That is the question. In a home computer, does the extra speed of a a PCIe SSD actually show over a SATA based SSD to justify the extra cost? My VertexLE is due to be replaced as my primary drive and I'm trying to decide whether to go to a PCIe drive once OCZ releases their Vector PCIe drives.
It's like having a 2005 Ford truck, and you have the money to buy a 2013/2014 Ford truck, and your work still the same: moving some wood beams from one place to another (your fictional work).. Does it worth it??..
Maybe not because the job still the same: moving the wood beams... Same loads capacities, both automatic, 4x4, red color... But, you'll be doing it in a more comfortable, newest, spaced and powerfull truck..
So, if you happens to have the money (and no other "important" matter in which invest it or save it for), why not to???..
My point is, if you can afford a nice piece of hardware, then do it..
Well the reason is that like other SSDs of the era it suffers when filled over half capacity, which it is now by about 9 gigs, so while my reads still show around 200MB/s, my writes are terrible at around 80MB/s (tested using both a large file from my Vector to the VertexLE as well as many small files (pictures) from my Vertex 4 to the VertexLE). Every month I pay $500 + accrued interest towards my student loans (5x the minimum), a few hundred goes into my investments, and I have a discretionary budget of about $300 a month so I'm not like some people and do not have a plan and balanced budget as well as an emergency stash (new monitor and video card came from income tax refund).
And like I said, I know the PCIe drive will be faster, BUT will it be noticeable enough to justify the extra costs and power consumption.
SSD's are located on SATA ports that under IDE mode are Primary. When I want to "refresh" my drives I go into to the BIOS and switch those ports from SATA to IDE (this is something Gigabyte boards have since at least the SB750). I have a Windows 98 Boot Disk on a USB and on this I have HDDERASE.EXE (v3.3). Boot into this simple DOS environment and run HDDERASE. Follow the steps and security erase the SSD's. reboot back into BIOS and set the SATA ports back to SATA from IDE and the drives are ready to be used again. I do RAID0 with my two drives, but that is just one option. Anyway I am tired and rambling.... the point is, that it is a simple process that takes just a few minutes and I can restore my system to a like new condition if my SSD performance has taken a hit over time or if I just want to roll back to a previous clean install.
EDIT: Hmmm seems after further reading my way may not be the best way. Looks like I might have to try this Parted Magic software since people say it's easier and that maybe HDDErase is not actually working properly on my newer Mushkin Drives (SandForce)... I learned about HDDErase when I had my Kingston Drives (Intel) and it was the recommended way to do it back then... I will investigate further another day.
Meh, I did that today, had some time on my hands, took a bit over an hour to take the disk image. For whatever reason it was only writing at about 5MB/s even though my CPU usage was below 10%, maybe it's my piece of ***** Sandisk Cruzer 32GB USB drive...But anyway I did that, put in my Vertex Plus R2, put the image on that, used the OCZ Toolbox to securely erase the thing, took the opportunity to update to firmware 1.37 even though it wasn't anything major changed from 1.35, ran AS Cleaner with FF then securely erased it again, then restored the image to it.
After all that, write performance is back to around 125MB/s, was down to about 80MB/s before this, still less than have of what it should be. The question still stands, is a PCIe SSD worth it over their SATA counterparts in a non server/HPC setup?
My Vector came with Acronis True Image so it was just a couple of mouse clicks for me, but if I were you I'd wait and move to a single higher capacity disk such as the OCZ Vector or the new Samsung drive. You'd sacrifice some read speeds down to around 550MB/s but you'd gain >100MB/s in write speeds. It depends on how much it bothers you though, personally if I didn't have Acronis I would leave it be until something either did go wrong or I got a great deal on a new drive. But if that's also the drive you keep your temp and page file on, speeds that slow are killing you.
