Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: HDD Vs SSD

  1. #1
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    22

    HDD Vs SSD

    I know their different but i need an upgrade in my system - do i get a new HDD (cheaper) or upgrade and get myself a SATA2 or 3 SSD?, apart from an SSD having a less failure rate, can any PC experts give me any pros and cons?

    Thanks guys,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,255
    If you're only thinking of using the machine for games and day-to-day stuff, I honestly don't feel that an SSD is worth the premium. I myself bought the Intel X-25 160gb SSD when it cost $570. As a scratch disk for video and graphic design work it's fantastic. Waking from sleep is instantaneous when windows is installed on an SSD since there is no wait time for the disk to wake up. That is actually pretty cool, having your PC switch on like a regular cd player.
    For everything else the performance of SSD was cancelled out by other factors:
    1)
    Booting to windows is only fast if you have nothing hooked up to your machine. Once you plug in controllers, hard disks and other usb/eSATA/firewire peripherals, windows boot can take up to 120 seconds EDIT: more like 70 seconds, 120 seconds is way too much.
    2)
    Only a marginal improvement i felt with the only significant speed boost coming in the initial game loading screens. A lot of games uncompress packed data to memory when loading - or procedurally generate content. These are two things that have very little to do with disk speeds and more to do with cpu speed.
    Last edited by mashakos; 01-10-2012 at 03:06 PM.
    Steam profile
    PC Specs: I have a big e-peen

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    501
    SSDs are pretty generally accepted to be excellent for your OS, but pretty much useless for games (there is a slight decrease in load times if your game really is reading a lot of data, but they're so small in size that you'd forever be swapping games in and out depending on what you want to play).

    If your Windows is taking 120s to boot up, even on a HDD, I think you've done something wrong - with Mouse/Keyboard/HDD/External HDD over USB/Joystick/Mobile Internet Dongle all plugged in, I'm sub-30 seconds on an SSD.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,255
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    If your Windows is taking 120s to boot up, even on a HDD, I think you've done something wrong - with Mouse/Keyboard/HDD/External HDD over USB/Joystick/Mobile Internet Dongle all plugged in, I'm sub-30 seconds on an SSD.
    You're right! I just came across a note I made a while back when I timed the boot time of my system: 47.7secs with 2 eSATA drives, a sound card, various usb input devices. The most delays are when the external hard disks start spinning. In any case, my point was that the more things you have connected to your machine the longer it will take to boot. Raid cards delay booting significantly because they usually come with 15 second timeout periods.
    Wake from sleep on the other hand: 1.3 secs, so boot time is pointless imo.
    Steam profile
    PC Specs: I have a big e-peen

  5. #5
    Activated Node rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    32
    Yeah, mine is near-instantaneous from sleep as well on a SSD. That SSD is for a laptop and recently changed a HDD with the idea that a laptop might see a bit of a rougher time and a SSD might preserve itself a bit better in said conditions. Fortunately, I haven't really needed to test this thought so I've left it at that. If the technology were more readily available (i.e., cheaper) why not though...

  6. #6
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    8
    I think SSD is the future but there is still work to be done. Speed it good but I worry about reliability and durability (maximum read/write counts). And of course price is still a factor although they ahve come down a lot recently.

  7. #7
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    106
    Price has gone way down lately. The 128gb Samsung 830 that Mr Laird raved about in April http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...d/#more-106304 is now available for 79 (was 130 in April).

    Depends what you use your 'puter for. If it's a pure gaming machine then yeah, it's not going to do much for you, sure it'll boot up quicker and you may find levels load into RAM a bit quicker but zero FPS benefit. But if you use your PC, well, as a PC, doing a bit of everything, then I can't rate them highly enough. Quicker boot sure, but quicker general operation, browser responsiveness, frequently opened and closed apps like mail / office / tools of your trade etc are just so much *much* quicker to load and it's a real quality of life improvement.

    Plus they use next to no power in operation, which means (a) you save the polar bears, and (b) they generate very little heat which means the rest of your system fans can run slower and quieter and the drives themselves are utterly silent.

    Durability I really have ceased to worry about now. For one thing the current generation really is fine, for another - the probability of any storage drive failing, whatever the medium, eventually reaches 100% - no excuse not to backup regardless of SSD/HDD. Three year warranty on that Samsung 830, you can find some models with five year warranty if you're really concerned.

    In five years time we'll probably be storing data in parallel dimensions whilst travelling to work in our hover boots, so in the meantime, may as well go SSD :o)

    SSD system drive, stick games on the old one as a secondary app drive. Sata3 SSDs will work on a Sata2 motherboard just fine if your mobo is limited - and they work just fine - speed benefit of Sata3 is only really realised in sustained reads, most usual OS functions are rapid random reads and Sata2 remains fine for that.

  8. #8
    I think people don't appreciate just how great they can be for games. If you have a game that streams textures/content quite a lot, then SSDs are amazing. Games like Arma2, Batman Arkham City or Skyrim have an incredible decrease in load times. If you get an SSD you'll definitely want to store a few of your most played games on there alongside the OS.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,255
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Bakke View Post
    I think people don't appreciate just how great they can be for games. If you have a game that streams textures/content quite a lot, then SSDs are amazing. Games like Arma2, Batman Arkham City or Skyrim have an incredible decrease in load times. If you get an SSD you'll definitely want to store a few of your most played games on there alongside the OS.
    I have GTA 4 with icenhancer + hd texture pack + hd car models installed on my SSD. Load times are still long and the real impact was from upgrading from 4GB ram to 16GB ram. I think the game really shines with 6GB ram and up.
    Does it make a difference? Kind of. As much as an overclocked CPU or 6GB ram? No.
    Steam profile
    PC Specs: I have a big e-peen

