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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    SSD Caching and partitions.

    Hello,

    I have been looking to get an SSD for quite a while now, alongside the inevatable motherboard upgrade.

    One technique struck my eye: SSD Caching, which has rather neat and obvious benefits. however, setting up an SSD for caching negates the other neat and obvious benefits that having one offers, such as much faster boot times.

    So my plan then, is rather simple: Partition the SSD, and have roughly 40 gb for caching, and 80 gb for the OS.
    My question is: Is this actually possible with a B75 chipset motherboard (the one I am planning to buy)?

  2. #2
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    I guess you're talking about that Intel SRT tech?

    As far as playing games is concerned, I don't see what advantage that would buy you - you just put your 'current' games on the SSD and get the whole advantage...

    SSD prices are silly now - hell you can get a pair of 120Gb units for just over 100 and RAID them for crazy speed if you feel like it!

    Given the cost of memory, loading more than you really need is also cheap-as-chips. 8Gb is nothing these days, 16Gb is affordable and I've even seen 2 PCs with 32Gb (which is just silly).

    Caching is great for files which are used constantly - but games aren't really like that. Caching is for things like transactional databases and the like, really.

    p.s. I see you're making the classic mistake of expecting to get 120Gb from a 120Gb drive - think more like 111Gb from a 120Gb drive :)

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    p.s. I see you're making the classic mistake of expecting to get 120Gb from a 120Gb drive - think more like 111Gb from a 120Gb drive :)
    That's the definition of Giga in the computer context. The SI giga is 1000^3. The computer giga is 1024^3. The 120GB drive is sold (correctly!) as 120 * 1000^3. Windows displays it in 1024^3 units, which is wrong unless they use the GiB unit.

    Add in that you "lose" the space NTFS uses for all the file and directory tables and checksums and stuff, so there's another small fraction less.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    That's the definition of Giga in the computer context. The SI giga is 1000^3. The computer giga is 1024^3. The 120GB drive is sold (correctly!) as 120 * 1000^3. Windows displays it in 1024^3 units, which is wrong unless they use the GiB unit.
    Oh come on, the HDD manufacturers are just using different units from everyone else because it lets them use bigger numbers! I've never come across any other area of computing that uses the SI definition - it's not really fair to blame Windows for using the units that everybody except the HDD manufacturers uses.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    Oh come on, the HDD manufacturers are just using different units from everyone else because it lets them use bigger numbers! I've never come across any other area of computing that uses the SI definition - it's not really fair to blame Windows for using the units that everybody except the HDD manufacturers uses.
    It's not everybody. Another area of computing that does SI prefixes right is networking. A gigabit network actually has a 1000^3 bit/second datarate. CPU and instruction speeds also use the SI prefix (3GHz is 1000^3, 1 MFLOP is is 1000^2 flops). I actually can't think of a computing area other than storage which does it like the storage area does.

    But that's why they started yes, to sell less drive with the same sticker capacity. However, they're right. Storage is not an area where you can say "we're going to use the SI letter but not the SI meaning". That's not OK in any area, and especially not if you're not even going to be consistent within computing.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Intel SRT doesn't work with B75-based motherboards anyway. Or Z75 for that matter. You need one of the 77 chipsets for that.

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    So my plan then, is rather simple: Partition the SSD, and have roughly 40 gb for caching, and 80 gb for the OS.
    This configuration is not supported by SRT. I thought it was impossible, but Google suggests otherwise. The workaround appears very cumbersome to set up.

    I had looked into this when building my current system, but here's what I've done instead. OS and apps on 128GB SSD, big HDD for games & media (and weekly system backup), 16GB of RAM (put the OS pagefile on the HDD), and use hybrid sleep mode instead of shutting down frequently. The result of this is that most HDD games tend to sit in the OS file cache in RAM after they've been loaded once. I put Guild Wars 2 on the SSD to load a bit faster (the install is completely portable), but it's a small improvement and games tend to load plenty fast anyway.

    The hibernation file cannot be moved off of the OS drive (mine is ~12GB currently), and you could even disable it (I do have a UPS), but the entirety of RAM is not hibernated (because writing disk cache back to disk is redundant). Sleeping the box several times a day (and typically closing apps and games first), the SSD should well outlast the expected lifetime of the system (the electronics are liable to fail long before the flash memory wears out). The OS pagefile could also be shrunk (performance is not an issue with 16GB of RAM), but my HDD is plenty big, and keeping it off the SSD just saves some space and wear.

    It's also better for an SSD's lifetime and performance to not to fill it up completely (by manual overprovisioning), and the simple way to do this is to partition some percent less space than is fully available. If you don't routinely abuse the SSD, overprovisioning is probably overkill.

    TLDR: The expected use of SRT is to speed a system HDD up with a small SSD. SRT may be useful for unsophisticated users or special high performance cases, but gamers generally don't need it. For a motherboard upgrade, you probably need to reinstall the OS anyway, so you might as well put it right on the SSD. Putting the SATA controller in RAID mode as SRT requires will also increase your cold-boot times.

  8. #8
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    Imagine if carpet companies used a different form of measurement from tape measure companies...

    Would there be someone, sitting in a room with a large rug in it, defending their right to use a 'better standard' I wonder?

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