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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Sean's SSD Buyers Guide & Information Thread

What is this?
This is for those of you trying to choose b/w which SSD to purchase and for those of you who want to learn a little about SSDs in general as well. If you have any additions or questions, by all means feel free to post a question in the thread on anything SSD related and I will be sure to try and answer it for you.

Fell free to chat about with the other members about SSDs and other flash storage here as well.

(Click on a specific section to jump to it)
  • Intro to SSDs
  • SSD Components
  • Maintenance
  • SSD Pros and Cons
  • The Do's and the Don'ts
  • Sean's recommended SSDs
  • Installation
  • Benchmarks by OCN members
  • Links and extra information

Special thanks to:
Tator Tot

Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Intro to SSDs

What is a SSD?
Solid state is term that refers to electronic circuitry that is built entirely out of semiconductors. The term was originally used to define those electronics such as a transistor radio that used semiconductors rather than vacuum tubes in its construction. Most all electronics that we have today are built around semiconductors and chips. In terms of a SSD, it refers to the fact that the primary storage medium is through semiconductors rather than a magnetic media such as a hard drive.

A solid-state drive, sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive. Now, you might say that this type of storage already exists in the form of flash memory drives that plug into the USB port. This is partially true as solid state drives and USB flash drives both use the same type of non-volatile memory chips that retain their information even when they have no power. The difference is in the form factor and capacity of the drives. While a flash drive is designed to be external to the computer system, an SSD is designed to reside inside the computer in place of a more traditional hard drive.

SSDs are distinguished from traditional magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disk, which are electromechanical devices containing spinning disks and movable read/write heads, in contrast, SSDs use microchips that retain data in non-volatile memory chips and contain no moving parts. Compared to electromechanical HDDs, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, are silent, have lower access time and latency, but are more expensive per gigabyte (GB). SSDs use the same interface as hard disk drives, thus easily replacing them in most applications.

So how exactly do they do this? Well, an SSD on the outside looks almost no different than a traditional hard drive. This design is to allow the SSD drive to put in a notebook or desktop computer in place of a hard drive. To do this, it needs to have the standard dimension as a 1.8, 2.5 or 3.5-inch hard drive. It also uses the common SATA interface so that it can easily be placed into any PC as a hard drive would.

So, to the consumer, a SSD is just another storage device for their computer which runs at far faster speeds than a traditional HDD.

To start you off you may want to look at some of these links:

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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SSD Components

What parts are SSDs comprised of?
Well, SSDs are comprised of a few different main components, now what are they?

  • SSD Controllers:
    Every SSD includes a controller, just as does a HDD, that incorporates the electronics that bridge the NAND memory components to the host computer. The controller is an embedded processor that executes firmware-level code and is one of the most important factors of SSD performance. There are numerous circuits and programming required for the operation of the device. Some of the functions performed by the controller include encryption and compressing data before it is written to the drive as well as:

    Read And Write Disturbs - The act of reading from or writing to a cell can cause adjacent cells to change state. This is known as bit-flop and has to be monitored for each read and write.

    Error Correcting Code (ECC) - BCH and LDPC - Used to insure that data read, written or stored has not been unintentionally altered.

    Invalid Block Management - Blocks that contain cells that are not capable of properly storing data must be mapped out of the user accessible memory range before data is stored. The blocks also need to be tracked for the life of the drive.

    Power data protection - Needed to guard against the involuntary program/erase of cells during power transitions.

    Garbage Collection - Optimize free space to reduce erase before program operations.

    Wear Leveling - Blocks are monitored for the number of write cycles that have been performed. The blocks are reused in an ascending order starting with the blocks that have gone though the fewest write cycles.

    Some common SSD controller developers include:
    • Samsung
    • Marvell
    • SandForce (Now owned by LSI) - SandForce controllers are the only devices with a compression algorithm in real time. Basic, it minimizes the impact of specific submissions on the Flash.
    • Phison
    • Silicon Motion
    • PMC
    • Toshiba
    • Indilinx (owned by OCZ.)
    • Intel
    • JMicron
  • Memory:
    Most SSDs use NAND flash memory because of the lower cost compared to DRAM. Flash memory SSDs are slower than DRAM SSDs which are mostly used in enterprise applications and not available to the consumer market. Also, DRAM is a volatile type of memory, not nonvolatile as NAND is, thus when the power goes out, the data goes bye-bye. There is also a focus on MRAM and RRAM now as a NAND replacement.

    NAND Flash Memory - NAND flash memory is a type of non-volatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data. This is the equivalent of a HDD's platters. There are two types of flash memory, NAND and NOR. The names refer to the type of logic gate used in each memory cell. (Logic gates are a fundamental building block of digital circuits). NOR flash was first introduced by Intel in 1988. NAND flash was introduced by Toshiba in 1989. The two chips work differently. NAND has significantly higher storage capacity than NOR. NAND flash has found a market in devices to which large files are frequently uploaded and replaced. MP3 players, digital cameras and USB drives use NAND flash. NOR flash is faster, but it's also more expensive. NOR is most often used in mobile phones. An important goal of NAND flash development has been to reduce the cost per bit and increase maximum chip capacity so that flash memory can compete with magnetic storage devices like hard disks. New developments in NAND flash memory technology are making the chips smaller, increasing the maximum read-write cycles and lowering voltage demands.

    0's and 1s:
    To learn about how NAND works at a technical level read this: (link)

    Tunneling is used to alter the placement of electrons in the floating gate. An electrical charge is applied to the floating gate. The charge enters the floating gate and drains to a ground. This charge causes the floating-gate transistor to act like an electron gun. The excited electrons are pushed through and trapped on other side of the thin oxide layer, giving it a negative charge. These negatively charged electrons act as a barrier between the control gate and the floating gate. A special device called a cell sensor monitors the level of the charge passing through the floating gate.

    NAND flash memory uses floating gate MOSFET transistors. Their default state is when the charge is over the 50%. If the flow through the gate is above the 50% threshold, it has a value of 1. When the charge passing through drops below the 50% threshold, the value changes to 0.

    0's are data, 1's is erase....the fundamental laws of MLC NAND dictate this. You only write the 0's when you write data to NAND.

    So in an erased state the NAND has to report a 1.

