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Thread: New SSD for Trainz:Good idea or not?

  1. #1
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    Question New SSD for Trainz:Good idea or not?

    I am planning on getting a new SSD for Trainz only,possibly other games,but however... I am just curious:How much of an improvement is this SSD over the old WD green 5400 RPM 1TB in my PC in terms of reliability and loading times for the price?... I know it will be quicker,but I'm just curious for how it will do for storage space and loading times with Trainz... I know it might be a dumb question,but as they say,you can never be to sure.
    ... failure is always an option!

  2. #2
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    RailFan500CA - Brilliant idea! Trainz runs so much better on modern, fast SSDs.
    You'll notice an instant difference in speed and responsiveness, particularly for database repairs, Content Management tasks, loading routes and sessions, etc. compared to your old 5400 rpm drive.
    Latency and read/ write speeds are orders of magnitude better with SSDs, particularly PCIe NVMe drives, but very noticeable even with highly affordable SATA SSDs like the Samsung Evo 860 series.
    Suggest get one with at least 480Gb - preferably 500Gb or better, and install it as your boot drive (by cloning your existing drive and OS) after backing up all of your data files to an external drive first.
    Many SSDs from Samsung and ADATA, for example, come with access to cloning software enabling you to easily switch over your entire operating system and data from your old spinning-rust drive to the shiny new SSD.
    The trusty old WD 1 TB then becomes a handy data storage disk for backup purposes, etc. and simply stays in the machine under a different logical drive name instead.

  3. #3
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    WD green drives are normally sold for CCTV or low power applications. They aren't normally used on something that runs Trainz. Having said that if it 5,400 it sounds like a lap top drive. WD drives typically have longer warranties than other makes but it will depend on the model. 5 years is not unusual for a WD drive.

    SSDs vary, the nice ones are Samsung EVO and PRO. These days there are versions that plug into a PCIe slot with an adapter gets you a better transfer rate or an M.2 slot but you need one on your motherboard. Typically SSDs are more reliable than hard drives and have 5 year warranties but some cheaper ones are less.

    I'd go with either 250 gigs or 500 gig drive, Trainz can take a up a chunk of room. newegg.com and look at the specifications and reviews.

    Cheerio John

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions:Although the SSD would make a good replacement drive,however the 1TB SSD is pricey and the last test on the old 5400 RPM HDD showed no bad sectors in spite of being a 2009 one... but maybe I can get a 1TB SSD and use the old HDD as a backup drive. I was thinking of just Trainz for the SSD since I have only around 90GB of space left on the 5400 RPM HDD... (There's much more than Trainz on it...)
    ... failure is always an option!

  5. #5

    Lightbulb Comparision between Seagate 5400 and Samsung EVO using Magician Software addon.

    Read your thread with interest, and if I may add:

    Please go over to my Thread, look up msg #958, results from changing Seagate 5400 to Samsung EVO old one, out of my HP Envy, results are stunning for me in my new ROG STRIX Gaming laptop......

    https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...14#post1734914

    Bottom line, it took minimum 120 mins to maximum of 2.5 to 3 hrs for rough, really messed up Database Issues with TRS19 with old New Seagate Drive, with SSD the worst time was 3 mins, and now I am down to 59 Seconds for 496000 Assets.....

    You be the judge.....But I think my results say it all..............

  6. #6
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    Do you have room to add another drive? A Crucial 960gig drive is about $110 on Newegg.com, 500 gigs $65. I quite like the 4 gig WD black drives $170, lots of platters which means less head movement when pulling a file in, lots of storage space, nice big cache.

    Cheerio John

  7. #7
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    I do have room for one more HDD/SSD. I will look at more then the Samsung drives for an idea.
    ... failure is always an option!

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    RailFan500CA - Be aware that, whilst they are now cheap as chips, high capacity spinning platter HDDs - even when running at 10,000rpm or 7200rpm - will still be more than 10 to 100X slower than SSDs.
    I use my 7200 rpm 3Tb and 2Tb drives as bulk data storage repositories and backup disks only. Everything else is either NVMe PCIe SSD (Samsung 970 EVO M2 1Tb boot disk) or SATA SSDs (of various sizes and brands over 240Gb).

    An important additional factor for me is the silent operation of solid state drives. My enterprise-class WD 3Tb HDD is quite noisy during read and write operations.

    MTBF and Endurance of SSDs now equals or outclasses mainstream HDDs, so that is no longer a consideration, and the newer M2 formats take up so little space on your motherboard.
    I have never had an SSD fail me yet, but I have witnessed the demise of failed HDDs on a number of occasions over the course of my 40+year computer consultancy/ ISP and PC training businesses.

    The latest gaming computer build that I put together has PCIe SSDs only - something that I am contemplating doing with my main production machine here - eventually.
    The reality is, however, that many mundane PC tasks and productivity applications (like Office apps, for example) where I spend much of my time, do not need ludicrous I/O speeds and low latency.
    So economics and common sense will likely prevail until it becomes a no-brainer to purchase SSDs only, as the price for multi-terabyte SSDs drops - as expected - to more affordable levels.
    Last edited by PC_Ace; February 11th, 2019 at 05:29 PM.

