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View Poll Results: Does Your Primary Linux Desktop Have An HDD or SSD?
HDD 495 69.52%
SSD 217 30.48%
Voters: 712. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-18-2013, 05:54 AM   #121
graemev
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Somebody posted output from smartctl -a ... When I last looked into this the figures from smart were not valid for SSD.
In any case my observed behaviour was the SSD reported 100% OK, right up until it failed totally.

So there are three uses I have for SSD:

1: In a laptop (low power, silent, fast) ... any data on a a laptop is "Temporary" either I drop/lose the laptop or the SSD just fails without warning. Either way data needs to be synced elsewhere.

2: As a boot device, just need an alternate way to boot to reinstall the boot system each time the SSD dies.

3: As a test machine, where I reinstall it frequently. No long term data storage.
 
Old 10-18-2013, 06:43 AM   #122
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
<snip>
So add the noatime and nodiratime flags to your mount command...it's really not that difficult.
If the SSD supports TRIM you should setup the drive accordingly. If you use noatime then nodiratime would not be necessary since it is a function of noatime. Look at SSD wiki for some useful information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
Something else...like SSDs? As has been mentioned by basically everybody in this thread, you don't need to put EVERYTHING on the SSD. If you're doing recording and editing with these large datasets, you should probably be using a desktop rather than a laptop, in which case just run both. OS on the SSD so the system isn't unusably slow, and the data on bulk storage on the HDD.
Why not? I use my Laptop with a SSD along with a external HDD for larger long term data storage. Storage on the SSD for OS, everyday work, compiling or editing without issues and I still have about 50% capacity left on the SSD. Of course anything that must be kept long term is moved to the external HDD(s). This Laptop has been operating over a year with this configuration with no issue(s). Of course the system has been setup to optimize SSD usage.

The OCZ SSD supports TRIM and I setup the noop scheduler(FIFO) for the SSD;
Code:
# cat /etc/rc.d/rc.local
#!/bin/sh
#
# /etc/rc.d/rc.local:  Local system initialization script.
#
# Put any local startup commands in here.  Also, if you have
# anything that needs to be run at shutdown time you can
# make an /etc/rc.d/rc.local_shutdown script and put those
# commands in there.
#
#09-25-12 gws 20:07
#
#08-20-12 gws 14:38
#set minimum swappiness
#
echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

#08-20-12 gws
#sets scheduler for SSD to 'noop' 
#SSD=(device ID's of all 'SSD': see note below)
#Note Information revised from ArchWiki;

#This provides the links listed with targets information to place in bash array 
#'SSD= ( ) parentheses in below 'SSD= ( );

#ls -l /dev/disk/by-id
#lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Aug 19 11:27 ata-OCZ-AGILITY3_OCZ-C93VFN4X0532CVMP -> ../../sda

SSD=(ata-OCZ-AGILITY3_OCZ-C93VFN4X0532CVMP)

declare -i i=0
while [ "${SSD[$i]}" != "" ]; do
  NODE=`ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/${SSD[$i]} | awk '{ print $NF }' | sed -e 's/[/\.]//g'`
  echo noop > /sys/block/$NODE/queue/scheduler
  i=i+1
done

#08-20-12 gws 14:45
#get some additional gain by setting up a write-back cache
hdparm -W1 /dev/sda   #where x= a,b,c,d...

#
#09-20-12:16:14 gws bumblebee
if [ -x /etc/rc.d/rc.bumblebeed ]; then
     /etc/rc.d/rc.bumblebeed start
fi
Along with;
Code:
# cat /etc/fstab
/dev/sda2        swap             swap        defaults         0   0
/dev/sda5        /                ext4        defaults,noatime,discard         1   1
/dev/sda6        /home            ext4        defaults,noatime,discard         1   2
/dev/sda7        /usr             ext4        defaults,noatime,discard         1   2
/dev/sda8        /var             ext4        defaults,noatime,discard         1   2
/dev/sda9        /tmp             ext4        defaults,noatime,discard         1   2
/dev/sdb2        /mnt/win7        ntfs-3g     fmask=111,dmask=000 1   0
#/dev/cdrom      /mnt/cdrom       auto        noauto,owner,ro  0   0
/dev/fd0         /mnt/floppy      auto        noauto,owner     0   0
devpts           /dev/pts         devpts      gid=5,mode=620   0   0
proc             /proc            proc        defaults         0   0
tmpfs            /dev/shm         tmpfs       defaults         0   0
BTW, I use Slackware and occasionally MS Windows 7 for client support. Default swappiness for Slackware is 60. Setup SSD to get some additional gain by setting up a write-back cache if the SSD hardware supports write-back

