How Fast is TOO fast << Processors, USB3, Sata III, SSDs... >>

Discussion in 'Storage Devices and Memory' started by TheFocusElf, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. TheFocusElf

    TheFocusElf Obliviot

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    Mar 1, 2005
    So, I've got a few Corsair SSDs:

    P256 and X128

    The P256 runs the OS and programs
    the X128 Runs the games.

    I have an i7 965

    An Asus x58 Premium with onboard support for USB 3 / SATA 3

    I am living happy... or was until I saw this beast:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148349

    Now when I went from Raptors to SSDs, the improvement was still solid (forget about the change from the 5200 in the laptop to the P128... insane... )

    Is there a sort of point where applications simply can't load any faster?! Is there any reason to buy? Plus it is deeply discounted today (last week was at $750).
     
  2. Optix

    Optix Basket Chassis Staff Member

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    Dec 15, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    This would only be of use to the average user if they wanted to increase the size of their e-peen.

    Programs can load in the blink of an eye if the hardware is there. The only way they could load faster would be to tap into your brain and open before you even think it.

    I believe this would really only benefit people who do a ton of work with really large files.

    I'm impressed by the numbers but not by the price tag. SSD's in general are still too expensive.
     
  3. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    Nov 25, 2009
    UK
    The only thing that's faster would be a PCI-E drive from someone like Fusion-IO, but they are not bootable (yet). Once you take the sata controller out of the equation, you'll get faster IO in both sustained speeds and latency.

    With storage solutions, it's getting to the point whereby the only things that can be improved as far as apps are concerned, is re-write times, latency and data integrity. Sustained reads/writes are only useful on large files, so there is no immediate benefit since apps are separated across 100's-1000's of files. Unless your handling large data files like RAW Movies and databases/archives, you won't notice a huge difference. Yes, some apps will see a benefit, but you are only talking a couple seconds.

    Want faster app load times, you'll want reduced latency, improved re-write and random access times. Going with a drive connected directly to the PCI-E bus would give you that boost. Past that, it's up to the CPU, memory, graphics and network.
     
  4. TheFocusElf

    TheFocusElf Obliviot

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    Mar 1, 2005
    Well I agree, I mean sure clearly I do have an eP33n and a desire to have new stuff, but I look at this, at my Corsair SSDs and at reality and I wonder, how much faster is this actually going to make my system. I am half convinced my new PC boots and loads and runs faster because of the motherboard connections, threading, etc. Had an EVGA mobo x58 which continually gave the FF error (fully functional - no post), and told them to F off. Great customer support, awful quality control.

    Back to the SSD questions, I see it and I don't see my actually USING the extra 100mb/s. The SSDs I have are already fast... so thank you both for answering the question.

    I have seen the PCI-E SSDs on Server applications, intense server applications I should say (others run on the Intel SSD which is marginally better in some studies than a well partitioned v-raptor in raid config.).

    Huh, something to chew on, Sure keeping the money would be nice... =D

    Thank you both fr your replies.
     
  5. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Texas
    Yes! Programs can only load as fast as the slowest bottleneck in the system... if you take the storage medium out of the picture completely, then most likely CPU / processing overhead will become your next bottleneck. But, don't forget most programs are not fully multi-threaded to take advantage of quadcore CPUs (you can forget about 8-threads for a Core i7), so to be really technical it wouldn't be the CPU that is the bottleneck but the software you are running. :p

    Boot times are not 100% dependant on the storage medium. It is a wide mix of factors... the BIOS/chipset/motherboard level optimizations can save as much as 30 seconds off of the boot process compared to motherboards made around 2002. CPU processing is a larger factor, again if the software can only use 2 cores then it is the quality of the processing (not the quantity of the cores) that is another facet to factor in. Take a Core i7 and an AMD Phenom X4 at the same clockspeed, give each only 4 threads, and the the Core i7 will finish processing the task faster.

    But we can discuss the finer points of system bottlenecks for pages... the answer to your question is you should notice a small improvement given the huge speed jumps involved... but you would not see anything earth shattering. You are already using two decent SSDs, and although Samsung controllers aren't the best they are fast enough.

    Intel SSDs are fairly slow in sequential writes which gives the Velociraptor a small chance to compete, but the issue here is access latency. You can RAID all the 10,000K RPM Raptors together that you wish, but it will not improve file access latency for a single file read. A SSD can access a file in 0.1ms versus 7ms for a Velociraptor, or 12ms for a standard hard drive. If you thought that ~5-7ms improvement gained from switching to a Raptor made the system feel fast, then it's not hard to see how switching from 7 to 0.7 would be a big advantage.

    But as you already own those SSDs I don't think it's worth the upgrade. Access latencies are fairly close amongst SSDs, the only real boosts you would see would be much higher IOPs and large sequential read/writes. Only the higher IOPs rate would give you direct benefits in everyday scenarios such as boot load times or programs that involve heavy random file accessing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  6. TheFocusElf

    TheFocusElf Obliviot

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    Mar 1, 2005
    Sale gone and over

    I couldn't not thank you for your reply Kougar, and again to the others. I think there comes a point when you realize you're about to shell out $700 for another Drive that the reality sunk in, and I had the moment of clarity.

    The drive has since returned to its MSRP, and I am very content with my Corsair's for the time being.

    I know there are MANY issues that go into a good post/boot, but I cannot say enough good things about my move from EVGA brand MoBos to Asus. I love it, not only is it faster than EVGAs with the same components, but it also boots every time. I frequently got FF (fully functional) errors where the EVGA boards wouldn't even post (yes, it was replaced numerous times).

    I'll save my coin and put it into a CD for the time being, and save for the next rig!
     