  9. #9

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    Love my 512GB SSD and wouldn't have anything else although I do store extra .cdp files on an external Thunderbolt 2 drive.
    MacBook Air 2017 with i7 2.2 GHz w/ 8 GB RAM
    512GB Apple SSD and Intel HD Graphics 6000 1.5 GB
    TRS19 Build: 98569

  10. #10
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    A SSD is a better solution for modern day computing, but may not be the best way to spend your money on computer equipment for Trainz. Starting with TANE, then TMR17 and now TRS19. I would bank on a good GPU, (of course a SSD would go nice with it).

    Trainz mostly runs in the GPU, and you will get most bang for the buck buying a superior GPU... IMO the SSD is not a real deal maker.

    I have a i7, 500GB SSD and a secondary video adapter NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960m and look how it handles TANE

    If it's not broke, don't fix it.


  11. #11
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    Before you order a SATA SSD because your motherboard does not have M.2 sockets, look into adapters that plug into the PCIE motherboards and you mount your M.2 SSD onto it. They cost less thant $20. Also, beware of DRAM-less SSD, later models SSD are only a few bucks more, and have cache.

  12. #12
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    Christopher824 is correct - no other single component influences your gameplay experience more in T:ANE or TRS19. These Trainz programs are extremely GPU-centric.
    The faster the video card (assuming it is supported by adequate other componentry) the better the framerates and gameplay smoothness.
    That said, a good SSD would still make a huge performance difference over the 5400RPM HDD that the OP is (or was) rocking, especially for loading times and database rebuilds.
    Bottom line: Look after the GPU first, then support it with the fastest components you can afford.

  13. #13

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    I grew up with PC since the early 80s, actually played with Tandy TI 99, 6 hertz circa 1970's and some other ancient, dinosaur Computers.......

    One thing if we had it then and we didn't that I recall, was cache memory onboard, like read ahead dedicated memory, when used correctly in HD's, on CPU Chips, Etc, it can make a heck of difference, especially on Hard Drives, the function as one expects, keep the CPU operational Pipe Line Full, but not so full it can't handle Computing for other items motherboard, Threads, etc.......The worst thing is waiting for hard Drive information.......IT slows things to a Crawl.......It was very apparent when DOS went to Windows, and GUI Screen was introduced Yada Yada..........

    Now with all the Cores on Chip, lots of L2, L3, L4, Cached HD's with 64 meg or more, etc, if the Cache works as designed, your Computer will definitely KICK UP some speed......I recall when I bought my first hard Drive with some extra memory installed as Cache, and what a gem it was too see that drive in action.

    I would think SSD's with proper Cache should work much faster than ones without. Of course speed of Memory whether it be on System Ram,,CPU L Cache Etc. is very important as well as Stable error free........

    In totality, balancing one's PC to the desired Software needs can be daunting if not downright expensive for the job at hand........And truth be told, your Computer will never out run the Software which more often than not is a step ahead, thus the Continuous cycle of always buying a faster Computer.....Sound familiar?

    Response to @JCitron "I come from the same legacy crowd as well. My first 'computer' was an Atari 800"

    Thank you John, I couldn't remember the other one I played on back in the day, one of my family owned one,

    I couldn't afford it then, but I just remember them playing on it, and said it was one of the best things since slice bread, because of what it offered and what it did. Years later, I remember people bringing it back and kit bashing it with other stuff, because it was so well liked.......Just like some the old Video Machines and Pin Ball games that believe it or not, are still around, I played them for 25 cents a game, I remember always carrying a Roll of Quarters when I went to play in the local Game or Bowling place, oh heavens, now I am really dating myself,,,,That was in the 50/60 sixty's..........

    Want to say John, you make one heck of a historian and teacher.............Thank you for insight down memory lane!!

    "what used to be EEROMs. EEROMs " if I remember it was these that I had bought a small pouch tool kit to remove them, change out , too add to certain printer models etc, like Dot Matrix........

    As I have alluded to others, this forum has a wealth of information...........


    Originally Posted by clam1952

    My thoughts.....


    As said watch out for cheap SSDs with no Dram they are inferior to the recognized "good" Brands. I'd stick to Samsung, Crucial, Kingston and OCZ, being ones I've used with zero problems and good performance.


    @clam1952

    Absolutely agree there, you have to know what your spending your hard earned cash on..............I have tried off leader market models, and had major problems of failure..........
    Last edited by blueodessey; February 20th, 2019 at 11:49 AM. Reason: response to JCitron

  14. #14
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    My thoughts.....

    Most new HDDs now have more cache, newer 5400 and 5900 RPM hdds actually have a faster throughput than say 4 or 5 year old 7800RPM ones, goes without saying a new 7800RPM one would be even better!

    In Trainz the main advantage of SSDs is faster loading time however and I've tested this, actual game performance on a decent HDD is pretty much the same as on an SSD.
    SSDs are nice to have but not IMO mission critical. However I have four SSDs in this PC, three around the 500GB mark and a 240GB for the OS plus a couple of large spinners. Anything that doesn't require speed goes on a spinner. Quick loading IMO is a must when creating content.

