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Recommendation for a performance 256GB consumer SSD?


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#1 continuation

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:07 PM

I'm building a new mid-tower Linux PC. In the process of picking a 256GB SSD. Have read many of the reviews on this site. Vertex 4 and Samsung 840 Pro seem to have the best performance after preconditioning. However they are both 512GB in the benchmark and it's unfair to compare them to other models which are all 256GB. Which 256GB SSD would you recommend?

#2 Valleyforge

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 05:24 AM

I've got a Samsung 830 256GB, a Crucial M4 256GB, and a Crucial M500 240GB. I can see very little difference. The 830 is probably the more reliable, as Crucial seem to have a few firmware bloopers. That said, I have a number of Crucial M4 drives, and with firmware updates I've had no data loss or issues yet.

I have had horrible results from OCZ SSD drives, though.

Laptop: Dell inspiron E7440, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 mSATA, Win7 Pro
Workstation: i5-4690K, Z97I-Plus, H100i, Obsidian 250D, 480GB Crucial M500, 1TB WD Black, Win8.1 Pro, Hyper-V

NAS: Asustor AS-604T, 3GB RAM, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 & 2x4TB HGST NAS

HTPC:Intel NUC D54250WYK, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro

HTPC 2:Intel NUC DN2820, 4GB, 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA, Win7 Pro


 

#3 mike2h

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:32 AM

Samsung pro, Plextor pro.

#4 Brian

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:55 PM

We like the 840 Pro, Vector, Intel 520, Corsair GTX...kind of depends on your budget and what the deals look like at any given time. There will also be a new option next week to consider.

Brian

Publisher- StorageReview.com
Twitter - @StorageReview

 

#5 continuum

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:53 AM

Out of everything mentioned I doubt you could tell the difference in real-world use, so don't stress about it too much.

#6 Slade

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:04 PM

Out of everything mentioned I doubt you could tell the difference in real-world use, so don't stress about it too much.

So true, for average daily tasks I cannot really see any difference between one of my old Intel X-25M and my latest Samsung 840 Pro (my benchmarks are a very different story). Reliability should be the greatest concern and Samsung, Intel and Crucial have all been good to me.

I look forward to looking at the new option that Brian alluded to. :)

#7 MRFS

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:07 PM

At Newegg, the specs for the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
are the same as the specs for the 512GB model.

We've been experimenting with 4 x 6G SSDs
on PCIe 1.0 and PCIe 2.0 chipsets:

the scaling difference attributable to the
faster upstream bandwidth is almost linear.

So, if you're into MAX HEADROOM,
you should see almost 2x READ speeds
with 2 x Samsung 840 Pro in RAID 0.

Here's what we measured with ATTO, Direct I/O ENABLED,
on a PCIe 2.0 chipset, 4 x Samsung 840 Pro 128GB in RAID 0:

Posted Image

1846 / 4 = 461.5 MB/second per RAID 0 member (i.e. pretty good scaling w/ Highpoint RocketRAID 2720SGL)


MRFS

#8 continuation

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:35 AM

We've been experimenting with 4 x 6G SSDs
on PCIe 1.0 and PCIe 2.0 chipsets:


That's very interesting.

I'm assuming the numbers shown in your graph are for sequential IO.

What about random IO? Can you use this setup to turn a bunch of Samsung 840 Pro into a poor man's FusionIO? Can you actually get FusionIO type of random IO performance out of this?

Edited by continuation, 05 May 2013 - 02:46 AM.

#9 MRFS

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:42 PM

We didn't run a complicated battery of tests;
we only ran a few tests to confirm a key hypothesis
by comparing PCIe 1.0 and PCIe 2.0 chipsets.

Here's the result we got with CrystalDiskMark
on the PCIe 2.0 chipset:

Posted Image


Here's the result we got with AS-SSD:

Posted Image


Even on an older PCIe 1.0 chipset, the "feel" is much more snappy
when the C: partition is hosted by 2 x SanDisk 120GB in RAID 0,
but SanDisk SSDs use SandForce controllers which only excel
with compressible raw data.

Happily, the latest Samsung 840 Pro does not particularly care
if the raw data are compressible or not.

And, thus far no one has been able to refute our prediction
that WRITE ENDURANCE is increased by a factor of 2x
when 2 x SSDs are members of a RAID 0 array,
and it is increased by a factor of 4x
when 4 x SSDs are members of a RAID 0 array.

