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Is your SSD REALLY faster than your hard drive? Or do you just assume so?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Off-Topic
Is your SSD REALLY faster than your hard drive? Or do you just assume so?

Metthew's Avatar


Metthew
11.14.2014 , 01:00 PM | #11
There is no check on background processes OP.
Erhart / Wilhemine | Darth Malgus | <Take a Seat>

Malastare's Avatar


Malastare
11.14.2014 , 01:12 PM | #12
I'm not going to attempt to quote that whole thing, but I'll take a little bit of time to point out a couple issues:

You spent a lot of time talking about caching, which is important, but you managed to both overstate the amount of caching that's done, and miss a few of the most important ones. Now, I'll quickly mention that the pagefile isn't a cache (its paged memory), that windows indexing doesn't increase I/O performance (its a dictionary build), and that the cache on a CPU or DIMM does not operate in the same way or for the same purpose as OS disk caches or even I/O caches on storage devices. The topic is still important to bring up, because many people are completely unaware of it.

Now, your testing completely ignored the OS disk cache, that is, the cache thats managed by your OS and stored in that massive amount of memory that you've got. A fresh boot will prevent most of the crossover effects (except for the stuff that Superfetch does), but that cache is still there, and it operates at RAM speeds, instead of speeds limited by PCIe or SATA interfaces. Sure, its applied in the same manner in both tests, and everyone is going to see some level. It doesn't invalidate your tests, it simply changes some of your conclusions.

In your tests, you tried to control for everything... except one of the most important factors: This is a multiplayer game. Look at your results again. Specifically, look at the tests with the highest variance. Notice how most of them coincide with areas that are routinely "busy". Those "busy" areas involve extra network traffic to fetch user/NPC data ... and extra disk I/O as those models, textures, and animations are loaded. Those extra fetches are unpredictable, and with your lack of any sort of averaging, the results simply don't say much... even less than what you report them to say.

Instead, here is a better test: I run SWTOR on a SATA-II SSD. My wife runs SWTOR on a 2.5" 7200rpm HDD. We play together, at the same time. That means we're making the same transitions, at the same time, needing to load the same environment data. I routinely load Alderaan and Hoth a full 15-20s faster than she does. The variance of one load to another might be another 20s, but she has never once loaded those planets faster than I have. In fact, I don't think she's loaded any planet faster than I have.

That is the measure of the improvement of SSDs. Do they improve FPS? Not measurably. Do they reduce load times? Yes. Measurably. Reliably. The amount is going to depend on the drives you're comparing, the CPUs and the available memory. However, the SSD is always going to be reliably faster.

So, your wall of text could have been summed up as such:

SSDs are faster than HDDs. Even a slow mid-range SSD will load faster than a high-speed HDD. The difference will be reliable and measurable. It might be a matter of 5 seconds or 30 seconds. The faster the SSD and the slower the HDD, the more it will matter. It's up to each user to decide just how much that is worth to them.

Sadly, your experiments weren't rigorous enough to say anything more than that, and in many cases, the lack of rigor undermined their validity.

DOHboy's Avatar


DOHboy
11.14.2014 , 01:12 PM | #13
Not sure what you were trying to accomplish other than give anecdotal evidence of a complex system.

SSDs are much better where you have static data written once and read many times
HHD are better where you require random access to different data or are writing data more than reading.

Thats a given, If you read the data multiple times odds are you will get better performance over all with an SSD. This would be why having your OS reading from an SSD increases your load times, you write it once and access multiple times. Is also why having more memory with an SSD is helpful since virtual memory accessed on an SSD is a very BAD idea. Putting your movie library on an SSD is a good thing if you don't change movies that often. Having a database of daily inventory and stuff like that, generally not so good on an SSD.

You will see a decrease in load times for accessing new areas in the game, but that will be affected as much by loading into memory than reading from the SSD. A few 100MB or so of context swapping probably not significant. Read a 100+ Gigabytes on a regular basis, and you will see a significant difference in performance from an SSD and an HDD. Now if you have a super fast HDD and an older SSD you may not see much of a performance boost in general.

