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LawnDart

Solid State Hard drives (SSDs)

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A colleague of mine has been talking lately about getting a 64GB SSD drive for his system. Now I'm thinking.... since stuttering has always been an issue (loading textures, other crap) It would seem logical that an SSD drive might be the holy grail to solving the stuttering/performance problems typically seen in FS since disk reads are the culprit to the stuttering issues... and if SSDs perform magnitudes faster.... :Thinking: Is anyone using an SSD device for simming yet?

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Yup. I have my FSX on a 80GB SSD. From what I have learned from the forums etc. is that the SSD really only speeds the loading time for FSX. I didn't notice any big FPS gain once I installed it. Others may have a different answer. Bob G.

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AFAICT, disk reads are not the cause of stutters, at least most of the stutters. But then I've never been slavish about defragging, moving to outside of platters, etc so maybe that's just my bias.scott s..

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I use my SSD for my OS (win7) and it is blisteringly fast. Windows move, open and close at lightspeed, and standard apps are similarly zoomy. Recommended just for this. But all I read says it'll make no great difference to FSX fps - as others have said.

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Understood about FPS.. I didn't really expect that number to move anyway.My real interest is in reducing the time it takes for FSX to grab scenery files while flying, which is where the stuttering comes in, especially in heavily-populated areas. Since SSD 'reads' are light years ahead of a mechanical drive (Even one spinning at 10K) I could see where this would be a huge improvement.

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Understood about FPS.. I didn't really expect that number to move anyway.My real interest is in reducing the time it takes for FSX to grab scenery files while flying, which is where the stuttering comes in, especially in heavily-populated areas. Since SSD 'reads' are light years ahead of a mechanical drive (Even one spinning at 10K) I could see where this would be a huge improvement.
Improvement, yes. Huge? Nope. No one that I have read has reported huge improvements. You'll get slightly smoother performance but the SSD by itself will not cure stutters nor will it affect FPS in any significant way.If oyur intent is to get another slightly better component for your system and you don't mind the $$/Mb then go for it. If you're expecting a significant improvement, you will be disappointed.Vic

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LawndartI agree with most of the posters here that per se a SSD does not improve frame rates.However, it does speed up the loading of textures particularly when travelling fast in the sim and also when turning during flight. This constant texture loading can induce stutters when you are reading the data from a 'slow' conventional HDD (especially if it is fragmented). The logic is that we have extremely fast processors with blazingly fast video cards which are trying to pull data off a mechanical object spinning at 7200 rpm. We talk about 'bottlenecking' but I believe that a conventional mechanical drive can cause a data bottleneck which could result in less than smooth performance. Not alwways but during certain conditions in FSX. We need to balance all parts of a PC for FSX and that includes a hard drive.Many people have reported reduced or no stutters with vrap drives spinning at 10,000 rpm so its logical to think that an SSD with no moving parts and superior read times will deliver the data a lot faster to the cpu? Since moving to an SSD about a year ago I have not seen any slow loading times for FSX and any stutters that I had have disappeared.Now it could be 'The Emperor's New Clothes' effect but I'm happy to live with that and I'm saving up for either a SATA III SSD (jan 2011) or a PCIE variation! :rolleyes: RegardsPeterH

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'The Emperor's New Clothes' effect but I'm happy to live with that and I'm saving up for either a SATA III SSD (jan 2011) or a PCIE variation! :rolleyes: RegardsPeterH
I'm strongly inclined to believe that SSD performance translates directly to lack of stuttering as you have seen. Logically it just makes sense.<Ahem>..."Dear Santa," Angel.gif

