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Harik
Sep 9, 2001


Kaleidoscopic Gaze posted:

If something shits the bed and I have to reinstall my OS, can I save a copy of the encryption key and rescue the data from my encrypted drive by plugging it into another computer?

Don Lapre posted:

You can, but you need to have backups of any encrypted data.

That's a weird way to spell "no." Re-read what he asked.

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Malcolm XML
Aug 8, 2009

I always knew it would end like this.


i have a 256gb sandisk ultra II that i rediscovered

today i found about about 256GB microSDXC cards

the future is now

Arsten
Feb 18, 2003



Malcolm XML posted:

i have a 256gb sandisk ultra II that i rediscovered

today i found about about 256GB microSDXC cards

the future is now

Just think about those SD cards for a moment and then think what you can do with them.

Ynglaur
Oct 9, 2013



Arsten posted:

Just think about those SD cards for a moment and then think what you can do with them.

That's...pretty cool.

Arsten
Feb 18, 2003



Ynglaur posted:

That's...pretty cool.

It's a cool idea in theory, but SD cards are slow. I'd hate to see how slow that setup would be.

lock stock and Cheryl
Dec 18, 2009

by zen death robot


Longevity is a non-trivial issue, flash cells for an SD card are not designed to be rewritten anywhere near as many times as those for an SSD. Combine this with the fact that these cards are designed for RAID 0 only, and suddenly any of the 10 SD cards failing means the whole array becomes useless.

No thank you, even if I did somehow have 10 "spare" 64 GB µSD cards laying around.

SuperTeeJay
Jun 14, 2015


Potato Salad posted:

Danger Zone: Any refurbished SSD (stay away by default, there can be exceptions - ask for a sanity check)
I was lucky enough to be browsing Amazon UK when a warehouse deal on an 850 Evo popped up (£70 instead of £120 because a returned item had a crumpled box), so I nabbed it. The benchmarks are spot on for this model, but are there any other actions I should take to ensure it's not hosed in some way?

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

SuperTeeJay posted:

I was lucky enough to be browsing Amazon UK when a warehouse deal on an 850 Evo popped up (£70 instead of £120 because a returned item had a crumpled box), so I nabbed it. The benchmarks are spot on for this model, but are there any other actions I should take to ensure it's not hosed in some way?

Run a SMART test through Magician and check that no parameters are marked PRE-FAIL or FAIL. It should also give you a rough estimate to the health of the drive.

NihilCredo
Jun 6, 2011

iram omni possibili modo preme:
plus una illa te diffamabit, quam multæ virtutes commendabunt



Kaleidoscopic Gaze posted:

Longevity is a non-trivial issue, flash cells for an SD card are not designed to be rewritten anywhere near as many times as those for an SSD. Combine this with the fact that these cards are designed for RAID 0 only, and suddenly any of the 10 SD cards failing means the whole array becomes useless.

No thank you, even if I did somehow have 10 "spare" 64 GB µSD cards laying around.

Also an equivalently-sized SSD will cost significantly less. Make it m.2, and it will be smaller as well.

i really can't think of a use-case for this, other than "I ended up with a ton of SD cards lying around and can't be arsed to eBay them".

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

NihilCredo posted:

Also an equivalently-sized SSD will cost significantly less. Make it m.2, and it will be smaller as well.

i really can't think of a use-case for this, other than "I ended up with a ton of SD cards lying around and can't be arsed to eBay them".

Not even that - all of the cards have to be the exact same - not only in quantity, but in maker. Seeing as the 200GB Sandisk is rated to a *maximum* of 90MB/sec...even with a shitload in RAID 0 you *might* end up with SATA II speeds under ideal conditions.

apropos man
Sep 5, 2016

You get a hundred and forty one thousand years and you're out in eight!

Ten sd cards in RAID 0 may be lighter than an SSD. Don't forget the physical benefits!

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014




Tortured By Flan

I need to weigh a PCB roughly that size and one of the quarter-length 850 assembled 2.5" FF boards. I think the ssd may still win if caseless.

apropos man
Sep 5, 2016

You get a hundred and forty one thousand years and you're out in eight!

I was just playing along for a laugh.

