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Old 08-26-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
TexasGrillChef
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512gb SDD drive in a TiVo HD.

It's expensive as all C**P but the perfromace boost is amazing.

I just upgraded my TiVo HD unit with a Kingston SNVP325-S2/512GB SSD drive.

I did have a 1TB drive installed in it and the extra capacity was nice. However, since I have a dedicated computer running TD+ 2.8, & several DLNA NAS devices as well as one of them being a Netgear Ultra 6. The loss in storage capacity on my second TiVo unit wasn't such a big deal.

This TiVo HD is a bedroom unit. I have an S3 for the living room.

Suffice it to say that in terms of performace boost to the menus & other parts of the TiVo, I would have to estimate at least a 40 to 50% boost in perfermance and speed. The only noise now is coming from the fan of the unit!

I was just wondering has anyone else installed a SSD drive in their TiVo's? Did you see a performance boost of any kind?

512gb of space still gives me well over 40+ hours of HD recording. Plenty for a 2nd TiVo in the house.

This upgrade did cost me $900 though. So I wouldn't recomend it for everybody.

TGC

Link:
http://www.kingston.com/ssd/vplus-series.asp
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:39 PM   #2
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I've been thinking about doing an SSD, but the large ones are too pricey. I thought about putting in a 30 GB SSD in the internal drive slot, and a very large SATA hardware RAID array (which mimics a single sata drive) in the external position, then hand-customizing the partition arrangement so that all the media partitions were on the external SATA array, and all other partitions (including application partitions) were on the SSD.

For example, on a typical expanded internal (A) drive, partitions A11, A13, and A15 are the large media partitions. On a typical B drive, partitions B3, B5, and B7 are the large media partitions. I was thinking of hand-copying the A11, A13, A15, B3, B5, and B7 partitions to an external hardware RAID array, and hand-copying partitions A2 through A10, A12, A14, B2, B4, and B6 to a 30 GB SSD. Then I would have to hexedit the order of the partition names where they are listed in the A10 partition data.

If it works, all menu operations, show indexing, etc, should be very fast and I will still have my 2 TB of show space. I have the hardware RAID array (Areca ARC-5030), and the 30 GB SSD would be cheap. I just haven't wanted to tear a box apart and fool with it yet.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info.. I've been curious about how a SSD would perform in a Tivo. I also know that the "limited writes" is less of a concern nowadays (since obviously people are using them for computer storage), though with a Tivo *ALWAYS* writing, it still seems disturbing.

Thom, it would be interesting to hear if you end up doing that and how it affects things. (Though how would you have 2 TB? Is that with a hacked image unavailable via the normal upgrade tools?)
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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Do SSDs give off a lot of heat? Would it possible that the fan isn't even that necessary? It would cool (no pun intended) for a bedroom unit to be totally silent.

Nice upgrade!
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #5
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Do SSDs give off a lot of heat? Would it possible that the fan isn't even that necessary? It would cool (no pun intended) for a bedroom unit to be totally silent.

Nice upgrade!
SSD's produce only 10-20% of the heat of a normal HD because their isn't any mechanical friction heat created like their is from heads tossing back and forth and the spinning discs.

Not saying they don't get hot, just they produce alot less heat.

If I used a 2.5" hd heat sink case and inproved the heat sink on the proccessor of the TiVo, then I would say you could get by with a fanless TiVo

TGC
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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Finally! Thank you for the answer to the SSD question. Now I'm wondering if the Momentus XT gives a noticeable improvement over a standard hard drive. I'd think it would "learn" to put the menu stuff in the SSD part and the shows in the spinning part.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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The only real problem with the SSD is the TiVo is the worst possible load to put on it - it's constantly being written to 24/7 which they don't really like. There's a limited life cycle on them, so a constant write tends to prematurely wear it out.

Doesn't mean it won't last a long time, though. A good quality one will probably serve for years. A cheap low-grade one can die in just a few months.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:36 AM   #8
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That's pretty awesome. Too rich for my blood though.

I love my 60GB Agility SSD on my desktop. Soo nice. Will get one into my laptop when I get a chance.

