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Thread: Disc Hard Drive vs SSD Hard Drive

  1. #1
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    Default Disc Hard Drive vs SSD Hard Drive

    A Look at the Differences Between SSD and HDD

    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hdd-v...hats-the-diff/

    A SSD can not be defragged




    All Hard drives have a finite life, and can unexpectedly, irretrievably fail to function, at any time

    If you have a PC that has both, a Disc type Hard Drive, as well as a secondary SSD Hard Drive, which Hard Drive should your just your initial whole Trainz installation be loaded onto, I would guess a disc type Hard Drive ?

    And which Hard Drive should your running of just the actual route session be run on, I would guess the SSD, as it is fast. ?

    If your Trainz installation becomes corrupt, and your Hard Drive needs defraging, a disc type Hard Drive seems like the best choice ?

    As your route is constantly being re-written, re-edited, and constantly changed when you make improvements, wouldn't a Disc Hard Drive be the better choice for editing a route ?

    And as a SSD is faster, wouldn't the actual route CDP be better played (run as a session) on an SSD, (but also keeping the initial Trainz installation, and route editing, backed-up on the Disc type Hard Drive) ?

    It seems the solution is to keep all your Trainz Installations, assets, and routes backed-up on another external media source, that can not be destroyed by: data corruption, a lightening storm, a power surge, or an EMP surge.

    I would assume that an External Hard Drive - Disc type Hard Drive, connected via a USB cable, would be the absolute worst performance, because of the reduced data flow involved in a USB cable connection

    What are your thoughts of wisdom, and educated conclusions, recommendations, on Trainz, using a Chip type SSD, vs a Disc type HDD ???
    Last edited by MP242; September 2nd, 2019 at 07:54 PM.
    I want all my performance sliders set to "Full"

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    If we take a 6 gig Western Digital Black hard drive and compare it to an SSD.

    First off the connections have more to do with performance than anything else. SATA is limited to 6 gigs so a SATA SSD and a SATA hard drive will both be limited to 6 gig / sec.

    This hard drive has a 256 MB cache so if it's in the cache it is fast. Generally speaking a hard drive cache is faster than an SSD but that does depend on the SSD.

    An SSD these days can be connected directly to the PCI-e bus. M.2 and NVMe are the things to look for. This is much faster than a SATA connection. Database servers use these sort of connections for maximum performance.

    Warranty, the WD comes with a 5 year warranty some hard drives come with a shorter warranty. An SSD also has a range of warranties.

    With Windows 10 the files system looks after itself. Defragging doesn't really do much for performance. What you want is all the files you want to read together under the heads so they're read in a single rotation. Defraging might put all the bits of a file together but what it doesn't do is keep a cluster of files together in fact in normally will spread them out over the disk which requires head movement. Don't forget Win 10 also caches the drive in memory so disk performance isn't quite so critical.

    A USB 3.1 connected external hard drive is limited by the drive, the USB connection speed is capable of transferring 10 gigs/sec. So a SATA externally connected drive is similar in performance to an internal SATA drive.

    What an SSD is good at is handling lots of small files, so performance-wise in Trainz the frames per second are about the same but scenery objects etc pop up faster.

    So if you have money an NME connected SSD but do your homework and check the performance specs, some SSDs are much faster than others.

    If you don't then a hard drive with lots of platters gives you lots of storage under the heads and a decent cache means something like the 6 gig WD Black hard drive gives very respectable performance at a much lower cost per gig of storage. Realistically a big hard drive can hold a lot of junk and keep your SSDs for high demand items.

    Choose another pair of hard drive and SSD and I'm quite sure you'll come up with a different answer.

    Cheerio John

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    Due to the amount of writes as well as the amount of data, I keep my over 1TB of Trainz data on my SATA drives. I use high-end NAS-quality hard disks with huge data caches. I find these don't wear out like the consumer-quality drives. In part this is due to cost as well. A quality 2TB SSD is still out of my price range while my 8 TB internal drives cost me $200 each. The longevity is also higher with the hard disks.

