SSD questions.... please post your own experience

Discussion in 'hardware' started by aigle, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    I have a couple of questions regarding SSDs. Since I never owned an SSD, I can't get any practical idea about the answers. I know many users here are using SSDs, so I want to get benefit from their experience. here are the couple of questions.

    1- I have an old laptop on which I dual boot Ubuntu and XP. It has Pentium M 1.7 with 1.5 GB ram.
    XP is pretty fast on it( for obviou reasons) but Ubuntu is slow. If I change the hard disk to an SSD, will
    I get any practical benefit as far as snappiness of the OS is concerned( esp Ubuntu)?

    2- While using a USB 3 port, is there any significant difference in data transfer speed between an external SSD versus external HDD( practical rather than theoretical).

    3. How you compare the life span of a HDD to SSD. Tradinionally HDDs are said to have longer life. I had two external hard disk drives( Seagate n Toshiba) and each one of them failed over a period of approx five to six years and I am not a heavy user. Does it mean that an external SSD will fail earlier than this?

    Thanks
     
  2. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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  3. RJK3

    RJK3 Registered Member

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    I've used various SSDs in external drives. While they obviously don't perform nearly as well as if they were installed internally, you'll still find good performance for small files like photos or documents - and they tend to max out the USB 3 port for sequential writes.

    Essentially, even a much older model SSD significantly outperforms a consumer level external HDD in both sequential reads/writes and 4k reads/writes. Here are some comparison screenshots using Crystal Diskmark I did some time ago (warning, use an ad blocker for looking at the postimg site).

    1TB Western Digital Passport (USB 3.0 external HDD):
    http://postimg.org/image/dor3mabp1/

    120gb PM800 Samsung SSD (in a USB 3.0 external enclosure):
    http://postimg.org/image/pf513o4hh/

    120gb PM800 Samsung SSD (installed internally in a laptop, newer version of Crystal diskmark just for context):
    http://postimg.org/image/yo77dsddh/

    8gb Kingspec SSD USB 2.0 flash drive:
    http://postimg.org/image/5uqi0w3w5/

    64gb Kingspec SSD USB 2.0 flash drive:
    http://postimg.org/image/w1rowum5x/

    Ultimately I went with the 64gb Kingspec SSD flash drive for convenience. I have about 40gb of documents and multimedia I need to carry with me and occasionally copy in bulk, and it allows me to run portable apps like a personal browser fairly quickly. On a standard USB flash drive these files take significantly longer to finish copying to or from the device.

    The Samsung PM800 is quite an old model SSD (pre 840 series), so the difference between benchmarking it internally vs externally isn't as stark as a more recent model is, but I've not saved any benchmarks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  4. RJK3

    RJK3 Registered Member

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    As for fail rates, the SSD Endurance test showed that all consumer level SSDs appear to last well past their rated lifetime:
    http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

    You can judge for your own context, but personally I'm not worried about the lifespan of the SSDs I have. I mean at least one of my SSDs is from 2009, and a few others can't be much younger.
     
  5. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    An SSD will make a serious impact on responsiveness on any machine, especially one that will page/swap memory.

    For your Ubuntu-specific performance issues, I'd suggest fragmentation as a culprit and simply that it isn't optimised like Windows is. An SSD will help the former but not the latter.

    If you do install an SSD, ensure you have trim support on both OSes.

    re: USB3. It's the same issues as with SATA3: the SSD will saturate the bus; the HDD won't because of physical limitations of reading magnetised platters.

    re: Lifespan. You'll get years out of an SSD, like an HDD, with a better predictor of when it's used up (OEM software, SMART info), unlike an HDD and clicks-of-death.
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    1. What version of SATA or IDE does it have? Max read/write limit? Original HDD benchmarks?

    2. Never tried, but theoretically it will definitely be faster (up to 640 MB/s).

    3. I have a SSD still going strong from 2011. It endured FDE, multiple wipes, dozens of image/snapshot restores, couple Windows re-installations, and whatnot. At least according to SMART it's still in the green.
     
  7. wshrugged

    wshrugged Registered Member

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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  8. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    It is SATA. Need to check version.
     
  9. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Thanks but really don,t like any thing except unity or Gnome 3.
     
  10. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    They are pretty. Yes, check for OEM GPU drivers.
     
  11. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    It has only builtin intel graphics, pretty old.

    I think I need a new machine to get a snappy OS but I am not sure that i will be using it much. Lately most of my work in on a windows tablet and android phone.
     
  12. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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  13. wshrugged

    wshrugged Registered Member

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    Upfront -- I've only been using Linux for a few months with some months of research beforehand. I run Linux in VMs so I don't have much fear of breaking things. I don't run Ubuntu.