One big enough for the Tivo would be pretty expensive. An SLC SSD would last forever though
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:24 PM   #9
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The only real problem with the SSD is the TiVo is the worst possible load to put on it - it's constantly being written to 24/7 which they don't really like. There's a limited life cycle on them, so a constant write tends to prematurely wear it out.

Doesn't mean it won't last a long time, though. A good quality one will probably serve for years. A cheap low-grade one can die in just a few months.
You are correct in that. However, on the unit that I have in use currently is warrantied for 5 years & has a MTBF rate of 1 MILLION hours.

Now add that up. In the next 5 years I am sure your going to either:

A.... Buy a new TiVo.

Or

B.... Want to upgrade the size of the Hard drive anyways. Maybe by that time a 1tb or 2tb SSD drive will be available at an afordable cost.

So IMHO.... Sure their are limited writes that the SSD can handle. However the number of writes that it CAN do BEFORE it wears out is WAY more than you will ever get too. While what you say is true, all I am saying is that number of writes is well above any amount you would get to even with your TiVo running & writing 24/7.

SSD drives are currently being used in some 24/7 servers & workstations.

FYI... just got of the phone with tech support for the drive. The number of writes that can be done to any one sector (Memory location) is 9 Trillion Trillion times. Which takes about 1 MILLION hours of constant writing to the drive to achieve.

1 Million hours is their MTBF rate. Which works out too: 41,666 days or 114 years. I think the drive will outlast your TiVo box.

TGC
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:28 PM   #10
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That's pretty awesome. Too rich for my blood though.

I love my 60GB Agility SSD on my desktop. Soo nice. Will get one into my laptop when I get a chance.

One big enough for the Tivo would be pretty expensive. An SLC SSD would last forever though
Cost of SSD drives are coming way down and fast. I just bought a new HP laptop and was able to upgrade from a 320gb hard drive to a 160gb SSD drive for only $100 extra.

I have seen several 256gb SSD drives for as little as $500 as well. I even saw an 80gb SSD drive for $149. I do remember when 80gb SSD drives well almost $500 as well. So just keep patient!

TGC
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:56 PM   #11
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...
FYI... just got of the phone with tech support for the drive. The number of writes that can be done to any one sector (Memory location) is 9 Trillion Trillion times. Which takes about 1 MILLION hours of constant writing to the drive to achieve.
...
MLC SSD's have a typical write endurance of 5K-10K cycles per block. There's a great deal of effort spent on "wear leveling" to ensure that blocks don't wear out early. The good thing is when they fail, you can still read the existing data, you just can't write anything new.

I'm not sure where the tech support guy came up with 9 Trillion Trillion cycles, but that's complete fiction, with no connection to reality.

Tom's hardware has an article with an interview with a Kingston representative that might shed some light: reviews/kingston-ssdnow-ssd,2550.html.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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MLC SSD's have a typical write endurance of 5K-10K cycles per block. There's a great deal of effort spent on "wear leveling" to ensure that blocks don't wear out early. The good thing is when they fail, you can still read the existing data, you just can't write anything new.

I'm not sure where the tech support guy came up with 9 Trillion Trillion cycles, but that's complete fiction, with no connection to reality.

Tom's hardware has an article with an interview with a Kingston representative that might shed some light: reviews/kingston-ssdnow-ssd,2550.html.
The Tivo is not going to support TRIM without software (and probably hardware) modifications. It seems like you are going to be taking a 3rd Generation product (that is much improved and less expensive than the 1st and 2nd Generation products), but you won't be getting much better performance (specifically the expected useful life) than a 2nd generation product.

