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#4423468 - 05/30/18 01:57 PM Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss!  
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16th_Grumpy Offline
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Is it worth it to run DCS on an SSD, or is the performance increase negligible? I am considering getting a SAMSUNG EVO 960 m.2 250gb to run DCS on.

If you have nothing constructive to say, Don't!!!!! I do not want any DCS flaming on this thread please.

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#4423473 - 05/30/18 02:29 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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Yes.


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#4423479 - 05/30/18 02:51 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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- Ice Offline
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Flame!! Flame!! Hahahaha!! ar15 attack

Sorry, couldn't resist! biggrin While I don't have any hard data on DCS performance or loading times on SSD vs HDD, I would still heartily recommend getting an SSD for your OS and other games. My preferred method is a separate 250GB SSD for OS and some programs like Photoshop and then a separate SSD for games. Most games improve loading times on an SSD but again, no hard proof for DCS specifically but it should benefit as well. There have been a few threads/posts mentioning SSDs eliminate micro-stutters but that has been quite a while ago and ED may or may not have broken any such functionality in the meantime. Even if it does nothing for DCS compared to a traditional 7200rpm HDD, an SSD will improve your boot times and will improve loading times on your other games.

Also remember that SSD performance degrades a bit the fuller it gets; most advise not to fill an SSD past 50-60% capacity.

I think one thing to consider is the price difference between SATA/m.2/NVMe SSDs. While there is a measurable difference between a SATA SSD an a NVMe SSD in terms of performance, you'll probably only shave off a few milliseconds on loading time and are therefore not worth the extra cost in terms of bang-for-your-buck, but still, if you have the cash, why not? smile


- Ice
#4423536 - 05/30/18 06:17 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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SATA link in an M.2 form factor is a better buy. NVMe is better but a tiny, tiny bit and it's not worth the cost. It's 150-200% the price for a Samsung EVO NVMe over a SATA link. I'd much rather invest the money into capacity than the link speed. This would change if I was building a server or graphical workstation. It wouldn't hurt to buy a motherboard that can do both links over M.2 though.

#4423565 - 05/30/18 08:26 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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I have a Samsung M.2 NVMe sata and a while back I decided to test various games for loading times vs a WD Black mechanical drive. I was disappointed to say the least. Of the games I tried only one was faster and one actually loaded quicker than the SSD.

I didn't try DCS but I guess you can draw your own conclusions from my results. Some games are quicker (not by much) but knowing which ones that's another thing altogether.

Fast SSD's are nice to have,especially for the O/S but all my games now sit on a RAID 0 (3 x WD Blacks).


“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
#4423567 - 05/30/18 08:44 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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yes



Ferengi Rule of acquisition #1 Once you have their money ... never give it back.

#4423573 - 05/30/18 09:19 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: Chucky]  
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Originally Posted by Chucky
Of the games I tried only one was faster and one actually loaded quicker than the SSD.

Am I reading this wrong? It seems like you're saying that the SSD was faster than the HDD?


Here's a few comparison videos



Clearly SSDs are faster than HDDs and NVMe is faster than SATA on the games shown. Other games may be different.


- Ice
#4423583 - 05/30/18 09:56 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: - Ice]  
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Dear Grumpy, the answer is absoeffin'lutely YES.

To show you how much "yes", I made an experiment especially for you, since I've got two DCS installs, both updated to today's OB spec, one on my good old 7200rpm SATA HDD, and one on budget-class SSD, with budget-level read&write times. The experiment was as follows:
a) system reboot;
b) launch the DCS from desktop shortcut;
c) when it loads navigate to Nevada Instant cold start mission for the Spitfire (I chose Nevada for its highest RAM demand) and load it;
d) measure the total time required between hitting the DCS shortcut and getting into the cockpit, ready to hit "fly" button, using stopwatch.

Result on HDD - 9 minutes 39 seconds;
Result on budget SSD - 1 minute 35 seconds.

Let that sink in biggrin.

Granted, both loadings required the game to rebuild terrain metashader files, which I purged before, so they were somewhat longer than usual, but even with metashaders ready the relative difference would be the same anyway.

