Just bought my first SSD drive (240GIG)and are about to set it up for the purpose of doing any Adobe CC work the fastest I can.
Obviously I have to install the Windows 7 Pro system onto the drive and Adobe files, I imagine that any work Adobe .psd/work files I should also keep on the drive?
So partition it like
C: Windows 100GIG
D: Program Files and Work Files 140GIG
Or should I add another drive E: so I can set scratch disks to it?
Or can scratch disks just utilise my old non SSD drive?
I imagine getting everything onto SSD would be the way to go, but thats only guessing.
Any help or advice would be great
it appears as though Adobe recommends scratch disks on SSD too, so I guess its 3 partions it is!
Is there any performance loss when partitioning a SSD drive is there? I also read somewhere online that using SSD for conistatnt read/writing (sotring your work .psd files on it) might lead to shorting the life of the drive to 5 years or so, any truth to this?
Yes there is, SSDs are only good for so many R/W cycles (like 10k). The average life though isn't much different from a HDD with the same wear and tear. Just back everything up really well and plan to replace it every 3-5 years.
I would recommend that you consider using your SSD drive for the Scratch Disk exclusively. I'm writing up an article on optimizing Photoshop Hard Drives in general but my older blog post below still has some valid information on how you can improve Photoshop performance in most modern versions of Photoshop and still applies to CS6 and CC today. I also included my artitcle on building one.
With regard to drives most people support the idea of a 4 hard drive configuration:
OS Level -SSD (smaller drive under 60GB)
Application Level SSD or HDD (if SSD 250-500GB depending on what you need)
Cache Level (caching, scatch disk, vram, etc) SSD (50-250GB)
Data Level HDD (1TB-4TB)
This may seem like overkill if you don't know about "internal bandwidth". The simple explanation being imagine your data as cars travelling in lanes of traffic. 4 Lanes will get more cars to their location especially if 2 of them are dedicated to oncoming and 2 are deciated to outgoing. So instead of your OS, Applications, Caching, and Data all using 1 Pipeline or Drive to send information back and forth, everyone has their own dedicated lane and can move faster.
Let me know if you want me to give you some information on a 6 Drive configuration which includes RAID info.
I don't have a 6 drive raid on my system.
Here is what I did a while back I bought a new workstation from Dell outlet. It came preloaded with Windows Professional on its 250GB SDD. Also had a hard disk and 8GB of ECC Ram. With Windows installed onto the SDD many things will be going to be put into the SDD by default. Users settings, Paging, hibernation and Programs files. I wanted to add lots more Ram. Use Photoshop on the machine and have Photoshop use space on the SDD for swapping. The only way to do the without adding a second SDD would be to pay careful attention to what can be moved off the C; and what can be eliminated from the c: drive.
First if you have a lot of RAM Windows Paging files is going to be large and you want paging on the SDD. Your Hibernation file would also be large and windows would but that on the C:. I added 32GB of ECC Ram with 40GB of RAM the page file would be 40GB and the the hibernation file would be 40GB and with some diligence I know I can keep Windows, Programs, User setting and a limited number of user file on the c: under 100GB. Adding that up 180GB of the SDD would be used. In addition Dell has a 14GB recovery partition on C:. There would only be 50GB free for Photoshop swap space. That would not do.
Its a workstation not a laptop so the first thing to go was hibernation. I used the windows command line power tool to disable hibernation. That delete the hibernation file. I regained 40GB on the SDD. Yes the machine has battery backup when power fails after a short while on battery windows power management is set to shut the machine down not hibernate. Some Programs insist on putting user data file in the User My Document tree. Others are not so infatic about that they can be moved and located elsewhere. So I added library space for user data files on an external USB 3 4TB drive. This is where I keep my user files including Images library, Music library etc. I also resist installing programs I will not use much and un-install programs that I don't use. Like pre install software from Dell. I have been able to keep around 120GB od free space on the SDD, The second drive that came with the system is a 500GB 10K RPM disk I use it for backup and additional. Photoshop has 400GB of swap space to work with. With an SDD its does not matter that Photoshop swap space and Windows paging space are on the same device.
If your system running well you may just want to add the SDD as an additional disk. Then move Windows Page space to it and use the rest for Photoshop swap space. You spend most of you time in applications not loading them. Load time is not that important you want the applications to work well. You will gain some performance it application the use caching have the cache space on the sdd. In my case windows is on my sdd. Most caches are stored in user space so the are on my SDD. Browers cache Adobe caches etc are on SDD.
