What do you load on to SSD?

Started May 26, 2013 | Discussions
Jim Cockfield
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ditto for Windows pagefile
In reply to Ho72, May 29, 2013

Ho72 wrote:

Binary Hulled Ion wrote:

... but in a desktop you get the most reliable configuration putting all of the stuff the computer reads from on the SSD (boot & apps) and all of the places it commonly needs to write to often on the HDD (pagefile/swap, temporary files, data).

The files you advocate banishing to the HHD are exactly the types that benefit most from SSD's strengths.

Exactly.

In addition to your quote from Adobe,  here's one from Microsoft about using an SSD for the pagefile (pagefile.sys is used for virtual memory as needed):

"In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD."

See this page about SSDs and you'll see a section about use of an SSD for the pagefile that quote came from:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx

Conversely, having your apps and OS on the SSD (which everyone wants to do) accomplishes little since, once everything is loaded into RAM, the SSD is left twiddling its virtual thumbs. To quote Adobe:

Solid-state disks

To gain the greatest benefit from an SSD, use it as the scratch disk. Using it as a scratch disk gives you significant performance improvements if you have images that don’t fit entirely in RAM. For example, swapping tiles between RAM and an SSD is much faster than swapping between RAM and a hard disk.

Installing Photoshop on a solid-state disk (SSD) allows Photoshop to launch fast, probably in less than a second. But that speedier startup is the only time savings you experience. That’s the only time when much data is read from the SSD.

Linky

Write wear leading to accelerated SSD failure is not a concern in client-side applications.

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Jim Cockfield
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TLC versus MLC
In reply to Robert Schoner, May 29, 2013

As an FYI, that's not the best SSD around for write speed.

Basically, the Samsung 120GB 840 SSD is using a new type of memory cell known as TLC.

It's designed to be their new "budget" model, and you get slower write speeds with smaller drives (the 120GB model is rated up to 130MB/Second).   See specs here:

http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/memory-storage/MZ-7TD120BW-specs

Larger sizes of the standard 840 series drives have faster write speeds if you look at their specs (in addition to longer life expectancy).

In addition, all of the 840 Pro (versus standard 840 SSDs) have faster write speeds compared to that drive, as they use faster MLC memory cells (whereas the standard 840 drives use a new type of memory known as TLC that is not as fast).

Another downside to the standard 840 (versus 840 Pro) is that the newer TLC memory cells are going to have reduced P/E (Program/Erase) compared to the MLC memory cells used in the older 830 series drives and newer 840 Pro series drives.

Most reviewers say that TLC memory cells (as used in the new standard Samsung 840 series drives) are designed for 1000 P/E Cycles.   In contrast, the older 830 series drives and newer 840 Pro series drives use MLC memory cells that are rated for 3000 P/E cycles per cell.

MLC memory is probably going to last several times as long as the TLC memory cells used in the standard 840 models (and smaller drives like the 120GB Samsung 840 are going to have lower life expectancy compared to larger models).

The new 840 series [standard versus pro] drives are the only SSDs on the market so far using the new TLC memory cells.    So, only time will tell about reliability.

IOW, personally, I'd have spent the extra cash for a 840 Pro model instead (and the 840 pro also has a longer 5 year warranty).  That way, I'd get a drive that should last several times as long, *and* have much faster write speeds (as TLC is much slower for write speeds, especially with a smaller 120GB Drive).

But, for most uses, you shouldn't have a problem, as even the standard 840 drives should be able to last a long time.   See this article about TLC versus MLC endurance for more details

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand

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Binary Hulled Ion
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Depends on your objective...
In reply to Jim Cockfield, May 29, 2013

If you're looking for fast boots and program loading, then my advice is spot on. Additionally, if you do your research you'll see what I'm talking about how frequent writes are menace #1 to any SSD, and a pagefile/swap is by definition frequent writes. But if your computer has a sufficient amount of RAM, it doesn't even use this, so it's a non-sequitur. When it does, it assigns memory blocks which are not high-priority to the pagefile so that fast access is not an issue anyways.

