64 GB or 128 GB SSD for media server? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 81 Old 04-26-2013, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm building a new media server running Windows 7 Home Premium x64 with 8 GB of RAM. I have a 64 GB SSD I want to use as a boot disk. I'm not running anything else on the media server like Plex or XBMC but I might want to someday. Is 64 GB enough room? I also have a 128 GB SSD I'm using on my HTPC also running Windows 7 Home Premium x 64 that I'm only using 40 GB of. Should I swap them?
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post #2 of 81 Old 04-26-2013, 04:17 AM
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64 GB is enough. I run a 64 GB in both my HTPC and my server.

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post #3 of 81 Old 04-26-2013, 10:09 AM
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Assuming the server is running 24/7 you shouldn't need a ssd at all.

As for htpc's It's a must unless yours is in another room or can tolerate the noise and slower loading speeds.

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post #4 of 81 Old 04-26-2013, 12:53 PM
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I use a 64gb ssd on my server running Windows 7 x64 with the latest updates. I only have a few programs installed so there is 42.1GB free out of 59.6GB.

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post #5 of 81 Old 04-26-2013, 01:00 PM
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I have a 120gb SSD in media server

I wouldn't even consider installing an OS to a HDD in 2013

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post #6 of 81 Old 04-26-2013, 11:35 PM
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I'm running 64 in my HTPC. I still have plenty of room.
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post #7 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I guess I'll use the 64 GB SSD. I was just concerned that if I added a few 3rd party programs like PlayOn or Plex I might run out of room as they seem to need extra space for transcoding and such.
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post #8 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 04:07 AM
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Will you notice anything different between an SSD and an HDD in a server.

David
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post #9 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidT99 View Post

Will you notice anything different between an SSD and an HDD in a server.

David

Yes. Almost everything is faster.

Example: Boot up time or wait time to launch a window or program.

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post #10 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 07:23 AM
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I am just in the process of swapping my 64Gb SSD for a 128Gb because I am running out of space. Perhaps it was a mistake to put Media Browser on the SSD because the image cache for trailers and cover art is getting quite large. With the SSD nearing capacity it also affected system response times. Because of the relatively small difference in price nowadays I would suggest the 128Gb is more future proof.
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post #11 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 08:48 AM
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I did a comparison.
I booted up my media server 2012 with Intel 80GB ssd and my son iPad at the same time. IPad won with exactly 3 seconds faster. My server is turned on once a week on weekends not 24/7, FYI.
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post #12 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Yes. Almost everything is faster.

Example: Boot up time or wait time to launch a window or program.

Why do you want "fast" in a server? Since I built my server I haven't needed to boot it up again so boot times are irrelevant for me, how often do you boot your server.

What programs do you run that need speed? I use my server to stream files, run sick beard and SABnzbd and backup client PC's

David
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post #13 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidT99 View Post

Why do you want "fast" in a server? Since I built my server I haven't needed to boot it up again so boot times are irrelevant for me, how often do you boot your server.

What programs do you run that need speed? I use my server to stream files, run sick beard and SABnzbd and backup client PC's

David

Why not? The alternative is to use a larger HDD and waste most of its storage space or partition it out. If you've got an extra SSD or doing a new build it there isn't much of a reason to not run a server with an SSD. Even pulling up the dashboard from a remote PC is faster with an SSD.

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post #14 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Why not? The alternative is to use a larger HDD and waste most of its storage space or partition it out. If you've got an extra SSD or doing a new build it there isn't much of a reason to not run a server with an SSD. Even pulling up the dashboard from a remote PC is faster with an SSD.

Why not is not really an answer, I am interested to know how an SSD is better than an HDD in a server. I understand that boot times and program loading are quicker but what is the benefit of that when you rarely boot the server or run programs other than those that load at boot. The one benefit I see is energy consumption but that is offset by the extra cost of an SSD, I can't think of anything else.

I guess my answer to "why not" is increased cost and no benefit. Am I missing something? Will an SSD stream quicker, transcode quicker, backup PC's quicker or download quicker? I'm not trying to cause an argument, I genuinely want to know what the benefit is.

David

BTW, my OS drive is a 120gb SATAII HDD.
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post #15 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 02:34 PM
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I simply have made a decision to never install an OS to a HDD for my own personal use.

I've used both SSD and HDD for both server and PC/HTPC. The performance penalty of a HDD makes it unacceptable to me.

I understand others like you are different. That's ok. But I just don't have the personality to accept and remain happy with HDD levels of performance. So the reason "why" is simply because a HDD is unacceptable to me.


Nothing wrong with disagreeing.

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post #16 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 02:39 PM
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There isn't a single thing or function where a HDD is competitive with an SSD on performance so listing the myriad of reasons or places where and how just seems futile.

It's really more just a personal decision people should make individually as to a HDD being appropriate and acceptable or not.

If your patient, and use your server like you described you may find happiness with a HDD.

If your impatient, appreciate performance, and use your server like I do you may not be happy with HDD and need an SSD.

There is no wrong or right universal answer for everyone, but the answer to me is clear on a personal level.

Just offering my opinion.

