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Data Storage Hardware

Are SSD Accelerators Any Good? 331

Posted by Soulskill
from the newton's-second-law-objects dept.
MrSeb writes "When solid-state drives first broke into the consumer market, there were those who predicted the new storage format would supplant hard drives in a matter of years thanks to radically improved performance. In reality, the shift from hard drives (HDDs) to SSDs has thus far been confined to the upper end of the PC market. For cost-conscious buyers and OEMs, the higher performance they offer is still too expensive and the total capacity is insufficient. SSD cache drives have emerged as a means of addressing this situation. They are small, typically containing between 20-60GB of NAND flash and are paired with a standard hard drive. Once installed, drivers monitor which applications and files are accessed most often, then cache those files on the SSD. It can take the software 1-2 runs to start caching data, but once this process is complete, future access and boot times are significantly enhanced. This article compares the effect of SSD cache solutions — Intel Smart Response Technology, and Nvelo Dataplex — on the performance of a VelociRaptor, and a slow WD Caviar drive. The results are surprisingly positive."
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Are SSD Accelerators Any Good?

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:19PM (#40912129)

    Hybrid drives or mixed mode setups kinda suck ass now that actual ss drives are getting to a reasonable price/size.

    SSD for os/programs.

    Giant TB+ drive for storage and media files.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:21PM (#40912167) Journal

    While the apps run on the hard drive due to the low capacity. To me it is not worth it to watch your os boot faster. Windows 7 loads in about 35 seconds on my computer which is only a Phenom II and not a fancy i7 or anything.

    What also is not addressed in the article is the reliability of the SSDs. Flash ram is not a permanent solution and will die due to the limited number of writes. If you use mysql or MS access or run low on space and use XP that thing will be dead in a matter of months. It can only handle so much paging and writes before it dies. Tricks in the firmware move the write bits to random places in memory to prevent this but as it fills up the paging needs to keep to keep hiting the same memory addresses.

    I am going to wait for a few years until they use a different memory technology that can have unlimited writes as well as larger capacities. It is not worth it to me yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:24PM (#40912199)

    240GB SSDs are bouncing around 200. 2 bills for the boot SSD and your old drive gets the data partition and you are beating these hybrids on performance AND price.

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:51PM (#40912579)
    For the average joe, they dont want to have to manage putting os/apps/frequent files on one drive and split the rest elsewhere. Software that automagically does this and keeps the cache up to date is a boon for the non power user.
  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eskarel (565631) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:37PM (#40913753)

    I'm sick of this myth. The math I've done indicates that, presuming that the drive is doing a halfway decent job of spreading the writes around, most cheap SSDs are rated to allow you to write the entire volume of the drive every day for about 30 years. Now personally I don't even come close to doing that, and your average physical HDD is rated for about 5 years, with 10 being a seriously long life.

    If you buy a reasonable quality SSD at present your drive will not last long enough to see a significant level of NAND failure and what will kill it will be one of the million things that kills HDDs on a regular basis.

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