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Solid State Drives (SSD)...

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by MarkMan, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. I have a question about solid state drives... I've done some research on the benefits of using a SSD over a hard drive, particularly when it comes to start up (programs) / booting a computer. However, I've found very little on whether there is any performance advantages over the 'hard drive' when you're actually in the sim (of your choice) racing online or offline.

    I'm designing and building a gaming computer and would like to know if it's worth the extra buck$$ for the 'SSD', specifically when it comes to simracing. Thanks for your comments and sorry for the 'noob' question.
  2. You wont see any visual difference when playing, However the load sequences of the game will be faster..
  3. as said above the load times will be faster^^
    but is it worth the extra $$$, in my opinion to get a noticable amout of load difference to make it worth while you would need to be going the high end SSD's and for the $$$ its probably not worth it when u can get just a regular HDD that will do the same job but a little slower when loading.
  4. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    Most folks right now when building or upgrading a system use an SSD for the boot drive, and load all their programs on a separate drive or RAID array. This way they get the boot-up and system performance of the SSD and have the storage and program reliability of a regular HD.
  5. Thanks for the feedback. It's been most helpful!!
  6. ReDi

    Slightly Mad Studios

    An SSD is nice because of low power consumption, no noise and also speed. Affordable sizes are quite small though, so using it for the OS is currently the best compromise IMO. The good thing about an SSD is that you never have to defragment it. Lifetime with normal home use is easily >10 years.

    In my current PC I have an SSD for the OS and a single conventional 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 for data and programs, and the latter is bloody fast and silent too. IMO a modern, fast conventional HDD would be just as good to put your OS on, but of course it has a higher power consumption and there is still a (very small) risk of a head crash. SSDs is the way forward, and it's good for my job so I would recommend buying one :wink:
  7. If funds allow look at a PCIe SSD for even faster transfer times. GL!
  8. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    ReDi, I have to disagree with you on one point on the SSD drives. There have been issues that with higher usage the SSD's slow down to less than the performance of regular HD's in less than 2 years of use. This has been tested and verified in the past, but I am not sure if they have done things to resolve this recently. Seems that the memory that they use for the SSD's degrades over time with use.
  9. ReDi

    Slightly Mad Studios

    The flash memory in SSDs surely degrades over time. A typical cell has a limited amount of write cycles before it wears out. To ensure maximum lifetime of the SSD, data is continuously spread out evenly over all memory cells. However, I do not think that this is slowing performance since a cell is broken or not. If it's broken, you either lose data or it's marked as bad and it's not used anymore.

    I think what happened in earlier drives at least was how it dealt with erasing data. That's a complicated story, but it boils down to an SSD only being able to delete minimum-size blocks of data, so if smaller blocks are deleted it needs to re-arrange the deleted data first into full blocks before it can be deleted. This may take away performance if done incorrectly, and in recent drives better strategies have been developed for this.
  10. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    Does anyone know anything about SSD/HDD hybrids?
  11. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    From what I have read about the Hybrid, the Momentus from Seagate is the only option to consider. It is a 2.5" drive that uses 4gig of flash memory to help speed things up after you have launched an app more than once. This won't show much improvement on programs that you only use once in a while as they won't have anything loaded into the flash memory. In order to achieve the best results too, you will have to make sure that you do a clean install of your OS and apps as for some reason cloning a drive doesn't seem to make it work right.

    The price on these drives are about twice the cost of normal drives, and the performance is a lot less than twice as fast as a whole, but for apps that you use all the time several times a day, then those will show a large decrease in the amount of time it takes to launch. For the money, I would consider using a pair of nice fast reliable normal HD's and stripe them in a RAID array :) For $80 US, you can get a pair of 7200 RPM 500 gig drives, as compared to the Momentus that costs $100 for a single 500 Gb drive. In the RAID array, the 2 normal drives will perform better over all than the single drive will with the exception of program launches.

    The upside to the hybrid is the obvious increase to performance for frequently used apps. The downside is the cost. The upside to the use of 2 drives in a RAID striped array is the overall performance gain regardless of the frequency of use of a program. The downside is that if a single drive fails, you lose all data, not just what was stored on the single drive. If the RAID array is looking good and you want security too, then you can always use 4 drives to set up an array that is striped as well as redundant to give you data peace of mind.