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  1. #1
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Default SSDs?

    Anyone using SSDs?

    I have had normal HDDs go bad after a while - at the moment the disk light on my Cortex PC seems to be permanently on, not sure why. If disk access is pretty continuous then I'd be worried about using an SSD.

    On the other hand, the noise and maybe temperature reduction (if there really is one) would be welcome, and improving restart time when there is a crash is always good.

    Gave some love to my Cortex PC after 2 crashes this week, applied 58 Windows security fixes (nervously), removed the last vestiges of BitDefender. Realised that I'd built this PC in 2010, although it has had one HDD go bad in that time. Since it is thermally stressed in the loft, up to 47 ambient, that's pretty good going for a consumer board.
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  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    I'm using a SSD in my Cortex PC (a laptop) as well as all my other PC's. I can't see any reason why you shouldn't use them. You have to be aware that SSD's tend to fail catastrophically- i.e. one minute they're working, the next they are not, so you get no warning of failure. That said, if you are backing up like you should be, then that isn't an issue and in my experience they are no more unreliable than mechanical hard disks.
    The advantages are faster boot up, lower power consumption (not that significant) and speedier response times (again probably not that important with Cortex - although if you are using cameras that might help?). I don't know about operating temperature range, though it seems logical that they may be happier to tolerate higher temperatures than non SSD's.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    our experience of SSD is in our MacBookPro laptop (Retina screen etc) ... have to say, have been pretty underwhelmed by the performance improvement compared to its predecessor (17" MBP with the usual HDD, which is used as a TV these days, with plenty of recording etc, and is still fine) ... start-up is far from quick - indeed, often imagine it's crashed or died (it's very uncommunicative, though patience is rewarded) ... always difficult to compare, of course, because of ongoing OS & App updates, which just seem to get bigger & bigger ...

    NB: complete aside - but discovered Grapher on the Mac (comes standard, from new) not so long ago - it's brilliant for graphs (!) ... not completely bug free, but we hardly ever use Excel or Numbers these days ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 26th August 2016 at 12:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    I think Gumby's concern is probably about the durability of 'EEPROM' i.e limitations on erase/write cycles. Certainly Cortex is continuously saving (accumulating) history data but I would think this does not translate into continuous erase/write of the same cells. Perhaps if the disk is used as virtual memory then there might be more chance of using the same areas. However I expect this would be quite a common possibility for any software or indeed o/s functions so you'd expect to see lots of stories about quick SSD deaths by now - not that I've actively researched any stats.

    Interestingly I have had to ponder a similar question myself before at a smaller scale when considering non volatile accumulation of pulse count metering data, and in that case I thought simply to discard blocks after N number of erase cycles, N being typically >100K or perhaps more depending on device spec. It would gradually reduce memory availability but the small amount of data involved meant that you'd not run out of capacity for more than a lifetime. So I guess what I'm trying to say is it depends on how the SSD is managed at a lower level to spread the wear and I'm sure much better minds than mine have been workng on this for a number of years now. I wonder if there are disk tools which somehow track such cycles and provide a measure of such 'wear', if indeed the same concept applies.

    Going back to the original observation - lots of disk activity - I wouldn't expect to see this simply as a result of Cortex. Cortex can of course easily use quite a lot of memory depending on what you have it doing - e.g multiple camera image processing, but ultimately it will be down to overall resources available and being used by eveything on that PC.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    I don't use Cortex but do use HomeSeer 24/7, and MSOffice, and do software dev, and all my everyday browsing on the same PC with a SSD. Used the first one for about 4 years without a problem, upgraded to get better performance and greater capacity, been with that for about 18 months, no problems whatsoever, so can confidently recommend them.

    For Chris' concerns about limited performance improvements, there are two factors to consider, first is the capability of the PC to support a fast device, my new SSD is running at half its performance because the PC can't use its full capability. The second factor is the capability of the SSD itself, there are massive performance differences in read/write performance between different SSDs, so just buying a SSD doesn't mean you have a fast disc, some are actually slower than mag discs, but the fast ones are really, really fast.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    interesting ... though imagine ours should be OK on both counts (the SSD was just what came built-in, and the laptop was their top of the line model at the time - my experience of Apple is that they make the effort to be sure their memory & batteries will perform & will last) ...

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