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SSD as Operating System Drive

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Scott Cole
SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:29:55 pm

Has anyone made use of a Solid State Drive as the boot drive. We are pondering purchasing new HP z800s (or 820s if they are out) for our Control Room Avids. I'm most interested in faster system reboots and program loads. While I don't typically have many system or program crashes, they do happen on occasion and when waiting for reboots and program restarts, I'm often surrounded by a gaggle of impatient production people and an ever tightening air deadline. Any way to speed up these occasional hiccups would be appreciated. So are there any downsides to using SSDs for the OS/Program drive in a Windows Avid environment?

M. Scott Cole
Senior Post Production Editor
60 MINUTES
CBS News, NYC
sc6@cbsnews.com
mscottc@comcast.net


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Michael Hancock
Re: SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:53:22 pm

I'm running a 2012 Macbook Pro with a 128GB SSD (bought it about 4 days ago). It's much faster to load programs and the general responsiveness of the system seems faster than similar systems I've run with standard 7200rpm drives.

I haven't noticed a significantly faster boot time, but I haven't found the boot time too bad on a Mac anyway. Not sure how it compares to the Z800s. If anything I'd expect all the initial loading after Windows boots to be faster.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 16, 2012 at 11:06:57 pm

[Scott Cole] "We are pondering purchasing new HP z800s (or 820s if they are out) for our Control Room Avids. I'm most interested in faster system reboots and program loads. While I don't typically have many system or program crashes, they do happen on occasion and when waiting for reboots and program restarts, I'm often surrounded by a gaggle of impatient production people and an ever tightening air deadline. Any way to speed up these occasional hiccups would be appreciated. So are there any downsides to using SSDs for the OS/Program drive in a Windows Avid environment?"

In addition to Michael Hancock's experience:
- Windows generally boots faster, especially when Z800/Z820 are properly configured to eliminate NIC and SAS ROM downloads (at boot time)
- Haven't tried loading MC6 or Symphony 6 with an SSD on a Z820 yet but anticipate loading times cut in half (at least) with Intel 520 or similar high performance SSDs.
- Z820 series are out and shipping since May 2012
- HP to this day formally only supports 3Gbs (older, slower) Intel X25-M SSDs on their Z-series; there are reports that the newer and much faster SSDs including Intel 520 series, don't work properly on Z-series (including even Z1): slowdowns, crashes, loss of data. That said, the latest Z820 BIOS (1.12) seems to have fixed the compatibility problem with at least some SSDs
- SSDs are less prone to loss of data (generally) because of no moving parts, less heat generated, much smaller probability of catastrophic failure
- Bottom line, SSDs are great, and will be of appreciable benefit to your Avid editors - as long as they are properly tested and configured on your systems.

HTH.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Integrator
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Paul Harrington
Re: SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:38:43 am

I just upgraded my Z400 with a 128gb Crucial SSD Win7 and Symphony 6.0.1.1 all is running fine. Faster boot up and transfer but not much change on the Avid side.
Haven't used AE & Photoshop much but that's where I'm hoping for the speed change.
Good luck with it...Paul H


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Peter Groom
Re: SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 17, 2012 at 3:42:03 pm

The thing that has stopped me so far doing exactly this is the cost vs capacity. I do want fast booting etc etc but will have to be patient enough until the capacities rise enough and the costs fall enough in time to make it viable.
Personally Id be looking at a 1tb MINIMUM and a 128 sd drive is more like mobile phone storage than something that will have the grunt commercially.

Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 17, 2012 at 7:11:55 pm

[Peter Groom] "The thing that has stopped me so far doing exactly this is the cost vs capacity. I do want fast booting etc etc but will have to be patient enough until the capacities rise enough and the costs fall enough in time to make it viable."

It's a good point, and for the OP (Original Poster) that ratio isn't all that discouraging: a serious 12- or 16-core system from HP, Dell, Boxx, or a custom integrator can be anywhere from $7K to $15K. Tucking on an extra grand for a 512GB SSD that will shave a few minutes of precious time every day - can be so worth it.

That said, you can still get a significant performance boost for under $100: by using a small SSD (40-60GB) as a caching mechanism on systems supporting Intel SRT.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Integrator
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Paul Harrington
Re: SSD as Operating System Drive
on Jul 18, 2012 at 5:21:04 am

I agree as well, I only use the SSD for Programs and page file all data goes to an internal data raid or to in our case Editshare system.


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