I've got an old 240Gb OCZ arc. It's still going strong but it weighs about 4 times what my 850 Evo weighs.

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014




Tortured By Flan

apropos man posted:

I was just playing along for a laugh.


Yeah, I figure, but I'm now seriously wondering what the relative weight of a 10x uSD 2.5" card vs a de-cased EVO would be. I threw out an envelope scale not two weeks ago

BobHoward
Feb 13, 2012

Special Operations Executive
Q Section




dud root posted:

Do Samsung SSDs juggle data around when idle for wear leveling purposes? Curious if the cells where my large static data is stored have been written to once, or if the controller is smart enough to eventually move 50Gb.italy.holiday.#blessed.mkv to the most used cells

Afaik this happens two ways. One is that, while active and writing something else, the controller decides that some very static blocks are the ones which ought to be written to this time, because they're falling behind the write-erase cycle count of other blocks. It costs some performance but it has to be done.

The other is in the background as you say, but one fun thing is that sometimes it's for data retention rather than wear leveling. Consumer grade planar NAND flash has a rated retention time of maybe circa a year at the ~20nm nodes, and enterprise grade flash as little as 1 month (yes, worse). SSD controllers combat this by experimentally reading data every once in a while, and moving it if the raw uncorrected bit error rate has gotten too high.

PSA: do not use SSDs as offline backup devices.

It's not as bad as those numbers might suggest, my friend who designed enterprise ssd chipsets and told me about this said that manufacturers rate flash for minimum guaranteed retention time at end of life, i.e. after doing the rated maximum write/erase cycles. A consumer SSD far away from wearout should remember data a lot longer than 1 year if left unpowered. Still, don't count on it, use HDDs for storage that might go unpowered a long time.

(Aging is why enterprise NAND flash has a lower retention rating. NAND manufacturers can choose between speccing basically the same memory as either high cycle count / low retention or vice versa. Enterprise SSDS are online storage powered 24/7, and are written to a lot, so it makes sense to go for a different tradeoff than consumer flash.)

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

I hope the 'phone bomb' thing finally coaxes Samsung into at least a paper launch of the 960 EVO/Pro drives. They could use some good press, and it's widely regarded that they've been sitting on them since late Spring because "why launch something that so few people will get excited about?"

Anime Schoolgirl
Nov 28, 2002

~perfect~
battlebrother





M.2 isn't something pc builders can buy in droves and "get", M.2 is still currently a madhouse with sata-only/pci-only m.2 sockets and mobo manufacturers still not making up their mind on what type they want to keep using (ideally they should be both sata and pcie, but the pcb traces are comedy)

also, the 850s are already 99% at the sata cap on both I/O and throughput.

AIC 960s would sound pretty good though

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

Anime Schoolgirl posted:

M.2 isn't something pc builders can buy in droves and "get", M.2 is still currently a madhouse with sata-only/pci-only m.2 sockets and mobo manufacturers still not making up their mind on what type they want to keep using (ideally they should be both sata and pcie, but the pcb traces are comedy)

also, the 850s are already 99% at the sata cap on both I/O and throughput.

AIC 960s would sound pretty good though

I've a feeling they're waiting for the mobile Kaby Lake to offer more widely-accessible NVMe-ready M.2 slots.

HMS Boromir
Jul 16, 2011

by Lowtax


Anime Schoolgirl posted:

M.2 is still currently a madhouse with sata-only/pci-only m.2 sockets and mobo manufacturers still not making up their mind on what type they want to keep using (ideally they should be both sata and pcie, but the pcb traces are comedy)

Can you elaborate on this? Every single ASRock, MSI and ASUS Z170 motherboard I could find (save one that had no M.2 slot at all) claims to support 'PCIe Gen3 x4/SATA' or 'both PCIe and SATA' mode or such. Is the problem only present in motherboards with lower end chipsets or am I missing something?

Anime Schoolgirl
Nov 28, 2002

~perfect~
battlebrother





HMS Boromir posted:

Can you elaborate on this? Every single ASRock, MSI and ASUS Z170 motherboard I could find (save one that had no M.2 slot at all) claims to support 'PCIe Gen3 x4/SATA' or 'both PCIe and SATA' mode or such. Is the problem only present in motherboards with lower end chipsets or am I missing something?
The latter, which most people use for budget builds. It's nice that Intel is lowering the price of that sort of thing, but depending on the coming years there'll be some teething issues on people upgrading wondering why 960 EVOs and 600ps aren't working on Haswell boards.