But a new SSD will blow a brand new HDD out of the water on Read times, be a wash on write times, and will be anemic on random access times. Where the HDD shines is in volume per $$$ and random access.

Think of it this way, treat the SDD like a CD-rw/DVD-Rw if you find yourself having to burn new CD/DVDs all the time, an HDD is probably better, if you find yourself writing it once or so and accessing it many times, SDD will give you better performance.

BuriDogshin's Avatar


BuriDogshin
11.14.2014 , 01:18 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
No. None of that.
SSD reliability is abysmal - being a budding technology, you have much more chance of a SSD failing than a HDD ...
Nonsense. I have been using SSDs since 2009, somewhere around 20 of them, and none have ever failed. Every single one of them is still in use, even my old 80GB Intel X25 SSDs. On the other hand, I've tossed several HDDs that have died during that time, even though I use more SSDs than HDDs. Check this article on SSD reliability, it is way better than HDD. And here's an article on HDD reliability, showing some have annual failure rates as high as 24%. If you have an studies to the contrary, for name-brand SSDs like Intel, Micron, and Samsung, let's see them.

Very few PCs are quiet enough for HDD noise to make any difference.
Two of my desktops and all of my laptops are quiet enough.

SSD vs HDD weight difference is a total joke, maybe 200 grams in a 20-kg machine.
You haul around a 20Kg laptop? If so I'm impressed - by your stupidity.

The power draw of SSD is about 3W as opposed to about 6W of a HDD... amidst 70W CPU and 300W video cards.
Average power draw of a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD is under 1 watt.
My responses are in this color.
Going Preferred January 31, 2015.

BuriDogshin's Avatar


BuriDogshin
11.14.2014 , 01:28 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by DOHboy View Post
Not sure what you were trying to accomplish other than give anecdotal evidence of a complex system.

SSDs are much better where you have static data written once and read many times
HHD are better where you require random access to different data or are writing data more than reading.
Why do you say that latter? HDDs are bloody awful at random access. Rotational latency and head settling times are huge, which means random access to any data not cached in the HDD's track buffer or cache RAM is very slow compared to SSDs. That is why IOPS are substantially faster for SSDs: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOPS, for example, which gives HDD IOPS in the 75-200 range, and SSD IOPS int he 8,000 to 120,000 range (for non-raid SATA devices -- PCIe SSDs are even faster).
Going Preferred January 31, 2015.

Heal-To-Full's Avatar


Heal-To-Full
11.14.2014 , 01:34 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by BuriDogshin View Post
My responses are in this color.
There's a convenient quote tag just so you don't have to put your responses in color.
As a PC expert, using it should be second nature for you.
Why it's not is a mystery to everyone.


Quote: Originally Posted by BuriDogshin View Post
Nonsense. I have been using SSDs since 2009, somewhere around 20 of them, and none have ever failed.
I have been using SSDs since 2008, IDK how many, probably about 20 too, with 6 in my PC right now, and two of them have failed. One fatally, one non-fatally. I lost some semi-valuable data in one of these crashes. Now I backup everything from my SSD to my HDD NAS weekly.

One of those failed was Intel X25-E (which shouldn't be allowed to freaking fail at all). Another was Intel 320.


Quote: Originally Posted by BuriDogshin View Post
Two of my desktops and all of my laptops are quiet enough.
Good for you. I have a few $1,500+ laptops and none of them is quiet enough at full power (running SWTOR, overclocked via SetFSB, all power settings maxed) to even come close to Samsung M8 that I run in my HDD-equipped laptops.

My desktop uses MORA Pro, which if you don't know about, you aren't allowed to say the word "quiet", and it's only just quiet enough for HDD at seek to be heard... barely, when both GPU are running Furmark or SWTOR at overclock.


Quote: Originally Posted by BuriDogshin View Post
You haul around a 20Kg laptop? If so I'm impressed - by your stupidity.
As I'm by yours - 20kg is the typical weight for a fully equipped desktop.
Lightweight laptops don't let you pick what drive to use, the drive comes preinstalled and non-upgradeable.
What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence of the Sith race and the Sith people, the glory of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the Empire, so that we may fulfill the mission allotted us by the Force itself. Everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility.