If anyone uses OCZ SSD then be sure to get this command line utility for firmware & tools from OCZ. Please note that you should always backup before performing any SSD firmware upgrades.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by onebuck; 10-18-2013 at 05:37 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 10-18-2013, 07:13 AM   #123
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graemev View Post
Somebody posted output from smartctl -a ... When I last looked into this the figures from smart were not valid for SSD.
In any case my observed behaviour was the SSD reported 100% OK, right up until it failed totally.
Same can happen with a HDD, so I don't see the point.
Quote:
1: In a laptop (low power, silent, fast) ... any data on a a laptop is "Temporary" either I drop/lose the laptop or the SSD just fails without warning. Either way data needs to be synced elsewhere.
You should have backups anways, regardless which type of disk you use.
Quote:
2: As a boot device, just need an alternate way to boot to reinstall the boot system each time the SSD dies.
The same is true for mechanical disks.
Quote:
3: As a test machine, where I reinstall it frequently. No long term data storage.
I can't see how mechanical disks have an advantage (except the price) for long term data storage.
 
Old 10-18-2013, 08:13 AM   #124
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncmoody View Post
Are you serious that one only sees 2% of the total capacity?
No, 80-90%. He brought up an example where he had filled a 300 GB drive with 299 GB and was then writing that last GB over and over again, claiming that he'd hit the write limit quickly in that scenario.
 
Old 10-18-2013, 09:14 AM   #125
ncmoody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
No, 80-90%. He brought up an example where he had filled a 300 GB drive with 299 GB and was then writing that last GB over and over again, claiming that he'd hit the write limit quickly in that scenario.
So a 300Gb may be a 360GB.

I was confused by you using the word 'Fraction'. Whilst anything less that 100% is a fraction I had thought of mor 1/5 or 1/6 type fraction.

Perhaps stupid of me as I constantly rile at people who use 'decimate' when they mean reduced to 1/10 not by 1/10
 
Old 10-18-2013, 09:56 PM   #126
ppkingpping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonamedotc View Post
I do not yet have a SSD - way too expensive for me now. I use HDD everywhere.
it is too expensive for me now
 
Old 10-18-2013, 10:01 PM   #127
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppkingpping View Post
it is too expensive for me now
Nor for me, it was fraction of the cost of the PC.
 
Old 10-18-2013, 11:39 PM   #128
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncmoody View Post
So a 300Gb may be a 360GB.

I was confused by you using the word 'Fraction'. Whilst anything less that 100% is a fraction I had thought of mor 1/5 or 1/6 type fraction.
Yes, I could have worded it better. The takeaway is that most decent SSDs have about 10-20% capacity in reserve for wear leveling and redundancy. While the user might think they only have 1 GB available, the fact is that 1 GB they keep writing "over and over" as Shadow_7 stated is in fact being distributed over many times that in reserved space. Not only that, but the controller is not leaving static data alone, but actually swapping static data around to free up rarely-used blocks so they may be used for dynamic storage.

In the end, I must agree with ozar. The reliability concerns that are brought up time and time again by ignorant people (often persuaded to their current position by fear-mongering) are completely unwarranted, and are a non-issue. In case any opposers haven't noticed, many SSD users here have posted their current wear level. The general consensus is that after a few years of constant, daily use, the remaining life is still upwards of 97%. All indicators point to a practical write limit of 50+ years in real world applications. The write limit of MLC SSDs is incredibly high, the type of use-case that might actually run into this limit is so incredibly rare that it's practically imaginary. For those inconceivable cases in which the SSD write limit is actually hit within the lifespan of the rest of the hardware in the computer, there is always the option of increasing the capacity of the drive (double capacity = double the write limit lifetime in the same application) or switching from MLC to SLC, and increasing the write limit by a factor of 30.

Ignoring the [non-existant] reliability issue, there really is nothing else that should hold people back from making the switch. Yes SSDs are more expensive, but they are SO much faster that it completely outweighs the price difference, no questions asked. I built my first HDD-based machine in 3 years today, and it was PAINFULLY slow. The processor is great, fast and plentiful RAM, great mobo, etc. In fact it's one of the most powerful workstations I've built to date (E3-1225 v2) yet the machine feels as slow as any desktop from 2007 or earlier. ONE WEEK of using this system on an SSD instead of its current HDD would pay for itself in my labor cost. I'm confident in my decision to use an HDD in this application, namely because the system will be headless, userless, nothing more than an autonomous number-crunching machine uploading periodic results to an sftp server. Once the setup is complete, the user experience will become irrelevant, but in the mean time it is an absolute nightmare to work with.