    I have some trust in Pjotr, the author of one of the sites I'm going to link, because he's a frequent contributor at the Mint forum. Still, of course, before I'd try any specific tweak his site suggests, I'd verify it through other sources.

    His 'Speed up your Ubuntu' suggestions : https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/speed#TOC

    At the least, you could try the temporary swappiness adjustment. If your parameter is currently set to '60' the swap from memory to disc is overly aggressive for a desktop environment.

    Ubuntu's Swap FAQs agree with the above link's suggestion to set the swappiness parameter value to '10'. Ubuntu's take on swap and how to adjust swappiness here : https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq

    If the adjustment(s) doesn't bring 'good enough' improvement and you don't have a positive compatibility outcome for your GPU with Unity, for only the cost of some time, effort and minimal personal adjustment to Lubuntu, Xubuntu or Mate, for example, you can have your cake and save up for some better eats in the future. They're only a little less pretty. Good luck.
     
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  15. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Thanks, will try.
     
  16. AutoCascade

    AutoCascade Registered Member

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    That tip site is beautiful.
    He has a tips for using an SSD I wasn't sure if that was in the links you posted.

    https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/ssd

    The boot time with an SSD is so much faster. It's probably the most bang for the buck you can spend.
     
  17. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    You say Ubuntu is slow. You need to understand WHY.

    If the bottleneck is your CPU or network, then SSD won't do much difference.

    As to what it gives, a small boost in I/O performance, but not too much if your system isn't burdened with useless (anti-virus) software.
    You will probably see improvement handling lots of small files, but then, your CPU and cache and disk controller also play a big part in that.

    For long sustained writes, it just comes down to the medium limits - copying to/from. If you copy over the network 1Gbps, then you won't exceed the typical speeds of mechanical disks. Likewise, for multiple disks inside the same computer.

    In other words - tons of variables to get a simple answer.

    I've had a bunch of laptops with SSD, and they are ok.
    Reliability is probably the biggest advantage, not speed unless you have really heavy I/O loads.

    Mrk
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  18. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Thanks, so true!
     
  19. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I don't want to hijack the topic, but what about gaming (Steam, Origin), do you all think it's a bad idea to use SSD's for this? Will it reduce the lifespan?

     
  20. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    I wouldn't say it is a bad idea but whether it is a good idea depends:
    • A poorly-written game (you said, "Origin", which qualifies ;)) that doesn't pre-load assets (or RAM/VRAM is a bit low) and hitches would benefit from being installed on an SSD. All games with assets installed onto an HDD would benefit defragmentation and organisation/consolidation. If your HDD is optimised and your game is implemented properly, you probably won't experience any noticeable benefit
    • Games that update frequently (i.e. MMOs, MOBAs) will wear on your SSD--may or may not matter if your drive lasts, say, 7 years instead of 10
    • I have Steam, Origin, GoG applications on my SSD with most games on the HDD
     
  21. RJK3

    RJK3 Registered Member

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    Personally I have no concerns at all about using an SSD for gaming, as the SSD endurance test has shown just how durable they are. I'm at a point where I'd rather just get the most out of an SSD, rather than putting anything write intensive on a mechanical HDD.

    While it doesn't make a huge difference to general game performance (GPU matters most), I did notice a big difference in load times. For example, I would enter new maps well before other people in Killing Floor 2. I haven't used my custom gaming laptop since the first half of the year, but it did run a bit cooler when using the primary SSD instead of the secondary mechanical HDD.
     
  22. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I must admit, I became a bit paranoid after reading all of those horror stories about SSD's, so I try to avoid extensive usage. But I'm thinking about installing some of the newer games, so that's why I asked.

    I don't understand, shouldn't all games be on the SSD?
     
  23. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Registered Member

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    I have more games than SSD space, so only the games that would actually benefit go on my SSD; otherwise, I have a partition at the beginning of my HDD for game/large app installs and have MyDefrag keep them optimised.
     
  24. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    I am going to say that I don't think it would really be worth it. I installed an SSD in an Atom (N550) netbook and I was disappointed that it didn't help much, while a drive from the same line in a Sandy Bridge (2500k) system was a whole different story.

    According to PassMark's chart, that Pentium M 1.7 scores a 415, which is even slower than the Atom N550's 515 rating. I don't know how their testing compares to what you would experience in real-world use, but it should be a decent baseline and probably enough to tell you it's pretty dated at this point.

    Although on my netbook I was running Windows 7 with 2GB of RAM. I don't know if the situation would be different with XP or Ubuntu.
     
  25. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    Just upgraded my wife's lazy Lenovo B590 with i3 from a standard HDD 5400rpm to a moderately cheap Crucial BX100. It's a completely new machine. Win8 boots in seconds and loads all start-up apps immediately. Now it's an usable machine, before it was just a frustrating experience.
     
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