With two 24 hour buffers being written to continuously, if the programming is all in High Definition (which is almost always the case for me) you would be writing about 500GB per day to the drive (which is well more than 50GB per day that only 1% of users in Intel's study used more than). Two years ago Intel was saying their drives would last for five years if you wrote 100GB to them every day (but they only provided a 3-year warranty and they were only expecting 20GB written to them every day).

http://www.supertalent.com/datasheet...te%20Paper.pdf

http://www.tivo.com/linux/index.html

http://www.storagereview.com/demystifying_ssd_endurance

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2614/4
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:08 PM   #13
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This upgrade did cost me $900 though. So I wouldn't recomend it for everybody.
Where did you get this for $900 ? I'm seeing prices of $1300+ on 512GB SSDs from places like newegg.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:00 AM   #14
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Where did you get this for $900 ? I'm seeing prices of $1300+ on 512GB SSDs from places like newegg.
smbaker,

There is someone on eBay that currently has about a half dozen of these available for $685 each (or best offer). He (videoman) already accepted one offer for $650.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kingston-SSDNow-...item2c57ba757f
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:32 PM   #15
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Suffice it to say that in terms of performace boost to the menus & other parts of the TiVo, I would have to estimate at least a 40 to 50% boost in perfermance and speed. The only noise now is coming from the fan of the unit!
TGC,

Have you noticed any improvements with file transfers, MRV, TivoToGo ...? How long would a 4GB or 8GB recording take to download? Can you stream 720P or 1080i recordings in real time :-)

Ciao,

Floquet.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:50 PM   #16
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MLC SSD's have a typical write endurance of 5K-10K cycles per block. There's a great deal of effort spent on "wear leveling" to ensure that blocks don't wear out early. The good thing is when they fail, you can still read the existing data, you just can't write anything new.

I'm not sure where the tech support guy came up with 9 Trillion Trillion cycles, but that's complete fiction, with no connection to reality.
Yep. "9 trillion trillion" is complete fiction. Even insanely expensive SLC drives can only typically ensure 100K cycles per block. See http://www.anandtech.com/show/2614/4.

1 million hour MTBF does NOT mean that drive will run for 1 million hours.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:56 PM   #17
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I'm fairly certain the drive is not the bottleneck for TiVo, it's the CPU (as far as MRV, etc.). I really doubt a faster drive will result in any faster performance.

TiVo is unusual in that it's writing large amounts of data constantly. Your typical desktop drive usage is doing mostly reads.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:58 PM   #18
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Where did you get this for $900 ? I'm seeing prices of $1300+ on 512GB SSDs from places like newegg.
I have contacts that were able to get wholesale prices direct from the supplier. But since you asked this question and now that I have answered. There are a few places online that now have it for $900

TGC
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:02 PM   #19
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TGC,

Have you noticed any improvements with file transfers, MRV, TivoToGo ...? How long would a 4GB or 8GB recording take to download? Can you stream 720P or 1080i recordings in real time :-)

Ciao,

Floquet.
I tried several different method of MRV to test speeds.

TiVo to TiVo -> of a 1hr HD original TiVo recording. Transfer from a TiVo without SSD to the TiVo with the SSD. No noticeable increase in transfer speed. The same show from the SSD TiVo to the non-SSD TiVo, took about 10 min less. ALMOST realtime transfer, but not quite.

PC to TiVo with SSD. About 10 min faster than the same video transfer from my PC to TiVo without SSD.

TGC
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:07 PM   #20
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Update:

I have removed my SSD from the TiVo and installed it in a laptop.

Not because I had any issues with the SSD in my TiVo, Just I needed the additional speed and space on my notebook & did not want to invest in another drive.

I did replace with the 500gb Seagate momentus hybrid drive. It seems to be doing quite well in my TiVo, and the speed is still much better than other drives albeit not as good as the SSD drive.


I don't beleive that the performance boost that you get from a SSD drive is worth the high investment needed. At least at current prices.

TGC
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:11 PM   #21
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Momentus XT in Tivo

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Originally Posted by TexasGrillChef View Post
Update:

I did replace with the 500gb Seagate momentus hybrid drive. It seems to be doing quite well in my TiVo, and the speed is still much better than other drives albeit not as good as the SSD drive.

TGC
Any chance you could point me to a step-by-step for that upgrade? I've got the drive and I've got a dead Tivo.

Help?

~ JSK
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:12 PM   #22
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Silly question. I see folks putting smaller sized SSD's in laptops, etc. compared to what they had in originally. Don't folks miss the storage space or is there some form of more effective storage with the SSD over the HDD?
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:55 PM   #23
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Silly question. I see folks putting smaller sized SSD's in laptops, etc. compared to what they had in originally. Don't folks miss the storage space or is there some form of more effective storage with the SSD over the HDD?
Nope. A SSD GB is the same size as an HDD GB, just way faster.