As for data, it's rare that you need anything more than SATA speeds on document files and the like. Only when dealing with large projects (video editing, batch raw processing) does it become an issue.

I'm coming from the standpoint of reliability over performance. If you don't care about the $300 you dropped on an SSD lasting more than three years, then by all means, go the other route.

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malch
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Re: Depends on your objective...
In reply to Binary Hulled Ion, May 29, 2013

Binary Hulled Ion wrote:

If you're looking for fast boots and program loading, then my advice is spot on. Additionally, if you do your research you'll see what I'm talking about how frequent writes are menace #1 to any SSD, and a pagefile/swap is by definition frequent writes.

I hammered my old 80GB Intel SSD for 3.5 years. The system was used 10-12 hours per day, every day, for the entire period. It was configured with operating system. applications, swap, and multiple cache folders of various kinds on the SSD. In other words, every i/o intensive activity I could find. I bought the darn thing for frequent writes!

At the end of all that, reported media wear was about 3%. In other words, I could have hammered away for the rest of my life but it was time to upgrade to 256GB.

Media wear is a complete non-issue (in normal home computer/workstation applications).

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Binary Hulled Ion
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Re: Depends on your objective...
In reply to malch, May 29, 2013

Okay, I'll back off, seeing as I myself don't own an SSD. I was just replying based on the tech journals I've read.

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teribithia
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to Robert Schoner, May 30, 2013

The SSD advantage is load speed, so I just use it for the Window OS.

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BrianPriceUK
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Re: SSD question related to Lightroom
In reply to GregWCIL, May 31, 2013

Greg

Memory is not that important, 8Gb is fine.

Lightroom only works on the previews, the raw files are not moved or accessed once the previews are built. LR keeps all the operations in a separate (.xml) file, and applies it to the raw file during export. If you use DNG files, the xml data is included in the dng file so it can be opened in Photoshop or imported into another Lightoom setup.

Brian

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Abrak
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Re: SSD question related to Lightroom
In reply to BrianPriceUK, May 31, 2013

So I have a question.

I understand that the generally agreed most efficient use for a PC is something along the lines of an SSD for OS and Apps and a HDD for data. This is what I have 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD. My notebook is getting pretty old now and I am thinking of upgrading but I intend to wait until the new intel chips are out.

Still I am wondering whether to go with an entire SSD setup with a new computer. Chances are by then I can have a 256GB SSD for OS and Apps and a 1TB SSD for data. So I know that you get the best 'bang for your buck' with an SSD for the OS and Apps, so I realize that an SSD for data is not going to give me a 'large' performance kicker.

I really wanted to know if using an SSD for data was 'effectively a total waste of money' on the basis that there would be no noticeable improvement in performance compared to an HDD or whether it is a 'relatively expensive addition to gain maximum performance'. It seems prices have fallen quite a long way and maybe it is about time to move entirely SSD.

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SushiEater
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to Robert Schoner, Jun 1, 2013

OS on SSD and all of the software on SSD.

Everything else is on the 3tb RAID 0.

SSD only helps because of the random access is close to zero. Speed really does not make any difference.

I have tried very large panorama files stitched  from many D800 files to open and write in PS6 from SSD and the Raid. I could not see any difference whatsoever unless your files are humongous. But then you will ruin life of your SSD if you are constantly writing humongous files.

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malch
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to SushiEater, Jun 1, 2013

SushiEater wrote:

 But then you will ruin life of your SSD if you are constantly writing humongous files.

Again? Seriously?

I hammered my old 80GB Intel SSD for 3.5 years. The system was used 10-12 hours per day, every day, for the entire period. It was configured with operating system. applications, swap, and multiple cache folders of various kinds on the SSD. In other words, every i/o intensive activity I could find. I bought the darn thing for frequent writes!

At the end of all that, reported media wear was about 3%. In other words, I could have hammered away for the rest of my life but it was time to upgrade to 256GB.

Media wear is a complete non-issue (in normal home computer/workstation applications).

