12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2011 12:25 PM by Charles Culp

    SSD vs SATA RAID0

    David McCall

      Anyone have an opinion on which would be better if you were to build a new machine to go with an SSD (with or without a SATA backup internally) or two SATA drives in a RAID0 config (I don't need an internal backup since our files are in EPDM except when being worked on). Anyone have any benchmarks comparing the two setups or have a 3rd option that I should consider? Thanks

       

      David

        • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
          Rich Schneider

          Based on everything I've seen/read, using an SSD for your bootup/programs and a regular HD for your data/pagfiles/temp storage is the best way to go.  Personally I haven't had to the time to do the switch yet, but putting a couple of small SSD's in RAID 1 would probably get your bootup to under 5 seconds past the POST screen.  They haven't fully gotten past issues with doing a lot of writes, so that's why having the platen style available would help.  Whether it's better to have the EPDM on them, I wouldn't think so (yet).  That often seems to be an issue of network bandwidth to your PC in the cases I've seen, but haven't investigated it a lot.

            • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0

              I work for an SSD Co. so take it with a grain of salt. a SSD will not solve world hunger or have you bootting up in under 10 sec. (thats all hipe, and funny, like you will never need to replace your CD becouse it will last forever... ) any way, i have put a SSD in my home CAD system then the same setup with a rapter and last with  a 7500rpm SATA.

               

              setup i5 661 3.2ghz 4 gig 1600mhz ram and the drive.

               

              results were

              70sec boot SATA

              45sec boot rapter

              15sec boot SSD

               

              you do the math, SSD is not cheap nor will it last but i never keep a drive past a year any way soooooo

                • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                  Mike Lowinske

                  Are SSD's still having the limited lifetime/number of writes problems that I've heard them having when they first hit the market at reasonable prices/sizes a while back or have they gotten significantly better? Also, how is the performance of your CAD program running the SSD vs a SATA disc drive?

                    • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0

                      yes, MLC (the cheap stuff) will die faster than the SLC but both have x writes life (should be good for years 1-2 they way we use our HDD but still practice backups :> treat it like the old floppes) but the read times are why you want one... you have to think of it as the speed dif going from a 486 cpu to a i5 cpu (yes its that big). the best one i have heard and fully agree with... you got a ferrari to go fast, not to never brake down...

                       

                       

                      when pulling stuff or saving its alot faster.. but just running its no better (as you are not using it). my work dell (just upgraded) t5500 with a i7 980 is over all faster than my home system till its saving time... then my home system saves faster or retrives faster (all SSD). the work one has a sas 7500rpm HDD (yes we wont put in a SSD becouse well HDD are cheap and i did not ask for one, maybe next year :>

                        • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                          Tony Greising-Murschel

                          Got two Intel SSD's running in RAID0 and I do have to say it's pretty magical. Old model load times would be in 6-8 minute range to become usable, now we're down to about 1 minute.

                           

                          We've done quite an extensive investigation on removing bottlenecks since Solidworks is not really geared towards plant design and have determined the following:

                           

                          RAM: as much as your board can handle

                          CPU: fastest core of first CPU is all that matters so Clock Speed > Cores

                          Video: FX580 in my machine handles everything just fine. Obviously if you are doing more graphically intensive you will need more horsepower.

                          HDD: SSD RAID0

                            • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                              Karl Wooster

                              We are looking to improve model load times as well as general SW performance on our computers, and have so far mostly focused on what software and/or model changes we can make.  For example, settings in SW or best modeling practices.  It occured to me that an SSD might make a substantial difference in model load times, which can take several minutes for our large machines, and yours is the only piece of information I have found that has been helpful from that standpoint.

                               

                              Are you still seeing dramatic improvements in load times?  Seeing the 6-8 minute down to 1 is very encouraging to me, though our times haven't reached 6-8 minutes, there is potential for it in other areas of the company.

                               

                              I am also wondering about whether you use a PDM package and whether it seems to make a difference if it is a locally cached file vs from the vault?

                               

                              Sorry that this is reviving a year old discussion, but maybe you have some more information after using it longer?

