Thanks for the replies again guys. The info is very useful and appreciated. :)
Just had a quick look online and see I can get a 30gb vertex drive for approx £90 but that's about 3x more than I was planning on spending on a hard drive. I want one now, but not sure I can afford it. Do you guys really get a huge all round improvement with one of these?
What sort of rough boot time would typical for a cut down XP install, ie where you've simply installed that and not subsequently spent countless hours weeding out every last thing that may remove an extra millisecond? (I'm trying to brinwash myself into deciding one of these is 'necessary' ;))
And are they available in smaller sizes? I'd be WAY more likely to buy one if I could get say a 16gb drive for half the money. To be honest, for the sake of the OS and a couple of apps, a 4 or 8gb one would likely do the job to keep cost down (and install other stuff on a secondary), but I'm not really finding any that size.
My apologies. The benefit of SSD over CF is that SSD was developed with the expectation of more write cycles, so it should be more stable over the long run. Without trying to get into too much technical detail, the drives were developed with the intent of having an operating system installed on them (this was never the case with CF).
Unfortunately, I cannot give an estimate of a boot time as this is HIGHLY dependent on other hardware and software running. What I can tell you is that I used to run two WD raptors (RAID 0 - for performance boost) in my desktop as an OS drive. I replaced both of them with a single SSD and the speed increase was very noticeable. To a computer nerd like me, the performance boost was so noticeable I doubt I'll ever run an OS on a platter drive again. I have 4 computers (the car pc will be my fifth) and I currently have 4 SSDs (though I have a feeling over the next calendar year that will bump to about 6). One of the most obvious performance gains I've ever had in my computers.
Check these out (is there a problem embedding youtube?):
I know this is not English, but the video does the explaining.
This is Windows 7, but still a good comparison.
sorry, hijacking the tread a little-- using a ssd for the os, and program files, and a platter hdd for media, are the boot times still dramatically better, or do they decrease slightly while waiting for the platter drive to spin up?
i am starting to like the idea of ssd for myself, just don't like the price tag of a 160gb ssd for $400...
The setup you are describing is exactly what I would recommend. SSD drives are far too expensive to use as storage drives. Also, that data speeds required to play music/video files are no where near what SSD drives offer. With and infinite amount of money, sure you could store media on the SSD. But, there would be no noticeable improvement (unless you are trying to stream a blu-ray disc from the hard drive - yes, the full uncompressed disc). Not until that point do you come remotely close to to hitting the max speed offered by platter-based drives.
So, the short answer. No, your pc will not be (noticeably) slower using a platter drive for media. The SSD OS drive will speed the pc up in ways you never imagined, regardless of the storage device used for media files.
*However* we are talking about cars here, not your desktop that you use for hours a day (if you are like me, i leave my pc running 24/7). You drive your car everyday sure, but how long are you actually in it? Even if you drove for 1hr a day every day and you wrote to the drive lets say 1 gig a day, you are looking at years before you'll start losing the cells and can't write to them anymore on a 30gig drive.
I don't mean to get into too technical a discussion here, but I disagree somewhat with this assessment. I currently have my swap partition on my SSD (though my home PC has enough ram that swap is almost never used). Either way, it will take a long time to exhaust the maximum number of write cycles on a SSD. Even with a poor wear leveling drive, you would likely replace a platter drive in the same amount of time (or less) than the SSD. Anandtech has a great article (one of many) on SSD devices. Basically, they estimate that with a 256 GB drive receiving 100 GB of writes over the course of 14 days (more more data being written than the average user), the write cycles will not be exhausted for nearly 1,000 years. I understand that this is a much larger capacity drive, but the estimate still holds some water. This is a link to the page of the article. Obviously this might not be entirely accurate, but it is a reasonable estimate. Either way, I think the technology has matured enough (and there's plenty more work being done) that running your OS on an SSD is relatively safe.
Thanks guys - after watching that video comparsion of the 39 seconds VS 2 point something minutes boot times I BADLY want one of those vertex drives but can't really afford one.
Would the following examples all make suitable choices of cheaper SSD alternatives for the operating system to live on (albeit not quite as speedy as the vertex!)?
Also, presumably I cannot use something like this SSD:
Because of the method of connectivity?
Don't go cheap on SSDs. Stick with Vertex or Vertex Turbos. 30GB Vertex Turbos are going for $169 on Newegg. Just wait and save up for it.
Might have to stick with hdd then sadly as I don't often have 'spare' money for stuff like this. :(
I was assuming that cheaper ones would be ok albeit a bit slower, providing of course they're not the absolute lowest of the low.
The specs on some of the ones I linked to 'look' fine, but are they untrustworthy or less reliable products?
Not questioning what you're saying by the way, I just like to know basis for people's comments.