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Thread: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

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    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Well, after some hard drive issues in my Dell laptop earlier this year (a slow but certain HD death), I decided to try out an SSD drive. I'm not as computer-savvy as I used to be, so I had a local computer shop source a relatively less-common EIDE SSD for my older Dell, as well as install & configure it (I undertook the WinXP reinstall ).

    The cost was $190 for a 64GB Super Talent EIDE (MLC), ~110 MB/sec transfer rate IIRC. I might have been able to find something cheaper and/or faster but I'd rather have the local shop take responsibility for the upgrade & making sure everything is functional - fewer folks able to point their finger at others if something isn't working, you know how that goes ...

    So I'm pretty happy with it so far, a low-level format took ~30 seconds, and WinXP boots up in something like half the time as previously.

    --------------------------

    The other thing I've just accomplished with this laptop is that I picked up a Lexar 32-bit CardBus PCMCIA -> Compact Flash adaptor, as I've always wanted significant secondary flash drive capacity that is completely internal to my laptop. Furthermore, it's nice to use the commodity-type cards such as CF & SD - with so many companies competing, it's easier to get high-performance upgrades at a lower cost. Now when I need more capacity in my 'second hard drive', I can just pop out the CF card and insert one with greater capacity as the costs come down.

    The other advantage that I see with this strategy is that since MLC flash memory is only good for ~3000 write cycles (albeit not as significant an issue with wear leveling algorithms), I can 'offload' a lot of the more-intensive read-write use (such as the My Documents & Settings folder, Temporary Internet Files, and virtual memory/swap) to the CF drive, saving my expensive & harder to replace internal SSD HD for the OS and various applications.

    And it is still fast enough, a 32GB low-level format of this card took only 20 seconds, and since the 32-bit (CardBus) bus is most definitely not the data bottleneck in this configuration, I'm only limited by the quite-respectable ~60MB/sec transfer rate of this particular line of Sandisk CF cards.



    BTW, do any of the computer gurus here know of a way to turn off last-fileaccess-time stamping with removable media using WinXP & Fat32? I'm tempted to convert the CF card from Fat32 to NTFS and/or make it a 'fixed' volume to facilitate this, but I'm wondering if there is a more straightforward approach ... ? I also want to enable write-cacheing for this drive, so I'm inclined to make it a fixed volume...


    --------------------------


    So anyway, I'd be curious as to who here has been using SSD's in place of traditional hard disks for their computers, and what experiences they've had? It sounds like there were a lot of failures in the first ones to come out, but I'm hoping that the more recent SSD's have been more reliable ...

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by Kestrel; 12-29-2011 at 05:30 PM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    I got one for Christmas! The Intel 320. It is so far serving me well, very fast. No problems so far, but it's only been running for a little less than a week..

  3. #3

    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    *raises hand*

    320gb intel in the HD bay, 1 TB in the Optical bay. All my Programs and OS reside on the SSD, everything else on the 1tb.

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    Flashaholic It01Firefox's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    My Notebook, Netbook and General Use Desktop are all running SSDs. My gaming rig plus my HTPCs haven't gotten an upgrade, yet.

    The laptop has been converted for about a year now, without any problems.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    I Have Been Thinking About Upgrading An Old Dell 2350 To SSD. The Computer Crawls Like A Snail Right Now. Its Currently Running An Old 40GB 4200rpm Seagate With 256 Ram. Will Definitely Add Ram When Funds Allow. Man, You Should See The Paging File On This Thing.

    Is Anyone Concerned About The Limited Read/Write Cycles When Going To SSD?

  6. #6

    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Deicide~ View Post
    Is Anyone Concerned About The Limited Read/Write Cycles When Going To SSD?
    No.

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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post

    Where can I buy this PCMCIA adapter? I could use such a internal removable flash drive to store data... writing speed be damned, if reading speed is good, I'm ballin

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Good News:

    1) Go to http://google.com

    2) Type "PCMCIA to flash adapter"

    3) You will get tons of hits

    Bad News:

    Not all of them provide maximum throughput. I am sure one of them is a good one, but many are most likely quite slow.

    Kestrel seems quite satisfied with his Lexar 32-bit CardBus PCMCIA adapter, so that might be a brand worth pursuing.

    EDIT: Illum, I would get Lexar RW021-001. Purchase from the most affordable dealer you can.

    @Kestrel, I'm not sure if this helps you or not:

    Link

    Link 2

    Link 3
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 01-02-2012 at 09:39 AM.
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    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Regarding that Compact Flash adaptor card, there all sorts of cheapies out there (@~$6-$10), but the 32-bit CardBus ones run about $40-$50 IIRC. SanDisk makes one, I would imagine it has pretty good performance. The Lexar unit I posted about was discontinued, although it did very well on test benchmarks.

