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Thread: Are Solid State Drives Better?

  1. Question Are Solid State Drives Better?

    I have a Sony Vaio ... works well with Vegas BUT want to get another...
    are the solid state drives (available on this model) worth the extra cost and lower GB ... I think 125GB.

    What I've read ... they're faster for editing and have a more solid build/longer life.

    What's the consensus.

  2. #2

    Default Good, yes, but not best for video editing

    Warning: this is an opinion. There are many others like it, but this one is mine

    I work for a data storage company in a performance measurement group, so I have a pretty good idea of what I am talking about. I have been known to be wrong goes...

    The short answer:

    The killer app for SSDs are random reads. Sequential reads are also excellent. Writes are decent. Harddrive access for video editing is generally sequential reads since mostly your machine will be reading lots of files and occasionally writing out a new file. RDD (rotational disk drives) are terrible at random reads, worse at random writes, but good at sequential reads and writes. So, for video editing, SSDs will help some, but probably not as much as you'd like.

    The long answer if you care:

    RDDs are good at sequential reads and writes since there is no break in reading for the disk head to move. You end up being limited only by rotational speed. Random operations are slow because the disk head has to seek across the disk looking for the correct track. SSDs are much better at random operations because they have no moving part that must seek. They are especially good at random reads because the memory cells do not need to change state to have their information read, and usually the parts of a file are striped across memory units so that parts can be read in parallel. Writes are slow for SSDs because to write a block it must first be erased, and usually, to erase a single block a group of blocks must be erased, therefore the whole group of blocks must be read, erased, and rewritten with the new single block changed. The drive manufacturers play lots of tricks in the firmware depending on the models, so check out lots of reviews to see how they perform before buying.

    The best enterprise scenarios for SSDs are webservers, databases, etc. The best scenarios for desktop users is the primary OS drive. Since SSDs are good at random operations, the day to day file and operating system activities will feel much faster since parallel (random) operations will be quicker.

    If you are using a desktop as opposed to a laptop you will probably be much better off getting a second RDD to use exclusively for video scratch (which will leave the main drive for the OS) than getting a SSD since the price per gigabyte ratio is so high for SSDs. If you are using a laptop for editing, an SSD might be okay since your OS will benefit so much. Still, for the money you are probably better off using a USB harddrive as video scratch space and saving your money for a better processor or more RAM.

    Eventually prices will come down and none of this will matter, but for me their are not worth the money yet. You may be rich though

  3. Default

    answer above looks very comprehensive, thanks. SSD are very expensive, so they've got to be better rite? i dunno.

  4. #4


    Willyb:- A very comprehensive answer, btw nice read.

    I am ex system builder, specialist talent data recovery...I don't believe in data loss. I didn't get as far as stripping the drive down and placing in a recovery unit.

    Here is the issue; standard HDD (RDD), are so unreliable using magnetic coating, moving parts. These have an effect of corrupting data in a number of ways, physically damaging the disk. Writing data to a neighbor, failure of storage area, so many error correction are made by the HD that this has a special term ECC (Error Correcting Code) built in to the hard drive.
    The hard disk has extra writing space in addition to the known space, for moving data to, when certain area's fail.

    On a whole HDD's are so unreliable in data storage, they have other systems in place to increase there reliability. Its surprising how they work at all, one thing on a data recovery side they are very easy to manipulate.

    Sadly there are no real alternatives that are more reliable, known to use.

    SSD's however come with there own set of problems, you have highlighted a few. We have been using memory systems for years. This for me is a megga step forward, for a device as it removes the moving parts and not using magnetic materials. Woooo!

    That in it self speeds up data read/write, this isn't really an argument as there is still electronic failure, but compared to the data corruption generated by HD's; makes this a logical choice. As a better storage system on a whole, SSD's do have there problems and am sure many will be ironed out in due course. Tests I have performed have shown these drive to be quicker. And if thats what you want then I believe this is a step forward in the right direction. I believe these are the future of drives.

    I do agree with you on the OS side, these drives make a great dedicated drive for the OS.
    Even speed up vitual memory/scratch as anything that improves the system performance even by a little is worth while.

    The OS is very responsive on this drive type, not to say that compatible apps can't benefit too.
    You also have to consider not every app will function on SDD flash based media, take Adobe CS4 for example.

    I see a system as

    1st drive SDD OS

    2nd SSD/raptor (short term for working files)

    3+ Standard HD for file storage (long term)

    The issue that you have highlighted in the writing of data will be resolved at some point to make it more effective.

    My view is if its quicker even if its small ammount, its still a benefit to performance. I think that a SSD will benefit video editing in a working file system. Thats of course if you have the money to do so, otherwise consider other options. We are paying for the R&D at the moment thats why there so expensive. Plus I think more research needs to be done in this area.

    I have been waiting years for something like this, I fully support SDD's; these drive are the future!
    Certainly better than the HD; but then I don't want HD's to be fully redundant.

  5. #5


    Short answer - No.
    Long answer - Obviously no.

    1.5 tb hard rives are available for 80 quid or less.

    My 37 gig raptor is over 5 years old I think - it is on 24 hours a day all the time - it is as fast s the day it was new.

    SSDs are only for laptops, mac owners and overcloking fools who run benchmarks.

    And finally - your pc is probably the lest important creative tool - its just knob twiddling - if the knobs work that is all you need.

    IMO - most people obessess far too much about thier pc.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by vertovian View Post
    And finally - your pc is probably the lest important creative tool - its just knob twiddling - if the knobs work that is all you need.
    Controversial again V; lol

    Well I can't disagree with the above statement; after all its a tool for creativity.

    Just that some tools work better than others......

    Anyhow; I love to twiddle knobs lol...........

    Prefer them on a women; and there I shall stop, as this is a family show

  7. #7



    Yea I put it bluntly as I am laboring on of my fav points - most authors worry too much about their camera / pc and so on and not about thier own performance skills.

    Most people who post here would be better adivsed getting a 50 quid dv camera off ebay and crack on and spend the rest on books - but that isnt mcuh fun - new things are fun - but most people loose thier minds to stupid gadgets and the NEW thing they must have cos thier mate said so.

    AVCHD is a case in point - it is CRAP, and everyone buys the cameras - why? Cos it is NEW - daft.
    Last edited by vertovian; 02-09-2010 at 02:22 PM.

  8. #8
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    Wrong AVCHD is not crap. It is a system which is capable of top quality images. Some of the cameras are crap but once you get into the semi-pro and pro areas AVCHD cameras will out perform any SD mini-dv on a like to like basis.

    Once you move into HD, detail increases and, more importantly the recordable exposure range increases dramatically bringing detail into shadows which SD can only dream about. Recording onto cards is also a lot more stable than the old tape formats in hostile, dusty and damp situations.

    That's why most broadcasters are moving over to the latest batch of AVCHD camcorders for their news gathering and reportage productions.

    It's called progress.

  9. #9


    Yay!!!! I Love progress.......

  10. #10
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    Me too!

    With my small Canon I can take images which I couldn't consider a few years ago. I can get three hours of HD quality on the camera's internal memory and another three hours on an SD card. I don't have to worry about carrying tapes.

    When I'm done I've got details better than a broadcast camera of the turn of the millenium and an exposure range which allows me a bit of a rescue chance in post. As I output to SD DVD I can re-crop and smooth out footage with software which formerly would have cost tens of thousands and still have a final dvd which blows previous formats out of the water.

    Oh, I really love progress.

    Sorry, gone off topic.... :(

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