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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short: Trying to see what kind of storage mediums I want for my next build/laptop/upgrade.

I'm not a serious gamer, but my goal is a super snappy, fast, and responsive computer. Im not someone who wants to heavy edit HD 1080p videos or number crunch large libraries, I simply want to turn those 2-3 second chugs turn into <0.1s blinks. I want snappiness!

I currently have a 5400 RPM HDD and 1333 6 GB of RAM (yeah, so I'm clearly not the prime idea of snappiness, but it's optimized quite well. For my specs, my startup totals 23 seconds, which isnt bad in my eyes! And thats from pressing the power button.)

Anyway, what I've been considering as my future options:
- Sata III SSD
- Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB HDD/8 GB NAND
- 7200 RPM HDD + 16 GB RAM with some partitioned for RAMDisk

I don't have a lot of files (right now I use a whopping 79.5 GB...), and I probably wont go up all that much in memory usage. Perhaps even down!

My main goal is snappiness and reliability, but my budget is also small-- hence why I have so many different options up there.

So I'm trying to compare and contrast my options, and right now I'm experimenting with RAMDisk's to see what I can get out of it... I installed Google Chrome and some other programs to the RAMDisk to test, but all programs seem to launch in speed identical to my 5400 RPM HDD... Weird!

Is something wrong here? Did I configure something wrong?

I am using the free version of Dataram and partitioned off 2 GB of RAM as RAMDisk storage.

Can anyone tell me how I can properlly test the performance of this in real-world usage?
 

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Google Chrome booting off of my UMPC's 4,200RPM drive is just as snappy as my SSD based SB-E rig, simply because of re-caching because I open it so much, and the fact that it's very tiny to begin with. RAMDisks are throughput and seek kings, but they work better for LARGE projects with a ton of tiny files.

For example, I/O limitations don't put Planetside 2 loading off of RAM into a league of it's own compared to my Samsung 830; it's just slightly faster. Even installed to my Caviar Blue, it's not a substantial reduction in any circumstance. But when installing a Virtual Machine on it, things really speed up.

Since Solid State storage went mainstream, and the $/Gb is competitive now, partitioning RAM as drive space isn't as popular as it used to be
frown.gif
Which is a shame, and also funny. I can get 64Gb of RAM for ~$350, and load everything I run on startup
tongue.gif


This is all with limited testing though
frown.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So what do you think I should do to test the capabilities of the RAMDisk? I tried installing Photoshop CS4 onto it.

Takes 3,2 seconds to launch from 5400.
And 3.2 seconds from the RAMDisk?
hmmsmiley02.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemein View Post

So what do you think I should do to test the capabilities of the RAMDisk? I tried installing Photoshop CS4 onto it.

Takes 3,2 seconds to launch from 5400.
And 3.2 seconds from the RAMDisk?
hmmsmiley02.gif
use the RAMDisk as a scratch disk. Also, CPU speed can limit your RAMDisk I/O.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

use the RAMDisk as a scratch disk. Also, CPU speed can limit your RAMDisk I/O.
What is a scratchdisk?

Also, if that's the case, would my CPU bottleneck my RAMDisk?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemein View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

use the RAMDisk as a scratch disk. Also, CPU speed can limit your RAMDisk I/O.
What is a scratchdisk?
The space photoshop uses as a temp space for edits: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photoshop/cs/using/WSfd1234e1c4b69f30ea53e41001031ab64-748aa.html
Quote:
Also, if that's the case, would my CPU bottleneck my RAMDisk?.
It can, but even then it shouldn't be noticeable much
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

The space photoshop uses as a temp space for edits: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photoshop/cs/using/WSfd1234e1c4b69f30ea53e41001031ab64-748aa.html
It can, but even then it shouldn't be noticeable much
Gonna be honest here. I use Photoshop VERY rarely, so buying extra RAM just to use as a RAMDisk for this purpose is kinda pointless for me.

I also rarely use any video or audio editing software. When I do use these editing softwares (a couple times a week at MOST), it is usually for rather basic stuff.

The main idea behind the RAMDisk for me was that I installed my most commonly used programs (Chrome, Skype, Steam, etc.) onto the RAMDisk so that they openned pretty much instantly when I need em. Though if they're going to startup in near identical or completely identical time in comparison to just a normal HDD, then theres no point to it and that removes that option.
 

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you'd be best off with a SSD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

you'd be best off with a SSD.
Thats what everyone is saying (other forums included), but the one big thing that just irks me about the SSD is the fact that it has a limited amount of writes and reads. When I get hard drives, I intend to use them for as long as possible (all the hard drives of ALL my computers are still in use. Yes, even my first laptop that was made in 2001.), so the limited write/read cycles definitely doesn't help with longevity...

You don't happen to know if the Seagate Momentus XT has this problem? I know it uses NAND flash as a cache. Does it have limited read/write cycles? If so, it seems almost like the 4/8 GB caches on these hybrid drives would die out faster than entire SSD drives.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemein View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

you'd be best off with a SSD.
Thats what everyone is saying (other forums included), but the one big thing that just irks me about the SSD is the fact that it has a limited amount of writes and reads. When I get hard drives, I intend to use them for as long as possible (all the hard drives of ALL my computers are still in use. Yes, even my first laptop that was made in 2001.), so the limited write/read cycles definitely doesn't help with longevity...
Reads are not limited. When write cycles run out the NAND is readable for at least 1year after. You should read my thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1179518/seans-ssd-buyers-guide-information-thread

Basically depending on usage you may get around 10-20 years out of a current SSD lol.
Quote:
You don't happen to know if the Seagate Momentus XT has this problem? I know it uses NAND flash as a cache. Does it have limited read/write cycles? If so, it seems almost like the 4/8 GB caches on these hybrid drives would die out faster than entire SSD drives.
They wont necessarily die out fast because they are limited on space. Firmware is the main thing when it comes to NAND life. Depending on how often stuff is being cached and rewritten will determine the general life of the drive.