b_z, there must be something off in your setup since a security erase when done properly should put you back to a "like new" condition with reads and writes. I know your Vertex LE is old and only has a SF 1500 controller, but it should still be doing way better. Today I am going to use PartedMagic to see how easy it is compared to HDDErase 3.3. Which SATA ports is your SSD on? Is it set to AHCI? What AHCI driver are you using? Do you have windows Write Cache Policy enabled? Is TRIM enabled? Have you read this (there is a Windows 8 version if you run that):
this is just a couple of crap Mushkin Chronos 60GB drives in RAID0 I think I got them for $70 each
Anyway Personally I do NOT think going the PCIe route is worth the money, plus there may be a lot of hassel with using it as a boot drive (not sure about that, but I have a sinking feeling that going PCIe is just one more wrench to throw in the cogs). Today's SSDs are much faster and more robust than your old SF 1500 controller. Even cheap junk like mine handle everyday wear and tear much better. And if you are running a single drive performance does not drop as badly as it used to (I run RAID and even without TRIM my drives have no noticeable drops in performance)
I have only my SSDs as a RAID arrange.. Neither paging or for temp files.. Just OS and programs..
The thing is, I can't have a better single drive now. Not until december-january (thinking on your PCI-E based SSD too once it gets better.. you're not the only one.. ), but I think I can still get a "renewed" RAID arrange from time to time.. A SSD RAID system is good enough these days, even if they're made of 64GB drives..
The problem is, how to do it.. I've been searching the net about it, and there's some softwares to do it.. The problem: reinstalling everything again.. And beyond that, the actually "renewed" arrange, which isn't that true enough.. Not achieving a "zero" clusters position is my main concern. Apparently, it can't be achieved without a good software..
Anyway, I don't want to steal your thunder on this, so.. Buy the bloody based-PCI-E SSD.. Again..
P.S.: if you (or anyone) know about a software that can do a clean wipping of a SSD to restore it to the factory specs, would be very much appreciated...
EDIT: just saw your post QB.. I've been reading 'bout that PartedMagic software.. It's that good enough??.. Isn't that troubled??.. Went well??.. Thanx in advance.. My SSDs are from Crucial..
From what I have read now, it seems that the key to this is to use hdparm to issue the security erase. Now from what I understand that is a CLI tool (much like x264 for encoding). However there are apps that use hdparm in a GUI environment. And PartedMagic is one of them. I found this step by step guide:
Vector is my games
Vertex 4 is my music and videos
VertexLE is my OS
Agility 3 is my temp/page file/on machine backups drive
I know why my Agility 3 is slow, it's not a Vertex, but it doesn't need to be any faster given its role. Vector is of course blazing fast. Vertex 4 has a caveat in that it's faster the higher the queue depth which you can see with ATTO because the Vertex 4 is intended to be hammered hard.
I dunno why my VertexLE is so slow, it wasn't when I got it, maybe I have a partial controller failure. If you securely erase a drive using the manufacturers toolbox, and then use AS Cleaner with FF, you end up with a perfectly zeroed (actually oned drive since on a SSD a 1 equals 0) squeaky clean drive.
It's not about cleaning the drive... that is easy. It's about activating the SATA command that triggers the drive to free up all pages for use. You should never write 1 or 0's to the drive. I have read a little about people using AS Cleaner, but I have yet to see anyone like Anand or others that are in the know recommend such a thing.
It also very interesting that you are using the oldest and slowest SSD in your system as the boot drive, which should be your fastest drive. Also I am not sure the AMD AHCI driver is very good. I know in the past (i did extensive testing with my SB750) the AMD driver did not perform very well and that the Windows AHCI driver was the best. Although things may have changed, it has been a long time since my system was under AHCI.
I know, which is why I'm intending to replace it especially since I have Acronis it's just a couple of clicks instead of the pain in the butt installing from scratch. I've been keeping an eye on the drives at Newegg seeing if the 128GB Vector would go on sale for $99 but as I've posted before it appears if SSD prices are going up across the board, right now it's up to $150, but I'm looking more for the 256GB version, both because of the higher speed and to give me more room to work with. Actually a 512GB Vector is what I really want and use it for my games and use my current 256GB Vector as my OS drive but I'm not paying $569. I was hoping the new Samsung 840 Pro drives would help to push down prices given their very low cost per GB introduction price, but they've gone up to pretty much match OCZ.
