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time for a new os drive, small dilema. maybe you can give an oppinion

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#1
ok my aging 250gb os drive (still fine no errors) has arrived at the point where its time to change it.
i have decided to go for a 1tb wd red drive (still couldnt justify the £80 for a 256gb ssd when it cam to hit pay) any way the wd red is bought and paid for so not a point of debat..

what i am thinking about though is buying a SSD and using it as a cache drive (kind of making my own hybrid)

the drive i am looking at is a Transcend's SSD340 SATA III 6Gb/s SSD 32 or 64gb (probably 64)
but the specs are

Max. Read - 200MB/s
Max. Write - 45MB/s
Max. Random 4k Read - 33,000 IOPS
Max. Random 4k Write - 18,000 IOPS
"high-quality synchronous multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory to offer continued reliable performance"
which seems a bit slow, but if its going to last a while then thats not to bad as i just need a bit of a boost..


or i can get a 40gb intel ssd (pretty much same performance. but may be easier to set up as a cache drive.)
http://ark.intel.com/products/56568/Intel-SSD-320-Series-40GB-2_5in-SATA-3Gbs-25nm-MLC

question is. should i bother with a cache drive or not.
theres no point saying "get a xxx drive for $$$" in my budget those are what i can buy. the question isnt is there a better option. it is simply will this configuration last a good while and will it be noticably faster compared to just the wd red.

(chose the red over black as i have my pcs on 24/7 and this drive should last the longest. i chose 1tb over 2tb to give scope for the small ssd if it will benifit)

this is one of the times i perobably will go with the majority.
the choices are in budget. but im cheap.. if you say it gonna work and is probably worth it. then il spend the extra.
if you say it a bit pointless or that the drive will die fast being used as a cache and i should save the money. then il just spend it on something els. probably alcohol and cigaretts.

you can say get the intel drive or get the transcend drive if you think one is better than the other and there is a point.
 
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#2
get the 64gb, install the OS on there, move everything else over to the WD red.

No need for a cache drive. Just use symbolic links/junctions.
 
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#3
i have to many apps and games that simply dont let you install them any where except for your os drive. if i wanted a dedicated ssd os drive it would need to be a minimum 120gb and prefereably 256gb.
ive checked and checked again after a fresh install and i cant get it down to cost effective ssd size.
 

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#4
cache drives dont work that well, so dont waste your time there.

and i'm yet to find a single game or program that doesnt let you choose where its installed...
 
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#5
512GB SSD for OS/apps/games.
1TB for pictures, videos, blahblahblah.

What the hell are you using that won't let you choose where to install?
 
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#6
You can choose where to install everything. You can also move my documents and such to a different drive if you want.

It's also possible to move things after they have been installed to c:\, without having to re-setup, through the use of symbolic links.

In short, use the 64gb SSD as an OS drive and put everything else on the mechanical drive.
 

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#8
If you've definately got programs that won't let you install elsewhere, then this program moves ANYthing except the OS: http://www.funduc.com/app_mover.htm I think in trial version you can move 15 or 20 programs. It moves and reconciles everything, from the registry entries to the shortcusts.

Then you can move the location of your download folder, pictures, video and documents to the Red drive, and you can get by with a small(ish) SSD. As for cost effectiveness, the Crucial 120Gb SSD's are dirt cheap. I'm sure there's a few others as well. And not long ago the 240Gb was going for $109 USD.
 
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#9
You can buy 120 GB drives for $60 USD now. Get something like that and run your OS on that.
 
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#10
think il go for a 128gb for a main os drive (sata III) and Possibly a 40gb for a cache drive on the wd red (sata II). i see lots of reviews saying that it make a huge difference even with a velociraptor, and a wd red is a LOT slower. im sure 40gb will be enough space for a cache for 1tb "i will be putting my steam library on it"

il try some of those apps for moving stuff over. If i can get it down low enough now (move the stuff to my other drive) il just clone the c to ssd which will save a lot of work. and will mean i probably dont bother setting up a cache drive as it would mean having to set booting up from raid.
also i cant remember off the top of my head the things that insist they go to c:\ but i know it annoys me when i go to install them and it starts installing to c: so i stop it and start it again and look for the custom install or similar option and it just does not exist.
i would go check right now which they are, but i have installed plenty of non needed stuff on c as well.
 
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#11
You could run a SSD for the main OS and a second WD Red in Raid with the other one. Reds are designed for Raid and NAS.
 

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#12
think il go for a 128gb for a main os drive (sata III) and Possibly a 40gb for a cache drive on the wd red (sata II). i see lots of reviews saying that it make a huge difference even with a velociraptor, and a wd red is a LOT slower. im sure 40gb will be enough space for a cache for 1tb "i will be putting my steam library on it"

il try some of those apps for moving stuff over. If i can get it down low enough now (move the stuff to my other drive) il just clone the c to ssd which will save a lot of work. and will mean i probably dont bother setting up a cache drive as it would mean having to set booting up from raid.
also i cant remember off the top of my head the things that insist they go to c:\ but i know it annoys me when i go to install them and it starts installing to c: so i stop it and start it again and look for the custom install or similar option and it just does not exist.
i would go check right now which they are, but i have installed plenty of non needed stuff on c as well.

i've got 24GB of ram.

i ran a 16GB *ram* cache drive, and a 40GB cache on my SSD.

it doesnt help much, except in benchmarks. its a waste of time and money, you're better off dedicated that money to a bigger SSD in the first place. theres a reason all of us here are saying the same thing - because we've all tried it!