    Lower priced drives usually use multi-level cell NAND. MLC NAND is what is in almost all consumer SSDs. Higher priced SSDs usually use single-level cell NAND; these drives are usually used for enterprise applications due to better durability. SLC NAND cost about 3 times as much as a MLC NAND.

    Single-level Cell (SLC) NAND - SLC NAND can store only one data bit per NAND flash cell. This leads to faster transfer speeds, higher cell endurance, and lower power consumption. The downside to SLC chips used in SSDs is the manufacturing cost per megabyte and total capacity which is less per NAND cell than MLC. SLCs are intended for the high-end consumer and server market and they have approximately 10 times more endurance compared to MLC.

    Multi-level Cell (MLC) NAND - MLC NAND stores two bits per NAND flash cell. Storing more bits per cell achieves a higher capacity and lower manufacturing cost per megabyte. MLC SSDs are designed for the mainstream consumer market and are much faster compared to standard hard disk drives. MLC SSDs are improving with faster and more efficient technologies and are being adopted into the high-end consumer and server markets.

    Endurance Multi-level Cell (eMLC) NAND - eMLC NAND is basically more expansive MLC flash with better endurance.

    More info here: (link)

    Triple Level Cell (TLC) NAND - TLC NAND is a form of MLC, it stores three bits per cell. Its benefits follow that of 2-bit MLC, however P/E cycles for TLC NAND is significantly lower than that of MLC NAND. TLC's lifespan is about 1/3rd that of 2-bit MLC. However, with Samsung's current 3D V-NAND, their TLC has about 2/3 the lifespan.

    More info here: (link)

    Now out of the types of NAND (SLC, eMLC, MC, and TLC) you can get NAND that operate at different speeds. The communication bus between the flash and the controller is also important, it can be either asynchronous, synchronous, or Toshiba, SanDisk, and Samsung's NAND, similar to the synchronous, Toggle-Mode DDR. This is important when determining the SSD you want. Toggle-Mode DDR and Synchronous NAND are preferred over much slower Asynchronous NAND. Toggle-Mode DDR and Synchronous NAND fare far better than Asynchronous NAND with compressed data.

    Toggle-Mode Double Data Rate (DDR) - Toggle-Mode NAND is a DDR NAND solution designed to consume less power than synchronous DDR NAND flash by eliminating the clock signal typically used in synchronous DDR memories. Toshiba DDR Toggle-Mode 1.0 NAND has a fast interface, rated at 133 megatransfers/second (MT/s). With an asynchronous interface similar to that used in conventional NAND, the Toggle-Mode DDR Flash NAND requires no clock signal, which means that it uses less power and has a simpler system design when compared to competing synchronous NAND alternatives. The DDR interface in Toggle-Mode NAND uses a Bidirectional DQS to generate input/output signals (I/Os) using the rising and falling edge of the write erase signal.

    The bi-directional data signal also ensures scalability to future higher frequency operations. Toshiba is working with JEDEC on a new standard for the most advanced high-performance NAND flash memory, a DDR NAND flash with a 400Mbps interface. This next generation Toggle-Mode DDR NAND 2.0 is targeted to provide a three-fold increase in interface speed over Toggle DDR 1.0, and a ten-fold increase over the 40Mbps single data rate NAND that is widely used today.

    Synchronous - Faster, more expensive *Currently under revision*
    Asynchronous - Slower, less expensive *Currently under revision*

    More info on Asynchronous NAND and Synchronous NAND here: (link)

    The performance of the SSD can scale with the number of parallel NAND flash chips used in the device. A single NAND chip is relatively slow compared to when when multiple NAND chips that operate in parallel. The bandwidth scales and the high latencies can be usually be hidden. Micron and Intel initially made faster SSDs by implementing data striping (similar to RAID 0) and interleaving in their architecture. This enabled the creation of SSDs with 250 MB/s effective read/write speeds with the SATA 3 Gb/s interface in 2009. Two years later and continuing to leverage this parallel flash connectivity, SandForce released consumer-grade SATA 6 Gb/s SSD controllers which support 500 MB/s read/write speeds.

    NAND manufactures include:
    • Micron Technology, Inc.
    • Intel Corporation
    • Hynix Semiconductor
    • Phison Electronics Corp.
    • SanDisk Corporation
    • Toshiba
    • Samsung
    • Sony Corporation
    • Spansion
    Some NAND groups include:
    • ONFi (Open NAND Flash Interface) Working Group
    • IMFT (Intel Micron Flash Technologies)
    • Flash Forward (Sandisk and Toshiba)
    • Hynix
  • Cache or Buffer:
    A flash-based SSD typically uses a small amount of DRAM as a cache, similar to the cache in hard disk drives. A directory of block placement and wear leveling data is also kept in the cache while the drive is operating. Data is not permanently stored in the cache. SandForce does not use an external DRAM cache on their designs, but still achieve very high performance. Eliminating the external DRAM enables a smaller footprint for the other flash memory components in order to build even smaller SSDs.
  • Battery or super capacitor:
    Another component in higher performing SSDs is a capacitor or some form of battery. These are necessary to maintain data integrity such that the data in the cache can be flushed to the drive when power is dropped; some may even hold power long enough to maintain data in the cache until power is resumed. In the case of MLC flash memory, a problem called lower page corruption can occur when MLC flash memory loses power while programming an upper page. The result is data written previously and presumed safe can be corrupted if the memory is not supported by a super capacitor in the event of a sudden power loss. This problem does not exist with SLC flash memory.
  • Host Interface
    The host interface is not specifically a component of the SSD, but it is a key part of the drive. The interface is usually incorporated into the controller. The interface is generally one of the interfaces found in HDDs.

    Types include:
    • Serial ATA
    • M.2 (NGFF)
    • Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)
    • Fibre Channel
    • PCI Express
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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·


How is a SSD maintained?
Basically they maintain themselves, there are many things that SSD manufactures do to make sure the drive lasts like over provisioning, having garbage collection, and wear leveling built into the drive. Here I am going to talk about the main points of what an SSD does to maintain itself.

In a nutshell, all SSDs have garbage collection. TRIM simply optimizes it. It is not needed, but preferred to have enabled as it reduces write amplification and speeds up garbage collection.

