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  • /swap on SSD?

    Hi,
    I am thinking of buying a Phoenix Pro 240GB SSD. I will be running FreeBSD on my laptop and I have read some people saying that it is a bad idea to have swap space on an SSD. These were all relatively old posts in terms if SSD's presence on the scene so maybe this worry is no linger relevant. The 240GB drive will be the only drive in my laptop. I really don't expect to have SWAP used all that often as there will be 8GB of RAM. Only the occasional core dump or kernel panic. If one partition of the SSD runs through it's life cycle, does that corrupt the entire drive? Any help is appreciated. This laptop will be used for occasional gaming, internet surfing, running CRM software, and programming. Thanks.
    Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
    On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

  • #2
    Running Unix? Not sure you will get full function. Will Unix run on a partition and windows on another?

    Interesting. On windows and preferably Win7 I use this to tweak:

    SSD Tweaker

    There is ton's of interesting reading about sandforce. The best suggestion is stay away from storing compressed data and benchies that use it.

    I read somewhere leaving 10g partition open for over provisioning on sandforce drives.

    Guide

    IMO buy it and enjoy the speed it provides. The one thing I haven't read is the untimely death of these drives.

    More interesting reading: http://thessdreview.com/
    Last edited by Undersea; 10-24-2010, 06:42 PM.

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    • #3
      Yep, FreeBSD. Much improved AHCI interface on 8.1. I will do a minimal Win 7 install on maybe 60GB. Just for a couple of games. The rest will be sliced for BSD. I should have an easy 10GB's for over provisioning. I read about that as well.

      Why do you say I will not get full function? The AHCI interface? Glad to hear you have not heard any averse effects of having a swap partition on one of these. Honestly with 8 GB RAM using SWAP will be an infrequent occurrence. And lots of writing in log files or journaling should not be an issue either.
      Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
      On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

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      • #4
        I'm a self professed hardware nut. SSD has time before it's ready for true mainstream IMO, not plug and play like a regular platter drive.

        But they are really the only thing I care about these days in hardware. Nothing will speed your system up more, period. CPU's oh what a joke, even lowly CPU's are fast these days.

        Sorry not real familiar with non windows OS's. I've dabbled in linux but it doesn't game well and is somewhat complicated with forum support.

        I've not read anywhere about trim in non windows OS's. I think the sandforce drive will clean itself without trim, abet slowly.

        Dude that sager machine is nice, really nice.

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        • #5
          TRIM is supported in later versions of *BSD and most distros of Linux. And did you try Steam when gaming in Linux? Works pretty well from what I hear. Thanks! I can't wait to get my new machine. Screen is backordered though so it may be a bit. Recently found Sager- built on Clevo, who did the Alienware chassis before Dell bought them out and started using lesser parts. About a third less expensive than a comparable Dell or HP too!
          Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
          On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

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          • #6
            I've got a 4GB swap on my 60GB Phoenix pro. It actually has 4 partitions; 2 versions of Ubuntu, 1 Windows, and 1 swap.

            I have 4GB of RAM and free -m shows swap is not currently being used. And I have > 2.5GB RAM free. I'd be surprised if swaps ever been used for my relatively light (mainly web/doc editing and occasional fire up a VM, or a web/app server for some light programming). For a heavily swappy machine, it'd probably be better to not put it on an SSD, but unless your running a server or lots of memory intensive apps, I can't see any reason why you shouldn't put it on an SSD. The main reason i made mine 4GB was to match RAM size for hibernation purposes, though that's probably being rather conservative.

            Whatever you do, make sure your partitions are aligned on 512KB blocks. This will align with both read and erase blocks.
            Last edited by wiresquire; 10-29-2010, 06:03 AM.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the info. I can't imagine using /swap very much, as I will have 8GB of RAM. Not for use as a file server or email/web server, so I should be good. I will have 1 windows partition, 1 swap, 1 for a ZFS pool, and one for FreeBSD. I can't wait. I expect this thing to fly under BSD. Such a better usage of CPU and well everything than Windows.

              Cheers!
              Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
              On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't bother with the swap file change. Yes, over time this leads to wear on the drive (as do all writes) but under normal usage you are looking at 5+ years before any significant percentage of cells are worn to the point where they cannot be written to. Some say this could be closer to 10 years and these cells lose their charge in 10 years anyway. Do you really plan on using this for your OS drive for the next 5+ years? Play more, worry less!