Even then, there are multiple parts to any drive that can fail and cause a drive to fail prematurely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Reads are not limited. When write cycles run out the NAND is readable for at least 1year after. You should read my thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1179518/seans-ssd-buyers-guide-information-thread

Basically depending on usage you may get around 10-20 years out of a current SSD lol.
They wont necessarily die out fast because they are limited on space. Firmware is the main thing when it comes to NAND life. Depending on how often stuff is being cached and rewritten will determine the general life of the drive.

Even then, there are multiple parts to any drive that can fail and cause a drive to fail prematurely.
I will definitely read that buyers guide.

10-20 years? That's decent I suppose. As long as after writes are dead, I can make an image of the disk and toss it over to a new SSD or whatever they're using in 10-20 years (180$ for a Samsung 840 Pro that lasts 10 years? It's safe the say that the 180$ did it's job.)

Also, I'm not really saying that it'll die out faster due to smaller capacity, I'm saying it'll die out faster because it's being used as a cache or a buffer, which, by design, is meant to be written to many times just to speed things up.

Either way, looks like that takes out my Hybrid Drive option since the cache will die out faster than an SSD (unless they did something special to it) and lord knows I don't need no 750 GB of HDD space.

Looks like I'm down to just two options: SSD or a trusty High-RPM HDD.
 

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Choose whichever you want. If you want a SSD just dont get a crappy one, stick to something like that 840 Pro, Intel, Crucial, Plextor, or something like that

HDDs are extremely slow to me now. Even 2 Samsung F3s in RAID 0 are slow as heck compared to my SSDs. I have a laptop with a HDD and really am missing my SSD in my desktop when i use my lappy. However, that is how I feel, there are others who feel that there isn't much of a difference...I think they may be crazy tho.
 

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When I work on my fiances rig, it's going from a 64Gb 830 to a 74Gb Raptor. 10k, but still slow as cement, and the seek noises seem to keep getting louder...

And if your really paranoid, get a good brand, and set over-provision to a higher number. I don't know if this would extend the life of the drive as a whole, but I figure it would at least give you more fresh cells to work with when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by jellis142 View Post

When I work on my fiances rig, it's going from a 64Gb 830 to a 74Gb Raptor. 10k, but still slow as cement, and the seek noises seem to keep getting louder...

And if your really paranoid, get a good brand, and set over-provision to a higher number. I don't know if this would extend the life of the drive as a whole, but I figure it would at least give you more fresh cells to work with when the time comes.
How do I "set" overprovision? Isnt that handled by the manufacturer?

I was also meaning to ask. Since SSDs are just a series of NAND flash chips in a series, would it be possible to take a 256 GB SSD (-cough- Samsung 840 Pro -coucgh-), partition the whole thing down the middle (128 GB), and RAID 0 the partitions since technically, the physical parts of the SSD are seperate and do operate independantly of one another...

A RAID 0 SSD-in-one would be pretty sweet... Plus, 128 GB for me is plenty.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemein View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jellis142 View Post

When I work on my fiances rig, it's going from a 64Gb 830 to a 74Gb Raptor. 10k, but still slow as cement, and the seek noises seem to keep getting louder...

And if your really paranoid, get a good brand, and set over-provision to a higher number. I don't know if this would extend the life of the drive as a whole, but I figure it would at least give you more fresh cells to work with when the time comes.
How do I "set" overprovision? Isnt that handled by the manufacturer?

I was also meaning to ask. Since SSDs are just a series of NAND flash chips in a series, would it be possible to take a 256 GB SSD (-cough- Samsung 840 Pro -coucgh-), partition the whole thing down the middle (128 GB), and RAID 0 the partitions since technically, the physical parts of the SSD are seperate and do operate independantly of one another...

A RAID 0 SSD-in-one would be pretty sweet... Plus, 128 GB for me is plenty.
SSDs are already set up similarly to RAID 0 internally. Files are fragmented across different NAND chips so they can be used faster.

To over-provision just go ahead and make a partition smaller than the drives capacity.

SSDs are already over-provisioned ~7%. However, the more the merrier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

SSDs are already set up similarly to RAID 0 internally. Files are fragmented across different NAND chips so they can be used faster.

To over-provision just go ahead and make a partition smaller than the drives capacity.

SSDs are already over-provisioned ~7%. However, the more the merrier.
Can I RAID 0 the RAID 0? Or no?

And ohhh so that's how I can overprovision. Understood.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemein View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

SSDs are already set up similarly to RAID 0 internally. Files are fragmented across different NAND chips so they can be used faster.

To over-provision just go ahead and make a partition smaller than the drives capacity.

SSDs are already over-provisioned ~7%. However, the more the merrier.
Can I RAID 0 the RAID 0? Or no?
Only if you get another drive.
 

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This is more towards a gaming desktop.

I've been having some ramdisk fun the last few days. I have a 2nd 16GB kit this week (32GB total) before I sell one of them.



Planetside 2:
1st load after boot/reboot


after everything has been run once:


(click to watch full screen at youtube)

ArmA 2:
More A2 drive comparisons in the spoiler if interested.
some older ones SSD vs HDD
and an oldy from 2009 comparing a raptor to a 7200 HDD

ArmA 3:

As for RAID 0 SSD's, maybe, but I don't think they would be worth it in RAID (especially when you take into account the double chance of failure of having your data on 2 drives). In most games there is little difference between a SSD and Ramdisk and a ramdisk is easily 10-20x the speed of an SSD.
 
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