    The other issues too with SSDs is they die and die instantly. There is no warning like there is with platter drives which will lose performance and sometimes make noise. SSDs, being nothing more than fast NV-RAM die without warning. Sure there are diagnostic programs, but the drives need to be monitored more often to ensure they remain in tip-top shape. SSDs also have a limited amount of data-writes due to their construction and wear out. They work well with few writes, and lots of data reading, and for throw-away situations such as boot drives, even with the more reliable ones available today, and with the amount of data being written with a Trainz setup, this can mean the devices will wear out sooner.

    So with that said, I keep an SSD for booting and for program installs and moved most of my data, that data that can be moved to my hard drives. Using this setup plus numerous backups to external drives, I haven't lost data in well over a decade.

    With the faster, high-cache type NAS-quality hard drives, the access is quite fast and there is little noticeable lag when content is loaded unlike the cheap consumer-quality drives you can pick up at the local big-box store or office-supply such as Office Depot/Office Max, Best Buy, or Staples. Yes defragmenting them frequently helps a lot especially after a lot of asset editing, route building, and data downloading.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    Yes defragmenting them frequently helps a lot especially after a lot of asset editing, route building, and data downloading.
    Now why John? There are a couple of things at play here first on a drive that is less than 70% full win 10 does quite a nice job of writing the files contiguously and keeping associated files together. When you want to read a group of files it's best if they are together if you've defragged the drive you're moving files around the drive so that one file is contiguous but that can break up a group of files.

    The other problem with defragging is are you really putting the file together physically? These days the outer tracks have more sectors for data than the inner ones. So track 23 sector 22 and track 23 sector 23 may well be on different physical tracks and require a head movement.

    Cheerio John

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    So an SSD is not necessarily the best Hard Drive type for Trainz installations, and Trainz route sessions ?

    And the Disc Type Hard Drives are best for Trainz installations, and Trainz route sessions ?

    So why would even I want an SSD Hard Drive in the first place, if they are so prone to instant failure ?

    If I were to be in the market to buy a new desktop PC, that has both a SSD, as well as a HDD, would it be best to just buy 2 Disc Type Hard Drives, and totally forget about the SSD Hard Drive completely ?
    Last edited by MP242; September 3rd, 2019 at 10:06 AM.
    I want all my performance sliders set to "Full"

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnwhelan View Post
    Now why John? There are a couple of things at play here first on a drive that is less than 70% full win 10 does quite a nice job of writing the files contiguously and keeping associated files together. When you want to read a group of files it's best if they are together if you've defragged the drive you're moving files around the drive so that one file is contiguous but that can break up a group of files.

    The other problem with defragging is are you really putting the file together physically? These days the outer tracks have more sectors for data than the inner ones. So track 23 sector 22 and track 23 sector 23 may well be on different physical tracks and require a head movement.

    Cheerio John
    Why defrag? I tried not defragging, based upon the same assumptions and statements made here. In the end, I found TS12, and later T:ANE and TRS19 getting slower and slower, and more so after installing DLC and lots of disk writes such as route editing. After defragging, which took a long time by the way, the performance improved substantially.

    Windows 10 does no better than previous versions I have found with experience. It may appear better with larger caches, because there's more data being moved in memory, however, a defragmented drive will mean the data is moved in larger chunks into memory, therefore, there's better performance. Windows 10 does, however, use the same if not similar technology found in the latest Windows server builds, which caches a lot of directory and data structures in RAM. This is why having a lot of RAM installed, irregardless of the amount used by programs, is helpful. Network drive-data shares, and yes they're still available when used, as well as local data gets dumped into RAM for spiffier access. Having the data defragmented, means here that it's moved off of the drive sequentially, therefore, the access is faster still, but within the limits of the slowest devices installed being the hard drives, platter and SSDs included.

    This process, however, is not needed for SSDs Since SSDs are nothing more than fast Non-Volatile RAM (NV-RAM) devices. Like it's old grandparents the EEROM, they use a higher-voltage to write data, and a lower one to read data from a solid state chip. SSDs, unlike their grandparents, are setup like a DIMM with multiple high-density chips on a card. The NVMe-sticks are nothing more than the same technology with a different interface, which is actually connected to the the PCI-e bus, with the SATA buss being a subset of that. In fact there are PCI-e based SSDs for sale that exist as cards that plug directly into one of the buss connectors.