But the read speeds are still pretty good which is the most important thing since my page file and temp files are off on my Agility 3. It's still a snappy and responsive system, but really shows the slowness when I go to install something like drivers, and when I go to load something with a lot of files, such as LibreOffice.
Why not use the Vertex 4 for your OS... Use the Agility and Vector for games and use the old Vertex LE for pagefile/temp... you are wasting an SSD on Music and Videos... they will have zero benefit from being on an SSD.
I keep my pagefile and temp folder on my SSD's it really does not hurt performance like it used to back in the old days of SSD's. Especially when you just use single drives and have TRIM, Garbage collection and AHCI.
BTW have you tried the windows AHCI driver. I am still pretty sure it is better than the AMD.
Well I just used PartedMagic and I must say it is a pretty slick way to do this. I did not have to go into the BIOS and it ran the command under RAID. It took just a fraction of a second to do each drive.
This will be the way I do this from now on. Agian here is a nice step-by-step guide to take you through the process:
Aye I used the msahci driver until a few months ago when I finally decided to give the AMD drivers a whirl, not much difference in performance. I got the Vertex 4 at Christmas on sale for $299.99, which at 58¢ a GiB is something I couldn't pass up. Originally I had 3 SSDs, my VertexLE for my OS, the Vertex 4 for games and media, and a Vertex Plus R2 for my temp files. I grabbed the Agility 3 a few weeks ago for $120 (refurbished) to replace the low performance Vertex Plus, and grabbed the Vector for my games, the reason being is that, and you can see it with ATTO, the Vertex 4 has a *****controller and is quite slow unless you are using large transfer sizes and especially a high queue depth. But really the reason I don't replace my VertexLE is revealed by the ATTO results
As for why read speeds are generally lower than writes, it's because of the AMD chipset, doesn't matter if you use the MSAHCI or AMD driver, it's something AMD really needs to fix in the new chipsets with Steamroller...Then again they better, it's been years since they put out an actual new chipset, the 900 series is just an 800 series with "guaranteed Piledriver compatibility"
ATTO is a meaningless benchmark for an OS SSD. It is the 4k reads/writes that matter most and your AS SSD results scream that you should be using the Vertex 4 for your OS. You are wasting your best SSD in a role that will take ZERO advantage of it.
If I have time I may run some tests to verify the AMD/MS AHCI comparisons again with my newer gear (did it in the past with SB750 and Kingston drives, now I have SB950 and Mushkin drives)... there used to be a very big drop in AS SSD scores with AMD. Maybe that has changed.
Still you should seriously reconsider the roles you have your SSD's assigned to. Sequential speeds are not the values you should be basing decisions on. There are very few large files that the OS will need to read/write that require such sequential speeds.
As an example, my 4x500GB Caviar Blacks in RAID0 have a very nice seq. reads and writes, but is that good for an OS? Maybe it was before SSD's came around, but now they don't even come close to the 4k performance of an SSD (Seq read/write is about the same as one of my SSD's but the 4k is maybe 1/10th if not a lot worse)... ATTO is a not a good bench when it comes to the performance of your OS. Here is my SSD's... and they are mediocre at best (as seen from my AS SSD scores):
If you are wondering why there is a huge difference in sequential speeds between the two benchmarks... it has something to do with the way SandForce controllers compress data. AS SSD uses an incompressible file whereas ATTO doesn't. So my 1 GB/s drive looks awesome until you look at it from a better angle, that being AS SSD. Which gives a better view of it's true performance, and that is good, but not great. Your Vertex 4 is far superior to two of my Mushkin Chronos RAID'd...
I KNOW the Vector is the superior drive, which is why I made this thread and asked the question about PCIe based SSDs. But with the upcoming Vector PCIe drive an with the Vertex 5 is due out this month which uses an updated controller, I'm in no rush to pay $269.
Agreed... if I was in your shoes I would certainly not be buying any SSD's (PCIe or SATA) anytime soon, you have more than enough performance to make most people's head spin, LOL. Even with my RAID'd junk drives I am more than happy.
Maybe what would be a better cost effective option would to buy a HDD to store your movies and music. And ditch the Vertex LE since it is rather long in the tooth