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As an SSD user I can guarantee the following results;Switching to SSD from a conventional HD you won't notice much improvement & may actually be disappointed. This is largely because of all the hype about SSD's being so friggin fast. The improvement is there and it is definitely measurable, it just won't be the breathtaking speedup you'd been led to expect.Switching from an SSD back to a conventional HD you will notice every single ms of delay and curse conventional HD's for the rest of your life.About a year ago I bought a new laptop with an SSD. Didn't notice much improvement. After a few months it started getting a bit cramped (big SSD's are expensive) so I replaced it with a good, 'fast' conventional HD and it seemed so unbelieveably slow the next day I had Fry's put a hold on their last 256GB SSD & drove 4 hours to pick it up.NOTE: I'm only using the above laptop as an example. My FSX is on a desktop which is coincidentally using the original SSD from the laptop as a boot drive.Another note about SSD's. Never defrag one. Fragmentation doesn't hurt an SSD but defragging one can and probably will. It has to do with something called TRIM & I won't get into the details but basically some SSD's (the high end models like Intel) support a feature called TRIM which helps clean up the free space during writes. Any raid SSD will not support TRIM. Over time the frequent write sessions will slow the drive down & you'll have to format the drive to make it fresh again. It's not a total loss however. With an extra harddrive (same or larger capacity) and a good cloning tool you won't have to reinstall anything. When the cloning/formatting/restore from clone is done you're still on the same original drive so none of your software registrations are gone.My SSD is a cheapy so about once every 2 months I clone it to a secondary HD, format it & restore the clone. (takes about 2 hours)EDIT: the cloned secondary HD is bootable so you can run your apps from it in a pinch, but most of your software will require activation since it's a different HD. Just saying, it also works as a passable backup of your entire system.Also for FSX don't get smaller than 128GB. Most of us run quite a few addons so you want to make sure there's plenty of room for your flavor of windows, fsx and any addons you may be carrying plus some extra for the virtual memory.

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Actually stutters come from objects not being loaded into VRAM. An SSD isn't really going to help this situation. It only helps when you are generating the 1st frame.. not subsequent ones. If your stutters are due to the harddrive you got bigger issues.

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Guys, I'm moving this thread to the hardware forum.Normally we should delete them.Please try to ease our daily work and respect the rules.Thx!

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Actually stutters come from objects not being loaded into VRAM.
Does this mean that installing a graphics card with more RAM would be a better solution to reduce stuttering?

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Actually stutters come from objects not being loaded into VRAM.
So what can be done to help with that?

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I want to say something that I thought I would never say:My SSD drives are an essential part of my system. I had no idea of how important they were until I bought 2 of them to replace my Vraps.In a Raido set-up, read speeds are amazing. But, without the right controller it could cause stutters in FSX. If you choose to set-up your SSDs as IDE, that would be a waste of money and speed. They are only slightly faster than Vraps.The best way to set up an SSD is to set AHCI in the bios and then install win 7.Then download and install the intel rst drivers. You can also use MS driver.My G Skill drives are rated 7.8 by windows 7 and that's with an AHCI set-up. They have fast reads and writes. There are even faster Sata III drives out there. If your motherboard supports it, go with the fastest ssd drives (one for OS & one for fsx)I've had raptors for the longest time, and I can honestly confirm that:*Programs install and load faster with an SSD.*FSX loads faster and gets you flying sooner.*The sim is smoother and depending on scenery fps show a nice increase.*Sceneries are sharp and beautiful. *Blurries are almost non-existent with fps set to unlimitted and flying jets. This means that if I double the read of my drive to 400 I might never see a blurry again.This is the best investment I have ever made. It completes a perfect system. Win 7 ranks my computer at 7.6. That's because my cpu is the slowest component that I have.If you want to experience the above, don't walk, run and get yourself 2 SSD drives. The faster - the better. No pun intended.

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I want to say something that I thought I would never say:My SSD drives are an essential part of my system. I had no idea of how important they were until I bought 2 of them to replace my Vraps.In a Raido set-up, read speeds are amazing. But, without the right controller it could cause stutters in FSX. If you choose to set-up your SSDs as IDE, that would be a waste of money and speed. They are only slightly faster than Vraps.The best way to set up an SSD is to set AHCI in the bios and then install win 7.Then download and install the intel rst drivers. You can also use MS driver.My G Skill drives are rated 7.8 by windows 7 and that's with an AHCI set-up. They have fast reads and writes. There are even faster Sata III drives out there. If your motherboard supports it, go with the fastest ssd drives (one for OS & one for fsx)I've had raptors for the longest time, and I can honestly confirm that:*Programs install and load faster with an SSD.*FSX loads faster and gets you flying sooner.*The sim is smoother and depending on scenery fps show a nice increase.*Sceneries are sharp and beautiful. *Blurries are almost non-existent with fps set to unlimitted and flying jets. This means that if I double the read of my drive to 400 I might never see a blurry again.This is the best investment I have ever made. It completes a perfect system. Win 7 ranks my computer at 7.6. That's because my cpu is the slowest component that I have.If you want to experience the above, don't walk, run and get yourself 2 SSD drives. The faster - the better. No pun intended.
I really could not agree with my friend here more even though in my application Raid 0 works well. IMHO here is what is important to gleam from this topic:Having one or two fast solid state drives in your system, however you want to set it up, either in AHCI or in Raid, will greatly enhance your FSX experience, for all the reasons Jose and others stake their word and reputations on. Kind regards,

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Stephen,Thank you. Your enthusiasm helped me buy the right SSDs.Jose

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My FS PC runs WinXP so no TRIM for me. And it has both HDD and SSD so I chose not to use AHCI mode. Even so for me the improvement of a SSD as the FS drive is still noticeable.