I wasn't suggeting a 6 Hard Drive RAID system outright.
This is what I was talking about regarding a 6 Hard Drive Setup
Data 2X HDD RAID1- Mirroring to protect your data.
ScratchDisk/VRAM/Caching - 2X SSD RAID 0 - Performance+Spac
So you can use the RAID0 SSD Drives for Paging as well as Scratch Disk.
This setup combined with the great advice you gave will increase performance dramatically.
But since the poster asked specifically about SSD that is what I attempted to cover.
I'd advise against partitioning your SSD into multiple drive letters. That really just serves to divide up your available free space so that if in a pinch you did need nearly all of it you might not be able to use it.
Noel is right, avoid partitioning the SSD Drives. Here is a decent build for around $1700 you can get all of these components from New Egg.
By the way, while there are likely many ways to put SSD storage to best use in general, I've done a pretty good job of it with one specific approach:
I have a 2 TB C: drive made from 4 high end SSDs on a SATA III controller in a RAID 0 volume that can sustain 1.7 GB/second throughput. Everyhing I do interactively runs from it. OS, applications, data, swap, scratch. I also have 3 TB of additional internal storage, courtesy enterprise quality spinning HDDs, but they only rarely spin up as I use them for low access data and backup. I challenge anyone to equal the responsiveness and raw power of this system. And it runs cool and quiet.
I'm a very heavy computer user and based on usage stats the SMART feature keeps and the manufacturer's specs I project this array of drives should last over 10 years. Modern drives do internal wear leveling, so it's really a non-issue, especially with an array that divides up the load amongst all the drives.
I'll never have another computer system that runs from anything less than an SSD array.
By the way, with SSDs it's important not to overfill them. Ideally, you want to keep them about half empty.
The one Concern I have about your 6 Drive sytem Noel is Failure Tolerance, which is not a huge deal I guess since everyone running a standard setup has EXACTLY the same problem, one drive fails they are screwed.
But I imagine you are backuping your files either to the cloud or an external backup or person NAS.
I'm actually really interested in how to go about setting up a personal NAS to backup all my computers across my personal network so if you know anything about that I'd appreciate your advice.
The not overfilling is definitely important which is why I think using them for your paging file, VRAM, caching and Scratch Disk are the way to go. Any failure in the RAID 0 wouldn't resort in the loss of anything critical.
Its also why I prefer the 4-6 Drive system in terms of physical drives. By giving each layer (OS, Application, Data, Temp) its own Drive you have a higher failure tolernce, especially if you make an image or clone of your OS and Application Layer from time to time, while Mirroring your Data Layer. No single hard drive failure would be anything for you to worry about.
Noel Carboni wrote:
I'll never have another computer system that runs from anything less than an SSD array.
IMO there seems pro and con about an SSD Raid 0.
Pro it easy you can create a huge c: and have everything on with the exception of you backup which is elsewhere.
Con should one fail (I believe anything man made can fail) solid state or not. Everything needs to be restored. Nothing is partitioning everything is stripped across all the SSD drives.
I do not think there is any big performance gain making a SSD array or even if there is any gain. All you get to do is make a big c: and eliminate space management. Every read and write is queued to C: the adapter does the stripping but then I know little about the caching that going on in the adapter and the SSD devices . In any case there is no disk seeking or rotational delays array or no array. It not hard to configure paging and swapping to separate SSD so space management is not a big problem.
Should a very rare SDD failure happen. If it happened to a swap or paging SDD. All you need do is replace the faulty SSD and boot. Should an array fail the failing SSD need to be replaced and the entire system needs to be restored from backup.
Agreed Jack, that was my concern as well.
Complexity, short answer to everything we've hashed out here is, yes you can gain by using that SSD as a Scratch Disk. Do not bother to partition it. Also go ahead and allocate your Paging Memory/VRAM to it. Use it for Scratch Disk and if you can for any other Caching. This should do wonders for your system.
When you can buy a second SSD drive and a Raid Controller and setup your 2 SSD Drives in RAID0 configuration.
If you want a little more performance after that get separate drives for your OS, Applications and Data. If you are going to get another SSD use it for you OS, not your applications.
Hope this helps.