  • Garbage Collection:
    Data is written to the Flash memory in units called pages (made up of multiple cells). However, the memory can only be erased in larger units called blocks (made up of multiple pages). If the data in some of the pages of the block are no longer needed (also called stale pages), only the pages with good data in that block are read and re-written into another previously erased empty block. Then the free pages left by not moving the stale data are available for new data. This is a process called garbage collection (GC). All SSDs include some level of garbage collection, but they may differ in when and how fast they perform the process. Garbage collection is a big part of write amplification on the SSD. Reads do not require an erase of the Flash memory, so they are not generally associated with write amplification. In the limited chance of a read disturb error, the data in that block is read and rewritten, but this would not have any material impact on the write amplification of the drive. The process of garbage collection involves reading and rewriting data to the Flash memory. This means that a new write from the host will first require a read of the whole block, a write of the parts of the block which still include valid data, and then a write of the new data. This can significantly reduce the performance of the system. Some SSD controllers implement background garbage collection (BGC), sometimes called idle garbage collection or idle-time garbage collection (ITGC), where the controller uses idle time to consolidate blocks of Flash memory before the host needs to write new data. This enables the performance of the device to remain high. If the controller were to background garbage collect all of the spare blocks before it was absolutely necessary, new data written from the host could be written without having to move any data in advance, letting the performance operate at its peak speed. The trade-off is that some of those blocks of data are actually not needed by the host and will eventually be deleted, but the OS did not tell the controller this information. The result is that the soon-to-be-deleted data is rewritten to another location in the Flash memory increasing the write amplification. In some of the SSDs from OCZ the background garbage collection only clears up a small number of blocks then stops, thereby limiting the amount of excessive writes. Another solution is to have an efficient garbage collection system which can perform the necessary moves in parallel with the host writes. This solution is more effective in high write environments where the SSD is rarely idle. The SandForce SSD controllers and the systems from Violin Memory have this capability. Also, GC can get into a "stuck" phase where it takes a long time (or never) is able to clean the drive. This has happened to drives in the last year.
  • TRIM:
    In computing, a TRIM command allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally. While TRIM is frequently spelled in capital letters, it is not an acronym; it is merely a command name. TRIM was introduced soon after SSDs started to become an affordable alternative to traditional hard disks. Because low-level operation of SSDs differs significantly from traditional hard disks the typical way in which operating systems handle operations like deletes and formats (not explicitly communicating the involved blocks/pages to the underlying storage medium) resulted in unanticipated progressive performance degradation of write operations on SSDs.

    TRIM enables the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead that would otherwise significantly slow down future write operations to the involved blocks in advance. More recent SSDs will often contain internal idle/background garbage collection mechanisms that work independently of TRIM; although this successfully maintains their performance even under operating systems that do not (yet) support TRIM, it has the associated drawbacks of increased write amplification and wear of the flash cells without TRIM.

    TRIM can be initiated in Windows by actions such as emptying the Recycle Bin, but the SSD must also execute the command.

    Windows will report that TRIM is enabled even if the SSD doesn't support it. If it sees a HDD with a rotational speed of 0 (ie. an SSD), TRIM gets enabled.

    OSes that support TRIM include:
    • Win 8/8.1
    • Win 7
    • Linux distros since 2010
    • Mac OSX lion
    Originally Posted by tompsonn
    In Windows, it is a collaboration between the file system driver and the storage controller driver. During a delete operation the file system driver will mark the sectors as free for new data as it would with a mechanical disk, but then the storage controller driver receives a notification to send a TRIM command that also tells the SSD the sectors that are no longer valid. The information it sends are logical block addresses - which the SSD can then use in its garbage collection process.

    This means that the file system operations make the SSD aware of what blocks on the storage medium are no longer needed. I'm sure you know why TRIM exists, but anyway it is so the SSD does not need to perform read-erase-modify-write operations - which is known as write amplification.

    About programs that enable TRIM on systems that do not support it natively - I would assume they install file system filter drivers. In this case, all file system operations are passed through the filter driver. They then act on deletes, and send the correct command via the storage controller driver, just like Windows would do natively. Another method is to monitor the file system for which blocks are marked as free (which is always available) and send the TRIM commands based on this information.
  • TRIM and GC, how they work together:
    All newer SSDs run GC, they are designed to, it's built into their firmware's code. That's why certain GC routines works better than others. The SSD manufacturer "decides" how the GC cycle is implemented by the SSD in the firmware coding. The manufacturer decides this based on what they want to accomplish as average performance for their drives. The things that are predominantly taken into account in developing how the actual GC routine will run are TRIM, background garbage collection and write amplification. TRIM by itself does nothing for the SSD's data. A TRIM command from the OS only tells the SSD, that data on the SSD is no longer required by the OS, nothing more. This may help in understanding what TRIM is, and what it is not. As you are already aware, when you delete a file on your computer, the OS doesn't actually delete it. The OS, in its file allocation table, only marks the area as free, to be re-used when needed again. This means the data associated with this area of the SSD (or HDD) is no longer considered valid by the OS. The problem is that the drive doesn't know that the OS did this. Remember, with an SSD, (unlike a magnetic HDD) it is the drive's controller that actually manages the data on the drive, not the OS. With a magnetic HDD, it's not important that the HDD knows what the OS did, because it is the OS that manages the HDD's data allocation units. The OS has the ability to tell the HDD to write over the data whenever/wherever it wants. Step in SSD... The OS no longer has control as to where data is written. All it can do is send data to be written, to the SSD. The SSD then becomes responsible for the data's location on the drive. Even though you have deleted a file, and the OS considers the file deleted, has freed the location in it's data map...etc, the SSD still considers the data valid. When the SSD initiates its Garbage Collection cycle (as mentioned before, as it nears idle), the SSD begins to consolidate blocks of data to free up space. With or without TRIM, The SSD must copy all of the data it considers valid to a new block, before it can erase the current block it is working on. The TRIM command that had been previously sent to the SSD from the OS, helps the SSD to "get on the same page" with the OS. Without the TRIM command being sent to the SSD, it typically would not know a page is considered invalid by the OS, unless the LBA associated with it had been previously rewritten by the SSD. Trim is simply the function of the operating system telling the drive that a page is no longer valid. It does not delete files, or clear pages. But TRIM does help SSDs in a few ways. Usually the GC routine won't have to compare it's entire file data table to that in the OS's. This helps to reduce write amplification (the number of times an SSDs cells are written to), because during GC, the SSD will not/does not need to copy invalid (deleted) pages. There will also be fewer pages for the SSD to copy, which speeds up the process of freeing up partially valid blocks. Again, this is a function of the SSD's GC routine, not TRIM. Garbage collection will also work without TRIM. How effectively is based on the SSDs Firmware. Without TRIM, the GC cycle usually takes a little longer, is slightly less effective, but for other than benchmarks, will usually produce nearly the same results (un-noticable to the end user). This was not always the case with older SSDs.
  • Over-provisioning:
    Over-provisioning (sometimes spelled as OP, over provisioning, or overprovisioning) is the difference between the physical capacity of the flash memory and the logical capacity presented through the operating system (OS) as available for the user. During the garbage collection, wear-leveling, and bad block mapping operations on the SSD, the additional space from over-provisioning helps lower the write amplification when the controller writes to the flash memory.

