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SSDs and fusion drive

 
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FrozenBacon
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Joined: 12 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: SSDs and fusion drive Reply with quote

I saw a real nice deal on SSDs this monday on amazon so I snagged two of them (glad I did because they sold out 15 min after I made my purchase!). I got them in the mail earlier today but only got around to installing one of them just now. Holy crap this thing is awesome. The biggest advantage I've seen thus far is when the system runs out of memory and has to use the page file. I was just doing my usual thing on my computer, having unity open in the background, approximately 5,000 tabs open in safari, plex open on my second screen, steam running, and like 5 other programs open. I looked at my memory usage and I was down the 14MB memory with like 700MB being used in the swap. Didn't even notice. That's an awesome upgrade for only $60. The second best thing I would say about this SSD is that I can now play Civ V smoothly. Smile

Anyway, I just heard about fusion drive in OSX. For people that don't know what it is, it combines a SSD and HDD into one logical volume and moves all the infrequently used programs to the HDD. To the user it just looks like one big drive where that loads older files slower. I ordered a hdd caddy so I can use my old 500GB HDD along with this SSD in my macbook. When that gets here Im gonna try it out, I don't think there will be that much of a difference since I don't have that much data as it is. What I want to know, though, is if there anything similar like fusion drive for windows. I know there is intel's SRT technology, but it requires special hardware and only takes 64GB SSDs max.
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madster111
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seagate make 2.5" hybrid drives with 4/8gb SSDs and 500/750gb HDDs. Commonly used programs/files on the SSD, everything else on the HDD.
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FrozenBacon
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea the SSD replaced my seagate momentus XT, which was a hybrid drive, which isn't the same thing as fusion drive. Fusion drives are tiered store while the momentus and other hybrid drives just use the SSD as a cache. The end goal is the same, but the method is different. I think fusion drive is closer to intel SRT's maximize mode, but even then those aren't the same thing.

Speaking of the momentus XT, I found no improvement over a regular HDD with it. I think the reason for this is because it only allows the OS to read off the SSD and not write to it. Im sure there were small improvements here and there, but overall it felt no different. I'll test out fusion drive later on today and I'll see how much of an improvement it is over my momentus.

EDIT: Just found this. Seems to be just about what I want, but it only works with certain hard drives. Search still continues...

EDIT2: Holy crap I think I just answered my own question by mentioning tiered storage. Searched around for something that would allow me to do this and windows and all of the solutions were either for windows server or cost $1,000+ For that much i could just buy a boatload of SSDs...
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madster111
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly it's probably easier to manage it yourself than to try and get the result you're looking for with programs or even other bits of hardware.
Maybe a fancy RAID controller could do it?
I'm not sure, i don't deal with hardware all that much.

Personally, i don't plan on buying any drives for the next year or 2. I'll run with what i've got sitting around here, and then when a 250gb SSD runs $99 i'll grab some of them and RAID them up, do away with HDDs entirely.
$300 nets you 2x 240gb SanDisk now, so by mid-2013 1tb should be doable for a decent price, which would make spinning media moot.

Soon. Google high speed internet, uptake of thunderbolt and cheap SSDs. Hurry up future.
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FrozenBacon
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got around to setting up fusion drive on my mac. It only took about 3 minutes to set up the physical volumes, but the restoration of the time machine backup took about an hour.

Anyway, I been using my computer like this for most of the day today and it feels like I am just running off the SSD. Been monitoring what the OS writes to both storage drives with iostat and it appears OSX moved a bunch of stuff to the HDD when I started up my computer and hasn't touched it since.

As for finding something similar for the PC, I don't need to. My video card died and since the mobo doesnt have any onboard video, the thing is useless to me. That second SSD is just sitting there in its box, doing nothing. I could put it in my media server but the drive is too small to make any real difference.
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