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Jason,Even though you're content with a slight increase in performance, it's not really the best approach. Now I understand why some people say that SSDs did not really improve their system. That's becuase they bought the wrong SSD or did not use the right set-up.Since I've had the chance to try IDE, AHCI, and Raid0, I have a good understanding of how the SSD read speed affect my sim experience.I, like most simmers, want smooth flight with sharp textures. SSD has achieve this goal for me and it can for most with fast systems.In the near future I will opt for a Raid0 set-up with my two current SSD drives for OS and a separate RevoDrive for FSX.RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD will allow the extremely fast reads I want without having to replace my motherboard.

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DJJose: Or that you could accomplish the same improvement by loading the software 2 minutes earlier....

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DJJose: Or that you could accomplish the same improvement by loading the software 2 minutes earlier....
Thanks. I'll give that a shot. :Bring It On:

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DJJoseHave you really thought RAID 0 through. What benefit will it give you in terms of FSX which is mainly very small files. RAID was developed for servers that handle huge amounts of large chunks of data and these are quite different to home PCs. There is a great article here: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/reviews/home-pc-raid/"These SOHO RAID solutions were limited to striping and mirroring and the general consensus among erudite consumers was that striping two hard disks into a larger volume meant more speed while using one disk as a mirror provided a protection against data loss. These generalisations are largely myths. From our experience - and the stats we’ve collected from our customers - those with RAID 1 are marginally more likely to lose data than those without any RAID at all. The even more startling fact to emerge from our stats was that those with RAID 0 are six times more likely to suffer data loss than customers with no RAID array in their PCs. andwrt to increased speedBut very little of that is true. RAID 0 does not always make for more speed. In fact striping may not make the blindest bit of difference to the speed of the average home PC!If the claim that RAID 0 is not all it's cracked up to be sounds illogical then it's worth taking the time to read the reviews. A search in Google should lead you to them. Except for a few limited high I/O activities like video editing - and the typical application benchmark - the speed gains are almost non-existent. For the average PC user RAID 0 is as useful as a rear spoiler on an 800cc car. It looks good, it sounds impressive but it don't do nuffin'IMHO RAID adds nothing to FSX but a fast SSD on its own does. On board RAID actually uses some cpu cycles so it could slow FSX down? There will be lots of other opinions claiming that RAID is faster but the logics of the situation dictate that this just cannot be true. To me a SSD on a PCIE card is a much more elegant solution.RegardsPeterH

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It might alleviate stutters, however that can have a lot to do with your RAM, CPU and other stuff. An SSD is an improvement on platter drives in just about every way other than price per GB. In regards to what you are looking for, an SSD will alleviate the classic tile fill in you get in FS9 as you quickly pan around the aircraft in spot. Regardless of whether you use FSX or FS9, an SSD will certainly help thing along, and make the Hard Drive much less of a bottleneck on the CPU, Motherboard, and RAM. Honestly, I would wait until prices get closer to 1GB per dollar. Right now its about 600mb per $1. If you have the extra money lying around, I would go for it. Its very cool, SSDs are indeed the future.

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A colleague of mine has been talking lately about getting a 64GB SSD drive for his system. Now I'm thinking.... since stuttering has always been an issue (loading textures, other crap) It would seem logical that an SSD drive might be the holy grail to solving the stuttering/performance problems typically seen in FS since disk reads are the culprit to the stuttering issues... and if SSDs perform magnitudes faster.... :Thinking: Is anyone using an SSD device for simming yet?
Just replaced a dedicated FSX Raptor drive by a $99 Kingston 64GB SSD.Works like a charm. Fast, quiet and smooth scenery loading in FSX.

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I am considering SSD.I keep my machine fairly lean, I don't need massive amount of storage hence SSDs appeal to me.If I wanted to go solely SSD, would a single larger drive be OK, or is it still advantageous to have two separate SSD drives for Win7 and FSX?

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I am considering SSD.I keep my machine fairly lean, I don't need massive amount of storage hence SSDs appeal to me.If I wanted to go solely SSD, would a single larger drive be OK, or is it still advantageous to have two separate SSD drives for Win7 and FSX?
According to opinions in this thread: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/321622-christmas-time-ssd-time/two SSD drives would be optimal.

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