First off, these things are solid state, with 2 million hour MTBF. They don't heat up and cool down much, since they don't draw much power. The reality is this: They just don't fail. I've had zero glitches in 1.3 years of daily hard use with this setup. No failures or errors or slowdowns or anything since it was new. A single electromechanical HDD seems WAY more prone to losing data.
Secondly, I do make backups. Anyone with any sense does. I complete a system image backup every night between 1am and dawn to external USB drive that can be restored to bare metal if need be. Windows Backup gets the job done quite nicely, and it not only provides catastrophic failure recovery capability, but also integrates with the Previous Versions feature - for everything. Having to rebuild an array and restore a backup is no big deal, if a failure should occur. Restoring individual files is trivial. If you're really paranoid you could build a RAID 5 or 10 array that could handle failures in stride, but in practice I've found it's just not needed.
Thirdly, JJ seems to want to debate whether there is a performance gain in making an SSD array. I'm guessing you haven't been able to directly compare a system so equipped. When your hardware can read an entire 1 GB file in less than a second - and it gives this kind of performance for every operation the system does - you'd better believe that helps. Care to compare benchmarks? Keep in mind this SSD design is nearly 2 years old. Modern top of the line drives such as the OCZ Vector would kick heck out of mine (OCZ Vertex 3) performance-wise.
Out of curiosity, if you start Windows Explorer, navigate to drive C:, select all the folders and files in the files pane, then right-click and choose Properties, how quickly does it count up your files? This is one case where a single SSD ought to run just about as fast as an array, since it's just a huge number of small I/O operations. My system enumerates its 618,411 files in 21 seconds, or about 30,000 files per second. See what yours does.
Thank you very, very much for your thorough report, Noel.
Now that SSDs are becoming reasonably affordable (under $1 per GB for the 240 GB ones locally, at Fry's) I'm definitely considering them. Your post is very timely.
For a year and a half I've been trying to detect a downside to doing this. So far I have been thwarted.
Only thing is I can't honestly say whether the Unix system underlying OSX will be as happy with SSD (array) as Windows is. I have read reports about there being different compatibility issues between the two systems - as you might expect. Perhaps the best thing you can do is, once you've tentatively chosen a model, is some fairly in-depth Internet research to see if others are using it successfully with their similar Macs. Keep in mind most SSD forums are predominantly people trying to solve problems - very few people go online to complain that their SSDs are working better than they expected.
Noel Carboni wrote:
…Perhaps the best thing you can do is, once you've tentatively chosen a model, is some fairly in-depth Internet research to see if others are using it successfully with their similar Macs…
The really experienced users at the Apple discussion boards have raved for months about the one Hudechrome mentions:
Samsung 840, 250 GB. $215 on sale.
Specifically praised for use on a Mac Pro desktop tower like mine.
Thanks for the posts guys all great info, the biggest thing I learned here was RobertoBlake explanation of HDD activity relating it to cars travelling in lanes of traffic and to have dedicated drives / lanes / SATA connections for each task (OS, Apps, Scratch).
At the moment I think I have been using the 1 (old non SSD) HDD partitioned into 5 different drives all running OS/App and scratch on the 1 HDD pipe, "thinking" I was doing the right thing by dedicating seperate partitions to each of these purposes (OS, App, Scratch), but that goes all out the window when all this is served up on the 1 HDD / pipe / SATA connection doesn't it!!! I've got other seperate drives connected but I've just really never thought about it until RobertoBlake explained it like he did. Makes sense.
My current machine is an older generation machine now (Windows 7 64bit, Intel Pentium D 3.00GHZ 2 core, running on a Gigabyte MB that is limited to 8GIG RAM and only SATA II 3gbs connectors (not 6), I also just upgraded the video card from 256mb to 2GIG DDR3).
So probably stating the obvious if I upgraded the motherboard to something that allows me more RAM and upgraded to 6gb SATA gen 3 connectors (and ability to go Quad core down the track), then I added a couple more (smaller SSD's) eg. Sandisk 120GB SSD, Extreme, SATAIII, Read up to 550MB/s, Write up to 510MB/s
then setup my drives like like
120GB SSD OS
240GB SSD Program Files and Work files (.psd, .ai)
120GB SSD Scratch Disk
Would this be alright/the best to do it? Without breaking the bank that is, I think I can fork out for the 2 extra SSD's and a new MB.
Also I have never done anything with RAID before, I just backup to an extenal HDD, or usb thumb drive when I need to.
