• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

SSD vs. HDD, what nobody seems to think of


altae

New Member
Power User
Posts
148
#1
Today I installed a new HDD (WD Red, 6 TB) since I ran out of space for my Music and Movie collection. That's when I realized the hard way why HDDs in their current state have no future compared to SSDs. I spent almost 48 hours moving and resizing partitions, copying data... Most of the time I had to wait hours before I could continue with the next step since my HDDs (all SATA 3 devices, connected to a SATA 3 capable mainboard) where copying data at painfully slow 40 MB/s. Just so we have done the math: If I had to copy the entire volume of my new HDD that would mean 6'000'000 MB / 40 / 60 / 60 = 41.67 hours of waiting. I know, 1 GB is not exacty 1'000 MB and so on but for the sake of simplicity I allowed myself to calculate like this.

And here we are at my main complaint: While todays HDDs are cheap and offer an immense amount of storage space, they are actually not able to handle that enormous amount of data efficiently. Ok, maybe my mainboard - HDD combination is not the fastest but even I we double the throughput that would still mean more than 20 hours of copying. So in my opinion HDD manufacturers like WD should really stop the "arms race" of offering more and more storage as long as they actually haven't got a solution how to drastically improve data throughput of their products. What does it help to have 8 + TB HDDs if it takes half a week to make a backup of that amount of data? Plus in case of disaster the same amount of time to restore your data. But currently it does not seem like there are any ideas how to drastically improve transfer rates of HDDs, all we hear about are bigger and bigger HDDs.

So if that does not change and SSDs keep getting bigger and bigger as well as cheaper and cheaper I fear HDDs are doomed. I might be that I will never get as much storage for the same amount of money with an SSD but at least the SSD is capable of handling the amount of data it stores. So what are your thoughts about it?
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Update 1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    self built
    CPU
    AMD FX-8350
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Rev. 3
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Zotac GTX 770 Amp 2 GB
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    GDATA Internet Security

Addictive Gamer

New Member
Member
Posts
356
#2
Nice comparison, I often think (and I'm considering to do so one day) it's better to buy some old junk PC, put it into the corner of my room and use it only as storage server or something like that.
For example that PC would have several smaller ( 1 TB or so ) ( not one big ) HDD's, that would allow me to replace or add drives from time to time, without depending on one big drive, never knowing when could go wrong.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise

popeye

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
United States

Posts
3,090
#3
Has been discussed in length many times. Speed and transfer rate is what really matters. SSDs blow away HDDs when it come to that. If simply looking for a large storage option then HDD may be the way to go.

Oh, try to break up long posts into paragraphs in the future. Very hard to read a run on paragraph. Some may not even read the whole thing. Just constructive input, I hope no offense taken, none meant.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer V3 771G-6443
    CPU
    i5-3230m
    Motherboard
    Acer VA70_HC (U3E1)
    Memory
    8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (800 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    HD4000 + GeForce GT 730M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" Generic PnP Display on Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 pixels
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250 GB
    ADATA SSD SP900 128GB
    PSU
    90 watt brick
    Mouse
    Bluetooth
    Antivirus
    Comodo
    Other Info
    Asus RT-AC56R dual-band WRT router (Merlin firmware). Intel 7260.HMWWB.R dual-band ac wireless adapter.

altae

New Member
Power User
Posts
148
#4
Oh, try to break up long posts into paragraphs in the future. Very hard to read a run on paragraph. Some may not even read the whole thing. Just constructive input, I hope no offense taken, none meant.
Done ;)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Update 1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    self built
    CPU
    AMD FX-8350
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Rev. 3
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Zotac GTX 770 Amp 2 GB
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    GDATA Internet Security