    When an SSD is almost full, this could cause problems. Even for writing a small amount of data you need an completely empty block. For this reason SSDs have over-provisioning, which means more storage capacity present than is available. That this is possible without making consumers feel cheating is thanks to manufacturers of traditional hard disks.

    1. The first level of over-provisioning comes from the computation of the capacity and the use of units for gigabyte (GB) where in fact it should be written as gibibyte (GiB). Both HDD and SSD vendors use the term GB to represent a decimal GB or 1,000,000,000 (10^9)bytes. Flash memory (like most other electronic storage) is assembled in powers of two, so calculating the physical capacity of an SSD would be based on 1,073,741,824 (2^30) per binary GB (GiB). The difference between these two values is 7.37% ((2^30-10^9)/10^9). Therefore a 128 GB SSD with 0% over-provisioning would provide 128,000,000,000 bytes to the user. This initial 7.37% is typically not counted in the total over-provisioning number. A 500 GB hard disk only has 466 GB available, also referred to as GiBs. A 256 GB SSD has 256 actual gigabytes (GiBs), but keeps 7.3 percent from being available to the OS. The rest is reserved for over-provisioning to make the controller more efficient.

    2. The second level of over-provisioning comes from the manufacturer. This level of over-provisioning is typically 0%, 7%, or 28% based on the difference between the decimal GB of the physical capacity and the decimal GB of the available space to the user. As an example, a manufacturer might publish a specification for their SSD at 100 GB, 120 GB or 128 GB based on 128 GB of possible capacity. This difference is 28%, 7% and 0% respectively and is the basis for the manufacturer claiming they have 28% of over-provisioning on their drive. This does not count the additional 7.37% of capacity available from the difference between the decimal and binary GB. SSDs with a SandForce controller have 256 GB worth of memory chip capacity, but are sold as 240 GB SSDs and make 223 GB available to the OS. That's 12 percent of over-provisioning.

    3. The third level of over-provisioning comes from end users to gain endurance and performance at the expense of capacity. Some SSDs provide a utility that permit the end user to select additional over-provisioning. Furthermore, if any SSD is set up with an OS partition smaller than 100% of the available space, that unpartitioned space will be automatically used by the SSD as over-provisioning as well. Over-provisioning does take away from user capacity, but it gives back reduced write amplification, increased endurance, and increased performance. It is basically the same a "short stroking" a mechanical HDD. For example. You have a 128GB drive. You decide that you are going to format your primary partition to 120GB and leave the remainder of the drive "unallocated". This will leave an additional 8GB of, "ready to be written to", space that the drive will use for over provisioning. There is also an ATA command that can be used to set this space, but it is just easier to not use all of the space of the drive while partitioning.

    Even so user over provisioning via partition size is counterproductive. Users should not need to do this, all they are doing is wasting usable space on the drive. Normal consumers do not need to protect from wear and tear. They are not doing a ton of write amplification. Modern controllers, like SandForce, lower write amp in write in half. It is meant to give a larger backup of NAND in case of cell failure for server SSDs doing, for example, over 10,000 writes in a day.

    The only reason to do it on a consumer level I can think of is to make sure you do not fill up the whole drive with data so you can have some spare if you do fill it up. Even then there is still that ~7% from the first level talked about earlier.

    LSI PDF on over provisioning: link

    1. OP = part of all SSDs that use Flash memory. It is Required due to the inability to overwrite flash without it first being erased. It is The portion of the SSD capacity held in reserve (unavailable to the user). In turn, any space that is unavailable to the user is used for "Garbage collection (the major use), SSD controller Firmware storage (small %), Spare blocks (small %), and some SSDs include other data protection beyond ECC, like RAISE™ technology (space requirement varies).

    2. An SSD listed with 128GB is marketed as "0% OP", but in reality the true physical OP is ~7%. AKA every SSD out there that is marketed as 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, etc...

    NAND used in 128GB SSDs = 128GiB(137.439GB). However, they are marketed and sold as 128GB drives, therefore, the drives have to be set set in factory for user addressable space at 119.209GiB(128GB), thus that difference in space is used as OP space...if they didn't have that space set as OP, they would then be marketed as 137GB(128GiB). Samsung markets the EVO series with ~7% OP, thus it is marketed as 120GB(111.759GiB)...not 128GB(119.209GiB), even tho technically it has 128GiB(137.439GB) of NAND. Due to the extra 7% marketed OP it has 111.759GiB(120GB) user addressable space.
  • Wear Leveling:
    Wear leveling is the process of the ssd understanding how many times each cell of memory has been written to and then ensuring that all are all written to evenly. After all, the life span of the ssd is dependent on the total number of writes that are written to and this has been coined as 'write endurance'. Unlike the hard drive which stores information in a static location, the SSD will move information around on a continuous basis without your knowledge to ensure that all cells wear evenly, thus affording a longer lifespan for the ssd. By also doing this, the drive can ensure that only the valid information is used, leaving blocks to be cleaned up by TRIM or ITGC, again without the knowledge of the user. Just as an example of how durable these drives are click the following link. (SSD Endurance after 900000GB)

    Garbage collection in the SSD does not care about partitions being set away for over provisioning and what not, it is only concerned about the free space and will use it if it is there for wear leveling.
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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
SSD Pros and Cons

What are the Pros?
Now that you know all the ins and outs of a SSD, why should you get one?