  10. #10
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Bakke View Post
    I think people don't appreciate just how great they can be for games.
    Interesting point, I keep toying with the idea of a hybrid drive like the Seagate Momentus XT 750gb for game/app storage. Theory being that a copy of whatever you're currently playing with any regularity makes it's way automagically to the onboard 8gb SSD storage.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    I have GTA 4 with icenhancer + hd texture pack + hd car models installed on my SSD. Load times are still long and the real impact was from upgrading from 4GB ram to 16GB ram. I think the game really shines with 6GB ram and up.
    Does it make a difference? Kind of. As much as an overclocked CPU or 6GB ram? No.
    On its own, of course it's not going to be as great as maxing out your other components - But when in tandem with increased boot times, increased responsiveness in general, and OCed components, it all adds up. It's a definite benefit and not one to be ignored when considering an upgrade.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,255
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Bakke View Post
    On its own, of course it's not going to be as great as maxing out your other components - But when in tandem with increased boot times, increased responsiveness in general, and OCed components, it all adds up. It's a definite benefit and not one to be ignored when considering an upgrade.
    I just replied because you mentioned games with streaming content, and I wanted to point out that for games that have really demanding requirements (after mods and texture packs) it ceases to become a factor.

    In the end, if you have the budget you would obviously go for a nice big SSD (I did). For those who don't it's not worth cutting out a nice cpu, gpu or ram upgrade for the sake of a fast SSD.
    Steam profile
    PC Specs: I have a big e-peen

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    I just replied because you mentioned games with streaming content, and I wanted to point out that for games that have really demanding requirements (after mods and texture packs) it ceases to become a factor.

    In the end, if you have the budget you would obviously go for a nice big SSD (I did). For those who don't it's not worth cutting out a nice cpu, gpu or ram upgrade for the sake of a fast SSD.
    Sure - But that's not what I'm saying. I could have made myself clearer - Minimatt was saying that you should stick the OS on the SSD, and games on a seperate drive - but I was saying that for select games that need to load in textures, it can, and does make a significant difference if you put them on the SSD. Not all games, but the ones you'll be playing a lot.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2,250
    Use a 128gb SSD, windows and a few games that a play a lot are on it. Love the quick load into windows.

  15. #15
    Activated Node Sidian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    I have GTA 4 with icenhancer + hd texture pack + hd car models installed on my SSD. Load times are still long and the real impact was from upgrading from 4GB ram to 16GB ram. I think the game really shines with 6GB ram and up.
    Does it make a difference? Kind of. As much as an overclocked CPU or 6GB ram? No.
    What is your PC's specs exactly? What is needed to run all those mods for GTA4 at a decent FPS?

  16. #16
    Activated Node
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    81
    Is there a simple way to explain to simple people which games benefit from being on an SSD and which can as easily be installed on an HDD?

    If you have a game that streams textures/content quite a lot, then SSDs are amazing.
    Is there a simple way of figuring that out?

    Any help would be appreciated :)

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,493
    Does the game have really long load times?
    Do textures pop in quite a bit or does the game hitch when moving between areas, despite having lots of RAM/VRAM available?
    Do you just want to reduce loading times?

    If you said "Yes" to any of those questions, an SSD might be the way to go.

    Generally the games that make extensive use of texture streaming are open-world games, like Skyrim, where loading screens shouldn't interrupt gameplay. You might also notice the HDD thrashing away quite a bit with those games, another indicator that an SSD might be helpful.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    583
    Is there a simple way to explain to simple people which games benefit from being on an SSD and which can as easily be installed on an HDD?
    Not really. A basic rule of thumb is whether the game loads files in long linear reads or lots of short ones. HDDs are plenty fast when the drive heads don't have to seek much, SSDs are faster for random access to a database or loading lots of small files.

    Console games have heavily optimized disc-filesystem layouts because optical drives are relatively very slow, and console ports are generally fine on an HDD as a result. Games that load all at once, or once per level or map, or have a few huge packaged install files are usually in this category for loading behavior.

    PC games sometimes lack this kind of attention to loading optimization and may have a lot of small files (sometimes tens of thousands), or one big database file (like Guild Wars 2), or other unoptimized formats, or stream in data from multiple files during play. These are more likely to benefit by running from an SSD.

    Data heavy games also rely on compression, so CPU speed is a load time factor too. If your disk-access light isn't always on during the load, odds are it's decompression or data format mangling or something else like networking synch in multiplayer that it's waiting for. Having extra RAM can also help because the OS will use spare memory as a disk cache.

    The only way to know for sure is to benchmark a game and gather some data in various configurations. Often you can guess based on the install files, or the game engine, or the developer, or various performance characteristics, but these are only likely indicators. There are also utilities that can report things like numbers of open file handles and volumes of filesystem reads and writes and caching behavior. Developers may use them to profile and optimize loading times.

  19. #19
    Activated Node
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    81
    Soldant & Bobtree - thanks for the info & apologies for the slight thread hijack.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    900
    People who buy SSDs to boost gaming performance (as in they think it'll help their framerates or some shit) are equivalent to those dumb chavs who buy mufflers for their cars.

    As in they have no idea what they are doing and just want to chav up their car and waste their money (since a big muffler actually limits your engine's ability to "breathe" and decreases torque unless the rest of the engine is modified)

    SSD's for gaming are and remain a 'I have exhausted every single other performance enhancing option there is but still want to spend more money' thing.

    Long seek times and poor random read still don't cause issues in games with texture streaming (rage being the single only exception since it's a broken mess).
    The only benifit is literally slightly faster level load times in a limited amount of games.

    I'm absolutely allergic to long load times (can't play my ps3 they drive me insane, spend more time loading than playing), but they are already negligable on PC
    Last edited by Finicky; 11-10-2012 at 05:59 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •