To SSD or not SSD.

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To SSD or not SSD.

Post#1 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:23 am

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adam1991 wrote:You won't increase performance to any degree, other than making yourself feel good, by adding a SSD.


I disagree. Any reads from the OS drive are going to be much faster. That said, there isn't much beyond the EPG info and recording thumbnails that actually gets read from the OS drive. However, even with the little bit of data that WMC needs from the OS drive, there is a small gain in WMC's performance when an SSD is used as the OS drive. Obviously the bigger the EPG and the more thumbnails that need to be loaded, the bigger the performance gain over a HDD. But is it something to scream about? No. The real gain with an SSD comes from other applications....the OS itself (such as during boot) and any other applications that may be reading data from the SSD.
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Post#2 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:08 am

Extender performance is better too.
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Post#3 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:55 am

richard1980 wrote:
adam1991 wrote:You won't increase performance to any degree, other than making yourself feel good, by adding a SSD.


I disagree. Any reads from the OS drive are going to be much faster. That said, there isn't much beyond the EPG info and recording thumbnails that actually gets read from the OS drive. However, even with the little bit of data that WMC needs from the OS drive, there is a small gain in WMC's performance when an SSD is used as the OS drive. Obviously the bigger the EPG and the more thumbnails that need to be loaded, the bigger the performance gain over a HDD. But is it something to scream about? No. The real gain with an SSD comes from other applications....the OS itself (such as during boot) and any other applications that may be reading data from the SSD.


...which is another way of saying, "you won't increase performance to any degree, other than making yourself feel good, by adding a SSD." :D
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Post#4 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:32 pm

:yawn: Here's my subjective measurements:

Install SSD.
Note how much quicker it is inside of Media Center to bring up the guide, general navigation, Searching for shows, showing my huge recorded history, etc etc yadda yadda.

Enjoy your product comfortable in the knowledge that it is definitely worth it.

I totally recommend this to anyone considering it. It makes me feel good because MC is way more responsive. I think you need to try one adam, then report back with your findings.
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Post#5 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:33 pm

adam1991 wrote:
richard1980 wrote:
adam1991 wrote:You won't increase performance to any degree, other than making yourself feel good, by adding a SSD.


I disagree. Any reads from the OS drive are going to be much faster. That said, there isn't much beyond the EPG info and recording thumbnails that actually gets read from the OS drive. However, even with the little bit of data that WMC needs from the OS drive, there is a small gain in WMC's performance when an SSD is used as the OS drive. Obviously the bigger the EPG and the more thumbnails that need to be loaded, the bigger the performance gain over a HDD. But is it something to scream about? No. The real gain with an SSD comes from other applications....the OS itself (such as during boot) and any other applications that may be reading data from the SSD.


...which is another way of saying, "you won't increase performance to any degree, other than making yourself feel good, by adding a SSD." :D


You made it sound like the only reason to have an SSD is to make yourself feel good. As if the SSD offered absolutely no benefit to the user experience. Sorry if I read it wrong, but that's what it sounded like to me. The reality is there is a performance difference, it's just not very much. But when you look outside of WMC, that's when you start seeing huge potential for the drive.
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Post#6 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:40 pm

When the inevitable comes and you have to reinstall Windows due to some playready issue, I would rather use the SSD. ;)
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Post#7 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:00 pm

I recently just purchased an SSD after waiting years for the price to become reasonable. I purchase a small SDD to use as an OS drive in lieu of my old IDE drive that was working just fine. I can say that there IS a noticiable difference BUT it nothing earth shattering. Random lags are no longer present. I accidentally did not change my record drive setting to my dedicated sata hard drive before I started watching live tv and I noticed a HUGE improvement on the DVR pause, skip forward and skip back response time. Again, nothing worth spend thousands of $$ on new SSDs to replace all 5 of my sata hard drives, but definitely is a real world increase from SATA & IDE. One day when the price is right, I'd like to switch all 4TB of storage I have (blu-rays) for SSDs b/c I think it will help with startup after the drive has went idle. Right now, I turn off my hard drives after 5min of inactivity and it takes a second for the drives to spin back up, which can be annoying but its not that big of a deal. The low power consumption of SSDs is what interests me the most. My computes is very green and SSDs really help be green without sacrificing performance. Resume time from hibernate is twice as fast as it was with the IDE hard drive.

I agree with everyone's comments above b/c most people will not see a big real world difference but their is a performance increase.
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Post#8 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:32 pm

The reality is there is a performance difference, it's just not very much. But when you look outside of WMC, that's when you start seeing huge potential for the drive.


Right.

If you're using the box solely for WMC, SSD doesn't really have much to offer. That was my whole point.
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Post#9 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:06 pm

An SSD is not a necessity in any way, however after having my first one in my HTPC, I wouldn't go back to a standard HDD. The performance bump although slight as it might be was worth the added cost. In short if you have the extra funds you won't be disappointed you bought one.

