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Blackorchad

SSDs - What to avoid?

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Over the last week I have been gathering information in some great detail about SSDs.

 

I had initially decided on either the vertex 3 or the agility 3 but after some extensive reading about both these drives I’ve been left having second thoughts

 

I'm now unsure at what I should be looking at?

Suggestions for a 120G SSD and what should i avoid like the plague?

 

thanks

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i found a 120g ssd to small for my gaming habits but it may suit you just fine

 

agility 3 $169 is great value and although they have had there firmware problems the early adopters should have coped most of that leaving you with what will hopefully be a drive that has similar reliability to a hdd at least for the first few years long term reliability is a bit unknown

the most reliable drives are from intel although there new 520 drive is based on the sandforce chip which is the same chip used by ocz and has a slightly higher failure rate than others the one from intel looks to be nice and quick

 

heap of reviews here

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showth...SSD-520-Reviews

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I'm a bit sceptical about OCZ's track record given I did have two SSDs and one has died on me not long after I bought it.

 

If absolute speed is necessary, then nothing can match the OCZ Agility. Otherwise, alternatives could be Crucial's M4 SSDs, Intel 320 series or the OCZ Octane as these don't use the Sandforce controllers that had the flak of dying early but still match the speed.

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If absolute speed is necessary, then nothing can match the OCZ Agility.

You sure about that?

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If absolute speed is necessary, then nothing can match the OCZ Agility.

You sure about that?

 

it boasts 525mb/s read and 500mb/s write which is on par with most - for the price its very good. some are now offering 550mb/s read and 525mb/s write but doubt that would be noticeable in real world use.

i have an agility 3 and so does my house mate, no issues whatsoever over the last 6 months or so. haven't had to update firmware or anything.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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So the vertex 3 and agility 3 have pretty much got the kinks worked out.

 

Has anyone since the firmware update - who was having problems - still had issues?

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So the vertex 3 and agility 3 have pretty much got the kinks worked out.

 

Has anyone since the firmware update - who was having problems - still had issues?

 

Vertex 3 is one of the fastest drives out there.

 

No isuses with my vertex 3 at all with firmware 2.15. Make sure you update the firmware before installing windows. Also make sure your mother board has up to date bios and drivers. I would also disable hotswapping in Bios and make sure your drive is set to AHCI mode in Bios. I would also use the intel controllers rather than Marvel or another type. The latest intel RST driver is rock solid.

 

Vertex 3 drives are pretty bloody good. And in relation to the issues that they were having with the Sandforce controller ALL SSD manufacturers using that particular controller were also having issues including Intel. The issue was traced back to Sandforce as well as the drive controllers on some motherboards. The issues also seemed to raise their heads among those with more exotic configurations such as RAID set ups and so on, again this was alos linked to particular motherboards and controllers.

 

As far as I can tell the issues have been resolved.

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Definitely get as big as your budget allows. I'd rather have a slower larger SSD vs a faster smaller SSD. Unless your very dependent on your storage throughput you won't notice a difference anyway.

 

I found 120GB to be too small. 160GB isn't too bad and it's the size i have in my laptop now, but to be honest the next time i buy an SSD it will be a minimum of 256GB.

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Another option is to go for a small cache drive. Sure it doesn't give you the super fast boot times like a boot SSD (but still quicker than a spinner) but it makes any apps installed to the boot drive load real fast.

For me this was the decider as I don't normally boot up my PC a dozen times a day so fast boot times are not a big issue.

 

Oh and a big plus, I didn't have to reinstall the OS at all.

 

So with my 1Tb boot drive I have a 64Gb OCZ Synapse Cache SATA III 2.5" SSD. This gives me a somewhat better boot time and a lot better programme launch times, plus no worries about space on the spinner boot drive.

You can do similar with the Intel Z68 chipsets and any SSD using the intel SRT stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Response_Technology

 

Having an AMD system I had to go the 3rd party route for caching. Do note that with both systems caching only works for software installed on the boot drive. However, with the DataPlex software at least, this covers all partitions on the boot drive (if you have more than one partition).

 

Also note with the OCZ/Dataplex solution that

 

"Why is only half the Synapse capacity accessible?"

 

"The 50% NAND overprovisioning used on all Synapse models (translating into 32GB and 64GB cache capacities) is maintained as a performance feature to increase the lifespan of the drive, and accommodate the writing of "hot" user data. Since the Synapse acts as a cache for file/program copies vs. typical data storage, the "free" capacity will be sufficient to deliver the full benefits of Synapse for any personal usage pattern."

 

Once set up the cache drive is totally invisible to the user and even windows. It doesn't show up in computer management, windows explorer or device manager.

I do also have a 60Gb OCZ Solid 3 SSD but this is in the HTPC, where I really want fast boot times, so I can turn on the HTPC and TV and watch a video without a long wait. Of course had to make sure all the user data folders where moved to the spinner drive and also had to make very damn sure the tv recording software was also using the spinner for it's temp and record locations. Frankly it was a pain making sure I didn't forget some silly setting that was going to try to save gigabytes of data to the SSD.

 

addendum.

Pity the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB HDD with 100GB SSD is so expensive wouldn't mind trying one of them out, especially as it is a PCI-E interface

http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive...tate-drive.html

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=18515

 

Also been using a hybrid Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB hybrid in the Dell notebook and it seems to be a bit snappier than the standard drive.