                @undersea - SSDs are plug and play. Yeah there are a few settings you CAN change to make them more effective or extend their life but none are compulsory. Win 7 takes care of the most offending settings by default such as drive alignment and turning defrag off.

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                • #9
                  @FZI- What do you mean by "Swap file change?"
                  Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
                  On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is that not what your OP is about? Designating the swap file to a different drive other than the OS (SSD) drive?

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                    • #11
                      No, I only have one HDD. swap will just be a partition of the drive. I read in the BSD forums, that putting swap on a SSD was a bad idea. It was an older post, so maybe SSD's have moved beyond needing to worry about being used for that.
                      Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
                      On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CalBear96 View Post
                        so maybe SSD's have moved beyond needing to worry about being used for that.
                        Yeah, that was pretty much my point in rather long-winded fashion.

                        When SSD's were first becoming popular, they did not support TRIM nor have garbage collection and people were uber-paranoid about wearing out the cells with a lot of writes. They were going to great lengths to remove all ancillary writes (temp files and such) to other drives. A little knowledge is a terrible thing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FZ1 View Post
                          Yeah, that was pretty much my point in rather long-winded fashion.

                          When SSD's were first becoming popular, they did not support TRIM nor have garbage collection and people were uber-paranoid about wearing out the cells with a lot of writes. They were going to great lengths to remove all ancillary writes (temp files and such) to other drives. A little knowledge is a terrible thing.
                          That is so true! lol BSD also has much improved TRIM support as well. I think I am good to go then. Thanks for your help and be as verbose as you like. As you said, too little information is a bad thing. Knowing just enough to be dangerous is never good. lol
                          Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
                          On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey... new Guy here...

                            Hey guys, I am going to jump in for one of my first if you dont mind. First off with respect to the ssds which didnt have TRIM years ago, I still have 2 (Sammys) which have been around the track a few times and still arent dead. As a matter of fact, their performance is the same as it always was. The consumer has this huge panic about the end life of the ssd for some reason where they never did for the hard drive yet, the hard drive was and stil is less reliable and will last much less in comparison. To go one step further, the end life of the ssd is just no further writing whereas, the hd crashes and you lose all.

                            With respect to the swap file or page file, I cannot speak on behalf of Linux as I have never touched it but, it is useless with an ssd. It is a moot activity simply because there is no test that can show that it serves any function whatsoever, mainly because of the incredible seek times of the ssds. Remember now, the swap file was created for poor performance in times of Xp and even before and it played some purpose when RAM was hard to afford. Now we have the ssd and sufficient ram and you can add the fact that, in Win 7, the unique way they handle program priority totally defeats SWAP for any reason.

                            You can shut down swap/pagefile completely, start 50 random programs including video and all will work fine even without pagefile. Now look at your ram usage with 4gb and you will still have just under 2Gb left.

                            Will it hurt to leave on? Nope. The angle I approach this on, along with hibernate, indexing, prefetch and superfetch, is why do I want to leave all of these activities to run in the background when they serve no viable purpose.

                            Having said all that, if anyone can show me any proof that pagefile/or swap file assists and gives an ssd better performance, please post.
                            Last edited by TheSSDReview; 10-29-2010, 11:38 AM.

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                            • #15
                              @TheSSDReview- Honestly, with how cheap RAM is now and the efficient way processes are handled it is very unlikely that paging/swapping will ever occur on my computer. However, a swap partition is useful in case of a kernel panic and dump. That is where the dump goes in BSD, so not having SWAP is really not an option. It is better to have it and not need it, than not have it and be screwed. Enhancing performance is very unlikely, but if it won't kill the SSD, then no reason not to put in on there.
                              Current: Dell Latitude D820 - Centrino Duo T2400 1.83GHz, 2GB 667MHz RAM, 80GB HDD, CD/DVD RW, Win XP
                              On Order: Sager 5135 - i7 640M, 8GB G Skill 1333MHz RAM, Intel Centrino 6400 b/g/n, 240GB Phoenix Pro (maybe), NVIDIA 425M with Optimus, BluRay Read DVD RW, Dual boot W7 and FreeBSD.

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