By the way Noel I did your C: drive select all files and folders and right click properties test just to see how my current machine compares to yours
I restarted my machine so its from a clean boot (and after all startup activity had settled) and my old bad boy (still with old HDD / non SSD) comes up with
715, 241 Files, 115,904 Folders
190GB in... wait for it, 5 minutes 10 seconds
LOL, which is quite funny when you compared it to your 21 seconds, no wonder Photoshop / my PC has been driving me crazy of late speed wise! The guy that sold me the SSD said it would increase my HDD performance by about X 20.
I also just discovered I cant upgrade just the MB only either as I don't see anyone making LGA 775 CPU with SATA III 6gb, it would also mean a CPU upgrade, but I guess if its a couple of extra hundred to get the max out of the new SSD drives its probably going to be worth it.
Yes, the Samsung is good hardware from everything I've read, and since they manufacture their own flash their prices are very good. Its lower latency is why it completes all those small I/Os so quickly. There have been some very recent leaps in flash controller technology.
By the way, I know someone who sees 40,000 files / second enumerated with an array of four OCZ Vector drives.
I think the only time I ever partitioned disks was something like 20 years ago when old disk formats could not format an entire large disk into a single partition or if you did the cluster size was so big you wound up with more unused space then space with data. For file sizes tended to be much smaller then a cluster. The minimum allocation unit. Back then we did not have GB or TB disk even. The one exception today is manufactures partition the boot disk with a small recovery partition that is sheltered from your OS. IMO all partition does these days is create storage management problems. Noel has no storage management problems he has a one logical 2TB disk system with extra external storage for backup. SSD prices are dropping these days. However when Noel purchased his 512GB SSD four of them probably cost more then I paid for my workstation.
Noel Carboni wrote:
Never think about how much it cost after buying it.
I don't I think about cost before I buy. I'm retired and have to live within my means. I also like to get value for my money. I could easily afford the $2,500.00 I spent on my system. With the research I did I think I got value and performance. If you buy top of the line you'll get better performance at a price. Only if you need the performance do you get value else you just over spent. I have to admit I over spent on my camera equipment for my wife and I both enjoy using good equipment. I have over $20K in Camera gear.
I just look at Amazon for high performance 512GB SDD here is what I see,
Time 4 = $4,400.00 give or take. I see read speed is 120 times faster then write where your SSD read and write rates seem more even. Anyway Paging and swapping is both. They should be mated with a high end system by the time you through you would have spent $16,000.00 Photoshop does not need that much machine, For me that machine would provide no more value then my $2,500 workstation.
I think that you're on the right track aside from partitioning you just need to avoid that.
I've tried to combine as much information from the thread and lessons we've all shared here in my latest blog post. Let me know what all you think and if I should add additional information and what brands of SSD drives and prices ranges I should add as a recommendation.
Interesting, if somewhat moot discussion. For those needing performance approaching that of supercomputers without paying 100's of thousands, it's a good reference.
To expand a bit on my comment about "more to meet the eye", first of all, my system was built in 2007, consisting of an Athlon IIx4 processor, running stock at 2.8G. I do have a respectable ram count;12G, which allows for even stitching a scene shot with a Nikon D800, at speeds faster than when I used a 32 bit system for stitches from much, much smaller sensors.
The limitation is Sata3 and the chipset I chose when purchasing the mobo. Given that, it is still a major upgrade to my system.
So far as SSD contribution to performance in PSCC, I notice that stitching is much faster, as well as certain filters like Field Blur or Adaptive WA. I couldn't even notice the time delay and thought at first it didn't "take"! This from a D7100 image.
I'm going to retry some of this using C drive as scratch and see if stitching is even faster.
With giga throughput to mass storage that also provides almost no latency delays (i.e., no physical head seek time) a modern virtual memory type computer system (e.g., Windows, Unix) runs much more as the designers imagined. You don't sense the barrier where having everything all in RAM spills over into swapping activity nearly as much. When Photoshop "goes virtual" because you're working on a large image with lots of history states - or stitching big panos as Lawrence mentioned - you hardly notice; everything just keeps working and you stay productive. Such a system also multitasks much more smoothly, scaling up better as multiple overlapping I/O operations don't incur seeking causing the others to wait.
