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Author Topic: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD  (Read 2313 times)

BGM

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Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« on: August 16, 2019, 02:44 PM »
For some time now I have been considering to replace my workstation's HDD with an SSD.

  • 2TB HDD with partitions for C and D
  • 2TB HDD with partitions for K and I
  • 128GB SSD used for IRST acceleration and also for system's paging file
  • 250GB nvMe SSD where I keep Waterfox, FreeCommander and Thunderbird (the disk was unstable when I got it, but haven't had any trouble since; but didn't want to trust an OS to it)

And my questions for y'all are these:
  • When SSDs first became popular, everyone warned how heavy usage would run them down, but that's a long time ago now.  I'm sure they are more viable now.
  • What SSD should I buy?

Shades

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 07:37 PM »
And my questions for y'all are these:
  • When SSDs first became popular, everyone warned how heavy usage would run them down, but that's a long time ago now.  I'm sure they are more viable now.
  • What SSD should I buy?

  • Yes and no. The first models were indeed troublesome. To fix those problems manufacturers started to use better quality components. And that did work out well for the costumers. But better quality components means more costs, so nowadays manufacturers use different techniques to get away with more or less the same service life, but at a much lower price for them. In a way that is good for the consumer as well, as prices dropped significantly. But you should take into consideration how you are planning to use your SSD(s). For some use cases, it is better not to get SSD(s) that use MLC. It won't perform as well and has a shorter service life. The controller on those SSD(s) are decent enough and do make the best use of the capabilities of those SSD(s).
  • You hardly go wrong with Samsung drives. But those have a price tag that your budget might not agree with. I have here a few SanDisk SSDs deployed and I must say that those perform good enough for their price. Those are way cheaper than Samsung. I read positive stories about Kingston SSD drives too. then again, you are going to trust your data with those drives, so the more expensive Samsung drives are likely your best bet.

BGM

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 10:46 PM »
Shades, what is MLC for an SSD?
Samsung, eh?  I always thought Western Digital was the best.  All my HDDs are WD Black.

mouser

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 10:55 PM »
samsung seems to make some of the best SSD.

Many of us are running a combination of a good SSD as the C drive, and then a traditional large HD as D drive.  There are some advantages of this:
1. You don't have to get as big an SSD.
2. With 2 hds, you can more easily backup your system drive to the traditional large HD.
3. Even the largest most expensive SSD cannot compare with capacity of cheap traditional HD.

Downsides:
1. Worry of running out of space on your C drive.
2. No speedup of access of data files on D drive.

Deozaan

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 12:38 AM »
I agree with mouser, and have a similar setup as he described.

I bought a 1 TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD a few months ago for about $150. It's nice and fast, and a big upgrade from my cramped 128 GB SSD. (Normally I wouldn't spend quite that much, but I was working on some projects that were using up a lot of space and required the speed of the SSD, and I wanted to be extra sure I'd have enough room for the foreseeable future.)

I think maybe 512 GB to 1 TB is a pretty good spot for the main Windows OS drive. It gives you enough room to install the OS and store files in the unmovable User (AppData) directory where everything seems to go these days. I often had to resort to trickery (junctions) to free up space on my 128 GB SSD as Windows OS drive. While it can still be a bit pricey for a 1 TB SSD, it's in a reasonable price range IMO, especially if you go down a step to the 512 GB drive.

I also have a 5 TB HDD (Western Digital Black) where I store most of my files.

Stephen66515

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 03:28 AM »
I personally have the following setup:

C: 120GB SSD ==OS Drive==: Specifically for the OS, but some other oddball software refuses to install elsewhere so I went with a bit of extra space for those
D: 1TB SSHD ==Data Drive==: HDDs are fine and everything, but this was cheap enough so I figured why not. I use this to store random stuff I haven't sorted through yet.
E: 2TB HDD ==Game Drive==: Purely for game installs
F: 2TB HDD ==Download Drive==: Anything I download gets dumped on this drive, then anything that needs installing gets done so on the appropriate drive
G: 3TB HDD ==Program Files==: I got this drive for super cheap (<£70) so I figured I'd use it for Program Files and other installed things.
H/I: 2x 2TB HDD ==Media Drive==: I have H and I available on my network to share media (Music/Pictures/Movies/TV Shows/etc) to my devices around the house.
M/N: 2x 120GB SSDs ==Backup Drives==: Placed inside the computer for safe storage, but never connected to the power or SATA unless I'm running backups.  One of these is a system clone, the other is for misc backups.