    Anyway. SSDs, cannot be defragmented because the very process of writing to the device actually wears out the cells inside the chip(s). The have a slack area for spares, however, eventually these spares will be used up.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  7. #7

    Lightbulb Digital Asset Management Book

    I agree with the discussion here, since I have been playing with computers since 1986, had my share of Drive, Motherboard and other assorted failures. (Both my Fault, and manufacture quality of product failures combined)

    Final synopsis, all of one or another type Drive is not a good thing in my opinion, so conventional for long term backup would be Platter Drives, with SSD's for performance on Computer running WIN10........

    Backups should be one at home, one on the Cloud, and one set on a Drive not at your house, but at another Location........That is optimum for not losing precious Photos, or other keepsakes. For those that work, taking drive to your workplace for safekeeping is a good idea, or if not, then a trusted Friend or Family member. The thing you must consider, is how much can you afford to lose......

    Getting back to Photos, with the Electronic Age, over physical Photo Paper, well, once the electronic copy is gone, and you don't have paper facsimile, you have lost your photo.......I knew some friends who lost their only copy of Baby pictures on an I Phone or similar, grief stricken, heart broken, is the only thing I can say, there wasn't anyway to resurrect those photos of the first year of their child's life......They never gave a thought that their Phone could stop working and pictures where not backed up on the Cloud......That is worst bad luck....But it happens........

    Make a plan of how you want to protect your Work, Pictures, etc. Then decide if it does everything you need for your requirements.....May I also suggest you read the book......

    DAM (digital asset management) written by one who knows about this time when we depend on electronics and Computers, probably more than we should some times..


    Google this "Digital Asset Management Book" and there should be a preview of the book too.......I think it would be a great resource.........

    These are just my opinions and you have to do what you consider best for your needs.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnwhelan View Post
    So track 23 sector 22 and track 23 sector 23 may well be on different physical tracks and require a head movement.
    It depends on the drive. Typically, sectors on adjacent tracks are offset by the exact time required for one track step. So stepping from the 'end' of one physical track to the 'start' of the next is extremely fast, and not something that a defraggger needs to be concerned about.

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    Been playing and repairing computers for 30 years: clear back to the CoCo (Radio Shack) units that used a cassette recorder for storage. There are 2 things that have NOT changed in those 30 years: parts fail and people don't make back-ups. My back-ups are on a seperate internal drive, and an external drive, and a second external drive that is kept out of this house.

    I have seen HDs die within days of being used and I have a 20G one that has been running for over 15 years without an issue. Power supplies die, mother boards and CPUs die, lightning strikes, etc. Soon or later, you WILL lose everything unless you have back-ups.

    Personally, I use SSDs for everything except storage of pics, music, old documents, and videos. A 240G SSD can be had for $30 US. A 120G for $20. I have 4 extra 120G SSDs just sitting in the cupboard waiting to be used. If you have never used an SSD before, you will be amazed at the speed difference. A cheap SSD is still way faster than an expensive spinner.

    Spend your money however you want, but MAKE BACK-UPS.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP242 View Post
    So an SSD is not necessarily the best Hard Drive type for Trainz installations, and Trainz route sessions ?

    And the Disc Type Hard Drives are best for Trainz installations, and Trainz route sessions ?

    So why would even I want an SSD Hard Drive in the first place, if they are so prone to instant failure ?

    If I were to be in the market to buy a new desktop PC, that has both a SSD, as well as a HDD, would it be best to just buy 2 Disc Type Hard Drives, and totally forget about the SSD Hard Drive completely ?
    Buy an external hard drive or a ugreen external case and stick something like WD blue drive in it. Use this for backup. I use Win 7 backup you'll find it under Win 10 backup. It's simpler to understand. Make a system image and create a recovery disk. You'll need a DVD burner to do this, you can buy an external USB them cheaply enough if needed. Back up once a week.

