What to do with my two SSDs?

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What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:53 pm

About 5 or 6 weeks ago I bought two SSDs. I had originally planned to use them for Windows 8 testing, but now that I have done some non-SSD testing with 8, I'm very sure that it's not necessary. Win 8 will be an excellent performer, and I know that SSD usage will further improve on that.

Of course I am waiting to see what kind of drama will erupt with the release of Win 8 GA before I decide to make a permanent jump to Windows 8.

Here are the drives:

OCZ Vertex 3 (240 GB)
Crucial M4 (256 GB)

I'm not so sure what to do with them at this point. I am hesitant to put Windows 7 or 8 on either of them right now. I suppose I could put some of my sound sample libraries on them to make orchestras load into system RAM faster. If I transfer Windows 7 to one of them (two partitions), maybe I can use the other one for a fast sample library loader. But the problem with that is that I may upgrade to Win 8 sometime in the next 6 months or less. Seems like a lot of trouble to put an older OS on them for just a little while.

I'm just not sure what to do right now. Suggestions would be welcome.
Last edited by BIF on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:22 pm

1) I believe you meant "OCZ Vertex 3" and "Crucial M4"

2) ...Not sure how you can possibly think that there's no difference between a mechanical hdd and an SSD even on Win8. Furthermore, how you think that storing music on an SSD makes any sense. MOST people (if they don't have enough space on an SSD alone) will put their OS and programs on the SSD and documents/pictures/music/movies on a mechanical hdd since those items see no benefit from residing on an SSD. Try that.

3) If you really don't want them and think they're useless, I would be happy to take one or both of them off your hands for free. Send me a PM and I'll give you my mailing address!
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:31 pm

DPete27 wrote:3) If you really don't want them and think they're useless, I would be happy to take one or both of them off your hands for free.

:lol:
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:02 am

BIF wrote:I am hesitant to put Windows 7 or 8 on either of them right now. I suppose I could put some of my sound sample libraries on them to make orchestras load into system RAM faster. If I transfer Windows 7 to one of them (two partitions), maybe I can use the other one for a fast sample library loader. But the problem with that is that I may upgrade to Win 8 sometime in the next 6 months or less. Seems like a lot of trouble to put an older OS on them for just a little while.


Why are you hesitant to put Win 7 on them? Do you find Win 8 to be that much better. For myself, Win 7 is my new Win 2k. Great, stable, does everything I need and want, and its going to be supported for quite a while still. Why not throw Win 7 on it, load up all your sound files on to a mechanical hd as suggested above, and enjoy the fast boot and app/game load times?
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:13 am

DPete27 wrote:1) I believe you meant "OCZ Vertex 3" and "Crucial M4"


You're right, I have corrected my original post. That was the second time I had to type it due to some sort of glitch, and I got it wrong in the retyping.

2) ...Not sure how you can possibly think that there's no difference between a mechanical hdd and an SSD even on Win8.


I didn't say that there was "no" difference in speed. I just said that with my testing of Win 8, I'm confident that the performance will be excellent WITH OR WITHOUT an SSD. So at this point, I find it not necessary to install Win 8 RTD on one of them only to have to rebuild the OS after the RTD trial expires.

Furthermore, how you think that storing music on an SSD makes any sense. MOST people (if they don't have enough space on an SSD alone) will put their OS and programs on the SSD and documents/pictures/music/movies on a mechanical hdd since those items see no benefit from residing on an SSD. Try that.


For this one, you should re-read my original post. I did not say I was going to store "music" on it. :roll: Well, I understand the misunderstanding. So here it is: I specifically referred to my sound sample libraries for my orchestral virtual instrument plugins. To further clarify, I was referring to my DAW (digital audio workstation) system and software. I currently have something more than a terabyte of sound samples. Loading the bigger ones can take a significant amount of time. I would think that an SSD would improve this, at least for some of the libraries.