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Robert Schoner
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to malch, Jun 1, 2013

Hi,

How did you get "reported media wear" ? Is that from TRIM or another utility.

Thanks,

Bob Schoner

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malch
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to Robert Schoner, Jun 1, 2013

Robert Schoner wrote:

How did you get "reported media wear" ? Is that from TRIM or another utility.

In most cases (including mine) from the vendor (Intel) supplied management utility. It's obtained through the S.M.A.R.T. interface but you'd need to use an app that has been programmed with the device specific parameters I think.

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SushiEater
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to malch, Jun 1, 2013

Again and seriously.

What camera do you have?

Try constantly doing large multi-row panoramas with D800 made out of 80-100 files saved in Tiff and when we will talk. In one month of doing it I have "destroyed" one year of SSD life.

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SushiEater
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to malch, Jun 1, 2013

Or you can simply use free version of SSDLife.

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QuicksilverCA
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to Robert Schoner, Jun 3, 2013

Just load your O/S and essential Apps like Photoshop.
Everything else can go on the other drive.

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malch
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to SushiEater, Jun 3, 2013

SushiEater wrote:

Again and seriously.

What camera do you have?

Nikon D200 (10MP) and Sony NEX-6 (16MP). I always shoot RAW.

Try constantly doing large multi-row panoramas with D800 made out of 80-100 files saved in Tiff and when we will talk. In one month of doing it I have "destroyed" one year of SSD life.

I've done plenty of panos and HDR's with no problem.

Now, it depends what you mean by "constantly". If you mean literally continuous write operations 24/7, then I agree media wear in an issue. But that kind of workload will reduce the life of a conventional spinner too.

As for your experience... I wonder what make and model of SSD was involved. Also the OS, and whether or not the SSD firmware was up-to-date.

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Robert Schoner
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to Robert Schoner, Jun 3, 2013

Hi,

Thanks to everyone for the input; it's been interesting. The components arrive today but, unfortunately, I have to go back to travelling a bit for work. So, I probably will not have anything built until the weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

BTW, I ordered an i5-3570K for the CPU and yesterday TigerDirect has the new Intel chips. Oh well.

Bob Schoner

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SushiEater
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to malch, Jun 3, 2013

OCZ Vertex 120GB, current firmware for that time. Win7 64bit. They just came out with new one and I already installed it.

I was alpha testing new software for stitching multi-row panoramas so I decided to go back to my archives for few years and also current files.
To make it faster processing  I was copying and removing files from SSD otherwise such large files would take a long time to write. I was not just processing each set once obviously. I did not keep track of how many TBs were written because frankly I don't care. The way prices are dropping and sizes are going up it was not a big loss of only 1 year out of 9 but it could happen. Besides I have 2 of them so I can use one as a backup.

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malch
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to SushiEater, Jun 3, 2013

SushiEater wrote:

OCZ Vertex 120GB, current firmware for that time. Win7 64bit. They just came out with new one and I already installed it.

I was alpha testing new software for stitching multi-row panoramas so I decided to go back to my archives for few years and also current files.
To make it faster processing  I was copying and removing files from SSD otherwise such large files would take a long time to write. I was not just processing each set once obviously. I did not keep track of how many TBs were written because frankly I don't care. The way prices are dropping and sizes are going up it was not a big loss of only 1 year out of 9 but it could happen. Besides I have 2 of them so I can use one as a backup.

So, in practical terms, it wasn't much of an issue!

It seems that every day we have someone here warning us about SSD media wear issues. But try and find a credible claim of someone actually wearing out their SSD. Those are hard to find and almost impossible when the OS supports TRIM and the workload doesn't involve continuous (24/7) high speed writes.

If the SSD sky was really falling, we'd be hearing about worn out SSD's all the time.

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SushiEater
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Re: What do you load on to SSD?
In reply to malch, Jun 4, 2013

For me it wasn't an issue. But for someone who is going to process ALL high resolution photos like someone who uses D800 and takes several hundred thousand images per year it might be too much.

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