  • Speed:
    No more HDD bottle neck! Getting a SSD is the best upgrade you can do for your computer. You will feel the difference. Not even a new processor will feel as fast as the HDD to SSD upgrade. OS boot time will be ~ 10-20 seconds depending on drive and configuration. SSDs are on average over 40 times faster than HDDs in random 4K reads and writes. This means that day to day use will be a much better experience for the user. Programs open near instantly, errors get worked out quicker, and everything just works smoother. Also, with this fast random read and write performance you can rum multiple VMs at once and never get a hick-up. On top of that SSDs usually are 2-5 times faster in sequential reads as well. This means games and other sequential data such as movies, photos, music and other large files will load far faster than on a standard 7200rpm HDD. Now, sequential speeds are not really what make SSDs so fast and desirable for the OS. It is their 4K read speeds and access times. 500+ sequential reads on SATA 3 is a nice upgrade from the 100MB/s on HDDs, but the 4K reads are usually 20-40 times faster than that of a hard drive! (~20MB/s vs .5MB/s!) The faster the 4K read speeds the faster your system will be. And another good thing about NAND flash storage is the extremely quick access times! For example a normal HDD will have ~15ms access times while a SSD will have .1ms! This mainly why they are so fast.

    In terms of gaming SSDs help a lot with texture loading and level loading. With large levels load times can be dropped by over 50%. Also, due to the fast access times many textures will load near instantly and give you more consistent FPS overall. In turn that will give you an overall better gaming experience.
  • Reliability:
    Reliability is also a key factor for portable drives. Hard drive platters are very fragile and sensitive materials. Even small jarring movements from an impact can cause the drive to be completely unreadable. Since the SSD stores all its data in memory chips, there are no moving parts to be damaged in any sort of impact.
  • End Life Data Integrity
    When a hard drive reaches end life and crashes, the information is gone. When a SSD reaches end life, it does not crash. It simply prevents further writing to the SSD and all information contained is fully accessible. In fact, there have yet to be any predictions as to how long this information will last other than the life of the NAND flash memory for which the data is stored.
  • Power Usage:
    The power usage is a key role for the use of solid state drives in portable computers. Because there is no power draw for the motors, the drive uses far less energy than the regular hard drive. Now, the industry has taken steps to address this with drive spin downs and the development of hybrid hard drives, but both of these still use more power. The solid state drive will consistently draw less power then the traditional and hybrid hard drive.

    One thing to not with the power usage is that NAND flash memory can hold a charge for about 10 years or slightly less when not plugged into a power source. So I would say you are fine to leave data on a SSD for storage for 7-8 years time before replugging it into a system to maintain data integrity.
  • Heat:
    With less power they also make less heat. So your system will stay cooler, whether it is a laptop or a desktop.
  • Size and Weight:
    They are usually in 2.5" form factor, 7-9.5mm thick, and are very light weight compared to HDDs. They are an ideal upgrade for a laptop especially.
  • Sound:
    They are dead silent since they have no moving parts. Perfect for those of you who want a silent PC.
  • Lifespan:
    The longevity of SSDs, or lack of, as the case may be, is blown way out of proportion. Most will probably be surprised to hear NAND memory actually has a higher MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) than DRAM. How often does your DRAM fail once you've passed the 3 month mark with it? Most SSDs have a MTBF of about 1 million hours plus (it's actually 1 million writes). Has anyone actually done the math on that? It works out to be over 20 yrs of continuous use; 24/7. This assumes adequate "free" space. A "full" drive (using more than 85% of its usable space) has very few (in the number of storage locations), blocks/pages/cells to work with in its normal day to day operations. This forces the SSD to use and reuse the same cells over and over again. The algorithm used for wear leveling goes to hell when the drive doesn't have enough free space for moving data. The cells that comprise the free space end up being used over and over, and will fail much sooner than those on the rest of the drive.

    A lot (some say most) of the longevity of a drive actually has to do with the amount of "over provisioning" on the drive. Over provisioning is like spare parts for the drive (actually spare NAND). Artificial numbers, but say you buy a 128GB SSD. That SSD may actually contain up to 10% (12GB) of additional NAND that is not calculated into the drive size stated by the manufacturer.

    NAND memory can/and does go bad, it's a fact of NAND life. The cells of NAND are little electronic traps, that trap electrons with "gate" technology (although not exactly the same), just like the gates of a transistor that runs your CPU. These "gates" over time can leak, be susceptible to leakage from adjacent cells, or just plain fail, among other things that render their use as problematic.

    When an SSD's controller (firmware) determines that a cell is no longer performing like it should, it will replace the data location with one of the over provisioned blocks/pages, and no longer use the "defective" location. Depending on the firmware's coding, this is usually done on a "page" level (4 Kilobytes of space). It is basically the same as when a magnetic HDD marks a sector of its spinning platter as "bad"; although the HDD doesn't have the "spare parts" to replace the bad sector.

    Just as an example of how long these drives will last click the following link. (SSD Endurance after 900000GB)

    Simply put, you can usually get 5-20 years depending on the NAND and usage of the drive. 200+TB of write life. Currently a 256GB Samsung 830 has had over 2 PB of data written to it and is still going strong! That is crazy for a MLC consumer drive! Normally a good quality drive will last 500TB-1PB, let alone 2PB!

What are the cons?
As with everything in life there are some cons to SSDs, but what are they?

  • Less capacity for the price.
  • May need a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter.
  • Constant firmware updates, but I find that is a good thing.
  • Also, performance loss if used in IDE mode or if your alignment is off, but that is with all HDDs and SSDs.
  • If you get a SandForce drive you could encounter a few things such as random BSODs, freezing, stuttering and the drive disappearing in the BIOS/UEFI of your mobo, but that should all be fixed with the newest firmware that is out for them.
  • SSD write performance may degrade when the drive is close to being filled or if you are constantly writing and erasing data to the drive without ample time for GC to take effect. The thing is that SSDs need some "clean" pages when writing data. Otherwise, they have to do a read-modify-write of a "dirty" block instead of just a write to a "clean" page. This process is basically garbage collection at run time and impacts your real time usage rather than preemptive garbage collection. So if you have little free space left and then pound the SSD with a bunch of random writes and do not allow the SSD to clean itself, the can be a noticeable performance degradation.
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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Do's and the Don'ts

  • Treat it as you would any other drive.
  • Use one as a OS drive over a HDD
  • Install all your apps/programs to the SSD
  • Make sure defrag is disabled for our SSD
  • Don't bother to move your page file off the SSD
  • Don't worry about the amount of writes to your SSD
  • Don't full format your SSD
  • Do not defrag a SSD
  • When you Secure Erase with Parted Magic do not bother use the "enhanced/advanced method"
  • Do not use DBAN or similar programs to erase your SSD's data. It doesn't work properly. Use Secure Erase instead.

