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Author Topic: Vector On My SSD  (Read 5704 times)
gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« on: January 07, 2008, 06:50:56 pm »

Hi, guys,

     I bought myself an SSD for my small portable ( Christmas present to myself ), the Samsung MCAQE16G8APR-0XA ( http://www.samsungssd.com ). I will put that one on my tiny Dell which will have absolutely no moving parts ( no noise! ). My question is: Should i take any steps to customize Vector so the drive lasts longer? ( because of the write cycles ) The data sheet does say 2 000 000 hours MTBF. So, should i be concerned? Thanks.

Gus
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3943



« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2008, 07:03:39 pm »

Nice! <wiping drool off keyboard>

I am running VL 5.8 off a CF card and an iRam. I use tmpfs for /tmp and a cheap USB stick for swap to minimize writes to the flash card.

Where did you buy this one?
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gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2008, 10:27:38 pm »

Heh, i tried a CF card with an adapter from Addonics about six months ago, but i can't remember why it didn't work out. . . i think i bought the wrong adapter and i couldn't find the correct one, or something like that.

I bought this one at Newegg for about 200 USD, but i think the 16 GB ones ( the one i have ) are discontinued. They have some as "open box", though ( returned? ): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&Description=ssd%20samsung&bop=And&Order=PRICE

Gus
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 12:59:42 pm »

What are the most likely sources for wear on the drive? The Firefox cache? Is there a default swap file in Vector?

Gus
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3943



« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 03:04:54 pm »

Swap is usually set up on it's own partition, but I understand it's possible to use a file. The swap setup is usually done during install, but is easily changed later. You can also run without swap if you have enough RAM. I did that for months on a 1 GB machine and never had any problems.

I suspect that /tmp does some of the most frequent disc writes. That's why I put /tmp in RAM (tmpfs). Helps on speed too.

Browser caches also do a lot of writes. Not sure how you would put those in RAM, though.
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gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2008, 06:43:20 pm »

I've never used a swap partition or a swap file. But who needs one with Vector? And the maximum memory that i ever had has been ( is ) 768 MB.

I've done some reading and it seems that i'm worrying too much:

http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

http://www.embeddedstar.com/weblog/2007/05/21/ssd-longevity/

It's starting to look like SSDs are _more_ reliable than HDDs.

Gus
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3943



« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 05:34:44 am »

Yeah, I'm sure there is a difference between a $200 SSD and a $10 keychain USB stick too.

I did a lot of experimenting and never managed to use the full gig of RAM. I tried hard:
http://cincibjj.com/temp/loaded.png

My initial plan was to just use the CF card as a regular drive and see if it would do the job. However, I like to play. Wink With a desktop machine you have more space and expansion slots to play with than in a portable. The decision to add an iRam was more about adding storage space, as the card is only 8 GB.

Final result (for now) is a box with 2 GB of RAM and liberal use of tmpfs. I threw in a cheap USB stick for swap, just in case. Spreading my storage across the devices seems to have increased speed too.

You should be fine with your SSD. If it fails a few years from now, how would that be different than a hard drive?
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gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 07:39:39 am »

Quote
I did a lot of experimenting and never managed to use the full gig of RAM. I tried hard:
http://cincibjj.com/temp/loaded.png

Did you try OpenOffice.org? Or you could just run Vista on an emulator. I bet that'll be lots of fun. Just make sure you don't throw your chair at the computer, K?

I think i'll go for a double-boot: two 8 GB partitions. Probably 5.8 and 5.9. I really can't think of another distro to put in there. And most of my storage is external since i don't download music or videos or anything like that.

Gus
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3943



« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 10:10:34 am »

It's hard to tell in the crowded task bar on that picture, but Open Office is running. I think I had all of the OO apps open. But you're right, it is a slug!  Angry  ...Vista? No thanks.

5.8 and 5.9 are very similar in function, you'd end up with much duplication there. Personally, I'd probably go with 5.9.

Please post your experiences with this, I would like to hear how it works out.
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gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2008, 09:35:37 pm »

I just installed 5.8 in hda1 on the SSD. I can tell right away that the computer is a little bit faster, not blindingly fast, but it certainly boots faster by a few seconds.

Aside from that, i assumed that the hard drive was the only source of noise left in the computer, but it wasn't so. There was a high-pitched sound coming from the computer. After googling around for a while i found that sometimes the highest power saving states of the CPU can produce these noises. The solution? Set the maximum state as such: echo 2 > /sys/module/processor/parameters/max_cstate. When i did this there was a profound reduction in the offending noise, but there was still some left. I googled around some more and found that a screen that has not been set at its full brightness can also make noise. I set mine in full and, sure enough, another drastic reduction of noise. The only noise left is a faint crackling which can be heard clearly if i put my ear close to the computer. This one partially goes away if i do: nice yes > /dev/null. Is this also related to ACPI? I don't know, i'm sleepy.

Gus
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
BlueMage
Vectorite
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Posts: 274



« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2008, 03:11:11 am »

Quote
I did a lot of experimenting and never managed to use the full gig of RAM. I tried hard:
http://cincibjj.com/temp/loaded.png

Did you try OpenOffice.org? Or you could just run Vista on an emulator. I bet that'll be lots of fun. Just make sure you don't throw your chair at the computer, K?

I think i'll go for a double-boot: two 8 GB partitions. Probably 5.8 and 5.9. I really can't think of another distro to put in there. And most of my storage is external since i don't download music or videos or anything like that.

Gus

if you're going to run Vista on emulator, make sure you're running a few things outside the emulator as well.  otherwise you won't max out the RAM.  I use Vista Ultimate, with 2GB, and I'm rarely over 50% usage.  Except when playing Crysis Cheesy
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Acer Laptop:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final & Windows XP Professional & USB (still alive!)
Compaq POS (almost dead): Vector 5.9 Light Beta 5
Quad-core BEAST: Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit & Vector 5.9 64-bit beta-2
Old 500MHz media box:  Vector 5.8 SOHO Final (dead)
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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3943



« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 05:39:02 am »

Other sounds: Yes, you have found the same thing I did. There are a lot of sound sources in a computer.

Slow a variable speed fan enough and you can hear the electrical motor. When I got the fan noise low enough, the hard drive became annoying. After removing the hard drive I noticed that even solid state devices make noise. The iRam makes a slight crackling sound during read/write. SiS on-board NIC's are downright annoying, letting out loud squeals with network activity (and poor performance too). You discovered even more issues (and solutions! Smiley ).

Eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns. I found that I prefer a low, steady hiss from a quiet fan over the other varying sounds. It blends into the background and is less noticeable.

However, for my Home Theater PC I did find another solution: It went behind the wall, in a closet. I cut holes in the wall for audio and video cables and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. There is custom wallplate with a power button, power and hdd LED, and a USB port. Above that is a slot-loading optical drive. Guests are usually bewildered when I feed my wall a DVD!   Grin
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gacl
Vectorite
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Posts: 218



« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 07:25:52 am »

Yes, and the problem with portables is that they're right in your face. But, anyway, now i can hear the ringing in my ears just fine!

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_high_pitch_noises#Solutions
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“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” -- Bill Moyers
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3943



« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 07:59:59 am »

now i can hear the ringing in my ears just fine!

Ah, a fellow victim of tinnitus  Sad
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