It's usually a good idea to try to separate your OS drive from any other files, that way if Windows ever has a hissy fit and decides to die, it doesn't really matter - a quick reinstall of Windows later and you're back in business.  System clones (on a different SSD/HDD) make this even easier because if you keep on top of it (maybe do it weekly or before any major changes) then if Windows dies, you can just plug in your clone drive and get back to what you were doing...wipe the one that Windows crapped out on, then use that one as your new clone drive. 


tomos

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2019, 04:31 AM »
The verdict elsewhere on dc seems to be Samsung again. Here a relatively recent post by 4wd:

For your OS get a decent SSD: Samsung 850/860 EVO, SanDisk Plus, or equivalent for a normal SATA SSD.

Samsung 970 NVMe M.2 for a more modern board with M.2 slots, (or use it with a PCIe adapter if you have PCIe v3), and your machine can boot off it.

128GB is more than enough for Windows 10 and quite a few programs, however, you may want to go bigger as SSDs generally work better if they have ~25-30% free space, (eg. don't get a 128GB SSD if your OS drive is currently using 100GB).

I'm wondering:
can the system access different parts of the SSD simultaneously?
This query related to OP planning C and D drives on one large SSD. I'm presuming here that D is data (@BGM?). With HDD's things work faster if these two are separated -- would this also be the case with SSD's?

My OS solution was a 2TB drive -- appropriate partition for OS, the rest gets used for backup of data (which is on a separate HD). The idea being backup activity is less than data activity.

Another thing that could be done is to use one disk for Page files *and* backup -- the backup partition probably wont be used that much, allowing the paging to work away. (Disadvantage could be the drive dies quicker from paging activity.)
Tom

BGM

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 09:13 AM »
It's usually a good idea to try to separate your OS drive from any other files, that way if Windows ever has a hissy fit and decides to die, it doesn't really matter - a quick reinstall of Windows later and you're back in business.  System clones (on a different SSD/HDD) make this even easier because if you keep on top of it (maybe do it weekly or before any major changes) then if Windows dies, you can just plug in your clone drive and get back to what you were doing...wipe the one that Windows crapped out on, then use that one as your new clone drive. 
I've tried putting Windows OS on one partition and program files on another - but this is a PITA to keep separated.  There are so many programs that WANT to be on the C drive no matter what, even if you manage to keep some on another drive, there are always others that won't go there.  So, long ago I gave up on that idea and don't split the OS.

I'm thinking of getting a 2TB SSD (if I can get permission for it :) ) and simply clone my HDD to it and swap it out.
@tomos - I only use the D drive to store files for Virtualbox VMs.  I use I and K for files, and C for everything.  I really only partition to make it easier for me to be organized; there's no computing reason behind it at all.

Stephen66515

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2019, 09:33 AM »
It's usually a good idea to try to separate your OS drive from any other files, that way if Windows ever has a hissy fit and decides to die, it doesn't really matter - a quick reinstall of Windows later and you're back in business.  System clones (on a different SSD/HDD) make this even easier because if you keep on top of it (maybe do it weekly or before any major changes) then if Windows dies, you can just plug in your clone drive and get back to what you were doing...wipe the one that Windows crapped out on, then use that one as your new clone drive. 
I've tried putting Windows OS on one partition and program files on another - but this is a PITA to keep separated.  There are so many programs that WANT to be on the C drive no matter what, even if you manage to keep some on another drive, there are always others that won't go there.  So, long ago I gave up on that idea and don't split the OS.

I'm thinking of getting a 2TB SSD (if I can get permission for it :) ) and simply clone my HDD to it and swap it out.
@tomos - I only use the D drive to store files for Virtualbox VMs.  I use I and K for files, and C for everything.  I really only partition to make it easier for me to be organized; there's no computing reason behind it at all.

The OS drive should be on it's own drive, not partition...that way if the drive goes bad, the only thing you lose is your OS install which is easy to get back.

Shades

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2019, 10:35 AM »
Reducing the write cycles on a SSD is still a wise thing to do.

In my system there is boot SSD drive from 120GByte, which is split into 3 partitions. 1 is the tiny one Windows itself creates for it's boot procedure. 2 is the C:\ partition, which is 30 GByte (between 7 and GByte is free), dedicated to Windows itself. 3 is the D:\ partition that holds my portable apps and program files. 4 is a 10GByte section of empty space, to be used by the drive for error management.

Then there is a 3TByte SATA drive for my data, but also a partition that contains a page file with a static size of ((2 x amount of RAM in the PC) + 20%) and a set of portable drives for backup purposes.

Some explaining:
NTFS is the most common file system on Windows. It performs best when it's partitions have between 10% and 20% of free space. But more free space is preferred. Making partitions helps you to achieve that goal.

Also, NTFS is a file system that makes a mess of how it stores files on disk. That is by design. Which is why it needs a relative big chunk of free space and file management (defragging) to keep up performance. This makes it faster than the standard EXT3 or EXT4 file systems on Linux, for example. But only when there is enough free space available. And when there is insufficient free space available, performance drops below the performance of Linux file systems quickly. These Linux file systems fragment much slower and suffer much less performance problems when drives are being filled to the brim. That is also by design.

Severely simplified: NTFS packs files very close together, which results in less 'travel' of the hard disk heads. Which is in essence a good idea, but only with static files. When files grow or shrink, this dense packing results in files being chopped up, making the hard disk head travel more, instead of less. The Linux file systems spread out files, which initially makes the hard disk head travel more. But files don't fragment that quickly this way, because there is room for them to grow or shrink.
 
More modern file systems follow the design ideas of the Linux file systems more closely as these give you a stable performance. And their extra performance comes from better interaction with the operating system and smarter ways to handle the actual reading/writing of files.


Yes, partitions create artificial limits on your drive(s), which may cause you problems along the road if you didn't properly set the partition sizes for the tasks you have intended for the computer. But partitions make the background maintenance NTFS needs much easier on your system. It saves wear and tear on spinning drives and keeps things organized.

There is also another consideration. Especially when virtual machines are being used. Keeping Windows separated from (portable) applications and user data gives you a very clear advantage. Most virtual machines offer you to assign partitions from the host to each virtual machine you create. Installing Windows and especially configuring such a VM can be quite time-consuming. But with portable apps, you can cut out the time spending on configuring. Assign the correct VM drive letter (in my case D:\) to the host partition and every shortcut works just as well on the host as in the VM. You also can continue with your tasks in the VM right where you left them off on the host. It also saves a ton of storage space on the host, which reduces time you need for creating backups considerably as these can be a lot smaller.

Not making partitions makes life easier during setup of your computer. Afterwards it adds (unexpected) complications. You are spending much less time setting up systems than using them, just saying. And yes, Microsoft is hell bent on dumping everything in C:\ . That sense of initial 'simplicity' is a false one, creates lots of opportunities for MS and 3rd parties to sell you software for helping out with complications they created themselves.

[/rant]   

rgdot

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2019, 08:08 PM »
You call that great explanation a rant?  :)

Thanks Shades, I actually learnt things  :up:

superboyac

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2019, 06:38 PM »
i will add this from a reddit thread i came across once.  This guy apparently has researched all this fairly thoroughly and this flowchart is his method of choosing SSD drives...
https://www.reddit.c...sd_buying_guide_wip/

BGM

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Re: Buying a 2TB SSD to replace my 2TB HDD
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2019, 01:51 PM »
Hmmm..  Okay, now I'm actually considering upgrading to Win10.  I am also considering putting an M.2 NVME chip for the main disk.  I would put at least a 500GB chip because I like to install a lot of different software and hate trying to fanaggle programs into a partition other than C drive.

I've looked at that buying guide, but am totally bewildered.
What would y'all recommend for a 500GB or 1Tb M.2 NVME drive?