Why you shouldn't defrag a SSD: Fragmenting can cause performance loss with SSDs. Windows 8 does actually defrag SSDs once a month if need be. A defrag will typically only wear the SSD for about 1 day's worth of writing. So no worrys on it killing your drive's lifespan. Typically however, you don't need to worry about defragging or consider it.
Basically a SSD never needs defragmenting because it doesn't matter where the data is on the drive, they have ~.1 access time to anywhere on the the SSD's NAND cells and is always the same. All defragging does to an ssd is reduce its life by moving the data around on the drive.

There is a difference in defragging a SSD vs a HDD.

With HDDs the OS knows where the data on the HDD. Defrag programs assume that LBA (Logical Block Addresses) are fixed to a specific physical point on the hard disk. for example, LBA=1 is next to LBA=2, which is in turn next to LBA=3, thus when you defrag, it moves adjusts the files locations on the disk's platters where they can be read sequentially to increase the speeds. This is not the case for SSDs as LBAs for flash pages change based on its wear leveling algorithm.

For SSDs since they have flash memory and have a controller that takes care of wear leveling, when you defrag, it is a waste of writes to the drive on the drive, the OS thinks it knows where it is, but it really does not. It simply tells the SSD to read and write the data over in a certain location, but the controller of the SSD actually tells the data where to go. So, the OS does not know how data is being mapped on the SSD, the controller maintains the OS's understanding of the LBA but keeps it own internal LBA map.

Fragmentation is not going to hurt a SSD's speed. As a matter of fact SSDs fragment data on purpose to increase performance through parallel access, fragmentation is a requirement for maximum SSD performance. SSD controllers use multiple channels (typically 8-10) to improve performance (like RAID 0). Fragmenting data helps to ensure best performance. Even if a file is stored in sequential blocks according to its LBA address (ie. the file is not fragmented according to the OS/defrag program), it might be sprawled across several flash chips.

Quick vs. Full Formatting:
Here I explain what the difference b/w a quick and full format are and why you should only quick format your SSD.

  • A quick format - is a formatting option that creates a new file table on a hard disk but does not fully overwrite or erase the disk. Quick formatting erases/rewites the FT (File Table) of the File System partition. So basically quick formatting just erases/rewrites anew what is essentially a directory that tells the operating system where files are and what spaces are free to write new data on.
  • A full format - is a formatting option that creates a new file table on a hard disk, but does not fully overwrite and erase the disk as well. A full format erases/rewrites the FT (File Table) of the File System partition and runs chkdsk. Chkdsk.exe is a command-line tool that checks volumes for problems. The tool then tries to repair any that it finds. For example, Chkdsk can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors. Chkdsk does one pass of writing zero's to the drive to ensure that the sectors are working properly. But the zero's are also rewritten with the previous 1 or 0. This is why full formats take so much longer. So basically a full format is quick format + Chkdsk.
  • You don't need to run chckdsk on your drive b/c all it does is check for bad sectors and checks file system integrity assuming that the LBA's are going to be located in a specific place, but just as I said with defraging, the controller will only know what LBA is what and the program will not, so it is useless. It is not "good" for your SSD because all it does is cause add wear to the memory cells when you don't need it to. So in all only quick format your SSD.

Erasing all the data on the SSD:
It is not safe to use DBAN Nuke or similar on SSDs. First, it's not good for the drive, and second, it wouldn't work properly anyway. Not good for the drive because it writes to the drive too many times. Wouldn't work properly because just like the OS, DBan cannot control where it writes to on the drive. The SSD's controller is responsible for that, and due to wear leveling algorithms, wouldn't get you the intended results. With an SSD, all you need is to perform a "secure erase".

  • Secure Erase - Secure Erase is where the SSD controller issues the ATA Securiy Erase Unit command that applies a voltage spike at a specific voltage to all of the NAND simultaneously flushing the stored electrons from the flash memory cells, thus cleaning the NAND. This in turn resets all the NAND cells on the SSD and leaves the drive's data in an unrecoverable state and at factory speeds.
  • How to: Secure Erase your Solid State Drive (SSD) with Parted Magic: (link)
Recoding Media
Also, it is not recommended that you use a SSD for Video recording. Due to the nature of NAND memory, limited P/E cycles, and garbage collection the write speeds of the drive will suffer significantly after constant use. A HDD or HDD array would be a much better choice as a recording media.

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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sean's recommended SSDs

Notice: Current Samsung 840 EVOs have a speed degredation issue that has not yet fully been fixed. The 850 EVOs have not yet presented a similar issue after my use of them since release. I advise you avoid the 840 EVO at this time until the problem is finally fixed.
Here is an article that explains the ordeal in more detail -> CLICK HERE

Why listen to me?
I have done countless hours of my own research over this topic and have a full understanding of what is ideal. I currently analyze and review drives from companies as an un-bias third-person. I am not the say all and end all, I am just stating what I think when it comes to my suggestions. These suggestions will be off of current SSDs.

The difference in real world between all current gen SSDs is so minute that it doesn't matter if a benchmark says one is faster than another. Even the difference between SSDs on SATA 2 vs having it on SATA 3 and even having 2 in a RAID 0 array is going to be a insignificant change for the average user, please keep that in mind...even when I use performance tests to validate one over the other in benchmarks.

You don't need the newest, most expensive, and highest-rated SSD. If you have the money for a platform upgrade, there are certainly are some gains from upgrading to a native SATA 6Gb/s-capable or SATA Express and M.2 supporting motherboard and the best solid-state drive. However, on a tighter budget buying the SSD that everyone says is the fastest isn't as important as buying an SSD you can afford, ESPECIALLY when replacing a hard disk as your system drive.

Now when you want to decide on a SSD look at the size you want first. Then look at the overall choices and narrow down by features, user reliability, company support and warranty, speed, and price. I can definitely help you you need it.

*If you ask me which one would be the best for gaming? I will laugh.

Honestly, there is minimal difference b/w these SSDs in real world use. You are fine with any one of my recommended. If you want go look at reviews and see what caters better to you.

