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What is best SSD for Intel's smart response tech?

Discussion in 'Storage' started by ad3k, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. ad3k New Member

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    like in the topic name.
    Im looking to get ssd for asrock z68 extrme3 gen3 and i have a very hard time selecting the best choice.

    Im debating on intel 311 laeson creek 20gb or crucial m4 64gb or ocz vertex 3 60gb.
    If you know any better i beg you to help me choose!
     
  2. Anusha

    Anusha

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    define best.

    cheapest? most bang for the buck? fastest?

    if i'm getting one today, i'd get the Crucial M4 64GB.
     
  3. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Max supported size is 60GB. Get a fast 60GB SSD as that's all you need.

    That said, you might just want to install the OS to the SSD, anyway.
     
  4. TheLaughingMan

    TheLaughingMan

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    I would go with the M4 as well. While its write speed is slower, it won't matter as the system will still be limited by the speed of the HDD for writes. The M4 has great read speed for the caching and the extra 4 GB can just be used for provisioning, right?
     
  5. Anusha

    Anusha

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    Max size supported is 64GB, not 60GB. but even the drive won't have 64GB user accessible space right? It'll be like 60GB anyways.

    However, what you said about write speed limitation is not applicable if you use the maximized performance mode. It will do write back caching which means writes will only be done to the SSD until they are commited to the disk. Perhaps when idle or after a set period. But that will be dangerous if you lose power or PC crashes. Optimized mode is what everyone should use.

    Also, M4 is almost as fast or sometimes faster than Sandforce when it comes to incompressible data. I believe the data that will be cached are mostly incompressible, because they are parts of compiled code aren't they?
     
  6. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Intel 311 20GB, because it's tailor-made for Smart Response Technology (with SLC NAND flash, provides the ideal rewrite count for caching).
     
  7. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    I would say if you are getting 60GB then just put the complete OS on the SSD, why add in an extra point of failure, I assume that similar to a raid0 scenario with no redundancy that if one drive goes then the OS would go with it?
     
  8. TheLaughingMan

    TheLaughingMan

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    If I recall correctly, no. The SSD is only used as one large cache for the HDD drive. If the SSD fails you only lose any temp data that was stored there which was nothing more than cloned data from the HDD in the first place so your system should be fine. If the HDD fails, then you are still in the same boat as if you only had a HDD.

    I do not believe power failure will affect an SSD, even if it was being used as a cache. Once the state of one of the gates is flipped it will stay that way until written over or reset. However I am not completely familiar with Smart Response so I am not sure if this holds true. While the data might technically still be intact, the instructions to write to disk may not be as running instructions are kept on the CPU cache and RAM. So a power failure may not technically destroy the data, it may end up being inaccessible. Still no worse than a standard HDD's cache system.

    P.S. Also data writes to a HDD do not take much power or many CPU cycles. There would be no reason to wait for the system to idle to complete those. The only time it would not do those writes immediately would be if the HDD is actively being accessed for other data.
     
  9. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  10. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    The IRST tool tells me 60GB.;) Funny, if the Intel guy says differntly...he better talk to the software engineers! :laugh:
     
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  11. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    Everywhere else says 64GB
     
  12. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Maybe they change it after shooting the video
     
  13. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    Everywhere else says 64GB and anything more is regarded an extra drive?

    Doh you edited, nvm :p
     
  14. Jetster

    Jetster

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    ad3k says thanks.
  15. TheLaughingMan

    TheLaughingMan

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    Ok, after some research, we are all getting things confused. Intel Smart Response does not use the SSD as an HDD cache. it uses it as a system cache. Difference is that it only clone frequently accessed data to itself. Whenever you start an app or the OS request data, it will check the SSD first. If there it loads at the SSD's read speed. If not there, loads from the HDD at its normal speed. It does the same for boot data.

    Write speed is slightly lower than the HDD standard speed due the software tracking data use.
    20 GB is the minimum size requirement
    64 GB is the maximum
    It does use a RAID system

    Source: Intel Smart Response Data Page

    I am unclear as to how an SSD drive failure would affect the system as it is a RAID, but functions closer to RAID 1 than anything.
     
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  16. Anusha

    Anusha

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  17. ad3k New Member

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    Anusha you sure reach a point. I like your review!
    However did you btarunr ever used intels 20gb ssd thats meant for SRT?

    Its so hard to make a decision since there is no solid answer.
    All i use my comp is for the same every day apps and some gaming however i find it way out of my range to afford 120GB good ssd.

    One more question that will answer all that i need to know - is stored cache disappear after reboot?
     
  18. Anusha

    Anusha

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    Nope. Then it would be pointless. Then it would be same as RAM caching, which is there in windows by default. (first time takes longer to open a program than the second time.)

