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SSD Questions
Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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Hey guys. It's that time of year again: PC upgrade time.

So I dual-boot Ubuntu 18.04 and Windows 10. The overwhelming majority of my time is spent in Ubuntu, but I do regularly boot into Windows to play some Windows-exclusive games. I current have both OSs on a standard 7200 RPM 1TB HDD, but keep a 250 GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD as a secondary drive for choice games. I'm considering purchasing the 1TB version of the 860 EVO to put everything on (including OSs, which I didn't do originally because I figured they'd eat up space too quickly). So...

1. Is it a good idea to put an OS on an SSD? Will it drastically reduce its life expectancy (all those writes scare me)?
2. Is the Samsung 860 EVO a good choice, or would you recommend something else?

Thanks a bunch. :)

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
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Perfectly fine to put your OS on an SSD -- I don't know how a person lives without an SSD as their main drive! I would have jumped out the window years ago...

I've had a 500GB ADATA drive in my machine for about 3 years without any problems. Before that it was a 120GB Intel SSD, which I had for about 4 years before I gave it to my dad -- and it's still going strong 7 years later.

The write limits are always very high. A mechanical drive is more likely to die before an SSD.

[To speak to samsung, I think they're overpriced, but I have a samsung M2 drive in my work machine, and a samsung NVMe drive in my work laptop, but great and no issues, but I didn't have to pay for them ;D]

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Edgar Reynaldo
Major Reynaldo
May 2007
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I can't speak to write issues, but you want your OS'es on the SSD because of the ultra fast read times. It will make your entire computer faster.

Make sure to disable swap or put it on a different drive though.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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Samsung is literally "the" choice for SSDs. Bar none. They make memory for a living. If you buy cheapo SSDs you will get bit. (from experience)

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

relpatseht
Member #5,034
September 2004
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NVME drives are falling in price and increasing on size. Mechanical dives are dead. You should be going NVME for speed and SSD for the rest.

Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I ordered the 1TB Samsung 860 EVO. It's SATA, but I doubt any game will exceed its read cap anytime soon. Plus the $100+ increase in asking price from an NVME is too steep for me at this time.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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SATA is 100% fine.

Mechanical dives are dead.

Not for at least 20 years are they going to be comparable to mechanical hard drives. Also, if the SSD dies, you're basically guaranteed to never get the data off unless you've got access to $30,000 and a firm willing to try.

You can get 10 TB mechanical for around $150.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
avatar

The SSD arrived in the mail today. It's super fast! I was amazed at how light it was (it felt like nothing was inside the package at first). It's quiet, which is nice. I hadn't realized just how noisy HDDs were until now. :P

Edgar Reynaldo
Major Reynaldo
May 2007
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NiteHackr
Member #2,229
April 2002

Good question, glad you asked it as I am also in the process of upgrading (one part at a time over several months) and the SSD question has plagued me. I will most likely grab an SSD for the OS and stick with a traditional HDD for the rest as loading times doesn't really bother me all that much. I have never owned an SSD and my traditional HDD has been fine. I have only ever had 1 HDD die on me in my life (and I am 54 now). I STILL have 20G HDDs that work.

It's good to know that SSDs are coming along though. To be fair, when my one HDD failed, I couldn't retrieve anything off of it either, so I wouldn't exactly state that an SSD dying would be any worse. The key is to keep a external backup drive handy for important data, as I now do... hmmm... maybe go SSD as the main drive and use the HDDs for backup? Could be a plan.

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“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” ― Albert Einstein

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

I do not worry much about data loss. Every 15 minutes (cron), home directories and hand-edited system files are backed up (rsync) to a ZFS pool with adequate parity. The backup source is a 256 GB Crucial SSD and has run since 2012. The ZFS pool comprises Hitachi server HDDs. That's where I keep my goodies.

I have been toying with the idea of creating monthly mirrors of the main SSD, in order to reduce downtime in the event of its failure.

Finally, really important data is duplicated into a fire safe or off-site location. Every disk is LUKS-encrypted. Of all you jokers, Thomas is probably the only one for which I would not hesitate to save a seat at the big-boy data table. ;)

... Then again, I probably won't be upgrading much for a while and may very well go back to the kiddie table when SD cards begin out-classing my giant, magnetic platters. :-X

NiteHackr
Member #2,229
April 2002

I can still get a 4TB HDD for the same cost as a 500G SSD, so I'll stick with the HDDs I think. It just doesn't seem worth it to have less storage space and reliability to gain a few seconds in load times.

7 years? I have HDDs that are double that age with no sign of dying.

I am also concerned about how SSDs work. For example, if you have a standard HDD, and you wish to erase deleted files from your hard drive (that is, sector by sector erasure to make certain they cannot be recovered), you can't do that on a SSD due to how they operate. They're less secure. And you certainly don't want to have to erase sectors for security multiple times on a SSD as that will shorten it's lifespan, where on a HDD it is perfectly okay.

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“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” ― Albert Einstein

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