1. SSD for OS
2. mechanical for all else. move your desktop/my docs/unimportant programs here
3. use symlinks (one of the apps above) to move any fussy programs to the SSD as needed - your game of the week, or whatever. you DONT need to reinstall for that to work.
4. if the programs you're installing are really so bad as to only install to C: , use the above program in reverse to move them off it.


oh and dont clone a mechanical to an SSD. it may look like it worked, but if the files copied arent 4K aligned, you'll end up with severe performance loss for no real reason, except you got lazy.
 
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#13
so new plan is..
use these apps to move things from c to D (i still have about a tb free on that so enough room for all the apps on c to go there)
Back up windows registry.
fresh install windows on the ssd when it arrives.
run my reg back up to enable my apps again.
and the 1tb wd red should sit there empty for a while before i start filling it up with more steam games and so on.
my current os drive gets formatted and finds a new home in the downstairs tv pc. as that needs more space.
 

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#14
I've used a cache drive on my main rig for about a year now and it definitely does make a noticeable difference once the cache is actually filled.

The difference is even more noticeable on drives like the WD RED that run at less than 7200RPM.

I went from boot times of nearly a minute to under 15 seconds to the desktop with all the tray programs loaded. Cold start times on my commonly used programs dropped dramatically as well. Photoshop went from 20 seconds to so fast I couldn't time it.
 
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#15
thats what i have seen reported on the internet too. so i thought a 40gb ssd as a cache for the 1tb. (sata II as i only have one sata III port) use that 1tb for my games and then the games i used the most get the benifit. and a seperate ssd (sata III) for my main os drive..
my current storage drive would be for long term storage or files like avi's that i use a lot but dont need to be fast.

should pep up the system a bit.
its a bit more expensive than my 1st choice of 1tb os drive with 40gb cache. but i guess the cache wont get bogged down with windows files.

but every one els seems to say its pointless and wont help.
 

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#16
but every one els seems to say its pointless and wont help.

the best way to summarise is that it wont help all the time. lets say i ran a huge game like battlefield 4 or watch dogs - suddenly 10GB of my cache is nothing but that game.

great, the game loads fast next time i use it - but 10GB of other files just got booted out of the cache. it only really helps if you repeat the same tasks over and over, and dont swap content. go on a movie spree and your cache is full of movie content you never needed sped up in the first place.
 
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#17
intel over transcend just because of the rigorous testing they do to their in-house nand. Also you could just get a seagate momentus xt are pretty good plus you won't lose the sata port.
 
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#18
the best way to summarise is that it wont help all the time. lets say i ran a huge game like battlefield 4 or watch dogs - suddenly 10GB of my cache is nothing but that game.

great, the game loads fast next time i use it - but 10GB of other files just got booted out of the cache. it only really helps if you repeat the same tasks over and over, and dont swap content. go on a movie spree and your cache is full of movie content you never needed sped up in the first place.
well my movies wouldnt be on that drive..
i have those all on my 2tb drive which i wont be cacheing.

so a 128gb ssd for os.
1tb wd red fpr games (40gb ssd cache)
2tb hdd for long term storage and media.

would that still be useless?
i know if i went the lazy rot and used readyboost it would get filled up with junk from any hard disk i was using. but oif i dedicated it just to the 1tb it wouldnt would it? or would it still cache data from other drives..
 

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#19
forget caching if you got an SSD for the OS.
Benefit is not a lot
 

newtekie1

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#20
the best way to summarise is that it wont help all the time. lets say i ran a huge game like battlefield 4 or watch dogs - suddenly 10GB of my cache is nothing but that game. great, the game loads fast next time i use it - but 10GB of other files just got booted out of the cache. it only really helps if you repeat the same tasks over and over, and dont swap content. go on a movie spree and your cache is full of movie content you never needed sped up in the first place.
The cache is smarter than that though. It isn't going to cache a file you use once over a file that you use every day.

so a 128gb ssd for os. 1tb wd red fpr games (40gb ssd cache) 2tb hdd for long term storage and media. would that still be useless?
That would be a good solution. And I wouldn't say the cache would be useless in that case. After you play a game a few times and it is loaded in the cache the game will load a lot faster.
 
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#21
The cache is smarter than that though. It isn't going to cache a file you use once over a file that you use every day.



That would be a good solution. And I wouldn't say the cache would be useless in that case. After you play a game a few times and it is loaded in the cache the game will load a lot faster.
more research tells me if i have a main os drive as ssd then there is no benifit to cacheing my mechanical drive.
it also says that setting a mechanical drive as os drive with ssd as cache is a lot faster than standard hdd but not quite as fast as just a ssd.
(you just have to run the things you want to run multiple times)
heres an example
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2594&page=4

so its a bit of a pain in the ass to be honest.

