SSD - Current State?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by TivoRocks193, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't be a problem - because the 'spot' isn't an actual spot any more. The linear association between physical location and logical blocks just doesn't exist. Repeated writes to the same 'spot' will still march through the disk as blocks are allocated.

    SSD's in Tivo's are like any other "I want to try this, because I want to try this" subject. If you want to try it, go for it. There's no ROI to compute. Every time I swag the numbers, it comes out to an expected life time of ~5+ years on a six tuner box on comcast. And if it dies before that, or after that, you replace it.
     
  2. multiple

    multiple Member

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    That won't apply to SSDs because the drives remaps "sectors pages" to improve wear leveling. SSDs will use memory locations even in other partitions or even in unallocated space to make sure the drive wears evenly. The are articles on how you can improve SSD performance and longevity by under partitioning the device. The under partitioning can become very important when the SSD is nearly completely full. A full drive can make the wear leveling more challenging, which can then reduce longevity and in some cases significantly reduce performance. This is why most SSDs also have sizes smaller than the physical memory size on the device, this unused memory is reserved just to help the wear leveling SW work efficiently. The 7.68TB drive is likely 8TiB of FLASH, which means 996GB is unavailable to the user. 7.68TB is base 10 (trillion), while the flash size is base 2 or 8 * 2^40 (K=1024, M=1048576, etc.)

    <edit> kdmorse beat me to it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  3. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I'm glad that never affected my 2.5" Seagate 4TB drive I've been using in Bolts since October 2015.
     
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  4. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    If someone has several different models of Tivos S3, S4, S5 and S6 and tries the SSD in the S3, S4 and S5 and it the performance is improved to the next model, then I think the cost of an SSD might be worth it. If someone could turn the performance of a Premiere into a Roamio or a Roamio into a Bolt, I think that would be compelling. It might also spell financial trouble for Tivo if customers could buy older models and install an SSD instead of buying a bolt.
     
  5. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    An SSD isn't going to make an S3 transfer as fast as a Roamio, that isn't where the bottleneck is. An SSD isn't going to make a Bolt emit a 4k signal. An SSD isn't going to make Vox work on a Bolt if it didn't have it previously. Even if an SSD were to improve the responsiveness of a TiVo (unproven and unlikely), features are what sell new hardware. Speed is a factor mostly when it is so bad it makes the product hard to use, like a Premiere with HD menus.

    On the other hand, an 8 TB SSD is getting into about the range of the mean time to failure comparable to a hard drive if Standby is used. For a Bolt, it might be the best choice for someone with TE3 who wants more recording capacity.
     
  6. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    But I've read that the improved responsiveness of the Bolt is largely attributed to the OS residing on flash storage. I think an SSD is significantly faster than flash storage. An SSD is definitely a significant performance improvement to even a computer several years old. Based on what I've read on this forum, responsiveness seems to be a significant motivator for upgrading a Tivo.
     
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  7. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. Up to this point I haven't been motivated to put an SSD into a TiVo because I doubted there would be any benefit and the lifetime issue seemed to be a serious drawback. But with 4TB SSDs available it might be fun to see if I'm wrong. I'll report back my results if I go ahead with this idea.
     
  8. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    I've thought the Bolt's performance is due to a slightly faster CPU than the Roamio line.

    Also, I believe both the Bolt and Roamio only have their firmware and set up scripts on flash storage. When a hard drive is initialized and being set up the operating system is copied to the hard drive.
     
  9. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    The OS stays in flash on the motherboard. It never gets copied to the hard drive.
     
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  10. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Thanks!
     
  11. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    I replaced the 4TB WD Blue drive in a Roamio TCD-848000 with a 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD. (I copied the HD onto the SSD with dd; fortuitously both drives had exactly the same number of sectors). It turns out to be slightly faster, but not enough to notice without using a stopwatch. For example, rebooting went from about 2:45 to about 2:15; based on my experiences with SSDs for Windows and Linux, I would have expected reboot to be dramatically improved, but such was not the case. To test the UI, I measured the sequence TiVo Central -> My Shows -> six screens down; on the HD it it took about 7.2 seconds, with the SSD it took about 6.7 seconds.

    Unfortunately, it seems that putting an SSD into a Roamio doesn't turn it into a Bolt, and it certainly isn't cost effective so long as a 4TB SSD costs about 10x as much as a 4TB HD. Somebody with money to burn might like to put an 8TB SSD in a Bolt, because you can't get an 8TB 2.5" HD that isn't SMR no matter how much you have to spend, but an 8TB SSD remains a very dear solution to this problem.

