8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2010 4:42 PM by Carmelo Treviso

    SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!

    Carmelo Treviso
      Anyone out there using a SSD for use with SW? What model are you using and what performance are you getting in regards to the benchmark models. Planning on new build Q2 of next year and want to get some opinions so that I can justify the purchase if indeed its worth it.
        • Re: SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!
          David Paulson



          I have SSD's in my workstation and in my laptop.  I have an OCZ 30 GB SSD (SLC) drive in my workstation that is the boot drive for Vista x64.  It does not have quite enough capacity to also have SolidWorks loaded onto it.  But boot-up times are on the order of 3-4 x faster than with my 10K SATA hard drives (RAID 1).


          Based upon the great results with the workstation, I installed a 128 GB OCZ Vertex SSD (MLC) in my ThinkPad T61P.  While it did make a significant improvement in boot times as well, it only obtained about half of the bandwidth that the SSD was capable of because Lenovo limited the transfer rate to SATA-1 speeds.  I understand the newer W500 is not limited, however.


          But from my experience I recommend the following:


          1.  Degradation in speed is a well known issue with SSD's.  For lot's of information on this issue go to www.annandtech.com and view the excellent reports on that site on the state of the art with SSD's.

          2.  Buy only a SSD that supports the "TRIM" command.  And only Windows 7 supports TRIM.  TRIM continously replaces the sectors of the drive so that performance does not deteriorate over time.

          3.  Intel is the State of the Art in SSD's but OCZ's drives are very good too.  Cost is significant and I only envision using SSD's for storing the operating system and applications for the near future.  My next SSD will be an Intel 80 GB for my workstation.  But there are some older versions of the Intel drives on the market at this time that do not support TRIM and I understand they never will.  So make sure to get the latest version which is only $30-40 than the old version at Newegg.


          It also might be very interesting to use a SLC SSD for a pagefile drive instead of DRAM.  I'm waiting to hear from anyone who might have tried this.  It can not possibly be as fast as DRAM because the SSD will be on a much slower bus, but on my current workstation with 8 GB DRAM, it may make more sense than adding 8 GB more DRAM???

          • Re: SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!
            Anna Wood

            The website you want to go find is www.anandtech.com for several really good reports on SSD drives.


            As David said get a drive that supports the TRIM command and the Windows 7 OS.


            The Intel drives are tops, along with the companies that use the Indilynx Barefoot controller.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indilinx  Anything else at this time you will want to pass on.


            I have an OCZ Vertex 120 gig SSD on my Core i7 machine.  It is fast.  I have not had it long enough to see how the performance will hold up.


            So far I like it.


            You will not run the benchmarks faster (SolidWorks speed is all about the cpu), but you will load your OS and the various software you run very quick.  It is noticeable the speed of loading programs compared to the 2 WD Velociraptors, in a RAID 0 Stripe, I orginally had my Core i7 system set-up with.





            • Re: SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!
              Adam Szczepaniec


              I have 4 Patriot 64 gig SSD's running in RAID 0 on an Areca RAID 1210 as the boot drive. The Bench marks for read speeds are 400-450MB/sec and write speeds were similar . Solidworks comes up in less than 15 seconds with a fresh computer boot and 10 -16 seconds without os reboot. "OS Winxp 64 Professional". Large assemblies also load quickly. Even though there will be degradation I have not seen any in the 6 months that I have been running bench marks on this Station. (NOTE: I also have a 5 mechanical drives running from the mobo and have set ALL programs that use temp. storage to use the Mechanical Drive instead of default C: drive which are the SSD's. only programs load from the SSD's)

              and David

              I have tried reducing my RAM from 12 gig to just 3 gig and set the page file to operate off of the SSD's and seen a large time increase to boot up Solidworks in the range of 28-36 second w/o os reboot and also assemblies that loaded in 8-10 second would load in 14-26 seconds. Doing this I notice a little more sluggishness in most of the application that I ran. I probably would not have noticed this if I had started with less ram and used paging in the first place.

              • Re: SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!
                Carmelo Treviso
                Thanks for all the input on this. Looks like SSD is the way to go. No better way then to test this out on my new laptop! Thanks again.
                  • Re: SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!
                    Adam Szczepaniec

                    1 bit of advice would be to use a newer generation of ssd, you need to insure that there is some type of cache memory within the ssd otherwise you may experience stuttering.

                    32M is a good size to start with, usually these drive are more expensive. In this case you may get what you pay for if you buy the least expensive drive.

                      • Re: SSD's for your SW Workstation/PC!
                        Carmelo Treviso
                        I've been doing some research on this, as most know Win 7 supports SSD. Drive vendors need to support TRIM to keep the drive work at peak performance. I've been very interested in the controller side and yes earlier models did have this stutter issue due to low cache memory. I myself would be looking for a drive with at least 64 MB, Indilinx controllers seem to be mentioned a lot. Some of the newer models coming down the pipe are as high as 128 MB. Also of note is that a smaller die size is in order from Intel I beleive which will double drive size but lower costs. Looks like things are heating up in SSD land!