Re-visiting HDDs.

Discussion in 'Memory and Storage' started by VirtualLarry, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    I think for someone with a lot of RAM (in relative sense) who multi-tasks (ie, browsing with not so many tabs open while doing something else that writes to disk)....it could hypothetically help.

    But for someone (with limited RAM) that likes to have a lot tabs open (and doesn't multi-task) having system RAM allocated to RAMDIsk might cause them to page out more frequently....so overall, probably not a good idea..

    EDIT: Back in post #20 I have a link to free RAMDisks one of which is ImDisk which has an option to dynamically allocate RAM.

    [​IMG]

    I wonder if that could work for someone in between the two use case scenarios I described in this post?
     
    #26 cbn, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  2. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Super Moderator
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    Hmm, is there a cutoff point of CPU / RAM, that one would willfully choose between an SSD and a HDD?

    I've basically been "SSD everywhere". But the experiment with the G3258 @ 4.2 with the 160GB WD Blue, made me re-think my position, in terms of price/performance.

    I'm currently booted into one of my FM1 A4-3420 2.8Ghz APU rigs, with 2x2GB DDR3. And Windows Update is running. And the system is kind of slowly doing it's thing, although, my web browser is still pretty snappy, and MalwareBytes even did a scan while I'm waiting. So I guess all of that multi-tasking, even when the disk is under heavy load, is due to the SSD keeping things more smooth. If I were to use an HDD, the OS might become more unusable with a HDD. I should probably test that, though.

    Edit: The point was at what price-point? The 120GB refurb Corsair MLC SATA SSD in this box, was like $40, but non-refurbs now go for nearly $80. It's the most expensive part in this box. The CPU / mobo / heatsink was under $50, the RAM was like $34, or maybe half that, I just threw in a DVD drive because the slot was left open on the case. (ebay special system-builder case, case looks great, but was missing a front 5.25" panel.)
     
    #27 VirtualLarry, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  3. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    For me it would depend on the set of tasks and the hardware at various levels. How much RAM vs. how fast is the hard drive? With 16GB of RAM, I think any modern HDD (ie, 1TB platter with 32MB or 64MB buffer) could do fairly well (Windows 10 does aggressively cache into RAM if enough is there).

    But then if the person doesn't need much capacity a 120GB SSD is no brainer in the same situation. Why not take the extra speed if the person has only 60GB data for example?
     
    #28 cbn, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  4. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    OK, so fast CPU with slow low capacity storage vs. slow CPU but fast low capacity storage.

    Depends on the task (assuming they both have 2 x 2GB RAM).

    P.S. I don't think the G3258 iGPU is very far behind the A4-3420 iGPU which has 160 VLIW4 stream processors and can take DDR3 1600 (better than the DDR3 1333 of the G3258 on a non-Z board).
     
  5. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Super Moderator
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    Another possible reason for using a HDD - this ECS A55M FM1 motherboard, allows limited bus-clock overclocking capability. With a SATA6G SSD in AHCI mode, the highest you can go is around 106. With a HDD in IDE mode, you might be able to push it as high as 122. Which, given the 2.8Ghz APU, is a fairly decent OC (3.15Ghz).

    Will try that.


    Edit: I was a little off. I was able to get up to 116 bus clock, which translates to 3.265Ghz with a 28x multi. Still, I was having occasional graphics crashes. I set the iGPU to 500, and the RAM to 533Mhz, 2T-9-9-9-28. CnQ and CPB and C6 off.

    Edit: Had to settle for 115 bus clock, or 3.235Ghz.
     
    #30 VirtualLarry, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  6. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    One good thing about today's tech is that is getting cheaper.....so the opportunity for creativity is greater now than it has ever been before.

    For example, the iPhone SE ($129.99 on prepaid) can record 4K30 video and has a pretty good camera.

    This plus the higher price of SSDs I think is good reason to consider hard drive for more budget systems. (Not all of them....just more of them)
     
  7. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    WD 4TB Red 3.5" 7200 rpm HDD vs. 16GB Optane + WD 4TB Red 3.5" 7200 rpm HDD (booting and opening apps timed with a stop watch):



    Hard drive:

    Boot 1 minute 5 seconds
    Office 10 seconds
    Blizzard Battle.net 16 seconds
    Overwatch 29 seconds

    16GB Optane + Hard drive:

    Boot 39 seconds
    Office 2 to 3 seconds
    Blizzard Battle.net 6 to7 seconds
    Overwatch 17 to 18 seconds

    Here is one with NVMe SSD and SATA SSD vs, WD Red Pro 4TB 3.5" HDD:



    Samsung 960 EVO PCIe 3.0 x 4 NVMe M.2 SSD

    Boot 6 seconds
    Call of Duty Infinite Warefare 11 seconds
    Civilization VI 43 seconds
    Premiere Pro CC 6 seconds
    Z-zip 61 seconds

    Crucial MX300 SATA 2.5" SSD

    Boot 9 seconds
    Call of Duty Infinite Warefare 25 seconds
    Civilization VI 53 seconds
    Premiere Pro CC 11 seconds
    Z-zip 251 seconds

    WD Red Pro 4TB 3.5" 7200 rpm HDD

    Boot 36 seconds
    Call of Duty Infinite Warefare 53 seconds
    Civilization VI 66 seconds
    Premiere Pro CC 63 seconds
    Z-zip 585 seconds
     
    #32 cbn, Oct 14, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  8. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    For someone wanting to run 2 or more hard drives in RAID-0 (for OS), but is concerned about DATA loss how about Intel Matrix RAID*?