3) If you really don't want them and think they're useless, I would be happy to take one or both of them off your hands for free. Send me a PM and I'll give you my mailing address!


I appreciate good humor, but your comment was a slap that's based on a totally incorrect premise. I was not saying I wanted to get rid of my SSDs, but instead I was looking for some suggestions as to how I could put them to use given that my original intent is kind of no longer necessary.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:20 am

TheEmrys wrote:Why are you hesitant to put Win 7 on them?


Do you find Win 8 to be that much better. For myself, Win 7 is my new Win 2k. Great, stable, does everything I need and want, and its going to be supported for quite a while still. Why not throw Win 7 on it, load up all your sound files on to a mechanical hd as suggested above, and enjoy the fast boot and app/game load times?


I am planning to build a new system in the coming months. I am not an expert with sysprep methods, so I'll probably need to reinstall Windows 7.

I do feel that Win 8 is an even better performer, especially for a DAW. The only thing that holds me back is the lack of the start button and start menu. If third party solutions fix that, then I think my preference would be to migrate to Windows 8 sooner rather than later.

In any event, the odds are good that my hardware build will be accompanied by a reinstall of Windows. So transferring Windows 7 now to an SSD and then having to rebuild it later would be a bit of a hassle. Hence my example of using the SSDs to maybe store some of my sample libraries, because that could be an ongoing purpose.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:37 am

BIF wrote: I currently have something more than a terabyte of sound samples. Loading the bigger ones can take a significant amount of time. I would think that an SSD would improve this, at least for some of the libraries.

Well, then try it - put the largest, "slowest" (in terms of loading speed) samples on SSD, see if it improves the loading times. You'll never know until you try it yourself... Use one of them for this purpose, leave the other one for fresh OS installation once you'll decide which Windows version you prefer.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:44 am

i migrate older SSD's to other machines. If you really use only one machine then I guess you could use the spare SSD as a scratch disk, dedicated swapfile, install frequently-loaded applications on it, host some VM's on it....

I found that the best use of my old SSD was to donate it to my office, where it became my primary hdd after a lunch hour of clonezilla.
If I had another spare I'd probably donate it to a family member.

RAID seems pointless on an SSD so the next best thing to do is find a mechanical drive you can replace it with where it will be apreciated.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:59 am

Thanks guys; both good bits of advice. :D
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:38 pm

1) Sorry for the feisty comment. It was unprofessional.

2) I do like JohnC's idea about trying out some sound samples on an SSD right now. That way, when you go to Win8, you will have a good game plan about whether or not that improves load times. At that time though, I would suggest putting the OS on the Vertex 3, and the sound samples on the M4 (if you find that having them on an SSD helps) since the marvell controller will generally deal better with the incompressible data.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:56 pm

DPete, thank you for the comments, and for the recommendation about which drive to use for the OS; I was not aware of the differences.

And...no apology is necessary. I could have and should have been more clear in my original post. :D
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:00 pm

I don't think DPete27 looked at benchmarks and was just going by the 'Sandforce is slower with compressed data' generalization. It can be true for writes but isn't true for reads, it sounds like you'll be reading the sound samples much more than writing them. In addition, it looks like SF-22xx synchronous NAND drives like the Vertex 3 may even be faster at writes then the M4. For the same drive generation it's probably true, but the M4 uses an updated controller from the older C300 so they aren't really the same generation of drives imo.