Cliff S

Missing my GIF avatars:(
Pro User
Bamberg Germany

Posts
2,422
#5
Maybe using a NAS(with smaller disks) and some kind of RAID setup(for backing up) would be more efficient.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Update Pro in Hyper-V/Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Cliff's Black & Blue Wonder
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero
    Memory
    32 GB Quad Kit, G.Skill Trident Z RGB Series schwarz, DDR4-3866, 18-19-19-39-2T
    Graphics Card(s)
    ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP! Extreme Edition
    Sound Card
    (1) HD Webcam C270 (2) NVIDIA High Definition Audio (3) Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ BL2711U(4K) and a hp 27vx(1080p)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 x 32 bits (4294967296 colors) @ 60 Hz
    Hard Drives
    C: Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 SSD
    E: & O: Libraries & OneDrive-> Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
    D: Hyper-V VM's -> Samsung PM951 Client M.2 512Gb SSD
    G: System Images -> HDD Seagate Barracuda 2TB
    PSU
    Corsair HX1000i High Performance ATX Power Supply 80+ Platinum
    Case
    hanteks Enthoo Pro TG
    Cooling
    Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB TT Premium-Edition 360mm and 3 Corsair blue LED fans
    Keyboard
    Trust GTX THURA
    Mouse
    Trust GTX 148
    Internet Speed
    25+/5+ (+usually faster)
    Browser
    Edge; Chrome; IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender of course & Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit as a
    Other Info
    Router: FRITZ!Box 7490
    Sound system: SHARP HT-SBW460 Dolby Atmos Soundbar
    Webcam: Logitech BRIO ULTRA HD PRO WEBCAM 4K webcam with HDR
Posts
4
#6
Well, there's more to it, I'm not sure what you imply nobody seems to think of.

If your HDD filesystems are not formatted with suitable sector sizes you're going to waste time and cycles regardless of cache size. If every file is over 4,MB, then 4mb is a good sector size, but anything else wastes space on the spinning plates.

Filecopy methods... Command line like robocopy is much faster than drag and drop. So is partition imaging.

FTP much better than shared folders...

SSD, is not necessary for media viewing, unless its the machine more than the drives.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    android

Cr00zng

New Member
Member
Posts
196
#7
Maybe using a NAS(with smaller disks) and some kind of RAID setup(for backing up) would be more efficient.
I am not certain that utilizing NAS would help much. Switched, one Gbs network has an actual transfer rate of about 120MBs, that's about the maximum for gigi networks. The read/write speed of single HDD, while dependent on number of factors, can easily surpass the 120 MBs transfer rate.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude
    CPU
    Intel i5-3350P (3.1 GHz)
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte
    Memory
    16 GBs
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD7850
    Sound Card
    Built-in to MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x 24" Dell
    Screen Resolution
    3,840 x1,200
    Hard Drives
    128 GBs, OCZ Vertex, SATA III SSD
    256 GBs Intel SATA III SSD
    3 x Seagate 1 TBs HDD
    PSU
    Antec 750W
    Case
    Antec P185
    Internet Speed
    50 Gb/s
    Browser
    IE11, Firefox22.0
    Antivirus
    Vipre
    Other Info
    Works, most of the times unless Microsoft patches decide otherwise...

altae

New Member
Power User
Posts
148
#8
Maybe using a NAS(with smaller disks) and some kind of RAID setup(for backing up) would be more efficient.
Well a NAS would not help since it's neither faster (it also works with standard HDDs but it's interface is even slower than SATA 3) nor does it relieve me of making backups.

RAID has been mentioned multiple times here but for me that's also not an alternative since it's a) too expensive because you have to work with redundant drives (you actually need twice the amount of storage in order to get the same amount you would get without a RAID setup) and b) it does also not relieve me of making backups on an external drive since simply mirroring my data does not count as backup. The drives are physically in the same place, that means if my apartment burns down or any other catastrophic event occurs my data will still be lost.

And as much as transfer rate is concerned, 120 MB/s would be great but unfortunately that's a value that does only apply to synthetic benchmarks. Under real world conditions a single HDD will never reach that transfer rate even when using tools like FastCopy or Terracopy. Like I wrote, while reorganizing my storage after buying a new 6 TB HDD it did copy files, back up partitions, restore partitions... and transfer rate always maxed out at around 40 MB/s. And those where all relatively new SATA 3 HDDs (bought within the last 2 years), connected to the mainboard's native SATA 3 interface. What's more most files I copied where actually FLACs or even movies at 720p or 1080p which are several GB in size. So we cannot assume that the reason for the slow transfer rate must have been the fact that I did only copy small files.

The transfer rate of HDDs was fine when we used to talk about Gigabytes of data. Then came the first TB HDDs while the transfer rate did not really improve but was still acceptable. But now we are talking about 6 + TB of data, transfered with a real world rate of under 100 MB/ s, that's simply no match for that amount of data. And while the few HDD manufacturers that are left are constantly announcing bigger and bigger drives we don't hear anything about improving the annoyingly slow transfer rate of those drives. That's why I chose the title "what nobody seems to think of".
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Update 1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    self built
    CPU
    AMD FX-8350
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Rev. 3
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Zotac GTX 770 Amp 2 GB
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    GDATA Internet Security

pparks1

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
Westland, MI

Posts
3,658
#9
There must be an issue on your machine if you only get 40MB/sec transfer rate.