Not to mention great reduction of disc-read-related stutters during the flight, as DCS is programmed to load scenery assets all the time. Purchasing this poor-man's brand SSD was the second most successful investment (after the gfx card) I made for this sim.

#4423585 - 05/30/18 09:59 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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Sorry Ice,I didn't put that very well. The M.2 SSD was beaten by the mechanical drive with at least one of the games I tried. When you look at their transfer rates the SSD should have romped home but it didn't.

Now looking at Art_J's result then DCS does load faster and by some margin. I'll test it on mine as well to see if I can replicate the results.

Mechanical drive - To go from the login screen to the UI was 1 min 4 seconds. To select a mission and get to the 'fly' screen was 3 min 7 seconds. (total 4 min 11 seconds) - a lot quicker than Art_J managed with the same spec drive but I'm running a RAID 0 set-up.

M.2 SSD - To go from the login screen to the UI was 14 seconds. To select a mission and get to the 'fly' screen was 1 min 30 seconds. (total 1 min 44 seconds). Art_J's budget SSD beat my M.2. I know there are a lot of variables that can effect speed results but even so,I'm less and less impressed with M.2 for certain things.


I'll stick by what I said earlier though. Some games load faster,some marginally faster and the odd one that is slower.

Last edited by Chucky; 05/30/18 11:07 PM.

“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
#4423592 - 05/30/18 11:33 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: Chucky]  
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Originally Posted by Chucky
Sorry Ice,I didn't put that very well. The M.2 SSD was beaten by the mechanical drive with at least one of the games I tried. When you look at their transfer rates the SSD should have romped home but it didn't.

Okay, just to make sure I understand it correctly, you tried a bunch of games on M.2 SSD vs HDD and in one or two games, the HDD won. Is that correct? If so, then how many games have you tried? If you tried three and the SSD failed in 2 out of 3, then I can see the disappointment. If you tried 20 and the SSD failed in 2 out of 20, then I don't see the reason for being disappointed. Maybe the two that favored the HDD had other things going for it? Just as some games are CPU-intensive and others are GPU-intensive.

A NVMe drive of 500GB capacity costs roughly the same as your 3x WD Black 500GB HDD on RAID 0, so on a cost perspective, wouldn't that be a win for the NVMe anyway?


Originally Posted by Chucky
I'll stick by what I said earlier though. Some games load faster,some marginally faster and the odd one that is slower.

No argument there! Seems like different games benefit differently from faster storage solutions so the best answer is always "it depends!" However, for the system as a whole, SSDs bring a lot of benefits over HDDs and with a 250GB SATA SSD around the £50-£70 price range, it's a very effective upgrade even for just OS and some select programs and games.


- Ice
#4423595 - 05/30/18 11:59 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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Yes,you have that correct Ice. I tested 4 or 5 games,plus DCS today so not a great number. The results are buried here on Sim HQ somewhere.


“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
#4423596 - 05/31/18 12:06 AM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: Chucky]  
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So you tested 6 games total, with 2 of them favoring the HDD and 4, including DCS, favoring the SSD. Maybe I read/interpreted this line wrong?
Originally Posted by Chucky
I have a Samsung M.2 NVMe sata and a while back I decided to test various games for loading times vs a WD Black mechanical drive. I was disappointed to say the least. Of the games I tried only one was faster and one actually loaded quicker than the SSD.


Did you mean you were disappointed by the SSD performance? Or were you disappointed with the games that ended up favoring HDDs? Sorry to be nitpicky but just wanting to be sure I understand what you were trying to say smile


- Ice
#4423657 - 05/31/18 10:22 AM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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I was disappointed that the M.2 didn't load quicker with ALL my games. That was why I went with it in the first place. It makes the O/S super quick to use,I just assumed that games would take advantage of the performance too.

It's fast when benchmarked,in the real world it's a different matter but that's the same with a lot of things I guess.

DCS loves an SSD,that's one to add to the list.