I do not understand how anybody continues to build workstations/laptops based on HDDs. What's the point? They are SO slow, you might as well be using a Pentium 4 with DDR-400 RAM, because your fancy i3-i7 with DDR3 RAM is doing literally nothing but sitting around and waiting on your HDD all of the time.

I've seen a few comments in this thread where the author doesn't get the impression they're ever waiting on their HDD. I'm afraid this is one of those cases where you can't see the problems with your current setup until you experience something better. If you never experience a system running off of an SSD, you'll never realize how your current HDD is holding you back. As a quick reality check, how long does it take between when you launch a web browser and it actually opens? Email client? Terminal? Anything? How about updates or program installation (not the downloading part, but the actual updating part). How about doing anything at all within the first few minutes after first starting the system? If your answer is anything other than "instant", that's the fault of your HDD. Progress bars don't exist with SSDs. Processors/RAM have been capable of opening and running daily tasks like these faster than you can blink for years, it's always been the HDD that holds them back.

The longer you tie yourself to HDDs, the longer you're going to regret not making the switch sooner.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 10-18-2013 at 11:53 PM.
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 10-19-2013, 03:10 AM   #129
ncmoody
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suicidaleggroll - Thanks for a very good post!

Another thing you (and others) might consider is the use of Pipeline disk for non AV work.

Having switched to an SSD for my boot disk I was finding that VMs were taking an age to load - even from fast SATA III disks.
These VMs are generally in the 10-20Gb size range.

I had a spare 500Gb Pipeline disk (removed from a dead Sky box) so I gave it a try, the result the loading time dropped to about 1/3 of that from my best SATA III. Note- the increase in performance is limited to the first 20-30Gb and after loading that the performance falls off quite dramatically, but filled my needs, it was a very cheap cost effective solution.
 
Old 10-19-2013, 07:08 AM   #130
ozar
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Back when I used to try for speedier systems with faster CPUs and faster RAM (or more of it), I'd see very little if any actual speed improvement when using my machines, but when I went from using HDDs to SSDs for system drives, the noticeable speed difference was like day and night. The only way to truly understand what is being said here is to experience it yourself.
 
Old 10-19-2013, 03:38 PM   #131
Shadow_7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozar View Post
Back when I used to try for speedier systems with faster CPUs and faster RAM (or more of it), I'd see very little if any actual speed improvement when using my machines, but when I went from using HDDs to SSDs for system drives, the noticeable speed difference was like day and night. The only way to truly understand what is being said here is to experience it yourself.
You can boost performance by using the disks less. The default swappiness is 60, which hits a harddrive pretty hard. If you have lots of RAM and never do anything to need "ALL" of it, you can setup a ramdisk and move things there. And set the swappiness to a very low number, maybe even zero, but be prepared for DANGERS. When you run out of RAM or push limits. If you edit small-ish files having /tmp in RAM can really boost performance. Not so good on large files, as applications like audacity make a copy of your file in /tmp. And then makes additional copies with edits as undo history. Which is significant when you start talking 4GB audio files. So not doable on conventional machines with /tmp in ram. But having ~/.mozilla/firefox/ and similar things on a ramdisk can make some things a bit more sane.

But I hear what you're saying. I traveled recently with linux on a usb stick, and no other tech beyond a camcorder. A very very slow stick. So slow that sometimes the web browser would crash because it took too long to load. And on an intel i7 quad core youtube videos would pause for disk I/O, often spending more time paused than actually playing. While the game that I usually play would achieve 3x's the frames per second that I get at home. So yeah, disk data rates do matter.

There are reasons to use SSDs. Fast, silent, and low power. And there are reasons NOT to use them, mostly related to costs. I use HDDs because they're cheap and I tend to abuse my storage devices in terms of data flow and girth. If I could afford to swap out SSDs like one does tennis shoes, I would use them. I already swap out HDDs on a yearly basis it seems, just for sanity purposes. And as an archival option. When you start talking 1GB every 5 minutes for video and 1GB every 15 minutes for audio, plus weekly hour long shows or concerts. And that's before you get around to editing and creating user friendly results from the originals.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 10-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #132
KenJackson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
But having ~/.mozilla/firefox/ and similar things on a ramdisk can make some things a bit more sane.
Excellent idea! I'm glad I kept reading this already too-long thread.

