SSD solution?

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by BLEH!, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Hey Gurus.

    So I'm (once again) thinking about moving my OS/main drive over to an SSD (or SSDs in RAID). Ideally I'd like to move more than just my OS onto faster storage, so I'm wandering what the best solution is, because I do have a few extras which I'd like faster access to:
    1) OS (Win7 64) + essential progs (office, FF, etc.)
    2) Cubase + 40 gigs worth of samples
    3) Cubase project files (currently on separate drive)
    4) Steam games

    And the big stuff which can probably stay on "old fashioned" storage:
    5) music
    6) TV shows/movies
    7) backup drive for cubase projects/documents

    My motherboard has the 6 SATA ports that come from the ICH10R SB, and 2 SAS/SATA ports from an extra controller, both of which are capable of RAID (but not both at the same time) with the SB ports being much faster overall (due to PCIe limitations).

    So ideally I'd like to stick 1-4 on an SSD or SSDs in RAID, but I'm wandering what the best solution for doing this is, bearing in mind I am limited to 250 MB/s per SATA port, short of getting a PCIe HDD controller, which are kinda pricey. The options as I see 'em
    A) 1 big SSD (500 GB maybe)
    B) 2 smallish SSDs in RAID 0 or similar (2 x 250 GB = 500 GB)
    C) 5 smaller SSDs in RAID 5 (5 x 120 GB = 480 GB)

    All of them keeping 2 of my existing drives (all 1TB) as backups/slow storage for other stuff using the other controllers on the mobo or on the SB depending on how many SSDs I go for.

    So I'm wandering which of those solutions you guys would recommend, or any alternatives and which SSD(s) would be worth buying. Looking for a max budget of around £300-350.

    Cheers

    BLEH
     
  2. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Anyone?
     
  3. poedoom

    poedoom Member Guru

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    Hi there well 1 thing to consider is trim, this only works in ahci mode in most cases as intel raid 0+trim has a very strict set of guidelines and as for running 2 ssd,s in raid i dont know what u would actually gain on a sata 2 controller as you already know your controller is bottlenecked, what i would really do is really go for it on the info side of things as far as ssd benches find an ssd that all ppl rave about because all is not what they seem you need to look into not what the maufacturer says the ssd will do but what it does in real life so i would say a big ssd running in ahci but dont just jump in feet first really make sure your getting what it says on the tin :)
     
  4. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    How much space does Cubase take up?

    I wouldn't bother with RAID, you would have to backup all your data onto traditional storage anyway in case something happens.

    I would get 2x256GB drivers, and run all your programs and cubase etc off the main one, and use the second on for steam games (with a backup of the steam folder on the mechanical drive).

    There are a few different things you could do, like having one big drive and everything on it, but in that case you would want to partition it.

    I guess there is no 'right' answer anyone can give you specifically, only a 'right' answer for you, as each is to their own. The only thing I can say is, don't bother with RAID! Lucky you have ICH10R, it's getting a bit old now (same as what is on my board), but least it still has support unlike ICH9R. That said, I doubt that support for ICH10R will last when Haswell comes out next year.
     

  5. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    Hmm,

    I'd put just the OS and main apps on one SSD, and leave things like Steam on another SSD.

    Your samples should be fine on a platter, I don't think there are any benefits with samples and VST's being on an SSD under working situations, although reading the data would of course be faster, I just do not think it would have any visible improvement to using cubase, as cubase would be on an SSD. I work with Fraps files which are several gigs in size and see no improvements with working in Adobe Creative Suite on the Fraps files which come from a platter or a SSD, but do have an SSD as a scratch drive - pretty sure you can use an SSD as a scratch drive with cubase, you might want to ask them what they recommend in the user preferences...

    I sure as dammit would not put anything on an SSD that you wouldn't wish to lose, like creative files.

    I might be inclined to do the following:

    2 x 64GB SSD RAID-0 (like Crucial M4) = OS + main applications + all device drivers
    1 x 128GB SSD (like vertex4) = Games/Steam

    1 x 2-3TB HDD storage drive (like WD 'black' drive) = everything else, long term storage, creative files, samples, 'big stuff', music, movies
    1 x 2-3TB HDD (like WD 'green' drive) = back-up of storage drive

    I think that covers my thoughts for now.
     
  6. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the speedy reply guys.

    It seems RAID would be a bad idea in this case then, so I'll sack that off as a bad idea.

    @poedoom: I've got the SATA ports in AHCI mode anyway, though I'm not sure if my ICH10R supports TRIM given its age. I know there is a bottleneck, but I've no intention of changing the mobo for at least another year and a half or getting another controller, so it'll have to do at that speed.