    As said watch out for cheap SSDs with no Dram they are inferior to the recognised "good" Brands. I'd stick to Samsung, Crucial, Kingston and OCZ, being ones I've used with zero problems and good performance.

    Interestingly my two Crucials bench mark nearly identically to the Samsung, if I don't use magician with it. Note Samsung Magician gives fantastic benchmarks but not IMO much difference when in real life use. Good at shifting large files, not much difference with or without for small ones, as used in Trainz.

    WD Green 5400 RPM 1TB, yuck.... happen to have one in number 3 PC, made up out of upgrade leftovers, it is dreadful running anything over TS12 and that's not that good, I tried TANE and TRS19 on it and it takes about 15 minutes plus to load anything, 7800RPM Sata 2s are better! An old OCZ Agility3, which is quite slow these days for an SSD, not a problem, both TANE and TRS19 load up fairly quickly and surprisingly run reasonably on mid settings (Phenom 1090T plus a GTX 1060).
    Malc


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueodessey View Post
    I grew up with PC since the early 80s, actually played with Tandy TI 99, 6 hertz circa 1970's and some other ancient, dinosaur Computers.......

    One thing if we had it then and we didn't that I recall, was cache memory onboard, like read ahead dedicated memory, when used correctly in HD's, on CPU Chips, Etc, it can make a heck of difference, especially on Hard Drives, the function as one expects, keep the CPU operational Pipe Line Full, but not so full it can't handle Computing for other items motherboard, Threads, etc.......The worst thing is waiting for hard Drive information.......IT slows things to a Crawl.......It was very apparent when DOS went to Windows, and GUI Screen was introduced Yada Yada..........

    Now with all the Cores on Chip, lots of L2, L3, L4, Cached HD's with 64 meg or more, etc, if the Cache works as designed, your Computer will definitely KICK UP some speed......I recall when I bought my first hard Drive with some extra memory installed as Cache, and what a gem it was too see that drive in action.

    I would think SSD's with proper Cache should work much faster than ones without. Of course speed of Memory whether it be on System Ram,,CPU L Cache Etc. is very important as well as Stable error free........

    In totality, balancing one's PC to the desired Software needs can be daunting if not downright expensive for the job at hand........And truth be told, your Computer will never out run the Software which more often than not is a step ahead, thus the Continuous cycle of always buying a faster Computer.....Sound familiar?
    I come from the same legacy crowd as well. My first 'computer' was an Atari 800, which I replaced with a Visual V-1050 and later Commuter Computer, a 386 16MHz, follwed later by various '486s and so on up the path. All CPUs, including the current ones have a cache of various sizes. My Intel i7-5830, for example, has a 15MB cache, plus additional a secondary- and third-level caches, where as the earlier CPUs had caches in the kilobyte range. In addition to the CPU caching, the operating system also provides memory paging operations to disk if necessary as well as precaching data to increase loading times and better performance.

    The SSDs today are the current generation of what used to be EEROMs. EEROMs were/are used to store settings for devices and were a replacement for the old EPROMs, which used ultraviolet light for erasing prior to reprogramming. This is a major difference since EEROMs used a higher voltage to write versus there readback voltage, and there is no need for a special erasing unit. The problem with the early devices was speed and longevity. They were meant for storing settings not for continuous read-write operations and their speed, while faster than the early hard disks, was still too slow for good performance, and they didn't last very long with so much writing. The write voltages too were quite high with the write voltage being +24V versus the nominal +12V for a regular hard drive, and +5V for the TTL logic on the motherboard. How times have changed! Memory today is in the 1.2-1.5V range compared to the +5Vs of the 1980s-1990s, for example.

    Anyway this core technology went on to produce thumb drives and their relations and later on SSDs. The SSDs today are paired with caching on the drive just as all hard drives have. The cache sizes are quite substantial compared to the old days, and is in the 16MB range for many disks whether they are the 7200 2TB drives, or an SSD.

    SSDs today are quite fast; much faster than a hard disk due to their very nature. This makes them ideal for loading up programs and data, however, they do have a fault due to how they work. Over time they need to be replaced because unlike hard drives, they use memory cells instead of disc sectors. There is no moving parts in an SSD, and like the old EEROMs, they are written to using a higher voltage to alter the structures. The problem is, just like the EEROMs, these cells wear out and eventually die. This inherent problem, makes them somewhat unreliable for data. They have gotten better, and some of the corporate/business-level SSDs have a lifespan similar to some hard disks, but the price is up there as well, making them out of reach for most consumers. The consumer drives, however, are not to be overlooked, and do well for most users and their longevity has gotten much better.

    SSDs will work for Trainz data, which is the point of the original thread. Their speed and smaller footprint, less power, and so on work well for most applications. The 'drive' size maybe a problem, however. If RailFan500CA is like many of us, even a 512GB SSD may not be big enough, and he'll be seeking out a larger one. The 1TB and larger drives are still expensive compared to a regular hard drive and so it goes. With that said, yes SSDs will work for our Trainz data, but I would back that up diligently and more often than not. SSDs can die suddenly without warning and there is no recovery path unlike a regular hard drive, which can be sent back for recovery!
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

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