  7. Agent L

    Agent L Obliviot

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Poland
    Why not simply put all this money into RAM and just cache entire HDD at system boot?
    This would certainly eliminate any drive-related bottlenecks, as data will be already in RAM.

    Most programs (ie. Office) are slow because they were designed to be slow. You can throw lighting fast machine at it, but it's still easier for them to make next version even slower.
    You'll never even approach the speed of 400kB program on 486 while loading gigabyte leviathan on i7, i9 or whatever you can get for your home mortgage.
     
  8. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    Nov 25, 2009
    UK
    Simple, memory is volatile, loose power, loose everything. Keeping memory and hard drive in sync is a headache as well, something that is done with great expense in large data-centers. Loading the entire hard drive into memory is also pointless since you're only going to be using less than 1% of it at any given time. Also, memory is extremely expensive compared to a hard disk, even compared to an SSD, $10 per GB vs $4 and $0.5 with hard drives.

    One of the reasons certain office apps are slow is because it actually saves a lot to disk, rather than memory/cache, so as to make sure data is actually safe. Of course, there is the inevitable bloating as well, but an office app today is a lot more complicated than those in the past, whether they need to be is a matter of opinion; your general 9-5 desk worker will barely use 99% of Word; Sys Admin's, system designers, automated scripts, etc will use a lot more, a lot of which isn't possible in older versions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  9. Agent L

    Agent L Obliviot

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Poland
    Yes, but TheFocusElf wanted performance significantly better then his current SSD and that'll deliver.
    We were not talking about data drive, but app drive, which doesn't need persistent changes often.

    In large datacenters, yes. In single HDD-RAM chain, no. There is at least one cache on the drive itself already. System driver does some RAM caching on it's own, too.
    And syncing HDD would be required only after upgrading the program.

    One could say that moving content of magnetic HDD to SSD is pointless because of exactly same reason.

    I'd not call the difference between RAM and SSD extreme. Like what, 5 times more expensive? Less then difference between SSDs and magnetic drives, 50 times more expensive, that's extreme!
    (my costs here include 22% VAT and probably customs too):
    HDD - 0.08$/GB (1.5TB caviar green for about 120$)
    SSD - 4.1$/GB (120GB OCZ vertex for ~500$)(yep, that Crucial is faster and cheaper, that'll be 3.2$/GB with 22% tax)
    RAM - 25$/GB (4GB kingston for ~100$)

    So it's still cheaper to go from SSD to RAM, then from HDD to SSD in first place :)
    And we're talking here about SSDs performing significantly better than TheFocusElf's current stuff. That's way more expensive than 4$/GB.




    I'm talking here about skins, pretty icons, animated menus, annoying "assistants", fading effects and all that stuff that is unnecessary not only to 9-5 worker, but to everyone but salesmen trying to make you buy next version.
    Or writing app in Java.

    Choosing right tool for the task is one of most important skills in life. You don't need Caterpillar 797 to do grocery shopping.
     
  10. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Texas
    The RAMdisk vs HDD debate has been a lengthy one and has gone on for many many years.... The problem is so far SSDs have outperformed RAMdisk hardware drives, or performed closely enough that it simply wasn't worth the jump in hardware prices. The latest one to try was the Acard ANS-9010.

    The cheapest 4GB DDR3 module is $160 at Newegg. Assuming we are using a six bank Core i7 motherboard, 6x4 is 24GB of capacity. 24GB of space is not going to be enough to cache both Windows and Program File directories to disk, especially given the computer will still need 4-6GB of RAM free. It would be possible to cache just some select parts of Windows and some programs, but again only you can decide if a 24GB RAMdisk is worth $960 to you. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  11. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    Nov 25, 2009
    UK
    Which is why i suggest a PCI-E drive instead, they're far cheaper than a RAMdrive and you don't need a battery to keep it alive.

    The difference is that the SSD is permanent (ish), with memory, you'd need to cache data every time you booted up unless you fancy having a large battery plugged in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  12. Agent L

    Agent L Obliviot

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Poland
    Holy Jesus on a bicycle, It would be enough to cache mine several times! :)

    I deliberately skipped the volatileness issue, because I'm talking about performance at all cost here. Both money and convenience.
    Of course entire concept is crazy. Just as throwing 680$ at marginally better SSD is. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  13. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Texas
    I'm not as sure, but again it would depend exactly what you wanted to cache. ;) For just a couple programs it would be manageable... but in my honest opinion I don't see the hassle of caching many directories just for a single program being worth it. I'd rather buy a SATA 6Gb/s hard drive and place the entire Windows/Program Files/pagefile in it so the entire system and all programs received ~0.1ms access times. And it neatly avoids the other problems such as power loss.

    Photoshop CS4 requires 10GB of disk space, and places files in MANY locations on a hard drive, its no wonder the program takes so long to load up. The Windows directory would be 16GB by itself. Game directories will be at least 4GB each, although some get much, much larger... (Some game Rob tested actually used used more than 16GB, was rather eye-popping. Crysis Warhead needs around 8GB.)

    A further problem with RAMdisks, is that even the kind that use system RAM (which avoid a hardware hard drive controller as the bottleneck, which is what hurts the Acard the most), the software chosen will greatly affect performance. http://www.madshrimps.be/vbulletin/...-solutions-up-2358-1539mb-s-r-w-speeds-69781/

    Lastly, a RAMdisk one would also need to spend time loading all those GB's of data into the RAMdisk with every system startup, or whenever one needed to remove one program to make room for another. If the source disk is a HDD it will be a ~5 minute wait or even more if all 24GB was being filled.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  14. madstork91

    madstork91 The One, The Only...

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    Feb 24, 2005
    TEXAS!
    We simply haven't built processors fast enough yet...

    The major stumbling block to better looking, and more immerse games is not GPU's people. It is the processors ability to handle the number of objects in a given scene.
     

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