    You cannot see the drive's content, but benchmarks show same performance increase after reboot and even the boot up is improved so cached files are there until something else replace them.

    Looking at the prices, isn't M4 64GB same price or cheaper than 311? If you want a cheaper solution, get the 40GB 320.
     
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  19. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

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    I was on the fence as well, but I went with a 120GB Corsair Force 3 and my 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green as standalone drives. My SSD is dedicated to Windows and programs, and my 2TB is dedicated to Steam games and storage, and the system is amazingly responsive.

    I feel that Intel SRT is not worth it, because:
    1) Windows and your core programs should be dedicated to the SSD, as they need the most random disk activity. Simply caching your HDD with SRT only caches bits and pieces of files.
    2) If you suddenly change your computing habits, goodbye speed. Your previous cache gets evicted from the SSD in favor of new data, so programs that you stop using become slower loading when you eventually use them again.
    3) All this moving of data likely causes more wear on the SSD than having your OS and core programs on one, where they can be fast 100% of the time.
    4) Not having Windows on your HDD means your game files defragment better (in my case at least) and they load faster in my case.

    As the owner of a Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid drive, I can attest to how crappy cache eviction is. If I do not restart my laptop a few times a day (or open a lot of programs), booting up takes longer and longer and it is very annoying. My desktop is always fast because Windows and anything that isn't a game goes on my SSD, where it remains fast. Don't buy into something just because it's an advertised feature, as it's not always optimal.
     
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  20. ad3k New Member

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    when compering specs of intels 320 for 90buks and crucial m4 for 110 i guess m4 would be better by double write speeds. in the worst case when it does not have much improvement i can always drop windows on in and be somehow happy lol

    Anusha you spend some of your private time to help me out. i consider you a nobel person! in return i will benchmark m4 the same way and let you add results to your page since you got that all started already. That way people that are wanting to try it out they will see its full potential from different perspectives.

    Thanks to everybody that try to help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  21. ad3k New Member

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    I appreciate your info experience review you wrote (its good m8) however all i can afford is 100 buks and from what i found a decent 120gb is at least 180buks..
     
  22. ad3k New Member

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    oooo is it possible to have two 30gb raid-ed ssds as SRT?
     
  23. Anusha

    Anusha

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    1. You are looking at the perfect and worst scenarios only. It's not that black and white. 20GB of windows folder, how often do you access more than 10% of that in a day? Like never! Bits and pieces are what you really need to cache.

    2. It's a huge cache. Sudden change of behavior won't make it full drain the existing cache. Remember, it doesn't cache large files. Say you are copying a 1GB file on the hard drive. It won't cache that.

    3. Intel has specifically said they are careful with excessive writing. It won't cache big sequential files.

    4. No comment there. Possibly so, but not a point that one would consider, is it? Not me at least.

    If you don't install your games to SSD, SRT is the better option. You will get better "overall" performance and it is cheaper, not to mention you used a feature of your mono which you already paid for. Why don't you get a cheap 40GB 320 drive for caching and see how it does to your game load times.


    That's cool.
     
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  24. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

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    As far as my second point goes, I read that cache eviction was a mixed bag on this review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching-review/5

    Granted, neither this review or my review may be perfect, but cache eviction will be there at some point slowing you down. I also heard that SSDs don't always help out game load times that much, but I've yet to try any substantial games on my SSD because I use Steam and I don't have 600GB of SSD space for all my games. My games do seem to load a bit faster than they did when both my OS and the games were on the HDD, so I can't complain.

    As far as not using all the parts of Windows, that may be true to an extent, but Windows and small applications is where you really want the performance to be (and not so much games or movies) so it only makes sense to me that all of Windows and my core applications should be 100% on an SSD. Caching solutions are and will most likely always not cover all scenarios.

    OP: I currently use about half of my 120GB SSD, and that includes about 10GB of junk I have stored on there from my flash drive.
     
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  25. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Sorry for the zombie thread but I think Anand gave an unrealistic example for most people considering SRT. Yes, he had programs get evicted.

    Did you see how many programs were running before they started getting evicted?

    5 Adobe programs from the CS5.5 Master Collection and 3 big games run in quick succession. I think I'm a 'normal' user and I run BF3, Skyrim & Firefox. No eviction happening here.

    And many people like to skip over the biggest benefit of SRT: convenience. No maintenance required. The stuff you use most has it's performance increased and you can store files like you did before.

    You and I may be good at managing our storage for a 120GB or smaller SSD to work but the 'average' user has a hard enough time understanding folders to really grasp storage management.

    Until SSDs get competitive in $ / GB I think caching is here to stay.
     

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