On the down side, Samsung did have a 64GB model 840 Pro,
but when I tried to order 4 of them, Samsung had
already discontinued that 64GB version.

FYI: there are quite a few other vendors who offer
6G SSDs in 60GB to 64GB capacities (if you are on
a limited budget):

http://www.newegg.co...Order=BESTMATCH

Edited by MRFS, 06 May 2013 - 05:43 PM.

#10 Sara Wings

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:14 AM

Samsung 830 256GB i think it is more reliable on you.In Finland i seen many people using that SSD and i also seen some people use to destroy it.In part of Helsinki many people has the best hard drive but there is some asiakirjojen tuhoaminen or destroying document services that not having doubt on destroying different kind of hard drive and i am thinking what about deleting i can't really understand that services.

#11 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:57 AM

If it's a normal PC (i.e. not writing multiple 10's of GB per day) I'd go for the Samsung 840 instead of the Pro. You won't notice the performance difference, but the price difference is significant. And if it lasts only 10 years rather than 20 years due to the TLC NAND.. imagine what the money saved now could buy you in 10 years!

And, thus far no one has been able to refute our prediction that WRITE ENDURANCE is increased by a factor of 2x when 2 x SSDs are members of a RAID 0 array, and it is increased by a factor of 4x when 4 x SSDs are members of a RAID 0 array.


I remember that wierd dicussion. I hope we still agree on "write endurance of 2x128 GB = 1x256 GB" and "write endurance of 4x128 GB = 1x512 GB"?

MrS

#12 MRFS

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

> I remember that wierd dicussion.
> I hope we still agree on
> "write endurance of 2x128 GB = 1x256 GB" and
> "write endurance of 4x128 GB = 1x512 GB"?

The point is the truth of the matter,
not whether we agree or not. :)

"Two blind men will fall into the same hole."


As I recall, the main point was that
"write endurance of 2x128 GB = 2x128 GB" (2 times the endurance of a single 128GB SSD)
and
"write endurance of 4x128 GB = 4x128 GB" (4 times the endurance of a single 128GB SSD).
comparing apples to apples.


The main point of a RAID 0 array is the speed increase.

See the ATTO graph above, which measured READs at >1,800 MB/second
(ASUS P5Q Deluxe, RocketRAID 2720SGL, 4 x Samsung 840 Pro 128GB in RAID 0).

6G / 10 = 600 MBps = MAX HEADROOM for a single 6G SSD and
a more practical ceiling is around 560 MB/second (measured).

Lastly, the 840 Pro has a 5-year factory warranty;
the 840 has a 3-year factory warranty.

Computing cost (at Newegg today) per warranty year for the
256GB 840 Pro and 250GB 840, we get:

$240 / 5 = 48.00 / year

$180 / 3 = 60.00 / year


Hope this helps.

#13 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:18 AM

Of course RAID 0 is faster, that's not the issue (no need to present STR benchies). But why I stepped into this discussion is that if you write:

And, thus far no one has been able to refute our prediction that WRITE ENDURANCE is increased by a factor of 2x when 2 x SSDs are members of a RAID 0 array, and it is increased by a factor of 4x when 4 x SSDs are members of a RAID 0 array.

you make it seem like the RAID somehow magically increases write endurance. However, the reason for that increased endurance is just buying more NAND, which you could have just as well gotten with one larger drive. To first approximation, the write endurance of the RAID will not be any higher or lower than a single drive of the same capacity as the array. Can we agree on this?

Whether you prefer a larger single drive or several smaller ones in RAID 0 is a completely different question and has to be answered by each one individually (higher STR, similar random performance at low queue depths, higher risk of loosing a drive, slightly higher price, slightly higher power consumption). Personally I prefer a single small caching drive for most scenarios ;)

MrS

#14 MRFS

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:37 AM

> you make it seem like the RAID somehow magically increases write endurance.

Those are your words, not mine.

Then, in the next sentence you agree:

"the reason for that increased endurance"

So, it's not "magic": in a 2-member RAID 0 array,
each member performs only 50% of the WRITE load
that a JBOD drive must perform.

In a 4-member RAID 0 array,
each member performs only 25% of the WRITE load
that a JBOD drive must perform.

The comparison I am making is 2 @ 128GB with 1 @ 128GB
(NOT with 1 @ 256GB).

If you insist on comparing ONLY 2 @ 128GB with 1 @ 256GB,
go right ahead, but please be clear about that bias.


