SDD - how stable are they?


#1

I’ve heard they break easily, so I’m questioning:
1) if it’s time to get one or wait for the technology to mature?

  2) if they do break can you recover data from them like a normal  hard drive? What causes them to malfunction/break/become a fancy  brick?
  1. is there a superior brand/manufacturer?

  2. can you make a raid with them? and is the process any different from normal hard drives?

  3. worth the price in performance for 3D or stick with the HD?

  4. how energy efficient are they compared to a HD?

and it case it’s important: i do 3D in Maya, mostly rigging, and a little bit of PS and AFX.


#2

Ohhhh F***!
Sorry, edited your post instead of replying to it :frowning:

Will try to restore. If you see a “last edited by ThE_JacO” underneath don’t freak out. Mis-click, and the edit window looks exactly the same of the new post one. Apologies again.


#3

I’ve heard they break easily, so I’m questioning:
1) if it’s time to get one or wait for the technology to mature?

It’s generally mature enough.

  1. if they do break can you recover data from them like a normal hard drive? What causes them to malfunction/break/become a fancy brick?

They tend to have worse data recovery rates than spindle drive because they can’t be walked sequentially to attempt a binary sequencing recovery.
Usually it’s just the memory banks not being able to take it anymore, like any solid state memory it has a limited number of times it can be switched around before it fizzles.
If the table goes, recovery is tough to impossible, even with a well levelled drive off a good firmware, if a few cells die, it will normally give some warnings and only the data in there is lost.

  1. is there a superior brand/manufacturer?

Samsung is more or less ahead. Not necessarily on price, but they aren’t overly expensive either.
The 840 and 840 pro are very, very well regarded.

  1. can you make a raid with them? and is the process any different from normal hard drives?

Yes you can, no it’s no different.
Do you really need (and can support) 800 MBps sequential reads though? :slight_smile:

  1. worth the price in performance for 3D or stick with the HD?

What performance?
SSDs will make paging faster, boot/shutdown faster, and file intensive tasks faster.
Very, very little in 3D is capped by file I/O. Your app will launch faster, and if you have many apps open at the same time and incur in frequent paging that might feel snappier. That’s it.

  1. how energy efficient are they compared to a HD?

Assuming with HD you mean a magnetic/spindle drive, power requirements are a complete non-issue on workstation hardware for small storage.
A well tuned, fast SSD drive like the 840 will be on par or insignificantly more hungry than the more power savy spindle drives (like the red). You are talking minuscule draw and very cheap idling. Compared to your CPU or videocard it’s a spit in the ocean :slight_smile:
They will be slightly less hungry than a fast spindle drive, but it remains kind of irrelevant.

and it case it’s important: i do 3D in Maya, mostly rigging, and a little bit of PS and AFX.

Other than possibly loading and flipping large numbers and res of images, you will notice no difference other than what outlined above (smoothness of an app picking up from a heavy paging in and out, and reduced start times).
Rigging in maya you will see no difference whatsoever.


#4

that’s some great information. Thank you so much!


#5

for 3d content creation, SSD’s are nice, but not a big deal. They’re nice when loading and saving huge files.

Where they make the biggest difference with me is compositing where you need to load several layers per frame. Or video playback in certain cases. I’ve had normal hard drives not play 1080p60 stereo video well while it’s no problem with an SSD


#6

LOL!:wink:

Reminds me of John Mclain’s Oh **** in Die hard 2 as he blasts off into the air from the airplace he’s surrounded in by the terrorist cell.


#7

Finally bit the bullet with a Samsung 840pro 256 Gb and I wouldn’t go back, much less painful waiting for things to boot or load, and the speedups with asset/image loading make the whole experience smoother. Less bulk, noise and heat in the case is nice too.


#8

I don’t have a SSD, so I can’t speak from experience. But I would imagine that rendering would go faster; especially for lower rez images, where the bottleneck becomes how fast it can write to the drive.


