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SSD any use for us?
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:37
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Nov 8, 2013

I'm going to purchase a new laptop as my main computer to replace my HP Probook 4720 from 2011. I was looking at the HP Probook 470 G0, but than came to mind looking for a machine with SSD. I found only Apple products with SSD. Somewhere I read that SSD is not really important in actual computing, only shortening booting of the system. Is that the case?
Has anybody seen advantage of SSD in using translation software?


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 00:37
Member
Chinese to English
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SSD benefits Nov 8, 2013

I'll say this much: With modern-day computers, the hard disk is the bottleneck. Most of the "lag" that users feel do not actually come from CPU or RAM, but from HDD loading, so a system with an SSD is going to feel much more responsive than one with a hard disk.

There are plenty of non-Apple notebooks with SSD options.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Only for the system Nov 8, 2013

I think your perception of the matter is correct. While an SSD drive will speed up your booting, if you use a CAT tool your best bet is to place all the CAT tool's information in a proper hard disk, especially the translation memories, since certain parts of them (especially index files) will be written time and time again many thousands of times over the course of a normal working week (each segment you store will mean rearrangement of a number of records of several index files), and at least in theory you could reach the maximum number of writing operations in certain parts of the SSD drive.

Although some people will argue that the number of writes of a modern SSD drive is so high that you will never reach it in your lifetime, I feel that it is safer to keep databases and similar items in a hard disk just in case.

At the risk of being called a dinosaur by those of our fellow translators who are passionate computer geeks, personally I would go for a mixed machine with SSD (for the operating system and files you will rarely change) and a hard disk for your work materials.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:37
Member
English to French
Price per GB Nov 8, 2013

...remains very high in SSD compared to HDD, so I assume that for the time being some "hybrid" machine is more cost-effective.
There are also all kinds of HDDs, and besides capacity, things like cache memory (acting as a kind of auxiliary SSD), rotation speed and various other improvements can make a difference and narrowing the gap between SSD and HDD R/W speed.

But SSD is probalbly the next future of bulk storage, before DNA and cristals.

Philippe


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Can't you just put an SSD into it? Nov 8, 2013

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
I was looking at the HP Probook 470 G0, but than came to mind looking for a machine with SSD.


I thought that SSDs use the same SATA interface as platter hard drives (not counting mSATA SSDs), so wouldn't it be possible to just buy an SSD and replace the laptop's own drive with the SSD drive? You can then use the laptop's drive as an external backup drive or something. The reviews that I've seen of Probook 470 G0 models show a 5400 rpm hard drive, which is a tad slow, IMO. Even if you don't want to buy an SSD, you can always replace the laptop's 5400 rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive and get a bit of a speed boost like that. Right?


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:37
English to Polish
+ ...
HDD replacement Nov 8, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:
you can always replace the laptop's 5400 rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive and get a bit of a speed boost like that. Right?


You'll void the warranty if you tamper with the seals.
I believe some companies will let you order a custom-built laptop, tailored to your needs, but I don't know how expensive that is and who does it.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Go SSD Nov 8, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I think your perception of the matter is correct. While an SSD drive will speed up your booting, if you use a CAT tool your best bet is to place all the CAT tool's information in a proper hard disk, especially the translation memories, since certain parts of them (especially index files) will be written time and time again many thousands of times over the course of a normal working week (each segment you store will mean rearrangement of a number of records of several index files), and at least in theory you could reach the maximum number of writing operations in certain parts of the SSD drive.

Although some people will argue that the number of writes of a modern SSD drive is so high that you will never reach it in your lifetime, I feel that it is safer to keep databases and similar items in a hard disk just in case.

At the risk of being called a dinosaur by those of our fellow translators who are passionate computer geeks, personally I would go for a mixed machine with SSD (for the operating system and files you will rarely change) and a hard disk for your work materials.