    Disk drives and SSDs come in different qualities, cheap and more expensive. You don't need "Enterprise" quality that's over kill. The first problem to address is brownouts. If you have a fridge in the house then when it starts up the voltage drops, so when writing to the hard drive the electromagnet might not deliver quite enough power to flip the bit on the hard drive. There is a similar effect with SSDs having a stable power supply helps. Get a UPS, I quite like Cyberpower at the moment. The cheaper APC units don't always work with a energy saving motherboard. The very expensive APC units do.

    Basically with an SSD you get a certain number of writes, once you hit that number the SSD dies. However on the brand name SSDs this number is high enough you can disregard it for normal purposes. If you're running a very big database then that's a different question.

    An SSD boot drive works well. Boot up times are much shorter and anything the operating system has to do is much faster. This would normally be a SATA drive. If its a laptop just bung in a big SSD.

    For a desktop the power supply strangely enough is quite critical you want something that can keep the lines at the correct voltage. Brand X probably has a lower margin for this sort of thing. I like Dell refurbished workstations, a 6 core Xeon in a tower case with 16 gigs of memory will set you back about $900. dellrefurbished.com Stick an RTX 2070 GPU but watch the height and it works well. Below 4.8 inches should work fine. ASUS have one that is 4.5 inches tall and vents externally.

    For Trainz realistically I'd run with an NVMe SSD you can get a PCIe adapter if your machine does not have an M2 slot. Note this does not take drive bay up. 500 gigs should be enough.

    Mass storage the infamous big drive works well.

    WD 5 year warranty drives are reliable, and its a pain in the neck to do a restore when a drive dies. Other brands are cheaper. There are comparisons on failure rate between brands on the web.

    Not if you buy from a store you'll generally get the cheapest components and that usually means not quite as reliable. Dell made their reputation on controlling heat in the PC and for corporate clients that meant better reliability. Paying people like John and myself to fix things is expensive. At one time Gartner worked out the corporate cost of ownership of a PC per year was $25,000, the new PC was about $4,000.

    So it comes down to how much cash do you have available and how do you spend it to best advantage. For Trainz TANE and TS19 an nVidia GPU of about RTX 2070 is the most important thing. There is a a 3D benchmark thing that scores the different GPUs mentioned in the forum. https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...07#post1742707 A GTX 1660 is cheaper and offers reasonable performance.

    After that comes the external hard drive for backup then the UPS, followed by the PC. If you have the cash then an SSD isn't a bad way to go. You can always add one in time if you decide to go physical hard drive.

    The trade offs need to be evaluated.

    Cheerio John

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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorDan View Post
    It depends on the drive. Typically, sectors on adjacent tracks are offset by the exact time required for one track step. So stepping from the 'end' of one physical track to the 'start' of the next is extremely fast, and not something that a defraggger needs to be concerned about.
    Just on principle I'll disagree, these days drives read the entire physical track as it rotates and then sort it out in the cache. Even moving the head a single track is about the same time as reading the entire physical track so you end up with two track reads plus a head movement so twice as long minimum and probably three times as long taking the time to move the head into account. I do agree moving to an adjacent track is faster than moving to the inner most track for the outermost.

    The bigger problem is the files get moved.

    Cheerio John

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    Why defrag? I tried not defragging, based upon the same assumptions and statements made here. In the end, I found TS12, and later T:ANE and TRS19 getting slower and slower, and more so after installing DLC and lots of disk writes such as route editing. After defragging, which took a long time by the way, the performance improved substantially.
    We looked at disk fragmentation for word processing. Anything to get more out of the workers. What we found was when starting up the program files were much larger than the documents so installing the software on a clean disk gave the optimal performance. The files were laid on the disk close together. The documents were much smaller.

    I think the same goes for installing a new program so I might actually defrag the drive before installing TANE or TS19 to ensure that the program files were grouped together. After that you get the content, lots of small files for Trainz. config.txt etc. It's more important to keep all the files belonging to one asset together than to worry about if the individual files are fragmented. Since we read a physical track at a time these days, or rather all the heads can read what is under them that means the multiplatter disk drives suck in a lot of data on a read. As long as the file is in the track read it doesn't matter if it is contiguous.

