Best SSD for boot drive plus programs

FullmetalCowboy

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Hey guys. Requesting your awesome help yet again. I am looking for an SSD to use as a boot drive and storage for all my main programs and games( Photoshop, lightroom,Dreamweaver, tons of stuff etc). So close to 120 gb? mb more?

I'm not going to limit it with a budget, just as long as i get great value.

I really couldn't care in the slightest what my write speeds are, but i'm looking for a very premium read speed. I have a motherboard capable of SATA III. So the newest ones are fair game.

Thanks in advance guys! These forums never let me down.
 

metawin

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I would RAID 0 2 Vertex 3 120GB

You can always buy one now and the second down the road if your low on funds. You can get the regular Vertex 3 120GB for $250 w/ free shipping this weekend on newegg with the promo code EMCYTZT512 until midnight on Sunday.

The only difference between this and the MAX IOPS vertex 3 is that the MAX uses 34nm Toshiba NAND and the regular one uses 24nm Intel NAND and the MAX handles moving very large incompressible data (e.g. very High Def and very large videos) from one file to another a little better. If that is worth another $70 then go for it, but in the real world you should not see that much of a difference, if any. You should keep things like that on a HDD anyway. Also you can still run the programs you use for those files from the SSD and keep the files themselves on a HDD.

You can safely RAID these drives, from what I understand, and there guides out there. If you want to be super safe, when you partition it leave %10 or %15 unallocated and you can fill it all the way up and still be guaranteed room left for garbage collection or just wait on getting your second one until TRIM is supported in RAID, which should not be all that much longer I think.

Hope it helps.

 

FullmetalCowboy

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All of these are great responses.

The Revodrives are getting a little to expensive for the capacity , thanks tho.

@techmo you suggested the vertex 3 240, but what do you think of the vertex 3 120? I know SSDs are better with more storage capacity. I wish i knew more about it. Is there a different drive you would recommend at 120?

@Metawin If i ran out of space on the SSD and needed a second drive how easy would it be to RAID them? RAID 0 is the one that increases read performance...and backs up? i think im wrong. Maybe thats RAID 1.

Thanks! and sorry for my somewhat utter cluelessness.
 

LordConrad

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I think the Vertex 3 or M4 would be a good choice. I would not use a RAID 0 array for a boot drive, the decrease in reliability isn't worth the slight speed increase.

You said you don't care about write speed, so I assume your scratch disks and swap files will be on a separate drive or RAID array. You really don't want these files on an SSD.
 

metawin

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As long as your Mother Board supports RAID, which if it supports SATA III as you said, then it should, setting up a RAID 0 is fairly easy even for a novice and there are many many guides out there.

As far as backing your drive up, that is called a RAID 1, where one drive mirrors all data on the other drive.
Raid 0 turns 2 drives into one drive with twice the speed and space of one individual drive which is then able to interleave the data on them which will make them last longer and have more space for garbage collection.

I suggest that you use a HDD for back ups not a SSD, there are many free programs out there that will do it easily.
Basically they create a disk image of your 2 raided drives, then if one fails you can just replace the failed one and restore everything from the image saved on your HDD. If you want to be super cautious you could put two HDDs in RAID 1 and then have a back up of your back up.
 

FullmetalCowboy

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@lord conrad

The m4 looks awesome, and its so much cheaper. and i just read pretty deep into it and it has the same real world performance as the vertex 3. the vertex kills it in benchmarks, but hey all i need is performance, not numbers.

@metawin

I dont think i would be able to get the cash together for two SSDs. Just a single one would be so incredibly faster than my hdd though. The m4 is looking great.

Im going to have a regular Hdd for music, videos, and generally space consuming crap. and also as a back up for the SSD(would i need to make a separate partition for the back up?)

Would there be a large performance increase with 2 500 gb drives in raid 0? or should i just get a 1 terabyte drive and be done with it?


Thanks so much!

 

mekunekud

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Does anyone have any experience with the OCZ Solid 3 series? They seem pretty top notch on speeds but noone seems to know what their reliability is like.
 

metawin

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The M4 does not have anywhere near the performance or quality of a Vertex 3 in the real world or otherwise, its like comparing apples and oranges.
The M4, while just released is not truly next gen as it still uses the same controller as the C300 with only some firmware tweaks.
The new M4 is just a rehashed C300.

The Vertex on the other hand is the best of the next gen, only falling behind the MAX IOPS Vertex 3 which is essentially the same drive.

Don't underestimate the difference having a Sandforce controller makes.

You can read what I am talking about here, which is also a good site to get some other good in depth SSD reviews.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4253/the-crucial-m4-micron-c400-ssd-review

I understand that you can't afford two right now (who can? lol) but I still say get one now and IF YOU NEED IT (or would just like to double its speed) you can get another one later. That is what I am doing on my new build right now and I doubt you will be able to get it for $250 again for long while and I have ordered mine today :)

Just like your PSU, your main drive is NOT the place to cut corners on any system.

If $250 is still a little high, I recommend the Agility 3 as a second choice.