I'm afraid I'm one of those who will call you a dinosaur... your worry about the longevity of SSDs is misplaced. Current-generation high quality SSDs are built to last and are much more reliable than spinning platter drives. SSD technology is still pretty new and a couple of years ago there were still pretty major issues with longevity and reliability but those have been ironed out. There is a reason why Apple - a company that prides itself on quality and reliability and one that has historically been slow to adopt new tech to make sure it's mature enough - has shipped its computers with SSDs for years. Every other manufacturer offers SSD options on all of its decent quality models as well.
The amount of writes that updating a TM involves is insignificant with regard to SSD lifespan. You're just not going to wear out a current-generation drive like that, ever.
It's just a matter of buying a well-designed drive from a reputable manufacturer like Intel or Samsung. Those things are rock solid and their performance is in a completely different league compared to traditional spinning platter drives. Even a mediocre SSD from two years ago blows the best platter drives out of the water. And it's performance you can notice. Pretty much everything will be quicker, including the loading of TMs and projects and probably TM hits as well, especially if you use large TMs.

Anandtech is a good source of SSD information. Here's an article about write cycles and longevity: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand
As you can see the expected lifespan is upwards of a decade.
Here's an intro article on SSDs: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/3 This one is very old so the tech is a lot better and a lot more reliable now.

Basically, just buy an SSD. Unless you need to store several terabytes of data on a laptop without an external drive or your budget is awfully tiny, it's a no-brainer.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 18:37
English to German
SSD vs. Superfetch Nov 8, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

an SSD drive will speed up your booting


Correct, BUT ....

... if you have 16 GB RAM and allow the PC to load all the "every-day"-programs in the morning, you can start any of these programs out of the RAM, even faster than from an SSD. This pre-loading (called "Superfetch") occurs automatically and includes most Windows components as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_I/O_technologies#SuperFetch (The link's title is misleading, Superfetch is part of Win 7 & 8 as well.)

My personal strategy:
In the morning I switch on the PC. While the PC boots, perrforms the mentioned pre-loading and a short virus check, I can have breakfast, read the newspaper or go out for a coffee. Anyway, some minutes later the PC is ready and IS fast (as far as my favourite programs are concernd). So I have not to rack my brain over issues like "Which drive should I use for which files". Let alone issues like SSD wearing or unreliable SSD firmware.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Replacement Nov 8, 2013

PAS wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:
you can always replace the laptop's 5400 rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive and get a bit of a speed boost like that. Right?


You'll void the warranty if you tamper with the seals.
I believe some companies will let you order a custom-built laptop, tailored to your needs, but I don't know how expensive that is and who does it.

No you won't (void the warranty). On all laptops I've seen so far, the HDD compartment has a separate lid. I.e. you don't need to open the case, just take the HDD lid off. There are no tamper-proof screws/stickers on the HDD lid. In other words, laptops are designed to have user-replaceable HDDs. The beautiful thing is, you can clone your system to your new SSD and keep the old HDD as backup. If your system collapses, you get a virus or your SSD dies, you can put the HDD back in 5 minutes and have a working computer with most of your software and some of your data in place.


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Jutta Deichselberger  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:37
Member (2004)
French to German
+ ...
I agree with Tomás Nov 8, 2013

I am working with a mixed machine: SSD with 120 GB for the system and a normal hard disk with 500 GB for the files. The machine boots in about 15 seconds (and a really have lots of programs on it) and I love it!!! I really couldn't do without it any more!!

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On voiding the warranty Nov 8, 2013

PAS wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
You can always replace the laptop's 5400 rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive and get a bit of a speed boost like that. Right?

You'll void the warranty if you tamper with the seals.


You *can* void the warranty if you tamper with the seals, if you do tamper with the seals (if indeed there are seals) and if the warranty says that it is voided if you tamper with the seals.

However, my understanding is that if a laptop comes with a hatch that gives easy access to a component that can be swapped using no tools except perhaps a simple screw driver, then it should not void the warranty if you open that hatch and upgrade the modules.

The OP's future laptop comes with a hatch at the back that gives access to the hard drive and as least one RAM module (although it looks like you have access to both of them), and the hard drive can be removed without disassembling anything (except four holding screws). I've never seen a laptop with a hatch that big -- I'm used to laptops that have separate hatches for the separate components (i.e. a hatch for the hard drive, and a hatch for the RAM). Check it out:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/Notebooks/HP/ProBook_470_G0-H6P56EA/25_untena.jpg

My desktop computer had seals, and on the seals it said "Read the warranty conditions before breaking the seal", and I read it, and the warranty says that if you break anything yourself, then the thing that you broke is not covered by the warranty. But it was a good think I opened it, because it allowed me to clean out all the dust bunnies.