    I might put the Trainz software on a hard drive but the assets are better on an SSD. You don't need to worry about fragmentation. Since the cells are read directly then there is no advantage to placing them together.

    What we haven't discussed is TRIM on an SSD but win 10 takes care of that these days.

    From a general point of view I think we're saying the same thing more or less. My view on defragging is if you have the files nicely laid out on the disk you can do more harm than good shuffling them around the hard drive.

    Cheerio John

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    Post Moved up
    Last edited by MP242; September 24th, 2019 at 03:36 PM.
    I want all my performance sliders set to "Full"

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    SSD for OS, SSD for Trainz, Large Spinner say 2 to 4GB for everything else, that includes programs for content creation, such as graphics, Transdem Blender etc.
    Malc


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    Quote Originally Posted by MP242 View Post
    So 16 Gb RAM is good enough, and 32 Gb RAM would be complete overkill, and would be totally unnecessary and a waste of money ?

    Would two internal 1TB Disc Type Hard Drives be better ?

    One internal 1TB Disc Type Hard Drive devoted just only for the OS, and PC files, photos, documents, downloads, music etc, etc ?

    And the second internal 1TB Disc Type Hard Drive devoted only just for Trainz, route editing, asset editing, surveyor, CMP files, CDP downloads ?

    I would think that an external Western Digital - MyBook, 1TB Disc Type Hard Drive, connected via USB cable, would be a slower bottlenecked data transfer when running Trainz

    I would think that a 3rd Hard Drive SSD could be just only devoted to running a single Trainz route session and would be faster performance and better framerates, and not be used for surveyor, nor CDP's, nor other downloads ? As if the SSD blew out, all you would lose is the 1 route Driver Session
    To run the software 8 gigs of memory is probably good enough today having said that Microsoft have this habit of requiring more and more memory to run the operating system with new updates. Once 2 gigs would run win 10 don't even try it today. As John says having more memory is helpful in that Win 10 will use if for caching. However although memory over 16 gigs will be used the performance difference is very minor. 16 gigs is a good compromise.

    One big drive will in most cases out perform two small drives. Note the difference in cache size between the 1 gig drives and 6 gig drives. When you ask the drive for data if its in the cache then it comes back in nanoseconds if it requires a physical read then its milliseconds, one is ten thousand times longer than the other. So if we get a 90% hit rate on the cache the effect speed of the drive is ten times faster than no cache. A 1 gig drive will typically have one platter. So the head can read in one physical track off the platter. With a 6 gig drive there are probably 5 or 6 platters so that means five or six times the data under the heads. Hard drive specs come with two measures, the time it takes to move the head and the time it takes for the disk to rotate completely. A 5,400 rpm drive will be slower than a 10,000 rpm drive. By going 6 gig drive you reduce the number of track to track head movements required and each track to track head movement cost you time.

    So on a new multi platter drive when you install TANE all the files get spread over the platters but under the heads which means you get the program fires in much faster. One a single platter drive you have to move the head 6 times to get in the data of the tracks. Add in the bigger cache and you can see the bigger drives are much faster in practice.

    One two drives you might end up with space on one but short of space on the other so one drive is best.

    USB external hard drive it depends on the connection. USB 2 will be slower, USB 3 will be slightly slower, USB 3.1 and there will be no difference in connection speed to an internal SATA drive.

    An SSD will give you very slightly better frame rates for Trainz. Not by much around 2-3% better frame rates but still better than a hard drive. Again it depends on the hard drive and the SSD some are faster than others.

    I'd follow Malc's advice except I'd go 6-10 gigs rather than 2 gig just to get more platters and keep the head movement down.

    It all comes down to how much you want to spend. These days you can pick up a 2 T SSD samsung for $220 at newegg.com. That would serve quite nicely for everything.

    External drives get one of more than 1 gig. Microsoft backup likes drives of larger than 1 T so 2 gig min. I learnt that the hard way when it wouldn't use a 1 T drive as it was too small. For backup usb 2 is fine but 3 is much faster.

    Cheerio John

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