Okay, this is how you should start off your decision on what drive you are going to purchase. The bigger the drive the the better. Larger capacity drives get more space for wear leveling, you get longer life spans due to usually more NAND chips used, and performance usually scales with size as well. If you are wondering whether to get 1 large SSD or 2 or more smaller ones and RAID 0 them or just leave them as separate drives I suggest you simply get the single larger drive. Normal performance from a RAID 0 array isn't really visible in most daily tasks for desktop consumers.

My Suggested SSDs: No specific order...
  • ADATA XPG SX930 (5 yr warranty)
  • ADATA SP920 (3 yr warranty)
  • ADATA SP610 (3 yr warranty)
  • Angelbird SSD wrk SSD (5yr warranty)
  • Corsair Neutron XT (5yr warranty)
  • Corsair Force LX (3 yr warranty)
  • Crucial BX100 (3yr warranty)
  • Crucial MX200 (3yr warranty)
  • Eluktronics Eluktro Pro Performance (3yr warranty)
  • Eluktronics Eluktro Pro-X Performance (3yr warranty)
  • Kingston HyperX Predator (3yr warranty)
  • Kingston HyperX Savage (3yr warranty)
  • Mushkin Reactor (3yr warranty)
  • OCZ ARC 100 (3yr warranty)
  • OCZ 460A (3yr warranty)
  • OCZ Vector 180 (5yr warranty)
  • Patriot Ignite (3yr warranty)
  • PNY CS2111 XLR8 (2+2yr warranty)
  • Samsung 850 Pro (10yr warranty)
  • Samsung 850 Evo (5yr warranty)
  • Samsung SM951 (3yr warranty)
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro (10yr warranty)
  • SanDisk Ultra II (3yr warranty)
  • Intel 750 (5yr warranty)
  • Intel 730 (5yr warranty)
  • Intel 530 (5yr warranty)

SSD database and reviews:
SSD Data Base
SSD Reviews Thread

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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

How do you properly install Windows 8?
Simply follow my install guide: Sean's Windows 8 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs

How do you properly install Windows 7?
Simply follow my install guide: Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs

How do you physically install one in your system?
Just like any other drive you have ever put in your computer. You may need a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter to fit it in your PC's normal drive bays, but that is not needed. Here is the cool thing though, since SSDs don't have moving parts you can just stick them where ever you like. For example, you can take some Velcro and stick one to the side of your case, you can hide them in the back of the mobo, you can even just let them dangle in the middle of your PC if you like.

Examples: (link)

Laptops & SSDs:
Usually due to hardware limitations and power saving features in laptops SSDs will perform slightly slower than in their desktop counterparts. But the difference is usually only seen in benchmarks.

SATA Cables:
Whether they are plain old SATA, SATA 2, or SATA 3 cables they all have the same though put. The only difference b/w any SATA cable is the quality of the material used in the cable. (Read the testing results and more info here)

SATA vs SATA 2 vs SATA 3
For the most part all SATA connections are forward and backwards compatible. Only very few old chip sets with SATA connections cannot accept newer SATA 3 devices.

Native vs. Non-Native SATA ports:
Native Ports are better than the non-native SATA ports in your mobo.

Marvell and third party SATA Ports:
Try to refrain from the Marvell ports as they are not that good, I never recommend using them. They also usually give lower 4k reads and writes as well which affect the OS the most. They can cause system instability such as freezing/stuttering and longer boot times when enabled because it is a 3rd party addon, has a limited bandwidth of ~or below 400MB/s for both of the ports total (even in RAID 0 while the SATA 3Gb/s ports can reach higher speeds), higher latencies, and from what I have found still do not support TRIM.

Edit from Tator Tot:
They make a SATA 6Gb/s chip that does now support TRIM, but as far as I know, all of the boards out right now all use the old "laggy" controller. (the 9123 & 9128 are what most boards have on them)

Here is the PDF for 88SE91XX Controllers: (link)

Only the 88SE9130, 88SE9220, 88SE9230 series Marvell controllers support TRIM. (The 88SE9130 is still to be avoided though as it will most likely have the stuttering issue, as it's still based on the older 91xx designs.)

Page 5 here: (link)
Note: Inbox drivers enable users to take advantage of OS commands like TRIM to extend the life of SSDs for
maximum durability.
More info on the 88SE92XX series Marvell controllers here: (link)

However, an interesting thing to note: When a TRIM enabled SSD is plugged into a SATA connector controlled by any of the versions of the 91XX, and the drive highlighted and looked at in the OPROM, the "feature set" for the drive will typically show the TRIM feature. This by no means is a true indicator that the Marvell controller supports the feature, but it is an extremely strong indication that since the OPROM recognizes the function, that the controller does in fact pass the command.

Add-on SATA 6Gb/s controllers vs Native SATA 3Gb/s:
I suggest you use the onboard SATA instead of using a PCIe card. PCIe cards add latency and are not really worth it just for SATA 3. You will hardly even notice the difference in use b/w SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s honestly, even 2 SSDs in RAID 0 there is hardly a difference in real world use.

If you do end up getting a a card you need a card that is at least PCIe 2.0 x4 and it needs to be bootable if you want it for the OS drive. Like this: (link)

Also, with a add-on card your boot times will be lengthened, stuttering, and other issues can occur as well.

Intel vs. AMD SATA:
Most of the time SSDs will deliver higher scores in benchmarks on Intel systems than on AMD systems. One thing to remember when comparing scores is to make sure the system you are comparing is similar to yours.

Types of SATA modes:
These are the dfferentways you can set up your SATA mode in the BIOS/UEFI.

  • IDE - Old, slower, it is simply a compatibility mode. TRIM does work in IDE mode.
  • AHCI - AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface. It makes Native Command Queuing (NCQ) along with hot-plugging or hot swapping through SATA Serial-ATA host controllers possible. NCQ is one of the important features of AHCI for SSDs. SSDs can process requests faster than HDDs. It can process so fast that the SSD could end up waiting for work. NCQ allows the OS/controller to request up to 32 simultaneous requests at once. So you basically get more performance from your drive over older IDE mode.
  • RAID - RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. It is a means by which your PC uses multiple disks as if they were one, either to increase performance, safeguard against disk failures, or both. RAID mode has all the advantages of AHCI mode. There are four main factors of a RAID setup: striping, which spreads data across multiple drives, mirroring, which copies the data to more than one disk, space efficiency, which is how much of the total space is available to use, and fault tolerance, which is a measure of how well protected the RAID array is against disk failure.

