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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,


A co-worker has asked me to build him a iATX HTPC with a SSD drive for the OS, which is WinXP Pro 32-bit SP3.


I have never used SSD before, but have done lots of reading about it on AVS and elsewhere.


My rough plan for setting up the system using SSD is the following:


1. Installing and using the SSD in IDE mode, not AHCI.


2. Creating a Ramdisk partition (a drive volume that exists in RAM memory rather than a hard drive) and tweaking XP to write to it for page file, temporary internet files, print spooling, etc. This is to reduce the number of write cycles to the SSD so that it will last longer, since the number of write cycles to the SSD memory elements is finite.

See *here* for details.


3. Using a SSD vendor's TRIM ("garbage collection") tool for XP, which doesn't do TRIM automatically like Win7.


This is my preliminary plan, and this is where I ask the experts here for critique and feedback. Thanks in advance to those who reply.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Theimpaler /forum/post/20770356


Hey all,


A co-worker has asked me to build him a iATX HTPC with a SSD drive for the OS, which is WinXP Pro 32-bit SP3.


I have never used SSD before, but have done lots of reading about it on AVS and elsewhere.


My rough plan for setting up the system using SSD is the following:


1. Installing and using the SSD in IDE mode, not AHCI.


2. Creating a Ramdisk partition (a drive volume that exists in RAM memory rather than a hard drive) and tweaking XP to write to it for page file, temporary internet files, print spooling, etc. This is to reduce the number of write cycles to the SSD so that it will last longer, since the number of write cycles to the SSD memory elements is finite.

See *here* for details.


3. Using a SSD vendor's TRIM ("garbage collection") tool for XP, which doesn't do TRIM automatically like Win7.


This is my preliminary plan, and this is where I ask the experts here for critique and feedback. Thanks in advance to those who reply.

As long as you can periodically trim then a SSD in IDE mode should be fine.



As far as the RAM drive, I have never used it but you should have a good amount of ram present and you should most likely disable swap(page file) all together as opposed to having it write to a logical disk which is in ram anyway.



here is a free software that allows you to create a ramdisk, upto 4 gigs
http://memory.dataram.com/products-a...ftware/ramdisk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses. XP is my co-worker's requirement for the build. If I were building for me, I'd be using 7 for sure



Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane /forum/post/20771750


And don't move all that stuff off of the SSD. That's where the SSD excels, small random writes.

True that, but the issue is that there are only so many times you can write to the memory elements of the SSD before they fail. Granted, it's something in the hundreds of thousands (write cycles), but it seems prudent, to me at least, to offload that kind of wear to the SSD using the ramdisk method. And, in terms of performance, RAM is plenty fast too




What advantages does AHCI have in this case? I've heard that in terms of operations per second, it's only a marginal performance increase compared to IDE, probably not noticeable in home desktop use. Hot swap? Not needed or wanted for the OS drive. NCQ? My understanding is that this was implemented to reduce read latency in spinning drives, and does not do anything for solid state media. Since AHCI isn't even natively supported in XP setup (requires F6 install or slipstreaming), I can't think of any reason to use AHCI at all in this build scenario




Thanks again to those who've responded. Always enjoy the stimulating discussion in this forum
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Theimpaler /forum/post/20772240


Thanks for the responses. XP is my co-worker's requirement for the build. If I were building for me, I'd be using 7 for sure






True that, but the issue is that there are only so many times you can write to the memory elements of the SSD before they fail. Granted, it's something in the hundreds of thousands (write cycles), but it seems prudent, to me at least, to offload that kind of wear to the SSD using the ramdisk method. And, in terms of performance, RAM is plenty fast too




What advantages does AHCI have in this case? I've heard that in terms of operations per second, it's only a marginal performance increase compared to IDE, probably not noticeable in home desktop use. Hot swap? Not needed or wanted for the OS drive. NCQ? My understanding is that this was implemented to reduce read latency in spinning drives, and does not do anything for solid state media. Since AHCI isn't even natively supported in XP setup (requires F6 install or slipstreaming), I can't think of any reason to use AHCI at all in this build scenario




Thanks again to those who've responded. Always enjoy the stimulating discussion in this forum

What is the price of 4 gigs of ram, about 100 bucks? What is the price of the 120 gig drive, 180 bucks. The money savings is tiny and the performance benefit is negligible. In my opinion it doesn't make sense to go the ramdrive option but if you want to it will work fine. Don't just blindly follow the OCZ guide you linked.



As far as AHCI, small block write with a high cue depth benefit from NCQ, even SSDs. Besides slipstreaming or F6ing the drivers there is no dowside.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Theimpaler /forum/post/20772240



True that, but the issue is that there are only so many times you can write to the memory elements of the SSD before they fail. Granted, it's something in the hundreds of thousands (write cycles), but it seems prudent, to me at least, to offload that kind of wear to the SSD using the ramdisk method. And, in terms of performance, RAM is plenty fast too

The SSD has 5+ years of writes. You would replace the drive before it would fail.
 
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