At work, I have 2 desktop machines. Each has a 2TB Samsung Spinpoint 5400rpm drive. I copy about 800GB of work backups each night between the 2. With a 1Gbps Ethernet connection between the 2 computers, I transfer around 85MB/sec.

I will do a drive to drive copy for you today on the local machines and will tell you what I get between my 7200rpm OS drive and my 5400 rpm storage drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Self-Built in July 2009
    CPU
    Intel Q9550 2.83Ghz OC'd to 3.40Ghz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev. 1.1, F12 BIOS
    Memory
    8GB G.Skill PI DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12 timings
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA 1280MB Nvidia GeForce GTX570
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC899A 8 channel onboard audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Acer x233H
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Intel X25-M 80GB Gen 2 SSD
    Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black, 32MB cache. WD1001FALS
    PSU
    Corsair 620HX modular
    Case
    Antec P182
    Cooling
    stock
    Keyboard
    ABS M1 Mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
    Internet Speed
    15/2 cable modem
    Other Info
    Windows and Linux enthusiast. Logitech G35 Headset.

crawfish

Member
Power User
Posts
454
#10
And as much as transfer rate is concerned, 120 MB/s would be great but unfortunately that's a value that does only apply to synthetic benchmarks. Under real world conditions a single HDD will never reach that transfer rate even when using tools like FastCopy or Terracopy.
That's incorrect even talking about relatively slow drives like WD green drives. When copying many GBs of large multimedia files to an empty 4 TB drive, they easily achieve those rates and higher after caching has gone to steady state (i.e. the drive is the limiting factor), and even nearly full, they achieve 80 MB/s. This is true not just for SATA but for 1 Gb networking (though the top is obviously limited by the network speed) and USB3. My 2 TB drives are a little slower.

Like I wrote, while reorganizing my storage after buying a new 6 TB HDD it did copy files, back up partitions, restore partitions... and transfer rate always maxed out at around 40 MB/s.
Sounds like something is wrong, one of the drives involved in the transfer is unusually slow, or perhaps you're copying from one place to another on the same drive. That's just a little above what I've observed for top USB2 speed. Even my 9 y/o WD 250 GB SATA drives that are still in use are faster than that. For a fair assessment, you should be copying between two different drives, and of course, you'll be limited by the slower drive.

The transfer rate of HDDs was fine when we used to talk about Gigabytes of data. Then came the first TB HDDs while the transfer rate did not really improve but was still acceptable. But now we are talking about 6 + TB of data, transfered with a real world rate of under 100 MB/ s, that's simply no match for that amount of data. And while the few HDD manufacturers that are left are constantly announcing bigger and bigger drives we don't hear anything about improving the annoyingly slow transfer rate of those drives. That's why I chose the title "what nobody seems to think of".
Seriously? I'm sure they'd make the drives infinitely fast if possible, but there are many design considerations. I've found each generation (up to 4 TB, which are the largest drives I have now) to be faster for sustained operations like writing 100s of GBs of large multimedia files than the last. I believe the increasing areal density is mostly responsible for that. Some of the really large "archival" drives they're making now use SMR and may be slower, but I haven't looked into them in any depth. I think what's true for most people with gobs of data is that they aren't copying multiple terabytes on a regular basis, just to fill a new drive or perform an initial backup.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

Brooklyn567

New Member
Power User
Maryland USA

Posts
758
#11
Ive recently discovered that a harddrive that checks ok with scandisk, or chkdsk is not necessarily a good drive.

I have run the new HDTUNE program on systems that seem to have too much HDD activity but check out ok, and found that there are many many slow sectors. HDTUNE has a SPEEDMAP option when you check for errors with the QUICK box unchecked.

The speedmap shows sectors that check error free, but are slower than other sectors, basically making the harddrive re-read that sector repeatedly...

In some cases reformatting the drive in either low level or standard (not quick format) repairs the problem.

The test on my old drives went from @40MB/s to 80+ MB/s average, these are SATA2 drives that are about 5 years old or older.

On the old drives that could not be improved, were cloned to a new drive and the system performance is night and day!

The speedmap is an invaluable tool for diagnosing excessive harddrive activity when all spyware, and viruses are known to be already removed in a system that is very slow..
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 & Windows 7 Dual Boot
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP G60
    CPU
    AMD Turion RM-70 Dual Core 2.0 GHZ
    Memory
    3 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce 8200M G
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Mouse
    MS Intellipoint 5 button (love it!)
    Browser
    Chrome and Chromium
    Antivirus
    Avast Free & Malwarebytes

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)