Interestingly, the latest advancements in SSDs, over just the past year, have reduced the latency from something like 0.1 millisecond to 0.01 millisecond or less, and this has netted even a much greater amount of what I described above. Since many/most I/O operations are small and numerous, being able to fit many more of them in a given time span further leverages the gargantuan computing power our modern processors have. Among computing performance enthusiasts, "4K Speed" is king. That describes the performance of multiple random 4K byte I/O operations. My system, as you can see above from the various benchmarks, offers on the order of about 100 megabytes/second throughput with random small I/O operations. The most modern systems with the most modern SSDs are now pushing to near 1 gigabyte/second for small random I/O.
I understand the new Mac Pro "cylinder" design, due out later this year, is going to be integrating mass storage even more closely to the processors, and promises to kick things into yet another higher gear.
SSD is the most exciting computer advancement of recent history.
That's an old listing. Octane drives are no longer current as far as I know. Since you seem curious, in April 2012 I paid about $600 each for OCZ 480 GB Vertex 3 drives.
If you don't need so much storage, probably the best price point is on current 256 GB drives, which are likely more popular than other sizes because people can generally afford a few hundred dollars at a time. But for professional use, the drive I would recommend right now above all others is the OCZ Vector 512 GB model, which if you wait for a sale (e.g., on Amazon) comes in at just about a dollar a gigabyte.
As mentioned above, the Samsung 840 Pro is also a very good choice, in that their prices reflect the fact that they manufacture the flash memory as well, and they also run very near the top of the performance charts. At the moment the larger Samsung drives can be had for well under $1 a gigabyte retail.
However, if I were personally building a new array today it would be from 4 x 512 GB OCZ Vectors. My preference for OCZ stems from two things: 1 - I know something about how their flash controller works, and given my good experience with their prior drives in RAID it's clear they care whether that works right, and also 2 - their technical support is second to none.
I'm not clear on the real value of SSD drives. Yes, they offer a limited amount of fairly fast mass storage that fits within the bus/controller/ removable drive paradigm. But harking back to the DOS days, I used to create a RAM drive that refreshed itself from disk on boot. For those times, that was FAST. When will we see 1 TB RAM? 4 TB? Now you're talking fast operations. Maybe this would have to dictate standby non interruptible power for the RAM. Or maybe just a bit longer boot to restore RAM from disk as in olden days.
SSDs are just RAM with slow interface, I'm not that excited. I see from my own experience that I have to have at least 750 GB boot drive and I think I could be a lot more comfortable with 32GB RAM instead of 8. Maybe the 2014 mini will offer dual 512 SSD/1TB hybrid and 32GB RAM. I could learn to love it.
Limited amount? I wouldn't consider terabyte sizes all that limited. But you're right - the next gen systems will likely couple the flash memory more closely to the processors.
I wouldn't suggest messing with hybrid drives at all. You take on a whole lot of complexity to save a little money.
Oh, and caching works with SSDs, Lundberg, making the system very nearly as fast as your RAM drive hack as long as you have enough RAM.
There will always be a need for more permanent, slower storage that costs less.
You may think I spent a lot on my SSDs, but what would 2 TB (2000 GB) of DDR3 RAM at today's prices cost? About 3 to 6 times as much as I spent. Even I don't want to spend ten thousand dollars on mass storage.
People DO spend that much for computers that absolutely MUST be the most powerful available. Remember when computers cost millions of dollars?
To get to get everyone back on topic Complex asked a direct question. Complex you now not only know that SSD's can improve your performance, but now you understand the general performance gains of Layered system instead of flat system, and why many of use multiple harddrives for our respective computer setups. You now understand the concept of internal bandwidth and why the specs concerning this are important when purchasing parts. You also now know a little bit about RAID and its benef
What else can we help you with?
Nothing so grand. It points to me being one of the first to build an expensive SSD array. I'm neither wealthy nor extravagant, just rabid about computer performance, as software engineering is my career.
Noel Carboni wrote:
I'm neither wealthy nor extravagant
In your mind's eye. Could be right for you know what your using your PC for. If your use is just Photoshop. I would say your extravagant. Though Photoshop will gobble up machine resources. Photoshop does not need that much machine to perform well and as you have observed hardly utilizes your GPU at all. Even Photoshop extended 3D stuff uses little GPU and your dual fast multi core xeons processor could handle all that GUP useage with ease. You need to start doing video edioting use Adobe Premier Pro so you get some use out of your GPU. You may want to upgrade to a Nivida Quadro 6000 so you can render your video effects in realtime. Or just play some games have a little fun and utilize the GPU you have.