Saukkis
May 16, 2003



BobHoward posted:

It's not as bad as those numbers might suggest, my friend who designed enterprise ssd chipsets and told me about this said that manufacturers rate flash for minimum guaranteed retention time at end of life, i.e. after doing the rated maximum write/erase cycles. A consumer SSD far away from wearout should remember data a lot longer than 1 year if left unpowered. Still, don't count on it, use HDDs for storage that might go unpowered a long time.

For long time I've wanted to know, what is the failure mode when SSDs reach the maximum write cycle? I would hope that the available writable space slowly decreases, but the the blocks that can't be written on still remain readable? How much variation is there on how many cycles different blocks can be written? Could one block last only 1000 cycles, but the block right next to it manges 5000?

Arsten
Feb 18, 2003



Saukkis posted:

For long time I've wanted to know, what is the failure mode when SSDs reach the maximum write cycle? I would hope that the available writable space slowly decreases, but the the blocks that can't be written on still remain readable? How much variation is there on how many cycles different blocks can be written? Could one block last only 1000 cycles, but the block right next to it manges 5000?

When a block dies, it's lost. You don't get to read what's there anymore. The SSD's firmware, when it detects a failure, will save the data to a reserved block that isn't accessible to anything but the drive. When it runs out of those spare blocks, it uses the non-reserved portion of the drive and the size of the drive decreases. At this point, the file system on top begins to get compromised and data loss is likely.

In terms of cycles, the blocks tend to last about as long as their neighbors. So expect 90% to 110% use cycle for other parts of the nand once you see reallocated counts start to rise. Theoretically, one portion could last five times the write cycles of another portion of the drive, but I haven't read anything that would suggest this would happen in the real world.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

kimcicle posted:

So before I run out and buy an Intel 600p from Microcenter, would it be compatible with my motherboard? It's a Asus Z97I-PLUS, and all the documentation says that it supports M.2 and runs over PCIe. The 256GB model is "on sale" for $99, but I want to make sure that it will be fine because the port is on the underside of the motherboard so I'll have to take apart my whole computer to install it.
I have a Asus Z97i-Plus (it's mini ITX right?) and the problem with that specific motherboard's m.2 slot is that it's quite limited in PCI-e lanes (2 of them), so you won't get even close to the full benefit of an NVMe SSD when it comes to sustained reads / writes. Personally, I'd look for a SATA m.2 SSD to save some money or if performance is that big of a deal go with a different motherboard entirely. I'm looking to turn the machine into a Hackintosh and may stick with a SATA based SSD just for that anyway given NVMe SSD compatibility on OS X is not perfect.

https://www.ramcity.com.au/blog/m.2...bility-list/189

quote:

ASUS Z97i-PLUS. Boots with both the XP941 and SM951 in the M.2 socket. Note, the M.2 socket only has 2 PCIe lanes (10Gb/s) feeding to it though. So expect a maximum sequential throughput around 650-700MB/s. Check your manual as this is quite common with ASUS Z97 boards.

atomicthumbs
Dec 26, 2010

We're in the business of extending man's senses.


BIG HEADLINE posted:

Run a SMART test through Magician and check that no parameters are marked PRE-FAIL or FAIL. It should also give you a rough estimate to the health of the drive.

Gonna do this on my $269 "new" (open box) 1tb msata 850 and get some nice blackmail material for a partial refund if it's actually used

BobHoward
Feb 13, 2012

Special Operations Executive
Q Section




Saukkis posted:

For long time I've wanted to know, what is the failure mode when SSDs reach the maximum write cycle? I would hope that the available writable space slowly decreases, but the the blocks that can't be written on still remain readable? How much variation is there on how many cycles different blocks can be written? Could one block last only 1000 cycles, but the block right next to it manges 5000?

Yes, writable space slowly decreases as blocks go bad. There is indeed a lot of variance in write cycle life, so when flash manufacturers write their specs they have to try to err on the side of caution. This is why that one website which torture tested SSDs found that tons of drives lasted quite a lot longer than the rated lifespan of their flash would suggest.

Arsten posted:

When a block dies, it's lost. You don't get to read what's there anymore. The SSD's firmware, when it detects a failure, will save the data to a reserved block that isn't accessible to anything but the drive. When it runs out of those spare blocks, it uses the non-reserved portion of the drive and the size of the drive decreases. At this point, the file system on top begins to get compromised and data loss is likely.

The model you describe is roughly how hard drives handle bad sectors, but no SSD I am aware of works quite like this. Unlike HDDs the extra capacity is substantial (most MLC consumer drives have 7.3% extra capacity over what the label claims, and most TLC drives even more than that). Also unlike HDDs, none of the extra space is treated as a special pool which goes unused until it's time to replace a bad block.

HDDs work that way because the mapping between host visible sector numbers and physical sector addresses on disk platters is mostly fixed, with a small exception list. This works ok because most sectors will never go bad; the drive firmware only needs to handle on the order of 100-1000 bad blocks that have a special mapping.

SSDs have to do wear leveling, so no host visible block has a fixed flash media location, ever. Anything can be stored anywhere at any time. The point of having extra capacity over the user visible capacity is no longer to handle errors gracefully, it's now to provide both an any-to-any host-to-physical address mapping table and the minimum amount of guaranteed free (or quickly free-able) media capacity the wear leveling algorithm needs to avoid making GBS threads itself when the user is using all the user visible capacity. Dealing with bad blocks falls out of that; when a block goes bad and is marked as unusable, the drive just has slightly less free space to work with.

Any competently written SSD firmware should put itself into a read-only disaster recovery mode long before losing so many blocks that the usable media capacity drops even close to the user visible capacity. (And if that event ever did happen, it would be quite surprising if the drive didn't just brick itself, because the firmware is unlikely to handle not having enough media capacity very gracefully.)

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

Seems Samsung did finally decide to bite for some positive press: http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/sa...chitecture.html

SlayVus
Jul 10, 2009


Grimey Drawer

BIG HEADLINE posted:

Seems Samsung did finally decide to bite for some positive press: http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/sa...chitecture.html

Toms Hardware did a "review" of the "960 Evo" using the PM961.

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

SlayVus posted:

Toms Hardware did a "review" of the "960 Evo" using the PM961.

I love how they mention RAPID Mode as a potential 'feature' of the 960 EVO. I mean...seriously?

Dogen
May 5, 2002

Bury my body down by the highwayside, so that my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride


BIG HEADLINE posted:

I love how they mention RAPID Mode as a potential 'feature' of the 960 EVO. I mean...seriously?

Do people still even read tomshardware, though?

BIG HEADLINE
Jun 13, 2006

Make your move...'cause mine's gonna be ugly.

Dogen posted:

Do people still even read tomshardware, though?

I do, on occasion - but I enjoy their 'exposes' on 'who makes what' more than their questionably-stilted reviews.

NihilCredo
Jun 6, 2011

iram omni possibili modo preme:
plus una illa te diffamabit, quam multæ virtutes commendabunt



Anandtech has just done a SSD roundup and they list the Mushkin Reactor as one of the better consumer options. Should it be added to the OP?

Bob Morales
Aug 18, 2006

HYPER-THREADING


I have had good luck with Mushkin SSD's and memory

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014




Tortured By Flan

NihilCredo posted:

Anandtech has just done a SSD roundup and they list the Mushkin Reactor as one of the better consumer options. Should it be added to the OP?

Huh. Yeah, bug me again in a few days if I haven't done it. I'm traveling atm.