#9

writing files to the drive isn’t really a bottleneck

Even an 8k EXR would only take a few seconds to write to a traditional hard drive. An SSD would be faster, but usually rendering a frame takes so much longer in comparison that the hard drive speed has little overall impact


#10

I don’t use one but my brother had two replaced within 4 months in his MBP.
Personally I need something more reliable and will wait a bit longer till they really mature.


#11

I can add a non technical opinion. I bought a few Vertex 4 SSDs and I find the Win7 startup time to be negligible but file transfers rates to be faster and I notice and preffer working with files on the SSD - particularly large image and photoshop documents.

Somebody may be able to clarify this but I read that to get the best out of them you need to use the AHCI sata drivers instead off IDE (if I remember names correctly). Actually my system failed to boot a couple of times using the (default) IDE sata controlers which required a reset (or two sometimes) to get windows to boot. AHCI resolved this but first time around I didn’t realise you needed to set this in your BIOS before your win7 installation and it took me a little while to figure out how to switch over after windows was installed.

So if your mobo is a little older - check you have the AHCI drivers on it - AND enable it in BIOS before you install windows. If you don’t have them, download them onto a flash drive so you can install.


#12

That might be more of a MBP specific or brand specific problem.

Modern top shelf SSDs simply DO NOT get that kind of return rate, not that early.
Samsung (only vendor providing all components and software) 840pro and OCZs have outstandingly low fault rates (particularly samsung) and efficient wear levelling up to 85% full.


#13

They should work fine both ways.
AHCI simply offers a higher cap than IDE can, so things like sequential reads or multiple concurrent transfers off multiple drives will show better performance.

The only real warning with SSDs is that, even with modern ones, you need to keep a certain amount of space free (at least 10%, but 20% would be a lot better) for wear leveling to operate reliably.


#14

Yeah I guess it could have been luck that it worked after that, but there are quite a few variables to contend with but I’ve reformatted it again since. They work pretty good now - I noticed it was the windows updates that played the most significant part in being less prompt when booting up but that’s another story.


#15

You’ll definitely want to go the SSD route, as sooner than later they will be the standard and HDDs will be defunct.

Different manufacturers vary, but Intel SSDs are far more durable, powerful, energy-efficient and quiet than any HDD. They’re a must for 3D content creation.

http://invasion.intel.com/


#16

Or you could go with Samsung.


#17

I have a revodrive (PCIe card with four ssd’s in a raid for a max of 1.5gb/s throughput)

After installing it my machine felt as if twice as fast. Incredibly responsive to everything I do. In a nutshell: yes, it DOES have quite an impact on the overall work experience. I would never go back to those extremely slow hard drives to run an OS.


#18

I recently was interested in this as well and have come across these things:

SSD return rates

Reviews on various online stores seemed to confirm this tendency that Crucial delivers the highest quality at least among affordable consumer drives.
Which is why I got a small one myself a while back just for my OS. It now has a power on time of 264 days and is just fine. Although there was a hickup once where I kept getting BSODs. Quick googling showed that I needed a firmware update - did it and everything was fine again. And I think it’s safe to assume that drives sold these days will already ship with firmware without that issue.

I also came across this interesting little article with a link to an actual research paper:
How Power Failures Corrupt Flash SSD Data

So I figured I should really get a UPS should I ever get an SSD I would actually store important data on.
However, fortunately at least Crucial apparently has come up with a solution (which most people dismiss as “unnecessary”, presumably because they are not aware of the tests people have done like the one linked above):
“Hold Up capacitors also ensure the drive won’t lose data in the case of a power outage.”
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2013/04/09/crucial-m500-announced-20nm-micron/

All of which means at least to me that the next time I’ll have a spare ~$800 (or the price drops even further), I’ll replace the two traditional RAID1 HDDs I have for my most important data with two SSDs :slight_smile:


#19

This is simply not true. Hard drives will be around for decades to come and maybe longer.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/08/02/no-solid-state-drives-are-not-going-to-kill-off-hard-drives/

This is opinion, which I disagree with. It can benefit a few workflows that are I/O bound but those are few and far between (large simulation caches, 4K stereo compositing, very large textures). Certainly not a “must” for 3D content creation.


#20

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