    @thatguy91: Cubase itself takes up about 10 GB with all it's internal crap, but I've got another 40-50 GB of samples that go with it but take a fairly long time to load of a normal HDD, so ideally I'd like those to be faster. One big drive (500 GB ish) might do the trick, partitioned 3 ways for Win7, Cubase + samples and steam game, or 2 smaller drives appropriately sorted, no RAID. I'm keeping my 4 old 1 TB platter drives as a backup/big storage anyway.

    @Loobyluggs: You seem to make a similar point to thatguy91, although samples being on platter drives me nuts when working with multiple projects as it has to reload them each time I switch between them. Creative files are backed up on 2 platter drives anyway, just in case. Maybe transfer what I'm working on to SSD when working on it then back to platter when finished, I'll have to work the finer details out when I actually implement this thing.

    So for me, the following might work:

    1 x 128 GB SSD for OS, main progs, drivers, Cubase.
    1 x 256 GB SSD for Steam Games (I have a big library)
    N x 1 TB HDDs for backup/big stuff etc.

    OR

    1 x 480-500 GB SSD partioned for everything above (and room some left over)
    N x 1 TB HDDs for backup/big stuff etc.

    In either of those cases, which drives are good for my £350 ish budget?
     
  7. poedoom

    poedoom Member Guru

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    i'm 99% sure your hardware will support trim and has for which way to go well thats down to you my friend, just make sure which ever way u go u pick a good ssd theres alot out there on the market now and it can be a bit of a task finding the right 1 for £ vs performance i spent a week looking into this and still managed pick the wrong 1 hehe but there again what the hell did i expect for £62 :)

    I,m 99% sure my last mobo the asus re3 ran the same controller as you and according to win7 in cmd prompt my trim was enabled.

    But! i have had a beer or 3 since then who knows :)
     
  8. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    I didn't write my post in 3 minutes :)

    Looking into this and after speaking with a friend of mine using Cubase, she said there is a difference in performance using SSD for samples, but there are many variables to this, as some samples (regardless of size) will load faster, or have imperceivable latency.

    On the other hand, she said that as all samples have to load into RAM, all the SSD is doing is lowering the time it takes to get the samples into RAM - the size and speed of RAM and overall system performance is more critical when using Cubase, than the speed of the data getting into RAM.

    So...I guess use SSD or a hybrid drive (perhaps) for samples and don't skimp on the RAM or RAM speed, if you want the cover the bases nicely.
     
  9. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Cheers for the input Gurus. I'm thinking a single ~500 GB SSD will cover my needs, partitioned if needs be. They seem to fit in my budget. Which of the following are any good?
    1) SanDisk Extreme 480 GB:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/480g...b-s-read-540mb-s-write-460mb-s-46000-iops-max
    2) Corsair Force3 480 GB:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/480g...2200-mlc-flash-read-540mb-s-write-425mb-s-50k

    Or anything else from here:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-hardware/all/hard-drives-ssd/ssd-25-sata-iii-(240gb-1tb)

    I know nothing of different controllers etc, so with regards to SSDs I'm not sure what to go for.

    Cheers.
     
  10. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Best 480 GB SSD anyone? Which series/manufacturer to go for?
     

  11. Subaru Swift

    Subaru Swift Master Guru

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    i would say samsung & ocz as i have been reading some forums & tech charts about ssd drives too, as i would like to add a 256GB one as a slave drive & copy my games across to it & see what all the fuss is about :).

    good luck mate & i will keep a eye on this thread,,,,,,
     
  12. PhazeDelta1

    PhazeDelta1 Moderator Staff Member

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    if you can squeeze a few extra $ into your budget, i'd go for the Corsair Force GS or the OCZ Vertex 4.
     
  13. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Vertex 4 it is, the 512 GB model with the Indellix controller. See how this baby runs in a bit when I get my new case and rebuild my rig. :D
     
  14. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Make sure you update it to the latest firmware BEFORE putting any data on it :)
     
  15. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Will do :D
     

  16. MAD-OGRE

    MAD-OGRE Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  17. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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  18. MAD-OGRE

    MAD-OGRE Ancient Guru

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    I agree with you on that, I went with the 256GB Samsung 830 and I am thinking about a 2nd one just for Steam and other games.
     
  19. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    Ive heard by many people rave about the M4 Crucial for reliability and ease of use.
     
  20. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    My mate at Scan (where I bought this thing) tells me higher IOPS are better than lower figures, esp for a boot drive, and something about Indellix being better than Sandforce.
     

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