Here's a comparison of the two: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/352?vs=355 (scroll down for incompressible)

Either one will be better than loading gigbytes of data off a HDD though :)
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:05 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:I don't think DPete27 looked at benchmarks and was just going by the 'Sandforce is slower with compressed data' generalization. It can be true for writes but isn't true for reads

The M4 is generally better at reads, which I assumed BIF would be doing the most when he said "loading sound sample libraries." Your anandtech link (which I also looked at before my post) confirms that with only a few exceptions if you elminate all write metrics from the benchmark suite. (sorry, I like M4 as blue and the Vertex 3 as black) And yes, writes are a bit "slower" on the M4, but they are still better than a mechanical hdd. In the end, we're probably splitting hairs that nobody will be able to notice without benchmark graphs but I would still put the OS on the Vertex 3 if it were my choice since I believe its the better all-around performing drive.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:01 pm

Yes either one would work great, but I am unsure how you're getting the M4 is better at reads from those benchmarks. Are you talking about the small-KB Queue Depth 4 IOMeter tests? I'm not sure if those represent his workload. I usually go by the more real-world tests on Anandtech and other websites.

Anyway, I do think he should clone his OS over to one or the other and use the other for his samples if you're also saying that. It's at least $300-400 of hardware sitting there unused, might as well get something out of it.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:08 am

MadManOriginal wrote: I usually go by the more real-world tests on Anandtech and other websites

See, I go by individual metrics in cases like this since tests like anandtechs storage bench are by default weighted and will therefore favor certain traits over others that may or may not be relevant for the intended usage. For media-type workloads I'm looking at low queue depths (4 or less) and sequential transfers of 8KB, 128KB, and 256KB. And since the focus seems to be on load times here, I'm looking at reads. In my mind, that's the correct approach for this usage, but I'm not above admitting I'm wrong. I just wanted to justify where I'm getting my claims from.

MadManOriginal wrote:Anyway, I do think he should clone his OS over to one or the other and use the other for his samples if you're also saying that. It's at least $300-400 of hardware sitting there unused, might as well get something out of it.

I completely agree. I was just trying to take it a step further to quantify which SSD would be best for the OS and which would be best for the sound files. Either way, BIF can't lose. I'm still interested to see if keeping the sound files on an SSD does in fact speed up load times.
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:20 am

BIF wrote:I do feel that Win 8 is an even better performer, especially for a DAW. The only thing that holds me back is the lack of the start button and start menu. If third party solutions fix that, then I think my preference would be to migrate to Windows 8 sooner rather than later.


Try this: http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:28 am

Have been very busy this week but I wanted to touch base with you...

MadManOriginal wrote:Anyway, I do think he should clone his OS over to one or the other and use the other for his samples if you're also saying that. It's at least $300-400 of hardware sitting there unused, might as well get something out of it.

DPete27 wrote:I completely agree. I was just trying to take it a step further to quantify which SSD would be best for the OS and which would be best for the sound files. Either way, BIF can't lose. I'm still interested to see if keeping the sound files on an SSD does in fact speed up load times.

I also agree.

First, I plan to use one of the SSDs for the heaviest, slowest sample library for some A/B comparison testing.
After that, I'll use the other for an OS for additional A/B comparison testing.

Separate testing so that I don't clutter up my results. It may take a couple weeks to find the time, but I'll report back when I know more.

Thank you both for your input!
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:27 pm

A somewhat dumb question:

Can I image my Windows "C" partitions from the spinner drive to one of the SSDs (as two partitions) and boot from the SSD, or is this a full-blown sysprep vs. re-install decision that I'll need to make?
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:03 pm

Yes.

So long as the partition can hold the total volume of files from the image.

ImageX doesn't require sysprep. :) That's only needed if you're changing hardware (motherboard) too!
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Re: What to do with my two SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:17 pm

I was planning to either use Acronis Disk Director or Acronis True Image....but, ImageX? I'll google!

Yes, the SSD in question is 240+ and the two boot partitions are probably no bigger than 80-90 GB each. I was hoping to put them both on the SSD as a multiboot environment. Apps and data all reside on separate partitions, except for some annoying products such as Cakewalk Sonar, who puts a lot of crap on the C partition without permission... :x

EDIT: Not changing motherboard or processor. That project is scheduled for "sometime after" Windows 8 comes out.

EDIT 2: And I forgot to say thank you.... Thank you!
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