If i want the most apps and games to load fast i need to do a mechanical os drive + cache. (but risk boging down the small ssd with windows files.

if i want only the ones i use the most and my os to load even faster i need to just have a ssd as a os drive.

if i want to waste money i need to set up a ssd as a os drive, then set up a pointless ssd to cache a mechanical drive.. (benches state there really is no point in doing that)

My biggest issue with setting the ssd up as a os drive is that really.. i dont really need my os any faster. (benches and my windows index score would do better but my pc is on 24/7, so shaving 30 seconds off my boot time is totally irrelevant.

So how about a new option?

Wd red drive as main os and storage..
SSD drive as a secondary drive with nothing but games on it..
and my 2tb drive for movies and media + long term storage..
 

rtwjunkie

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#22
@Shambles1980 even if your PC is on 24/7, you will see benefits to SSD. Program access time for one. Web browsers in particular open and respond much much quicker. Quicker overal access and execution overall, since the programs can't execute till they open.

I have a whole server full of red drives, and while it is a very good drive, it's going to be alot slower than a dedicated 7,200rpm HDD. What it is, at it's most basic level is a Green Drive with better firmware and better load cycle control. It's great for storage, movie access, etc, but it's really not designed to be an OS drive.

As for games, with the size of games these days, anything less than a huge SSD really sems to be less than ideal. Because how do you pick which games get SSD'd and which don't? Personally, all my games ore on rotational HDD's (7,200rpm and 10,000rpm), and I really don't find my gaming suffers.

In the end, it's all up to you, I just offer you my viewpoint, which may or may not be worth crap! :D
 
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#23
well its a funny point, the more i look in to it the more sense it makes to have a hdd + cache drive because then ALL my fave games and windows get the benifit but at ~10% hit compared to a dedicated ssd thats large enough. but with a Huge improvment over just using a standard mechanical drive.

But i could have a mechanical hdd as my os drive and a ssd for games and apps. which would give no boost to the os. but games and apps would get the full benifit and i also dont have to worry so much about space managment compared to the ssd being the os drive..

i was supprized to see that benches show that if you have a ssd as a os drive you gain nothing from cacheing a secondary mechanical drive. (i dont really comprehend that)
also web browsing isnt a os file. i can install my browser to any drive so im not really convinced about SSD's being the be all and end all for the OS drive. but i do think that my apps and games would benifit.
Whether i would achieve a better over all ballance by using a mechanical drive for the os + a ssd for cache.
or Just a mechanical drive for the os + a ssd for games and apps i dont really see..
it just looks like every one has decided SSD as os drive = "WINNING"
i dont really know how much weight i put in to having the os on the ssd meaning i limit the ammount of apps and games i can have on there (that i actually do need to load faster)

I cant seem to find any reviews about a mechanical os hdd and then a ssd just for games and apps though.
All i see is that a cached ssd on your mechanical os drive is pretty indistinguishable from just a ssd as a os drive (to the human eye, benches tell the truth)
benches show a ssd is faster
nut there is no reall real world reviews about it.
but atleast 1 thing i know now. If i do buy 2 ssds cacheing goes out of the window as it would be pointless.
but that really dosent help lol.
 
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#24
I think people like (myself included) the idea of SSD as an OS drive, with a mechanical for everything else, because you get to chose what to put on the SSD.

If you get a 64gb drive, that's going to leave you another 30gb or so for a couple of games and some programs. With a cache drive you are assuming that the software will make the correct choices.

Get the SSD and set it up how you feel.
See if you're happy, and if not, change the config.
 
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#25
Don't forget that the main benefit of an SSD is really the reduced latency and seek time, not so much the faster sequential file operations. The OS constantly writes and especially reads small 4K files - this is where SSDs shine, and why the IOPS specs for 4K files (at various queue depths) are the important ones. Caching sucks because the OS is still actually running off the slow hard drive, even though some files are reading off the cache drive. The limitations of a spinning drive are still there. Also, some of you talk about SSDs as if you run them 90% full, a sure way to cause a big performance drop. Keep them under 50% for consistent performance. It's not just OS load times that benefit from SSDs, it's also every read and write done by the OS, each with little or no seek time. Your OS and all your normal programs will easily fit within 20-30 GB (if you turn off hibernation and System Restore as I do), keeping the 128GB SSD lean for easy trim and garbage collection. Use a fast SSD for the OS, like Samsung 850 Pro or Sandisk Extreme Pro (both have a 10 year warranty!). Install games to a folder on the HDD, they will load a second or two slower, but otherwise run fine. Games with lots of added content to load can later be moved to a large SSD if desired. I also keep a recent image of the OS drive on my secondary SSD, so I can create or load an OS image in less than 2 minutes (making System Restore unnecessary). Forget caching, forget hybrid drives, don't limit yourself just to save a few dollars...