It has the sandforce controller and gets the same results in benchmarks as the Vertex 3 only lagging behind in incompressible data transfers, while coming in at a much better price point due to its use of different less expensive (and less quality) NAND than the Vertex 3.

It is also reviewed on the site that I linked you if you would like to know more.

I would just like to say that saving is good, (and you are saving by getting the Vertex at a discount and not the MAX IOPS) but where you choose to save can make a huge difference in how happy you are with your PC.
I would emphatically say that a good SSD is an upgrade that you can defiantly feel in everyday use and is an important factor in the performance of a number of things in your PC.

Hope it helps and good luck with your upgrade!
 

FullmetalCowboy

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Ok wow, that website had some compelling numbers for the vertex 3. i think i'l splurge :p

it sounds like this sandforce controller is whats doing all this magic.

Il take your advice with the vertex 3 :D.

So now i've got programs and windows 7/programs on my vertex 3 and now i need a good HDD for all my music, and extreme numbers of pictures. So should i go for a RAID 0 array or just get a regular hard drive? i need 1 terabyte of storage.


Thanks a ton! this forum is exceptional.
 

metawin

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At the price point that the Agility 3 is at right now I would go for it instead of the the Solid series.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4346/ocz-agility-3-240gb-review

Look for a good review that lists the NAND types along with the controller used for the Solid 3.
NAND and controller are the determining factors in terms of reliability.
ONFI 1.0 NAND is last gen, slower and less stable.
ONFI 2.0 is the best current consumer grade NAND.
32nm is better than 24nm NAND giving 5,000 full writes as opposed to 3,000 for 24nm.
Sandforce works best with ONFI 2.0

The best NAND makers are intel, micron and toshiba with the toshiba NAND working with the sandforce the best.

The ONLY difference between the Vertex 3 and the MAX IOPS version is that the MAX uses 32nm Toshiba and the regular uses 24nm Intel NAND.
They both are ONFI 2.0 grade NAND.

The Agility 3 is the exact same thing as the vertex 3, only it uses ONFI 1.0 from Intel.

The OCZ pecking order (and pretty much the whole consumer SATA III SSD market right now) is..

Vertex 3 MAX IOPS
Vertex 3
Agility 3
Solid 3

Hope it helps!

 

metawin

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I think you made the right choice and I hope it works out for your needs.

REMEMBER TO USE THE PROMO CODE I GAVE YOU AT CHECK OUT AND GET IT BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO SAVE SOME MONEY!!!

As far as RAID 0 on your HDD, it depends.
If it is just for movies and pictures etc. (like most plp use them for) then don't bother it won't really matter.
Make sure you get one that is at least 7200 rpm and SATA III and you should be happy.
If you are deciding between two that are the same go with the one with the larger cache, 64mb seems the best.
Now with 3TB drives coming on the market, you should be able to find some good deals on 2TB drives, look around.
The most important factor on your HDD is reliability, make sure you read reviews by good sites and the comments from those who bought it before.

Try to look beyond the name and at the actual parts they are made of (and where they are made, not just the name of the company selling them).

Right now people like Seagate, WD and Spinpoints.

Happy hunting!
 

metawin

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I don't know how you can say the Agility 3 is exact same thing ad Vertex 3 in the same sentence. The Agility 3 uses much slower and cheaper asynchronous NAND while the Vertex 3 uses faster synchronous NAND.

And so what is wrong with an improved C300? Look at all of the problems the new Sandforce Corsair and OCZ are having. Sandforce is a lot of snake-oil - especially in their benchmarks. They do good with completely compressible data but poorly with compressible data. Real world is not very compressible.

What evidence do you have that the Crucial m4 is lower quality than the OCZ - especially with the quality history of OCZ/sandforce (including the recent issues)? The only negative things about the m4 that I have seen is its garbage collection is late so you really want TRIM. Well, in sandforce 1200 - TRIM and garbage collection were completely ineffective in restoring the write performance of the drive once all NAND had been written because of Duraclass write throttling. Not a great track record for Sandforce IMO.
You don't know what your talking about and I said "The Agility 3 is the exact same thing as the vertex 3, only it uses ONFI 1.0 from Intel. "

What evidence is there that the M4 is lower quality than the OCZ Sandforce?
Not a great record for Sandforce?
Are you trolling me right now?
You obviously have a internet browser, so you have to be trolling me right now.

So we have established that you did not even bother to read everything I wrote and I am not going to waste any more of my time educating you.

Good luck with your M4.


 

metawin

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No, you don't know what you are taking about. It has nothing to do with ONFI. Agility 3 uses asynchronous NAND which is slower than the synchronous NAND used in the vertex, and that is why it is a lower tiered SSD.

Trolling? What the heck is wrong with you?

I have read everything you posted here. I am afraid you obviously nothing as far as education to offer.

"I am afraid you obviously nothing as far as education to offer."

LOL
 

metawin

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Yeah, that is sooo funny. Are you out of high school yet? Why don't you come back with something to back up what you say.