    Still to be answered is how long I could expect the SSD to last; the 4TB 860 EVO is warrantied at 5 years or 4800 TBW (whichever comes first). I plan to check SMART in about a month to find out the TBW actually written to see where I stand.
     
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  12. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Did you measure how long it took Youtube and other apps to load? I think app load time is the biggest performance issue.
     
  13. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    YouTube takes about 22 seconds to load. Netflix takes about 20 seconds to load. It was that same for both cases; the SSD drive didn't make any difference at all.
     
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  14. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Did you know that with the Romaio and newer the whole OS is on an SSD already? That's likely why you didn’t see an improvement. From what I understand the HDD is only used for recordings now, which is why you can just drop in a blank drive and it works.

    So all the important stuff that an SSD would be better for are already on an SSD. And the part where HHDs are better are on the HDD. As far as storage is concerned the newer TiVos are already optimized.
     
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  15. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    Or just get an SSD like the Sandforce based ones that are over provisioned and can garbage collect without relying on TRIM ;)

    Which brings up a point - on SSDs that rely on TRIM and if not given TRIM commands on a routine basis in order to do garbage collection/consolidate partially filled flash blocks to create completely empty ones ahead of time to maximize write performance, they can and will perform WORSE than a hard drive one writes. You can't partially write to a flash memory cell - it's all or nothing. Hard drives can write individual bits. If you have a partially empty flash memory cell and need to write to it, all the contents in the cell you need to keep have to be read and cached, the cell has to be erased (a relatively slow operation in and of itself) then you have to write back the good info that wasn't changing as well as (finally!) the new info you want to also add to that cell.

    That's what TRIM is for - a way for the computer to tell the drive in advance "Hey, this data I don't care about any more - feel free to do what you need to do with that space".

    It lets the drive shuffle multiple partially empty flash cells into new, full cells and then erase cells in advance of new data needing to be written so you get max write performance.

    Another way to do it is to have say 10% extra capacity that's reserved strictly for the controller built into the SSD to use. Then it doesn't need to know what data is good or not - it has enough space to work even if the drive is 100% "full". Many of the sand force controller SSDs work like this. The downside - extra flash costs more money.

    SSDs are NOT hard drives and have their own performance characteristics. Enterprise SSDs, especially those rated for heavy use for things like databases, have multiple paths to the flash memory so one bank can be garbage collected while other banks are servicing live loads (heck, they can have multiple controllers too!). All of that costs money. Consumer SSDs tend to have fewer or only one or two paths (keeps costs down!) so if the drives are in constant use (like, say, in a DVR that constantly records things like shows or live buffers) it may never have available time to do said garbage collection.

    So many variables - how many paths from the SSD controller to flash, how good is the controller, how much does it rely on TRIM, etc. It really depends on the exact SSD.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  16. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    SSD's don't work like that. The controller in the SSD spread reads/writes out (wear leveling) to maximize longevity. The computer has ZERO control about what get's written to what cell. Which is why using a drive wipe utility is useless with an SSD to ensure data is erased on it. The only thing that works is if you use whole disk encryption. Even then, if you really care about data security or are in a regulated industry, physical destruction is the only way to be sure with an SSD.

    I suppose I shouldn't be surprised about people wanting to throw money at problems that don't need solving (using SSDs instead of good 'ol spinning rust for video), but then again I find it hard to believe Monster Cable is still a thing too o_O
     
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  17. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, Tivo owners would love to find a 2.5" drive greater than 2 TB in capacity that does not use SMR and lasts more than 18 months in a DVR. So would Tivo.
     
  18. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Here you go: Samsung 860 EVO 4TB is warrantied to last 5 years or 2400 TBW (whichever comes first). 2400 TBW is about seven years of 6 HD tuners in a Bolt.

    It's only $500.
     
  19. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, Weaknees charges $500 for a six-tuner 3 TB Bolt and $900 for the 6.5 TB model. He charges $300 for a 3 TB hard drive. So $500 for 4 TB is reasonable if you wanted that much capacity.

    Note that he no longer offers any models with an internal hard drive over 3 TB. I'd be nervous putting in a 4 TB hard drive internally, but if somebody wants to do that they can.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I still have a 4TB Seagate drive working in a Bolt. It has been used in Bolts since October 2015. And has been in it's current Bolt for around two years.
     

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