    RAID 0:
    There's no real benefit in RAID0 SSD for most people since it just boost sequential performance. You generally do not need to load massively large files into memory nor have another storage device fast enough to transfer from/to.

    • 2X faster sequential reads/writes of the slowest drive (not really noticeable with SSDs).
    • 2X space of the smallest drive.
    • No TRIM support for SSDs part of a RAID 0 array for the most part. TRIM only works for RAID 0 arrays on Intel 7 and newer series chipset motherboards with the 11.2 RST driver and above. (link)
    • RAID 0 only improves sequential performance which is generally not that useful and it also almost doubles your failure rate. (1 drive goes the array is lost and all data is gone, you need to have a backup of all the data on the array in case of a failure)
    • Slightly slower boot time (The RAID controller needs to initialized after the BIOS does and that adds time to your boot time, usually 3-5 seconds slower)

    Additional Notes:
    • If you have a AMD RAID array make sure that you can NCQ enabled in RAIDXpert. If not you may lose performance that you can easily gain back.
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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Benchmarks by OCN members

Although benchmarks are nice to run to see the performance of your drive, you can over bench an SSD. Benchmarks write a huge amount of data to the SSD. You can often see a huge difference (slower performance) in the same drive, if you run benchmark after benchmark. Part of the reason for this, is that the drive may not have had enough time to "clean up" the data that was written to the drive in the previous benchmark. Also, you are performing a huge amount of unnecessary writes to the drive, basically to see the same results. My recommendation, is to try not to run benchmarks more than once a month.
Originally Posted by The SSD Review
Advice on using Benchmarks is as follows:
Do not use AS_SSD (writes between 3-5 GiB) on default settings.
Do not use CDM (writes between 15-19 GiB) on default settings.
Do not use AS_SSD and CDM together in the same Logged On session.
Do not run FF pattern on ATTO. Default settings are ok.
Run IOmeter with 4KiB 'sector' alignment. Do not run it to fill the drive.
Do not use 'Full' Benchmarks more than once in the same Logged On session.
Do not use any Benchmark (compressible data) more than once a week.
Do not use any Benchmark (un-compressible data) more than once a month.
Do not run Random patterns straight after Sequential or vice versa.
Best to run individual tests with small file sizes and not full suite default.
Download Benchmarks from here:
How to set up the benches to post:
  1. Make a new post in this buyers guide thread dedicated to only the benches you post. Then I can just link it to the SSD on the list.
  2. Follow the layout below

SSD test info:
  • SSD: Corsair Performance Pro
  • Capacity: 128GB
  • Interface: Intel SATA 6Gb/s
Anvil storage

AS SSD (All three tests)


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Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Links and extra information

Sean's Premium Threads:

Everything on Installing and Optimizing Windows 8:
Sean's Windows 8 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs

Everything on Installing and Optimizing Windows 7:
Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs/HDDs

Information threads:
Sean's SSD Buyers Guide & Information Thread
Storage Drivers, Utilities, and Firmware Thread

How to's:
How to: Disk and Partition Cloning, Backup, Restoration, & Migration
How to: Set up and Utilize RAM Disks
How to: Secure Erase your Solid State Drive (SSD) with Parted Magic
How to: Properly re-align your SSD/HDD partitions
How to: Change SATA Modes After Windows 7 Installation
How to: Initialize And Format A New Disk For Use In Windows 7
How to: Set up Intel Smart Response Technology (SSD caching)
How to: Set up RAID

SSD Section:

Guides and Information:
Benchmark Comparisons:
SSD Reviews:
TheSSDReview's SSD Data Base
Johnny Lucky's SSD Data Base
SandForce SSD Issues!
Is Your SATA Cable Slowing Down Your Data Transfers? Max PC Investigates
SSDs and Compression

Speed up your SSD in a laptop:
How To Improve SSD performance on Intel Series 4, 5 and 965 chipsets (Stamatisx Tweak)
How To Improve SSD performance on Intel Series 4, 5, 965 Chipsets (JJB Tweak)
Laptops w. Intel Series 5 chipset can not take full advantage of fast SSDs


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2,718 Posts
if you include the M4 in this guide, i will neg rep you then grafitti your thread. other than that, great idea and looking forward to it

Premium Member
10,487 Posts
Originally Posted by csm725 View Post

You needed 10 more to have the page for yourself
90 more for me.

I think you need to break it up for needs also.

I got a 60 Gb Solid 3 a few months ago for $50 AR (despite all the FW issues going on at the time). I truthfully have no idea what it's performance benchmarks are, and don't really care. I just know my boot times have dropped from about a minute and a half to two minutes to around 22 seconds and my programs open very quickly.
I don't need the fastest SSD (my board only supports SATA 2, so a Solid 3 may not even be at it's full potential) but am happy with what I have.
I now want a SSD for my netbook, but even a 1st gen drive would be a huge improvement over my current 5400 RPM drive.

Storage Nut
21,146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally Posted by csm725 View Post

You needed 10 more to have the page for yourself
lol, I win?
Originally Posted by mikeyzelda View Post

Buying a SSD for Christmas, looking foward for the info
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

if you include the M4 in this guide, i will neg rep you then grafitti your thread. other than that, great idea and looking forward to it
Originally Posted by csm725 View Post

m4 FTW
Originally Posted by Akheton View Post

This will make a great sticky when it's complete, and will hopefully lower the frequency of "which ssd should i get?" threads.
That's what I am hoping too.
Originally Posted by reflex99 View Post

got tired of replying to threads individually i see
Yes, yes I have lol, too many to count in the last two weeks.
Originally Posted by blupupher View Post

Originally Posted by csm725 View Post

You needed 10 more to have the page for yourself
90 more for me.

I think you need to break it up for needs also.

I got a 60 Gb Solid 3 a few months ago for $50 AR (despite all the FW issues going on at the time). I truthfully have no idea what it's performance benchmarks are, and don't really care. I just know my boot times have dropped from about a minute and a half to two minutes to around 22 seconds and my programs open very quickly.
I don't need the fastest SSD (my board only supports SATA 2, so a Solid 3 may not even be at it's full potential) but am happy with what I have.
I now want a SSD for my netbook, but even a 1st gen drive would be a huge improvement over my current 5400 RPM drive.
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