In fact I'm going to look into putting ~/.cache/mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxx.default/ on a ramdisk. It's contents are disposable, so I won't even have to restore it on boot. I'll have to experiment with making it a mountpoint or a symbolic link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
I already swap out HDDs on a yearly basis it seems, just for sanity purposes.
Wow. That would have the opposite affect on me.

Last edited by KenJackson; 10-19-2013 at 05:44 PM.
 
Old 10-21-2013, 07:42 AM   #133
enine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post

Ignoring the [non-existant] reliability issue, there really is nothing else that should hold people back from making the switch. Yes SSDs are more expensive, but they are SO much faster that it completely outweighs the price difference, no questions asked. I built my first HDD-based machine in 3 years today, and it was PAINFULLY slow. The processor is great, fast and plentiful RAM, great mobo, etc. In fact it's one of the most powerful workstations I've built to date (E3-1225 v2) yet the machine feels as slow as any desktop from 2007 or earlier. ONE WEEK of using this system on an SSD instead of its current HDD would pay for itself in my labor cost. I'm confident in my decision to use an HDD in this application, namely because the system will be headless, userless, nothing more than an autonomous number-crunching machine uploading periodic results to an sftp server. Once the setup is complete, the user experience will become irrelevant, but in the mean time it is an absolute nightmare to work with.

I do not understand how anybody continues to build workstations/laptops based on HDDs. What's the point? They are SO slow, you might as well be using a Pentium 4 with DDR-400 RAM, because your fancy i3-i7 with DDR3 RAM is doing literally nothing but sitting around and waiting on your HDD all of the time.

I've seen a few comments in this thread where the author doesn't get the impression they're ever waiting on their HDD. I'm afraid this is one of those cases where you can't see the problems with your current setup until you experience something better. If you never experience a system running off of an SSD, you'll never realize how your current HDD is holding you back. As a quick reality check, how long does it take between when you launch a web browser and it actually opens? Email client? Terminal? Anything? How about updates or program installation (not the downloading part, but the actual updating part). How about doing anything at all within the first few minutes after first starting the system? If your answer is anything other than "instant", that's the fault of your HDD. Progress bars don't exist with SSDs. Processors/RAM have been capable of opening and running daily tasks like these faster than you can blink for years, it's always been the HDD that holds them back.

The longer you tie yourself to HDDs, the longer you're going to regret not making the switch sooner.
Cost is a very big issue. I can buy one SSD that will hold my data or three hdd's so I have two backups. I'm not trusting my data to one single device no matter if its hdd or SSD, I'm always going to have a backup or two.
 
Old 10-21-2013, 08:23 AM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enine View Post
Cost is a very big issue. I can buy one SSD that will hold my data or three hdd's so I have two backups. I'm not trusting my data to one single device no matter if its hdd or SSD, I'm always going to have a backup or two.
And that is preventing using a SSD for the OS in which way?
 
Old 10-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #135
enine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
And that is preventing using a SSD for the OS in which way?
laptop(s) can only fit one drive. Unless you want to sit a laptop and external drive on your lap and get a tangle of cables.

That being said, My Latitude D630 an SSD would work as I have a smallish drive in it for the OS then any other drives are external because its on a shelf in a closet used as a server.

I buy only laptops anymore as I have a family of 4 who all has their own. So I buy older used business models and use those as my server(s)/lab and filter down through the kids as they get replaced with something newer. For example earlier this year The Latitude D620 that was my server I wanted to replace because it was not 64bit capable. So I bought the 630 and it became my server and the 620 went to my son and his older 620 that was my wife's moved to my daughter. Somewhere down the road when I replace the 630 it will go to my son and move the 620 down. I have a C800 and two Thinkpads which were their old ones that I still need to clean up and give away.

So my D630 runs Slackware 14.1 x64 on the OS drive and runs Samba, miniDLNA, Snort, etc. I have a external drive hanging off of it with all our music, videos, etc shared both via Samba and miniDLNA. It also has a Software share with opensource/cross platform software such as Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, etc that I can install to the rest of the family. It also has their home folders. I then have one of my two backup drives plugged in there to I can rsync my /home to it and my other backup drive is in the safe. Every so often I'll open the safe and swap the backup drives to ensure both are current.

That 'server' is secondary and our primary machines are the 4 laptops we are using. So first limit is you can really only fit one drive in a laptop unless you run (too) big laptops. Other limit is I'm not spending $300 for an SSD for a $100 laptop running as a server.

Last edited by enine; 10-21-2013 at 10:37 AM.
 
  


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