Projawa's Avatar


Projawa
11.14.2014 , 01:35 PM | #17
I replaced my spindle drive with an SSD 2 years ago. The load times were faster by 5-15 seconds depending on the zone, time of day. Fleet load times depend on how many players happen to be in your vicinity when you're loading in. If your toon is loading into an isolated area of the fleet in an instance with 5 people, it will be much faster than if you're loading into the GTN area on instance 1 surrounded by 40 players on screen at prime time.

OP is quite a wall of text post, but it offers little useful or practical information and thus qualifies as borderline trolling, techie mast-urbation, or idle discussion for its own sake.

Malastare's Avatar


Malastare
11.14.2014 , 01:38 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
SSD reliability is abysmal - being a budding technology, you have much more chance of a SSD failing than a HDD,
Citation please.

Here's one: "According to a researcher at electronics market intelligence outfit IHS, annual failure rates of SSD run around 1.5 per cent with HDDs nearer five per cent. If true, that does rather blow SSD reliability concerns out of the water." Here's another: SSD MTBF: 2 million hours, HDD MTBF: 1.5 million hours.

Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
and failed SSD have a recoverability of about 30%, at well over $1,000 when possible at all, as opposed to 90%+ HDD recovery rates at typically ~$500*(drives+TB) recovery cost.
Only a tiny fraction of drives have paid recovery done on them, and most of those are corporate drives. This isn't applicable to retail users. And even then, most SSD failures result in read-only drives. Most HDD failures result in non-functioning scrap.

Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
Very few PCs are quiet enough for HDD noise to make any difference.
On the contrary. Even in "noisy" computers, hard drive seek noise is one of the more readily identified sounds. This can be even more prevalent in laptop computers.

Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
SSD vs HDD weight difference is a total joke, maybe 200 grams in a 20-kg machine.
1TB SSD: 54g
1.5TB 2.5" HDD: 180g (hard to find a reliable 1TB sample)
1TB 3.5" HDD: 450g

Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
The power draw of SSD is about 3W as opposed to about 6W of a HDD... amidst 70W CPU and 300W video cards.
1TB SSD: 0.3W Idle
1TB HDD: 6.1W Idle
R9-280 Video Card: 207W (loaded)

BuriDogshin's Avatar


BuriDogshin
11.14.2014 , 01:48 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Heal-To-Full View Post
There's a convenient quote tag
Responding to your post wasn't worth the effort, color-coding was easier

Now, I posted some studies on SSD and HDD reliability that show SSDs are very reliable, and that at least some HDDs have atrocious failure rates. Where are your studies supporting your claims to the contrary? It's time to put up or shut up.

That you might have gotten unlucky, or hooked some SSDs to cheap power supplies that fried them with low quality power, or put them in systems with inadequate cooling that caused them to overheat, or scuffed your feet across the carpet before working on them, just to give some possible examples, doesn't mean that, when used properly, SSDs are not reliable.

Now, I'm sorry if, for example, you have WD stock and it's getting hammered by the shift to SSDs, or if you work for an HDD manufacturer and are worried about your job, but face the facts:
Precision-machined high-speed rotating media with repositionable heads flying impossibly close above it is a technology whose time is past, and the only reason to use it these days is because it's cheap. And even that advantage is fading away over time.
Going Preferred January 31, 2015.

Heal-To-Full's Avatar


Heal-To-Full
11.14.2014 , 01:54 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Malastare View Post
And even then, most SSD failures result in read-only drives.
You just zeroed your credibility with this statement.

No, they don't.
There's so few SSD that have run out their write cycles that you'll never find one outside of a lab specifically testing their life endurance.
Not just most, but virtually all SSD failures in the wild, i.e. outside of endurance testing in a lab, have resulted in little aluminum bricks.


I won't bother to reply to the rest because, while most of the data you presented is correct, your credibility has been zeroed. So while I could explain how a difference of 200 or 400 grams doesn't matter in a 20kg PC standing on a 50kg table next to a 10kg display and 80kg speakers, your failure above has freed me of this arduous duty.
What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence of the Sith race and the Sith people, the glory of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the Empire, so that we may fulfill the mission allotted us by the Force itself. Everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility.