SSD, what should I consider?

Hello community,

I am thinking of buying an SSD (Kingston 240GB SSDNow V300 2.5 SATA III, said to be backwards compatible with Sata 2) for my laptop (5 years old). The main reasons are reduction in heat, a small increase in capacity (I have 160GB now) and maybe a small increase in performance and battery life.

The laptop is used professionally, it runs openSUSE only (no dual boot). It has to be fully encrypted.

Is there anything I should consider when deciding to buy or not this drive, with regard to compatibility with the operating system?
Is there anything I will have to customize at installation taking into account that it will be installed on an ssd? (swap or else)
Should I prefer any particular file system?
Will encryption cause any problems regarding the “life expectancy” of the drive?

Thank you for sharing your experiences.

FWIW, I bought a laptop last fall and it has this drive:

Primary Hard Drive 512gb Crucial M4 Series Solid State Drive (SSD2
Serial-ATA III) (SKU – S5R063)

I use full-disk encryption for everything (except /boot, of course),
single-boot openSUSE 12.2 (going to 12.3 as soon as I’m ready) and use it
for everything I do. btrfs is the primary filesystem and everything has
been great. Encryption should not affect SSD life at all, assuming that’s
still an issue with current SSDs, and using something like btrfs should
extend life, though some still have reservations about its use because it
is newer and potentially less-perfect than other filesystems (XFS, ext3,
etc.) so pick your battles there and backup regularly as always. I did
not do anything interesting with drivers when setting up my machine even
though the drive was fairly new at the time.

Good luck.

Read lot before jumping in. Also re asses whether it is wise to invest on a 5 yr old system :expressionless:
How to maximise SSD performance with Linux
https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:SSD_performance

Strange, I thought I had replied yesterday to this thread…Anyway.

Thank you for the links. Most of the tips should be easily implemented. Also thank you ab, because it shows that simply getting it to work should be easy.

With regard to the wisdom of investing in this machine, I also have not reached my conclusion so far, but I wanted to have some opinions if it is even worth thinking about it.

Usually the power supply and battery last only ~ 5 years or so before deteriorating exponentially, nothing is linear in real world:|

Does the oS installer/partitioner automatically align the disk partitions when using BTRFS?

I note my Ext4 / partition starts at sector 2048. But it’s anybody’s guess if it’s actually aligned.

On 04/26/2013 05:16 PM, bananaosx wrote:
>
> Does the oS installer/partitioner automatically align the disk
> partitions when using BTRFS?

Alignment depends on the partition, not the file system type.
> I note my Ext4 / partition starts at sector 2048. But it’s anybody’s
> guess if it’s actually aligned.

If the disk has 4096 byte physical sectors with 512 byte logical sectors,
starting at a multiple of 8 logical sectors is enough for alignment. Is that
what you meant?

Thanks. Actually BTRFS requires some backwards compatibility with an Ext/Linux boot partition (possibly at the start of the disk.) So in light of this I’m asking.

May be. But this is what I have running just Ext4:


Disk /dev/sda: 128.0 GB, 128035676160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 15566 cylinders, total 250069680 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x07a3b05a

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048    41463807    20730880   83  Linux
/dev/sda2        41463808    43569151     1052672   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3        43569152   250068991   103249920   83  Linux

On 04/27/2013 03:56 AM, bananaosx wrote:
>
> lwfinger;2551539 Wrote:
>> On 04/26/2013 05:16 PM, bananaosx wrote:
>>>
>>> Does the oS installer/partitioner automatically align the disk
>>> partitions when using BTRFS?
>>
>> Alignment depends on the partition, not the file system type.
>>
>
> Thanks. Actually BTRFS requires some backwards compatibility with an
> Ext/Linux boot partition (possibly at the start of the disk.) So in
> light of this I’m asking.
>
> lwfinger;2551539 Wrote:
>>
>>> I note my Ext4 / partition starts at sector 2048. But it’s anybody’s
>>> guess if it’s actually aligned.
>>
>> If the disk has 4096 byte physical sectors with 512 byte logical
>> sectors,
>> starting at a multiple of 8 logical sectors is enough for alignment. Is
>> that
>> what you meant?
>
> May be. But this is what I have running just Ext4:
>
>
> Code:
> --------------------
>
> Disk /dev/sda: 128.0 GB, 128035676160 bytes
> 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 15566 cylinders, total 250069680 sectors
> Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
> Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Disk identifier: 0x07a3b05a
>
> Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
> /dev/sda1 * 2048 41463807 20730880 83 Linux
> /dev/sda2 41463808 43569151 1052672 82 Linux swap / Solaris
> /dev/sda3 43569152 250068991 103249920 83 Linux

Your disk has physical and logical sectors of 512 bytes. There are no alignment
problems. Those arise when you have 4096 physical sectors, and the partition
does not start at the beginning of a physical sector. In that case, a write of
4096 bytes will cause two writes on the disk, not one. Performance is really awful.

In any case, all of your partitions start at a multiple of 8 logical sectors.
You would have no alignment problem even if your disk had 4K physical sectors.
AFAIK, no disk under 1 TB uses 4K sectors.

Thanks, so I figured. But more reading here:

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-4kb-sector-disks/index.html?ca=dgr-lnxw074KB-Disksdth-LX