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005789/technologies.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Matrix_RAID

    [​IMG]

    So what you have is one partiton of the array as RAID-0, then another partition for data you are concerned about as RAID-1 (or whatever). This way if one of the hard drive fails you only lose what was in the RAID-0 partition.

    *This, of course, requires a chipset that supports RAID
     
    #33 cbn, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  9. dave_the_nerd

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    You can do the same thing with Windows softraid, and not be tied to a motherboard/chipset.
     
    cbn likes this.
  10. tanghao

    tanghao Junior Member

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    16 GB of DDR4 is ~$80 vs 16 GB of Optane for just over $40. Plus, the RAM needs to be replaced with most motherboard upgrades, while one Optane can just be moved from computer to computer over generations.

    RAM drives are great and terrible. I used to use them a lot when it would take eons to save files. It would save tons of frustration. I would save frequently to a RAM drive and save every few hours to the real drive. That frustration of slow drives is gone, that is, until power is lost unexpectedly.
     
  11. whm1974

    whm1974 Platinum Member

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    I don't know if I would even bother with HDDs in building a new system unless it's a very limited budget build. I have two 1TB SSDs and I can really feel a very noticeable difference in performance between my system and those with HDDs. Or at least have an SSD for a OS/application drive, with a HDD for files.
     
  12. Insert_Nickname

    Insert_Nickname Diamond Member

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    If the new machine happens to meet Intel's arbitrary requirements.

    Remember Intel Smart Response Technology? Same strategy, just with early SSDs. But it just fizzled out, because nobody outside a few niches had any use for it. I doubt Optane will be much different.
     
  13. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    Here is another option for HDDs, Microsoft ReadyBoost (uses USB flash drive for cache):

    https://www.techrepublic.com/article/is-readyboost-still-an-effective-tool-in-windows-10/

    P.S. USB Flash drives can be pretty small these days, so this could even work on a laptop:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #38 cbn, Oct 28, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  14. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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    I remember this. There were "mini-projects" appearing in places like Maximum PC mag for rigging a USB flash to short wires and plug so that it fit internally on the motherboard.

    But it seemed to me that the improvements in performance or some aspects of it really weren't worth doing it.

    My system was probably at an optimum factoring in expenditure when I had the Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD cached to an NVME caching volume on the same M.2 NVME with another partition for the OS. I was also using two-tiered caching, so the Barracuda was also cached to RAM. However, although this worked fine by itself, it would cause difficulties with Macrium backup. The trouble went away by limiting the HDD's cache to the NVME volume.

    I eventually added a 250GB 960 EVO for exclusive use as cache, and I replaced the Seagate with a Crucial MX300 2TB SATA SSD. I cached the Crucial to the EVO.

    I would have done just as well to continue with the Seagate cached to the same 960 EVO. Bang for buck just doesn't justify what I spent on the MX300. The Seagate was super-fast cached to an NVME volume.

    But . . . . talk about FAST!! . . . . The main NVME boot disk is cached to 16GB of RAM, and the MX300 cached to the 960EVO. The EVO can cache other drives in the mix as well. But there is only a media drive and the backup drive for Macrium. It wouldn't make sense to add them to the list being cached by the 960 EVO.
     
  15. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    These day there are actually usb ports (that attach directly to the motherboard header) for use inside a computer case too:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200474

    [​IMG]
     
    #40 cbn, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  16. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    I've been using the 2TB 2.5" Firecuda with my HP Z420 workstation for over 2 weeks now (without using the RAM Disk for browser cache) and so far so good. In fact, I feel like this set-up hasn't slowed my browsing down on bit. Granted, I do have 64GB of RAM though.
     
  17. dlerious

    dlerious Senior member

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    It cost me $525 for a 2TB SSD, I bought 4 HGST 4TB drives for $400. I'd love to run an all SSD NAS, but the cost is too much when you're looking at 8TB or more (I have 10 4TB drives for less than 4TB of SSD (I have 8TB in SSD).
     
  18. whm1974

    whm1974 Platinum Member

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    Well a NAS I can see having HDDs instead of SSDs, but I was referring to a personal system not a NAS.
     
  19. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    So I ended using the 2TB 2.5" Firecuda for 50 days as primary storage on my daily driver (tested with both 64GB of RAM and "16GB of RAM" (via 48GB RAM of my 64GB allocated to RAMDisk). At both levels of memory it worked well. Next step will be to put the browser cache in RAMDisk.
     
    #44 cbn, Dec 4, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  20. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Diamond Member

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    Personally, I think the more limited the hardware, the more need for something like an SSD, even if it's the most expensive part in the box.

    Both my HTPC (in sig) and a PC I built for my inlaws (H81/G3220) have an OS image on a backup HDD... I boot into them now and then to update them... it is AGONY waiting, waiting, waiting for them to respond and, particularly, in Windows Update. I think a price point needs to adapt... either your 'point' is a budget build at any cost, or a 'point' where usability trumps absolute cost... I think the SSD is that point.

    Larry, I'm sort of like you... benchmarks are great, but day to day usability is what matters, and, yes, that is very subjective. If you want to have some fun, I'll send you my old 64GB Agility3... load the OS on that and see how what was considered a bottom-end SSD even at the time does against your HDD... :)