, you really notice the weight of all those drives. So replacing them with SSD is the way to go for that alone.

    Read and write speeds are amazing now with the newer controller chips.

    The prices are coming down and at least for a C: drive it totally makes sense.
  16. I put a OCZ Vertex SSD in my laptop some years ago. The system has two drive bays, so I used the stock drive as strictly a storage/backup drive and the SSD as my OS drive. The difference was substantial! Well worth the money, IMO.
  17. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    I'm still waiting.
  18. Last I tried, mine was still working.

    I just don't have a use for it, the extra noise wasn't worth the extra speed!
  19. The book you're reading... Throw it away. There's a term...MTBF. Mean Time Between Failure and 15k drives typically have an MTBF upwards of 20 years. I don't know who wrote that book, but that is absolutely the dumbest thing I've ever heard on drive technology.
  20. It might last a decade but don't put your expectations on it. I'd say 5-7 is a reasonable expectation with the realization that it will be slow in its older years.

    Going back to noise levels, my first SCSI drive was a Micropolis drive. Full height, 3x taller than regular desktop drives. It weighed 10 lbs and sounded like rocks churning when it was in use. Fast but loud.

    Just 15 years ago, solid state drives were the size of medium refrigerators and cost $25k USD. Yeah, we are getting there though.