    One thing to watch out for is that some of them place a significantly greater load on the computers' CPU compared to others, the Lexar unit I found places only a ~10% load on my CPU during data transfer IIRC.
    Last edited by Kestrel; 01-02-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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    Flashaholic* Lite_me's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    There was and interesting segment on today's Tekzilla podcast about cloning an SSD. Some here may find it interesting. Here's a link to just that particular segment from podcast #283.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duW_jYVCYEg
    "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."

  11. #11

    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    happy with my Plextor px-128m2s 128gb sata III ssd, lowered the boot time on my 15" macbook pro

  12. #12
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    Good News:

    1) Go to http://google.com

    2) Type "PCMCIA to flash adapter"

    3) You will get tons of hits

    Bad News:

    Not all of them provide maximum throughput. I am sure one of them is a good one, but many are most likely quite slow.

    Kestrel seems quite satisfied with his Lexar 32-bit CardBus PCMCIA adapter, so that might be a brand worth pursuing.

    EDIT: Illum, I would get Lexar RW021-001. Purchase from the most affordable dealer you can.

    @Kestrel, I'm not sure if this helps you or not:

    Link

    Link 2

    Link 3
    I have a CardBus adapter (efilm pro 32 bit cardbus adapter) - ROCKS, in my laptop right now. If anyone wants a PCMCIA CF adapter let me know and I'm pretty sure I have one that I can mail them - there is no comparison between the two. The only good thing about the cheap PCMCIA adapter is that it it recognized right away by XP. The cardbus adapter needs to be "installed" with software.


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    Flashaholic* egrep's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    I've been replacing the optical drive in my MacBook Pro's for 3-4 years now. I boot from the SSD and keep the OS and other select bits there. I also replace the fixed disk with a slightly faster 7200PRM Seagate. I partition it into 3 partitions. first is a mirror of the SSD volume that clones every 2 hours using SuperDuper!. I hardly ever notice it running because it just syncs changes each time. I create another volume with the unused space and use that for 'storage'.

    This gives me dramatically fast boot times and system responsiveness. It also gives me a full time hot spare that I can boot off of (the fixed disk system mirror) built into the box. Of course I use time machine to do incremental backups of the entire system. The extra benefit here of course is the revision tracking that allows me to go back in time on any file.

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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by egrep View Post
    I've been replacing the optical drive in my MacBook Pro's for 3-4 years now. I boot from the SSD and keep the OS and other select bits there. I also replace the fixed disk with a slightly faster 7200PRM Seagate. I partition it into 3 partitions. first is a mirror of the SSD volume that clones every 2 hours using SuperDuper!. I hardly ever notice it running because it just syncs changes each time. I create another volume with the unused space and use that for 'storage'.

    This gives me dramatically fast boot times and system responsiveness. It also gives me a full time hot spare that I can boot off of (the fixed disk system mirror) built into the box. Of course I use time machine to do incremental backups of the entire system. The extra benefit here of course is the revision tracking that allows me to go back in time on any file.
    I'd just like to say thanks for this, I've got two SSDs in my desktop at the moment and have been ticking over the reliability issue for some time now. This sounds like a great solution!
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    They aren't worth it quite yet IMO. I will wait another year or two until I can get a 500GB one for a reasonable price.

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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    [QUOTE=Kestrel;3831097]Well, after some hard drive issues in my Dell laptop earlier this year (a slow but certain HD death), I decided to try out an SSD drive. I'm not as computer-savvy as I used to be, so I had a local computer shop source a relatively less-common EIDE SSD for my older Dell, as well as install & configure it (I undertook the WinXP reinstall ).

    BTW, do any of the computer gurus here know of a way to turn off last-fileaccess-time stamping with removable media using WinXP & Fat32? I'm tempted to convert the CF card from Fat32 to NTFS and/or make it a 'fixed' volume to facilitate this, but I'm wondering if there is a more straightforward approach ... ? I also want to enable write-cacheing for this drive, so I'm inclined to make it a fixed volume...


    well i will kinda weigh in on this SSD, i have not run XP for years but i dont remember it writing last access to fat32 usb drives, but give this a try and see if it helps

    Create a new DWord value under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\FileSystem] called NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and set it to 1.

    First backup your registry, just in case. of course this assumes your running NTFS on your XP computer

    Also as an aside its probably not an issue of wearing out your SSD with constant writes, as windows is pretty good about not always updating SSD's. it will usually wait until it needs to access again for some other reason than update. or when you eject it i think it updates all files, hence why its bad to just pull the USB out with out first ejecting it.


  17. #17
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    Default

    So are new time stamps being added, your files with time stamps currently will continue to have them. But after changing registry (and rebooting) are new one still being added? Thanks

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* jamie.91's Avatar
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    Default

    I've been considering an SSD for my netbook ( eeepc ), faster, quiet and better battery life, not got round to finding the right one yet though:/
    Four surefires and counting, this could be expensive

  19. #19

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    My Macbook Air has SSD and it is screaming fast. I can't see going back to a mechanical drive ever again.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who's went over to using SSD drives in their computers?

    Haven't closed my browser in a couple weeks and have 34 windows open, plus many tabs in each window. A zippy SSD drive would be a treat right now!
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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