                               

                              Thanks,
                              Karl

                                • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                                  David McCall

                                  Karl,

                                   

                                  We actually purchased machines with 2 standard hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, this seems to improve the load times off of the hard drives (from the EPDM local cache, doesn't help pulling down from the vault, but that is probably due to the old wiring in the building instead of computer performance). We also switched from WinXP 32 bit to Win7 64 bit and increased the RAM from 3G to 6G, so that might have an impact as well.  I was unable to get my IT department to signoff on the SSD due to the reduced life of the drives vs hard drives (if we are lucky, are machines are replaced every 5 years)

                                   

                                  Our top level assemblies are in the 5K part range (and approx 50meg) when you count hardware. One best practice I can pass on with hardware would be create a full assembly for use on the drawing and a simple configuration that has all of the hardware/internal parts that are not used on the next level up assembly supressed.

                                   

                                  Just before we upgraded our hardware, we changed from Smarteam to Enterprise PDM for our vault. Even on the same hardware, the load times on EPDM were much faster vs. Smarteam. But you can get better performance out of EPDM if you do a "Get Latest Version" from EPDM before you open in SW, so SW is loading directly out of local cache and doesn't have to go find something out of the vault.

                                   

                                  Hope this helps,

                                  David

                                    • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                                      Karl Wooster

                                      David,

                                      Well, unfortunately, we are wokring with a hodgepodge of files.  We are making a very slow transfer from Pro/E assemblies (and also some 2D data from ACAD).  This means that a lot of our pieces come into SW as STEP files.  We have tried taking these STEP files and simplifying the larger assemblies so that internal pieces are gone.  This hasn't made a very large dent in speed, it seems, though I haven't directly checked load times.  We have some hope (naive, i'm sure) that having every piece of our equipment being an actual SW part and not a STEP file saved as a part will help general performance.

                                       

                                      We have chosen Enterprise PDM, after an ill-fated journey into trying to use PTC Windchill, for our SW data, though we still use Windchill for Pro/E data.

                                       

                                      Thank you for your response, still doing some research on this and hope that I can do some actual testing to see if it would be worthwile to roll SSDs out to our heavy SW users.

                                       

                                      Karl

                                    • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                                      Tony Greising-Murschel

                                      Locally cached in EPDM and still running strong. Any IT department out there that gripes about spending money just remind them that your time is money too.

                                       

                                      1 extra minute a day waiting can be over $600-$700 per year. Multiply that by more mintues and more users and you get the picture. If they are worried about losing the information simply put in a standard platter drive and automatically image the machine upon shutdown every day.

                                       

                                      The other thing besides simply opening the files faster is the stability gained when switching between models, drawings and assemblies.

                                        • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                                          David McCall

                                          I can't speak to the advantages of SSD vs HD (which is why I asked the question) since I don't have any direct experience (yet )

                                           

                                          But, I can speak to the conversion issues (althought not directly related to this thread):

                                           

                                          Personally, I have found that unless the part is a very complex model, that you are better off remodeling in native SW than importing files via STEP or any other format. Yes, it might add a bit of time in the direct conversion time, but saves time in the end with faster rebuilds and more trustworthy model data (yes, I know conversions have gotten much better (SW will actually open basic Pro/E and other files) but in my experience, something always seems to blow up.

                                           

                                          We are actually still in the middle of an transfer from Smarteam (and SW2007) to EPDM (SW2011) and are inforcing a no hardware models from the ST vault because we don't trust the geometry (and we took the time to create a new library of hardware on a set of parent models that have common geometry (I don't like toolbox, I think the massive amounts of configs make the models to large.

                                           

                                          David

                                        • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                                          Charles Culp

                                          Karl,

                                           

                                          I haven't heard anyone say strongly enough, but using PDM (where you will have a local cache), compared with a 100Mb/s network will show a vast improvement of model loading times. This will make a much more significant savings than an SSD.

                                           

                                          As for SSD vs HD, yes, SSDs are faster.

                                           

                                          This article is about reliability, however read the "Is Reliability Important?" about speed:

                                          http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923.html

                                           

                                          http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-nand-reliability,3021.html

                                           

                                           

                                          I run SSD only system, on a 100Mb/s network, without PDM. Every time I "auto-save" a backup from a file opened over the network, my computer slows down. If it is stored locally, I don't even notice it.

                              • Re: SSD vs SATA RAID0
                                Rich Schneider

                                David, thanks for the data comparison.  Stuff like that takes time to setup and do, but does give a lot of insight for the community.  I still look forward to getting an SSD or two when I'm able.

                                 

                                Tony, take a look over the following link.  CPU speeds do have a lot of weight over the number of cores, however the newer memory management system of the I7-9XX Intel processors seem to give a pretty good boost beyond clock speed.

                                 

                                https://forum.solidworks.com/message/189308#189308