Need to corroborate Anandtech's findings first, but they usually do a thorough job.

kimcicle
Feb 23, 2003



necrobobsledder posted:

I have a Asus Z97i-Plus (it's mini ITX right?) and the problem with that specific motherboard's m.2 slot is that it's quite limited in PCI-e lanes (2 of them), so you won't get even close to the full benefit of an NVMe SSD when it comes to sustained reads / writes. Personally, I'd look for a SATA m.2 SSD to save some money or if performance is that big of a deal go with a different motherboard entirely. I'm looking to turn the machine into a Hackintosh and may stick with a SATA based SSD just for that anyway given NVMe SSD compatibility on OS X is not perfect.

https://www.ramcity.com.au/blog/m.2...bility-list/189

WELP. I ended up getting the 600p anyways because it was on sale at Microcenter for $90 for the 256GB model. Replacing the mobo is out of the question for now, so I'll just live with the lower speeds until I upgrade in the future.

kimcicle fucked around with this message at Sep 14, 2016 around 20:21

lock stock and Cheryl
Dec 18, 2009

by zen death robot


Bob Morales posted:

I have had good luck with Mushkin SSD's and memory

I had a Mushkin Chronos 60 GB poo poo the bed on me last year. It only lasted 2 years, and I didn't use that computer very heavily or load the drive up very much. I even did all the preventive maintenance type tuning to the OS I had on it (first windows, then Linux Mint).

Eletriarnation
Apr 6, 2005

People don't appreciate the substance of things...
objects in space.


Pillbug

kimcicle posted:

WELP. I ended up getting the 600p anyways because it was on sale at Microcenter for $90 for the 256GB model. Replacing the mobo is out of the question for now, so I'll just live with the lower speeds until I upgrade in the future.

I wouldn't stress it, you're not really paying much more than an 850 EVO for the 600p. Also isn't two PCIe 3.0 lanes still 2GBps? Seems like not a horrible limitation, if it is a limitation for that drive at all.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Z97 boards are on two PCI-E 2.0 lanes for m.2 SSDs, so you're talking 1 GBps, which is definitely below what most NVMe drives can sustain. Random IOPS matters a lot more in day to day tasks probably though and in that respect PCI-E 2.0 doesn't make much of a difference there.

Salted_Pork
Jun 19, 2011


i bought a Samsung 950 Pro m. 2 nvme, like the filthy consumerist whore i am, and I'm dual booting ubuntu and windows off it. It's in a Gigabyte Z170n-wifi, and after i select windows from the grub, theres a few seconds where a leading sign runs, and then windows boots almost immediately. I'm thinking of getting a ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming because it will give me more power to OC my i5 6600k. It has m.2 PCIE so it's compatible with my Samsung 950, but does anyone have any empirical evidence over how fast it POSTs, and how well it will behave with my drive?

The Iron Rose
May 12, 2012

ASK ME ABOUT BEING A NEO-LIBERAL DEATH CULT APOLOGIST!


Salted_Pork posted:

i bought a Samsung 950 Pro m. 2 nvme, like the filthy consumerist whore i am, and I'm dual booting ubuntu and windows off it. It's in a Gigabyte Z170n-wifi, and after i select windows from the grub, theres a few seconds where a leading sign runs, and then windows boots almost immediately. I'm thinking of getting a ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming because it will give me more power to OC my i5 6600k. It has m.2 PCIE so it's compatible with my Samsung 950, but does anyone have any empirical evidence over how fast it POSTs, and how well it will behave with my drive?

I'd replace my CPU long before I replaced my motherboard, it's a terrible use of money.

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Sidesaddle Cavalry
Mar 15, 2013

65535

dispel please


Salted_Pork posted:

i bought a Samsung 950 Pro m. 2 nvme, like the filthy consumerist whore i am, and I'm dual booting ubuntu and windows off it. It's in a Gigabyte Z170n-wifi, and after i select windows from the grub, theres a few seconds where a leading sign runs, and then windows boots almost immediately. I'm thinking of getting a ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming because it will give me more power to OC my i5 6600k. It has m.2 PCIE so it's compatible with my Samsung 950, but does anyone have any empirical evidence over how fast it POSTs, and how well it will behave with my drive?

Even your little Mini-ITX Gigabyte Z170N has plenty of power to overclock. whoops didn't know about the issues. Anyways, with regards to POSTing faster, have you checked your options for Fast Boot? There's at least one in Memory/RAM settings and probably one elsewhere in the BIOS menu somewhere if you search. Also, Gigabyte has a little Windows desktop app for Fast Boot too, though you'd have to install their APP Center first: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pr...id=5518#utility

Sidesaddle Cavalry fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2016 around 04:17

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