Edited by aliali

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addendum.

Pity the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB HDD with 100GB SSD is so expensive wouldn't mind trying one of them out, especially as it is a PCI-E interface

http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive...tate-drive.html

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=18515

i would pay that if they had a 2x1tb platter 7200rpm 3.5" hdd on it rather than a 5400rpm 2x500g platter hdd

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i would pay that if they had a 2x1tb platter 7200rpm 3.5" hdd on it rather than a 5400rpm 2x500g platter hdd

Well that's a bit dumb putting a 5400RPM drive on it. At least the Seagate Momentus use 7200 RPM drives, pity about the much smaller cache (4 and 8gb).

So just as well I saved my money and bought a straight cache drive to go with my 1Tb Samsung F3 drive.

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I have had two OCZ 120GB Vertex2 SSDs drives fail since October, so thats one every 60 days - total PITA. Gone off that brand now - trying Kingston.

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I have had two OCZ 120GB Vertex2 SSDs drives fail since October, so thats one every 60 days - total PITA. Gone off that brand now - trying Kingston.

With that sort of failure rate, doesn't that turn people off SSDs entirely? It's what is keeping my away from SSDs (the pricing seems at least reasonable now).

 

The only SSD I run is with my laptop - Toshiba brand, and for the most part it seems to be reliable (1+ year now) and I would buy it for my other machines, but they don't sell to retail.

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both the ocz vertex 2 120g i purchased for others are still fine as is our aram 30g and i have a new ocz synaps 128g so far so good

 

g__day any idea what part of the drive failed was it nand flash or the controler?

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So the vertex 3 and agility 3 have pretty much got the kinks worked out.

 

Has anyone since the firmware update - who was having problems - still had issues?

Hey man I was having some random BSOD's with the old firmware with my Max IOPS Vertex 3 and I've not had once since the update.

 

 

Very happy with my drive I'd recommend picking one up if your looking to buy now.

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@ Dasa, usually the controller is the culprit of the SSD dying. I've gotten the same problem with my 240GB in which it died pretty much after I powered down my system. Couldn't see the drive through the BIOS or Windows via external HDD enclosure. I think the early Sandforce controllers had a high failure rate before the kinks were worked out. Even so, I'm a bit more hesitant in getting any more Sandforce controller SSDs.

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@ Dasa, usually the controller is the culprit of the SSD dying. I've gotten the same problem with my 240GB in which it died pretty much after I powered down my system. Couldn't see the drive through the BIOS or Windows via external HDD enclosure. I think the early Sandforce controllers had a high failure rate before the kinks were worked out. Even so, I'm a bit more hesitant in getting any more Sandforce controller SSDs.

yep i gabbed the vertex 2 when they were up to ~1.25 firmware i think just before ocz started using cheap nand flash that was a bit slower and smaller than the original spec...

the new sata3 sandforce controllers had a fair failure rate at first to im guessing the newer ones must have improved a bit for intel to now be using them and slapping on a 5 year warranty

Edited by Dasa

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I'm looking to buy the CORSAIR FORCE 3 120GB 2.5" SSD SATA3 550/510, has anyone had nay experience with Corsair SSD or know of any issues with them?

 

Edit: Wow, just hit the Corsair forums, not a great drive it would seem :(

Edited by Fragasaurus

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I'm looking to buy the CORSAIR FORCE 3 120GB 2.5" SSD SATA3 550/510, has anyone had nay experience with Corsair SSD or know of any issues with them?

I'm certainly happy with my Corsair CSSD-P128GBP-BK 128GB Performance Pro Solid State Drive. It has a Marvell controller as it seemed attractive at the time. I don't know much about these things but I can't fault mine so far :)

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I'm looking to buy the CORSAIR FORCE 3 120GB 2.5" SSD SATA3 550/510, has anyone had nay experience with Corsair SSD or know of any issues with them?

 

Edit: Wow, just hit the Corsair forums, not a great drive it would seem :(

Usually any of the first gen Sandforce SF2281 drives aren't that flash as they tend to lock up/die faster due to the firmware. I've had my 240GB SSD die because of that. I'd recommend Crucial's M4 or the Corsair Performance Pro as the alternatives since the Marvell controller on them hasn't had a lot of issues.q

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I've had a bad run with the Corsair Force series, 2 out of 4 dying within 9 months.

 

But I think it's just bad luck.

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Dasa no idea - when they don't work - they really don't work! No even seen in the BIOS. I bought them (for convenience alone) at Harris Technology - as I live less than 1 km from the store. They tested them and yep - total deaders!

 

Maybe go Revo drive - PCI express - best of all worlds for the $. Seriously with the right workloads getting 1.5 GB/sec transfer rates is incredible!

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sounds like dead a controller which is the common fault with sandforce drives

im guessing that with bad nand the drive would still show up

 

fairly sure the revo use multiple sandforce controllers in raid but you cant argue with the performance

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I'm looking at getting a 120gb SSD for Windows and BF3 / whatever other MP game takes over when I'm bored with it.

My general Windows install + programs and documents is only around 45-50gb, so I don't really require more than 120gb total yet.

All my other / sp games and data can stay on the mechanicals.

 

I've narrowed it down to the OCZ Agility 3 or the Intel 320 series.

Which one is better?

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=17311

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=19211

 

Taking into consideration the $20 price difference as well.

Edited by Ezkaton

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