We have a PCIe 2.0 workstation with 16GB of SDRAM:
12GB of that SDRAM is a ramdisk using RamDisk Plus.

Because we load a 10GB database into that ramdisk
at every startup, and because we save that ramdisk
at every shutdown, the speed of those READs and WRITEs
is a consideration that is very important -- for us.

Using a single rotating HDD for this task
is totally out of the question.

This is particularly the case whenever system
software updates require a RESTART, which
then saves the entire database and then
restores the entire database BOTH at the
same time, one after the other,
before that computer returns to the Windows desktop.

The best we could achieve with 4 x 15,000 rpm
Hitachi 2.5" SAS HDDs was about 600MB/second.

As the raw data show (see above), 4 x Samsung 840 Pro
are doing READS in excess of 1,800 MB/second:
that's THREE TIMES faster than the Hitachi RAID 0
(exact number is 1,846.730 MB/second, ATTO benchmark).


For some reason that may be indicative of
false and/or misrepresentative advertising,
the SSD industry has been quite reluctant
to specify clearly the P/E cycles that
their various Nand Flash chips can handle.

If one does a little sampling of advertised
specifications at Newegg's SSD offerings,
for example, I believe you will find that
the number of P/E cycles is NOT stated
for the vast majority of those SSDs
being sold at a popular Internet retailer.

And, as I recall, user experimentation
was required to demonstrate that certain
SandForce controllers were designed to
inflict a severe reduction in performance,
if the Media Wear Index reached zero
before the factory warranty period expired.

Finally, it is generally being reported,
in technical reviews on the Internet,
that cost considerations are a major
motivation driving manufacturers to
utilize smaller and smaller die sizes
e.g. 34nm -> 25nm -> 20nm and so on.

Each shrink is reportedly accompanied
by a severe reduction in P/E cycles
e.g. 5,000 to 3,000 and still falling
some as low as 1,000.

Just do a little reading concerning
Triple Level Cell ("TLC") Nand.


In light of all such considerations,
when a computer needs very fast storage
that is NOT likely to "wear out" during
the factory warranty period, it has been
our approach to configure a RAID 0 array
of 4 x SSDs that have a 5-year factory warranty.

No magic: just common sense, in light of
the known properties of these Nand Flash
storage devices.

On the other hand, if one is paying the bills
with the advertising revenues of SSD manufacturers,
I can understand why one would want to avoid
offending them with any of the negative realities
of Nand Flash memory technologies.

Plug-and-Play is also suffering a direct hit,
but that's another story for another day
(HINT: Google TRIM RAID SSD)

#15 MRFS

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:32 PM

Here's an experiment that everyone can do, in less than 15 minutes:

Make a spreadsheet with the following columns:

Manufacturer / Model / Seq. READ Speed / Seq. WRITE Speed / Warranty Period

Refine a Newegg search to limit the results to
60GB and 64GB SATA III 2.5" SSDs.

How many manufacturers allow Newegg to disclose
the "Seq. WRITE Speed" and how many do not?

Crucial allows Newegg to report ~95MB/second,
but that spec is NOT reported for Corsair's models.

#16 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:08 AM

Alright, let's try to bury the hatchet. There's obviously been some misunderstanding, since we agree on the obvious facts.

Had you written something like "Buying more drives for a RAID 0 gives you a speed increase and an endurance bonus due to the increased NAND capacity" I think there would not have been any discussion, because this is plain obvious. Whether this RAID is a good idea and the added endurance neccessary (or even beneficial) is a totally different question and depends on the intended application and the expected write load.

However, the way your original statement was written led me to believe that you meant going from e.g. 1x256 to 2x128 would increase endurance. Now I know that this is not what you meant (and is actually not what you wrote - my bad). But I still felt that others might misunderstand that statement too and make poor decisions based on it. That's why I wanted you to clarify what's being compared. And I think I've been clearly stating what I compared. Which is (IMO) not a bias, just starting from the point "I have x to spend on an SSD" or "I want/need y capcity of SSD storage". I think this is a pretty normal case (see e.g. thread title) and here it's usually not an option to just double or quadrouple the number of SSDs and hence cost. In your application example the prerequisites were different, of course.

Regarding your remaining statements: I'm well aware of P/E cycles, TLC etc. That's why I wrote "If it's a normal PC (i.e. not writing multiple 10's of GB per day)" when recommending the 840 over the 840 Pro. If you haven't you might want to check out Anand measuring the write endurance of the 840.

MrS



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