So for your information ONFI 1.0 standard - Asynchronous NAND only
ONFI 2.0 standard and beyond Asynchronous or Synchronous NAND

What makes the agility 3 slower than the vertex 3 is that it uses asynchronous NAND, while the vertex 3 uses synchronous. The Agility 3 could be ONFI 2.0 and still use asynchronous NAND and it would still be slower than the Vertex 3.

The Crucial m4 uses synchronous NAND and is OFNI 2.2. So since it is a higher rev of the ONFI specification than the vertex 3 does that mean it is better and faster. No.

Of course I know about asynchronous and synchronous NAND, this post is not for you but for someone who does not know, but might now know because it was discussed, in great depth, in the link I sent him.

You are highjacking someone's thread in order to prove some non-existent point and being the opposite of helpful.
Stop.
 

FullmetalCowboy

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Hey guys

From what I've been reading (and I'm sure you both know this) the sandforce controller compresses data and thats what makes it so fast among other things im guessing.

@Gene o You said that real world isnt very compressible. Do you mean that most day to day usage would be unable to be compressed?

Would that make the Vertex 3 lose its edge in situations where the data cannot be compressed? And are we talking Read/write here? or just write?

What kind of things cant be compressed?

Sorry for all the questions :p

@metawin Thanks for the continuing help man, i'm getting smarter by the minute
 

FullmetalCowboy

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@ lord conrad

If your still among us

What do you mean by "I assume your scratch disks and swap files will be on a separate drive or RAID array. You really don't want these files on an SSD"

what are scratch disks or swap files?

Sry for the total noob question but ive never even remotely heard those terms.

Thanks!
 

metawin

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If you listen to Gene O you are making a mistake, he does not know more than Anand and the M4 is inferior in every way.
What he is telling you is that you won't notice a difference with much, much higher read and write speeds.

That is ridiculous.

Go back to the review for the Vertex 3 at the site I gave you and skip to the test called "Anand storage bench 2010" and it will list the results of the drive using various "real world usage" scenarios.
You will see that the 120GB Vetex is on par with the 256GB M4 (with SSDs the larger the size the greater the performance) and the 120 Vertex is as fast as a 256GB M4!!
Notice the 120GB M4 is not even listed.

You have to bear in mind in these tests it is NOT on a SATA III interface and that is where the new Sandfore really shines and the results would be even higher. It also shows results in IOPS, so look at the other benchmarks to get a more full picture.
For example the Vertex MAX IOPS would beat all of those drives in the IOPS catagory, look at all of the bench mark tests and read what Anand has to say.

The MAX IOPS on a SATAIII? Look around.

This is just to give you a basic idea of some real world usages so you can make a more informed decision.

It is also superior in terms longevity. You will enjoy the added benefits of having a fully supported flagship product which means frequent firmware updates, support etc. and tons of user guides and discussion on the net.

Did I mention the 3 year warranty?

I will save you some trouble and just link it for you.
Don't forget to look at the other benches in this review as well.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-3-review-120gb/12

Since you already missed the deadline on the promo code, take some time and do some research into SSDs then make a informed choice based on what you want.

Good luck!
 

FullmetalCowboy

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Ok 2 more questions Gene O (thanks for the help)

I wouldn't have music or video on the SSD. it would just be programs(photoshop, lightroom, games) and windows 7. Are these very compressible?

And what is the reliability difference between the M4 and the vertex 3? i know larger nand has more reliability but that's about it.
 

metawin

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Yeah, I bet you knew. That is why you said I didn't know what I was talking about? And you think you are making anything clear to the OP with ONFI this and that?

OK first I am trolling you and then I am hijacking this thread. Right. I am responding because I disagree with the advice you are giving. I guess if someone disagrees with you they are a troll or Hijacker.

If you want to know the reliability track record of the various vendors, just do a little research. OCZ has the worst track record right now. For instance:

http://www.behardware.com/articles/831-7/components-returns-rates.html
You are trolling or really misinformed.

You did not bother to read the question the poster (mekunekud) asked about Solid series drives, which use asynchronous NAND and I told him the Agility 3 was the better of the two. Which it is.

I then sent him a link that gave a in-depth look at asynchronous and synchronous NAND (which of course I must not have read because I did not know the difference right? I must have just randomly typed in a web address?)

But of course you don't know any of that because you are a troll that just jumped in with bad opinions and insults without reading the post or even really trying to help, just M4 fanboy fanaticism.

I am done with you.
 

metawin

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Compressible data is things like movies and pictures which you should not store on your SSD but on a HDD.
 

LordConrad

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@Gene O
If I read your post correctly, you're putting scratch files on your SSD. This will increase performance, but it will also thrash your SSD. Some friends of mine are heavy Photoshop and Premiere users, and they both burned through their first SSD in 6 months by having their scratch disks on their SSD (they both had intel SSDs). Most professionals use a HDD RAID 0 array for their large scratch disks since hard drives do not have limited Program/Erase cycles, and the lower reliability of RAID 0 is just fine for temporary storage.
 

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