Is the SSD just a passing fancy

  wee eddie 14:23 13 Nov 14
Locked

Oh! We all know that you gain brownie points if you are able to say that your PC has an SSD installed, however, Windows 8.1 loads faster than any previous iteration and we are told that Windows 10 will be even faster than that.

If you have a fast Hard Drive, say, 7200rpm rather than the pedestrian (normal) 5800rpm, for example: Will ones Boot Time not be close to 10 seconds and therefore lose the SSD its primary advantage?

  Menzie 15:04 13 Nov 14

From using one, SSDs have made a difference, but to be honest I can't say it has been life changing. My PC starts up quicker and programs appear faster when called on.

However when I see videos on YouTube of the BIOS flashing by and the splash screen not showing it makes me wonder if mine is configured correctly.

My system still goes through the BIOS, checks the RAID, etc and my Windows screen still appears. It takes almost 1 minute to actually get from pressing the power button to logging in and using the system.

The issue with SSDs is that it seems people are afraid to use them fully moving the user folders to the slower drive for instance. They also slow way down when they get too full.

However I think they are more than a passing fancy, especially in laptops. My laptop has an SSD now and it feels much different there than my desktop. It is a seven year old Core 2 Duo system and it feels far more responsive now.

  OTT_B 16:31 13 Nov 14

Hard drives, pretty much since the inception of the computer, have been the bottleneck in computers. SSDs can (but don't always) reduce this bottleneck. On paper at least, they have the capability to reduce latency and seek times, and increase data read and data write speeds. Also they tend to be more reliable than 'old' hard drives and produce less heat (which is generally a good thing!).

I suspect what might be happening now is that manufacturers are using SSDs to avoid spending a lot more on the rest of the hardware, while still getting some performance improvement. I can't prove that, by the way!

I doubt they're a fad or a passing fancy - they're here to stay, but with designs still being developed and costs still coming down, their performance and capacities will relentlessly improve over the coming years. Traditional hard drives have still got a place though - the cost per gigabyte of storage is only a small fraction of that of an SSD, at least for now. If you want to store terabytes of data, hard drives are really the only economic option for most home users.

  Aitchbee 16:47 13 Nov 14

I've fancied doin' the upgrade to a SSD in the near future as it might cut down the processing times involved in editing the large amount of sound files I have accumulated over the past few years.

  Batch 18:02 13 Nov 14

Menzie

"It takes almost 1 minute to actually get from pressing the power button to logging in and using the system."

And by the sounds of it that is with an SSD?

That seems an awful long time.

My Win7 PC (i3-3240 CPU) with a WD 7200rpm HDD takes about 30-35 seconds from power button to desktop being up (my system is set-up to bypass log in).

--

More generally Win8 is faster in part 'cos (by default) I gather it doesn't shut down properly (i.e it goes into a hibernate mode). If I were to set my Win7 PC to do the same it would be faster than it is.

Personally I don't like the idea of using hibernate consistently. Seems like bad practice to me. If you don't reboot from scratch for days / weeks months and then a problem arises during the next full reboot, tracking down where the issue arose is a nightmare. I'd rather tolerate a 30 second reboot every day!

  rdave13 19:22 13 Nov 14

I think SSDs will come to their own once the UEFI and Operating systems will do the adjustments needed automatically. I was running a Samsung 250 GB SSD and the speed was noticeable. Unfortunately a lightning strike blew the mobo while I was at work. So many years of upgrading gone in a flash. Disheartened now and don't fancy starting again and so will stick to laptops with external monitor, keyboard and mouse. Slow but sure and no temptation to upgrade hardware.

  rdave13 19:27 13 Nov 14

Batch , I'm puzzled by the idea that you can't shut down Win 8.1 or that it goes to hibernation?

  ams4127 19:35 13 Nov 14

Personally, I will wait until it comes time to update my PC to get an SSD.

I wander into the room where my PC lives, switch on and then go into the kitchen to make myself a coffee and maybe, a sandwich. So whether the machine boots in 30 seconds or 5 minutes is of no concern.

For instant access to webpages/email etc., I open my Nexus 7.

  wee eddie 20:40 13 Nov 14

Ams: You're a man after my own heart. When I got into work, I'd turn on, on arrival, and then get on with the sorting of the regular mail.

There was no sitting around staring at a blank screen waiting for Outlook to drop email onto my plate

  Batch 08:23 14 Nov 14

rdave13

I'm not saying you can't shut down fully - just what happens by default.

In simple terms, there are 3 main categories of power down state: Sleep, Hibernate and Fully Off (in practice there are numerous subtle variations).

  • Sleep does not completely power down but leaves the memory contents intact with power running (at a very low level). On pressing the power button everything is powered up and just continues as before. Obviously if the power was to be removed altogether (e.g. pull the plug) the memory contents would be lost and a full reboot would follow.

  • Fully off shuts down completely. and powers off. On restore of power a full reboot (requiring initiation from scratch of all processes) is required.

  • Hibernate writes the memory contents to disk, sets a flag that indicates that hibernate has been used and then powers off. On reboot the flag is detected and the memory is restored from disk - processes do not need to be restarted.

Most (if not all) PCs can be set to default to whatever variant the user chooses (although I know from experience that Sleep does not always work well).

Historically (i.e. pre-Win8) the default was fully off. My understanding is that Win8 uses the hibernate approach by default, thus creating the illusion of faster start-ups.

  sunnystaines 09:19 14 Nov 14

never had proper ssd drive, but my recently knacked samsung had a 8gb ssd cache on its hdd where windows was loaded and boot from cold or restarts were noticably faster than normal hdd's. new lappy not got this and can notice the difference a lot slower.

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