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Post#10 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:25 am

adam1991 wrote:
The reality is there is a performance difference, it's just not very much. But when you look outside of WMC, that's when you start seeing huge potential for the drive.[/quote
Right.

If you're using the box solely for WMC, SSD doesn't really have much to offer. That was my whole point.


I disagree. I think the difference is totally noticeable. After seeing the difference it made on my HTPC I immediately bought 3 more for the other PC's in my house. In my opinion an SSD boot drive is the biggest bang for the buck if someone is looking for an improved Media Center experienced.
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Post#11 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:50 am

I agree, adding a SSD as the boot drive to most any PC is the biggest bang for the buck you can get for a noticeable performance upgrade. If you're using the PC solely as a media center, it makes sense just for the increased boot/wake from sleep times. Plus, the install is simple and most come with cloning software.
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Post#12 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:42 pm

I work with backend VOD streaming servers and can say without a shadow of a doubt that flash drive based streaming servers are, except for capacity, vastly superior in every way to mechanical disk based streaming servers. When pushed its is truly mindblowing what these disks can do and the fact that they next to never fail is a huge added bonus.

I think on a HTPC there just arent being pushed enough to really appriciate how much of a massive leap forward they really are.
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Post#13 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:27 pm

Streaming server is way, WAY different than a DVR.

I think on a HTPC there just arent being pushed enough to really appriciate how much of a massive leap forward they really are.


Au contraire. Everyone recognizes that DVR use pushes SSD over the edge with writes, and that's why spinning discs rule for DVR recording storage.

And since 99% of what the DVR does is work with the recording storage system, SSD plays a minute part in the overall system.
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Post#14 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:43 pm

I just switched our "DVR" to SDD, and the WAF increased.

1) 1500 movie icons load up much faster, almost instanteneously.

2) Movies, Music, and recorded TV content opens up almost instanteneously.

3) Extenders respond much better.

4) The time it takes for "Live TV" to become live is much much faster, still not quite instant, but definitely faster than before.

Before SSD I added a 4Gb "Ready boost" device, which made the "DVR" faster, but not instanteneously fast.

If I didn't get an SSD on a deal, I wouldn't have bothered, but the right price was enough to sway me to go through the trouble of reinstalling windows, and recreating all of our recorded TV schedules.
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Post#15 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:53 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but ReadyBoost simply uses a flash drive as extra RAM--not hard drive storage.

If you already have enough RAM in the thing, then ReadyBoost won't do anything.
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Post#16 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:41 pm

adam1991 wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but ReadyBoost simply uses a flash drive as extra RAM--not hard drive storage.

If you already have enough RAM in the thing, then ReadyBoost won't do anything.


Have you tried Readyboost? or a SSD for that matter?

Readyboost does offer a slight improvement but I can easliy live without it. I wouldn't look at Readyboost like it's extra RAM because it's not but it does improve on some of the lag.

A SSD however is a great improvement and is immediately a notable improvement and I would have a hard time going back to a mechanical disc. Like others have said, a SSD is the one investment that will offer the most improvement. It removes most all of whatever lag you find in MC between tasks or even button presses. My HTPCs that don't have a SSD feel a bit archaic in performance and will be upgraded when the funds permit and will be money well spent.
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Post#17 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:42 pm

adam1991 wrote:Streaming server is way, WAY different than a DVR.

I think on a HTPC there just arent being pushed enough to really appriciate how much of a massive leap forward they really are.


Au contraire. Everyone recognizes that DVR use pushes SSD over the edge with writes, and that's why spinning discs rule for DVR recording storage.

And since 99% of what the DVR does is work with the recording storage system, SSD plays a minute part in the overall system.



Spinning discs do rule for recording storage, but SSD's are important for the boot drive. To me the most important part of a DVR is reliability. The next most important is the interface. SSD's improve the responsiveness and smoothness of the interface.
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Post#18 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:50 pm

adam1991 wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but ReadyBoost simply uses a flash drive as extra RAM--not hard drive storage.

If you already have enough RAM in the thing, then ReadyBoost won't do anything.


ReadyBoost uses a flash drive as a cache for data that is on the spinning disk. The logic is since it's flash memory, it's faster to read than a spinning disk. Also, ReadyBoost is disabled when the OS drive is an SSD because reading data from an SSD is slower than reading from a flash drive.
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Post#19 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:08 pm

Did you just mix the two up in that last sentence?
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Post#20 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:28 pm

:lol:

Good catch. Yes I did....probably shouldn't try posting while I'm trying to work too, lol.

So to correct myself, reading from a flash drive is slower than reading from an SSD. Thus, ReadyBoost would actually cause the system to slow down.
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