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Spinny Disks (HDDs)

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Spinny Disks (HDDs)

Oblivion Knight

Administrator
Ah spinny disks.. How on earth did I tolerate you for so long?! :ROFLMAO:

I'd heard and known about SSDs being a thing, but it wasn't until November 2018 when I first experienced just how much they sped up the overall processing of a computer.. Now it's the first thing I recommend when anyone says about their PC running slow!

Unfortunately at work, many of the student IT labs still have spinny disks.. Similar to myself, they were late to join the party - and by then, schools had no budget to spare. During the school holidays, as a technician I still have to work on site. Particularly during the pandemic, holidays are one of the few times where we can actually check the equipment to make sure that it's all in working order.

..my god, some of these PCs take forever to load up, and even perform the most basic of tasks like right clicking a desktop shortcut!! :zombie: Thankfully the vast majority of staff equipment has been upgraded to SSDs as well as one or two of the student labs, although as a result we now have about 150 HDDs just sat collecting dust in a box.

Other than networked/external media storage (videos, games, music) - is there any other real use for them these days?
 

jamesyfx

Wiki team
So I'd say they still have a use for server storage.. especially the large sizes such as 8, 12 and 14TB. Typically for things that get accessed very often.. as SSD's are all hardwired with a limited read/write cycle. But as for home use, general computing and especially gaming... SSD's or nothing.

But as with everything you need to do your research with SSDs and make sure you get the best bang for your buck. You could end up with a really crap SSD that is no faster than a HDD depending on what technology it's using. Interestingly the reason why the PS5 has such as weird sized hard drive (825GB) is because Sony did some research and worked out that was the optimal capacity when read and write speeds were a key factor.

My favourite part of the SSD besides the speed boost is the lack of noise. These days you can sit at a modern PC while it's idle and it is utterly silent. No whirring or buzzing or anything. It's bliss! :ROFLMAO:
 
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apathy

Lab rat
1
Yeah I've had the pleasure of being the one who's successfully recommended SSD's to several people, including my Dad and Grandmother, who were both completely astonished the difference it can make.

I've not dabbled with nVMEs or anything like that though, I'd love to throw one into this PC just for a laugh but I already have over 5TB of storage so its incredibly hard to justify
 
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jamesyfx

Wiki team
I would say an M.2 NVME drive makes a difference than a regular SSD. My pc essentially goes from pressing the button to fully loaded in a matter of seconds. Same with the PS5, which uses the same technology - not all games support it but a handful of games will just spring into action a few seconds after you launch it.
 
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PGen98

Virus cell
Completely agreed, m.2 nVMEs are amazing for performance. In an ideal setup you'd want to go with an m.2 for the OS and critical programs or the primary games you play that support .m2, a SATA SSD for all other games and more common programs, and then your old platter-based HDD for mass storage (backups, files, non-critical apps, etc.). HDDs still have their place in the tech world, but as @jamesyfx said, it's basically for mass storage. NAS devices, for instance, are a perfect use-case for HDDs (minus an SSD or 2 for caching and OS). I'm trying to build one at the moment when I can scrape my pennies together and it's going to have 2 SATA SSDs for caching and 4 HDDs for storage (Plex media server, media storage, cloud storage and weekly backups [x3 people's devices] + a little future-proofing). Can't beat the capacity of HDDs for storage just yet, and enterprise and NAS-level HDDs can handle the vibrations so well they're usually warrantied between 5 and 10 years, so you've got a little leeway for when they fail (and using either a RAID1 or Unraid setup, you should be safe from data loss). So there's still plenty for HDDs to contribute, just not so much in the main operations of PCs anymore :D
 
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Oblivion Knight

Administrator
I haven't yet had the pleasure of experiencing an nVME.. I could have had one with my recent PC build, but opted to be a cheapskate šŸ˜…

I did look into building my own media server once upon a time, but ended up burning through 2 DVD writers in my laptop whilst ripping my collection - and then started buying Blu-rays just for shits and giggles.. šŸ˜†
 
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PGen98

Virus cell
I haven't yet had the pleasure of experiencing an nVME.. I could have had one with my recent PC build, but opted to be a cheapskate šŸ˜…

I did look into building my own media server once upon a time, but ended up burning through 2 DVD writers in my laptop whilst ripping my collection - and then started buying Blu-rays just for shits and giggles.. šŸ˜†
No shame in putting the budget first, and there's plenty to be happy with when it comes to a SATA SSD over and HDD in terms of performance. An nVME is essentially that same gap again, but between the SATA and the nVME, so you can see just what a leap that would be!

Media servers are great, it means you own your own content, but you can stream it just like Netflix. Anywhere, anytime. Took me weeks to convert all of my DVDs and Blu Rays (and TV shows), but now that it's done, even though I still want a NAS to house them on so I can run the server 24/7, I'm so thrilled that I can just boot up Plex, pick whatever I want to watch and not have to go hunting for the disk or worrying that Netflix, Hulu, etc. might have removed it. Makes me want to go out hunting in charity shops for all the cheap films I can find just to add to the library :D
 
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PGen98

Virus cell
I may revisit the idea of a media server at some point, but I'm not au fait with Blu-ray compression..

I've heard about people exchanging Plex server details too, though I'm not 100% sure on the legality of that one! :see_no_evil_face:
MakeMKV is your best friend when it comes to Blu Ray ripping, then transcode with Handbrake :)

Wow, I haven't seen people swapping Plex details, but it wouldn't surprise me! Agreed, I have no idea how legal that one is :D
 
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jamesyfx

Wiki team
I used to run Plex on a simple NAS drive for all my home media stuff, but my devices had trouble playing things back and casting didn't always work.... Not entirely sure what went wrong so I've put it away for now.
 
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PGen98

Virus cell
I used to run Plex on a simple NAS drive for all my home media stuff, but my devices had trouble playing things back and casting didn't always work.... Not entirely sure what went wrong so I've put it away for now.
Hmm, that's odd. Everything streams pretty well for me on every device I own. Hopefully just a minor hiccup, or something patched in newer versions so you can try again in the future, because it's a worthwhile endeavour.
 
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