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Solid State Disks or Hard Drives??

Question asked by David Paulson on May 9, 2009
Latest reply on May 13, 2009 by 1-62FOJJ
In some of my prior posts I have recommended the consideration of Solid State Drives (SSD's) instead of hard drives. I have recently used SSD's in my desktop computer and my laptop computer as well. The increase in performance can be amazing. But the use of SSD's is relatively new and is not without pitfalls. I hope by posting this thread that we can share our experiences and better apply these revolutionary new storage devices.

My first installation of a SSD was on my destop workstation. I installed an OCZ 32 GB SSD of the "SLC" variety. The SSD is used almost exclusively for the Vista Ultimate x64 operating system. The SSD boots the system in about 60 seconds, including the POST and log-in. Initially, I installed SolidWorks on the drive to boot it fast as well, but reinstalled SW on a Raptor RAID1 drive because of a problem with crashing when running Flow. The proiblem was presumed to be the "C" drive was too full for the swap file required by Flow.

With happiness abounding, I decided to install a SSD on my thinkPad TP61P laptop computer. I chose an OCZ Vertex 120 GB SSD due to my eurphoria with the 32 GB SSD. The OCZ Vertex is a "MLC" type SSD and has a read speed of up to 250 MB/sec (as opposed to the 100 MB/sec. SLC SSD). However, the actual speed is not much different than the slower SSD in the workstation. This, I have found out, is due to the T61P not fully supporting SATA2. While the TP61P "supports" SATA2, Lenovo limited the data transfer to 1.5 GB/sec. (SATA2=3.0 GB/sec.) This must also, in turn, reduce the clock speed of the SATA bus and cut the speed of the SSD to about half of it's true value. Bummer. But it is still way faster than a conventional hard drive. And it is shock resistant. And it is totally silent.

And without moving parts, it may last forever.................

I would like to hear your experiences.

And a few lessons that I learned:
1. Make sure that you have the latest frimware for the SSD BEFORE you install the operating system. I don't think that it can be updated without a re-install if the OS.
2. Application with XP requires changing a number of settings on your registry. XP did know that SSD's existed and failure to do so with deteriorate performance of the SSD.
3. Application with Vista is better, but check out the SSD manufacturer's guidelines as to necessary settings.
4. Windows 7 is optimized for SSD's and I will soon be trying it on my laptop computer. But this will not help the lack of Lenovo support for SATA2 on their laptops, even the new ones I understand.
5. Because of item 4, you don't need to buy a state of the art SSD for your laptop if it doesn't fully support SATA2.

Anandtech has a great review of SSD's (courtesy of Anna Wood) : http://www.anandtech.com/stora...?i=3531&cp=2#comments

And if you have a ThinkPad T 6x, see: http://forums.lenovo.com/lnv/b...ate_ascending&page=18

And I found OCZ's website foorum to be very helpful: http://www.ocztechnologyforum....howthread.php?t=52848

Workstation:
Tyan S5396 mainboard
Xeon E5440
8 GB RAM
32 GB OCZ SSD for operating system
two 150 GB Raptors in RAID1 for data
Quadro FX3700
Vista x64 Ultimate

ThinkPad T61P:
Core2Duo 2.2 GHz
120 GB OCZ Vertex SSD
4 GB RAM
Vista x64 Ultimate

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