I'm spoiled. I don't think I could ever go back to a HDD as the system disc. 20 second boot times and application startup so fast it pops your head back. -- Doug
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:02 PM   #24
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Waaay faster. Both my personal laptop and my work PC have SSDs. It's the crack of hard drives.

Size is an issue though, at least at home (at work, I can offload lots to the network). With digipics and videos and music, the SSD in my new Thinkpad was rapidly filling. So I ordered an mSATA SSD for a 2nd hard drive. When I rec'd it, I actually thought there had been a mistake. It was a 128GB SSD, and if you cut a credit card in half, it still wasn't that big! Less than 1/4" thick, and maybe an inch square.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:41 PM   #25
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Silly question. I see folks putting smaller sized SSD's in laptops, etc. compared to what they had in originally. Don't folks miss the storage space or is there some form of more effective storage with the SSD over the HDD?
Several people I know are putting SSDs in the main bay of their laptops to use as the boot device and for installing commonly-used applications. Most laptops have the ability to take a second storage device--either as a replacement for the optical drive or in a dedicated storage bay--so the upgrade means the "spinning disk" gets moved to that spot. Alternatively, external hard drives are cheap so I've seen people just use that for storage or just go "to the cloud" with things like pictures and music since those are the biggest storage hogs for folks.

(I'm extremely paranoid about a cloud provider just up and disappearing, so I keep everything in-house, so to speak.)
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:29 AM   #26
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Several people I know are putting SSDs in the main bay of their laptops to use as the boot device and for installing commonly-used applications. Most laptops have the ability to take a second storage device--either as a replacement for the optical drive or in a dedicated storage bay--so the upgrade means the "spinning disk" gets moved to that spot. Alternatively, external hard drives are cheap so I've seen people just use that for storage or just go "to the cloud" with things like pictures and music since those are the biggest storage hogs for folks.

(I'm extremely paranoid about a cloud provider just up and disappearing, so I keep everything in-house, so to speak.)
I don't blame you for not trusting the cloud, but if you don't have off-site backup, you don't have backup.

Do a VPN to grandma's house or something.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:34 AM   #27
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Another thing to consider - for work purposes, an SSD is often "enough" because all the work files exist on the work servers, so a smaller drive doesn't impact too much.

For home use, well, a lot of people either have home fileservers with all their media on it (so they don't have to have copies of it everywhere and their phones and tablets can access it too), or a home desktop. Or they already carry around a portable hard drive with them anyhow, so it never strikes them to ditch it (probably because it's too damn convenient - need to give your friend beside you a file? Copy it to the hard disk, eject it, plug it in, and have them copy it off).

Me personally, I'd probably find 64GB SSDs limiting, and 128GB probably the sweet spot.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #28
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I don't blame you for not trusting the cloud, but if you don't have off-site backup, you don't have backup.

Do a VPN to grandma's house or something.
Get 2 physical drives to back up on swap them back and forth -- keep one in your office (or if you are totally paranoid a Bank Safe deposit box), assuming your office is far enough away from your home.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:30 PM   #29
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So, how much did this speed up the TivoHD boot time?

If you don't have your cable card paired, there are a few places where your tivo can be hung if you get the cable card auth page while in save to vcr mode.. (yeah I should get it repaired.. it isn't paired because I put the orig drive back in.)
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:06 AM   #30
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I don't blame you for not trusting the cloud, but if you don't have off-site backup, you don't have backup.

Do a VPN to grandma's house or something.
There are programs that do this for you. I use crashplan. Allows me to backup to my friends house for free. And to their service for pretty cheap.

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Get 2 physical drives to back up on swap them back and forth -- keep one in your office (or if you are totally paranoid a Bank Safe deposit box), assuming your office is far enough away from your home.
My backup plan is:
a) All PCs in the house back up to my server.
b) Linux server does LVM snapshots to enable cheap daily restores
c) LVM is back ended by RAID1 devices to survive HW failure
d) Linux server is backed up offsite via crashplan

So far I've had to exercise every single one of those contingencies.
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