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post #17 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 02:42 PM
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Btw my server has 70gb used on my SSD. I actively manage the storage on the SSD as to minimize it. You'd be surprised how much it can swell. Choosing a larger SSD is advised because you don't worry about bouncing off the storage limit, and also larger SSD usually perform better and last longer.

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post #18 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 03:36 PM
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@Mfusick.......Freedom of choice is fine by me.....so you chose an SSD simply because you wanted to and for no other tangible reason but maybe others have chosen an SSD for reasons other than they just wanted one and those are the reasons I am interested in. For all I know there might be a reason for me to have an SSD as well, I just don't know at the moment what that reason could be.

@bryansj.......Why did you choose an SSD over an HDD?

David
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post #19 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 04:00 PM
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Low noise and power consumption is also a good reason to choose a SSD for a server that runs 24/7.
Being able to mount in unconventional positions (saving a drive bay) could also be useful in some situations.
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post #20 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 04:37 PM
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Some good points^

@ David, I chose an SSD because I find HDD performance unacceptable. Not just because " I wanted one"

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post #21 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 04:53 PM
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David,

I have an HDD on my server and a spare SSD that I could install but I don't see any reason to, other than a slightly lower power consumption. Since my storage disks are all HDD, my limiting performance issue is the time it takes for a drive to spin up when called upon. An SSD won't help in that regard. I don't transcode but I don't think I'd see any improvement in that arena with an SSD. If I were to build a new one from scratch, I'd go with an SSD unless I had a good spare HDD lying around already.
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post #22 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 06:12 PM
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I wanted a drive for the OS only for my server so I didn't need a large drive. The cheapest hard drive was about $55. I thought, why not spend the extra $25 and get a quality SSD? 

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post #23 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 06:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidT99 View Post

Why do you want "fast" in a server? Since I built my server I haven't needed to boot it up again so boot times are irrelevant for me, how often do you boot your server.

What programs do you run that need speed? I use my server to stream files, run sick beard and SABnzbd and backup client PC's

David

Media Browser benefits from the increased speed. That, and the reboot time, are the two things I noticed. Do not discount reboot and the time it takes to become ready for use, though. According to Murphy, an emergency htpc reboot will only ever be needed when your favorite show is about to start...


I have a 60GB SSD for my OS drive - and it has all my HTPC applications on it.
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post #24 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 09:05 PM
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I found that connecting remotely to my server became much faster after moving the OS (WHS2011) to a SSD. The dashboard also comes up quite a bit faster as well. Until I experienced that I would have said for a server it doesn't matter but now I believe it has benefits.
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post #25 of 81 Old 04-27-2013, 11:34 PM
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Not sure I'd trust a consumer SSD for my media server just yet. It is also my primary domain controller, DNS server and WINS server so I run mirrored O/S drives (Seagate Constellation) in order to minimize dowmtime in case of a drive failure.
That would require 2 SSDs and for that money I would much rather put those in client PCs.
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post #26 of 81 Old 04-28-2013, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Some good points^

@ David, I chose an SSD because I find HDD performance unacceptable. Not just because " I wanted one"

Why is an HDD performance unacceptable for a server OS drive? Ignoring boot time and faster application loading time as I still don't think this is relevant in a server that rarely boots or loads applications.
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post #27 of 81 Old 04-28-2013, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

I wanted a drive for the OS only for my server so I didn't need a large drive. The cheapest hard drive was about $55. I thought, why not spend the extra $25 and get a quality SSD? 

That's cool, you had the cash and wanted an SSD. That's reason enough for you. SSD's in the UK are about 3x more expensive than a same size HDD.
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post #28 of 81 Old 04-28-2013, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Media Browser benefits from the increased speed. That, and the reboot time, are the two things I noticed. Do not discount reboot and the time it takes to become ready for use, though. According to Murphy, an emergency htpc reboot will only ever be needed when your favorite show is about to start...


I have a 60GB SSD for my OS drive - and it has all my HTPC applications on it.

I have SSD's in my HTPC's too but we are talking about server's not HTPC's. This is where I am struggling to see the benefit.

David
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post #29 of 81 Old 04-28-2013, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I found that connecting remotely to my server became much faster after moving the OS (WHS2011) to a SSD. The dashboard also comes up quite a bit faster as well. Until I experienced that I would have said for a server it doesn't matter but now I believe it has benefits.

Two tangible benefits....thank you.

So far we have;

Faster boot time
Faster application loading
Lower power consumption
Quieter
Faster remote access
Faster dashboard loading

I think the first four benefits are very minor and for me do not justify the extra cost of an SSD.

Thank you for all contributions, I think I will stay with my HDD for now.

David
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post #30 of 81 Old 04-28-2013, 05:42 AM
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A real tangible pro for the use of an SSD is in the case of page files. Depending on what the OS is doing along with how much physical memory you have in the server, the I/O to the page file can significantly vary depending on whether it's a spinning disk or a solid state drive.

The comments about lower power consumption with SSDs is not really cut and dry. SSDs do require a certain amount of power even when in an idle state which can be more than an equivalent spinning disk. The difference is the spinning disk can shut down the rotation of the platters to save power. This was born out on some tests I saw on the usual online tech sites that showed SSDs can actually consume more power.
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