Ok,I'm done here smile


“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
#4423658 - 05/31/18 10:26 AM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: Chucky]  
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Originally Posted by Chucky
Ok,I'm done here smile


Same thing I tell the missus when she is bugging me to use the sh*tter

#4423686 - 05/31/18 12:47 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: Winfield]  
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mdwa Offline
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Originally Posted by Winfield
Originally Posted by Chucky
Ok,I'm done here smile


Same thing I tell the missus when she is bugging me to use the sh*tter


hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha

sicko

Last edited by mdwa; 05/31/18 12:48 PM.

mdwa
#4423702 - 05/31/18 02:07 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: Chucky]  
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Originally Posted by Chucky
I was disappointed that the M.2 didn't load quicker with ALL my games. That was why I went with it in the first place. It makes the O/S super quick to use,I just assumed that games would take advantage of the performance too.

It's fast when benchmarked,in the real world it's a different matter but that's the same with a lot of things I guess.

DCS loves an SSD,that's one to add to the list.

Ok,I'm done here smile

Thanks for that clarification Chucky! Sorry I was too slow to get it but just wanted to make sure I understood what you were saying smile

When I upgraded from SATA to NVMe, I did not bother doing benchmarks because I expected the same results -- some games will benefit, some won't, and even those that do benefit will do so at different degrees. I just contented myself with the thought that I'm giving my games the best hardware to work with and then I just sit back and enjoy playing wink


- Ice
#4423730 - 05/31/18 04:40 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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my $0.02: I've been running SSDs in my rig for ~7 years now, and not once have I thought "well this was a waste of money." Everything just runs smoother and loads faster. Inclusive of DCS.

That said, moving data around your PC is like moving cars across a road system. A 10 lane highway is ultimately worthless if all those cars need to cram down a single lane road before getting to their destination. Likewise, if your CPU or GPU can't 'crunch' the data it's being handed fast enough, or you don't have enough RAM and your machine is having to fall back to the page file*, an SSDs impact will be minimal, as all it's doing is sending more 'cars into the traffic jam.'

*Arguably, if you are working off of the page file, you will see a decent boost from an SSD, as it's a lot faster at writing data than an HDD. For gaming though, it's still likely not fast enough.


My Rig:i5-3570k @ 4.2 GHZ W/ Corsair Hydro H110 Cooler / Asus Sabertooth Z77 Mobo / GTX 1070/ 16 Gigs DDR3 RAM / A Few SSDs, and a Bunch of HDDs / All held together by: Corsair C70 Case

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#4423755 - 05/31/18 05:16 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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Yep, it's all about eliminating bottlenecks and short of testing every permutation, buying the better hardware just makes more sense. By going from HDD to SSD to NVMe, I've ensured that accessing data from my storage device would be as easy as possible. Note that I still have a HDD and an SSD in my PC even though I have two NVMe drives as well. The OS and programs are on a NVMe, most of my flight sims and priority games are on a NVMe, secondary games are on a SSD, and downloads, documents, movies, pictures, etc. are on a couple of HDDs, so each storage solution has it's own place/function biggrin

Moved to SSDs about 5-6 years ago and never really looked back smile


- Ice
#4423756 - 05/31/18 05:17 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: 16th_Grumpy]  
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The only thing I use HDDs for is data storage. I have a 2TB drive in each of my desktop machines and use pairs of them (RAID 1) in my NAS boxes for backup and media servers. Using them 3 of them in a RAID 0 array might be fast but you have tripled the chance of losing all of it since there is no fault tolerance in that arrangement.


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#4423772 - 05/31/18 05:41 PM Re: Running DCS on an SSD? Thoughts? Lets discuss! [Re: cichlidfan]  
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Originally Posted by cichlidfan
Using them 3 of them in a RAID 0 array might be fast but you have tripled the chance of losing all of it since there is no fault tolerance in that arrangement.


True,but all I have on there are games and I back up the drive once a month. The RAID 0 was just an experiment,it's lasted longer than I'd originally intended. I was going to add another drive and add some redundancy but the spare drive I had was 'lent' to my brother who appears to have lost it.


“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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