[Edited at 2013-11-08 10:51 GMT]


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Caching vs disk reads Nov 8, 2013

Rolf Keller wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

an SSD drive will speed up your booting


Correct, BUT ....

... if you have 16 GB RAM and allow the PC to load all the "every-day"-programs in the morning, you can start any of these programs out of the RAM, even faster than from an SSD. This pre-loading (called "Superfetch") occurs automatically and includes most Windows components as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_I/O_technologies#SuperFetch (The link's title is misleading, Superfetch is part of Win 7 & 8 as well.)

My personal strategy:
In the morning I switch on the PC. While the PC boots, perrforms the mentioned pre-loading and a short virus check, I can have breakfast, read the newspaper or go out for a coffee. Anyway, some minutes later the PC is ready and IS fast (as far as my favourite programs are concernd). So I have not to rack my brain over issues like "Which drive should I use for which files". Let alone issues like SSD wearing or unreliable SSD firmware.

That's all fine and dandy, but your computer doesn't always know what you'll need next. It tries to make an educated guess but it isn't always right and it can't just load everything even if you have 16GB RAM. For instance, it probably doesn't know which massive TMs you will need today so it can't cache them. If you happen to use xbench with large TMs, the whole TM needs to be read to memory from the disk before you can use it. That can take a while on a slow drive. Same with applications.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:37
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your interest Nov 8, 2013

The problem now is I will need a 17 inch laptop, because only those have extended keyboards which I need for the shortcuts in various software, and I'm used to the screen.
But it looks like 17 inch laptops are rare these days. Another requirement is a matte screen. In the shops all laptops seem to have shining screens.

My current computer is the first one that is really silent, even the fan is hardly noticeable, and my working environment is very silent. So I will not go for a Vaio, which according to user feedback is noisy.
I boot the computer every two weeks (Win7) or so, so start-up time is not very important.
SSD would make sure the machine is silent and fast.

If I remove the HD and put in an SSD, where do I get Windows from? The OS is on the HD.
It is probably better to buy a normally priced machine and a separate SSD, those machines with built-in SSD seem overpriced to me.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Clone Nov 8, 2013

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

The problem now is I will need a 17 inch laptop, because only those have extended keyboards which I need for the shortcuts in various software, and I'm used to the screen.
But it looks like 17 inch laptops are rare these days. Another requirement is a matte screen. In the shops all laptops seem to have shining screens.

My current computer is the first one that is really silent, even the fan is hardly noticeable, and my working environment is very silent. So I will not go for a Vaio, which according to user feedback is noisy.
I boot the computer every two weeks (Win7) or so, so start-up time is not very important.
SSD would make sure the machine is silent and fast.

If I remove the HD and put in an SSD, where do I get Windows from? The OS is on the HD.
It is probably better to buy a normally priced machine and a separate SSD, those machines with built-in SSD seem overpriced to me.

You can clone your drive to the SSD. You basically copy everything over including the OS, applications and data. This requires special software, but many SSDs come with software that can do this for you. If you happen to buy one that doesn't, there are numerous free and paid software tools you can use. I use DriveImageXML, which has one weakness: it can only write to a drive (partition) that's at least as big as the source drive (partition). You can shrink partitions so it's not necessarily a dealbreaker.
I believe this is perfectly legal and safe wrt Windows licensing. You keep using the same computer and the same Windows license, just on a different drive.

Computer vendors do overprice their SSD options (especially Apple) so do your math. One perk of buying with a HDD and getting your own SSD separately is that you can pick a better SSD than the laptop manufacturer may provide. You also get a full backup HDD for any future emergencies.


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:37
German to Spanish
Not my case Nov 8, 2013

Rolf Keller wrote:



... if you have 16 GB RAM and allow the PC to load all the "every-day"-programs in the morning,...
My personal strategy:
In the morning I switch on the PC. While the PC boots....


My Laptop is always ON


I will mount a SSD instead the actual hard drive and this HD will replace the DVD unit (no need). So my system will be in the new SSD and the rest (old system) in the HD.


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