[mythtv-users] SSDs and Myth frontends ?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Fri Sep 17 13:10:39 UTC 2010

On Friday, September 17, 2010 06:58:14 am Dave Richardson wrote:
> On Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:22:15 -0600, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
> > Someone just gave me a 64GB SSD (probably buttering me up for some other
> > favor in the future, like building him a Myth
> > system).
> > 
> > I was thinking about replacing the 2.5" HDD that came with my Revo with
> it.
> > I don't really see any advantage, other than power consumption, heat and
> > reliability.
> > 
> > But I have read a few things about the net about SSDs causing long
> pauses,
> > but of course these were Windows users, and I
> > know Windows is not optimized for SSDs, and there are some parameters
> you
> > can tweak in Linux to handle them better (like
> > which scheduler, mounting with noatime, not swapping to it etc.).
> > 
> > Anybody see any reasons to not go with an SSD for a frontend? As I said,
> > I'm not looking for any great improvement over a
> > conventional SSD, but my other option is to netboot the frontend, which
> > would be even quieter, draw even less power and
> > make even less heat than an SSD.
> > 
> > Hmmm, seems like I am talking myself into netbooting :-)
> > 
> > Although 64Gb is large enough to hold an OS and a Myth B/E, I don't see
> > any reason to try the SSD in my BE, it's already
> > spinning many drives anyway, and is located in the garage so noise is
> not
> > a factor.
> > 
> > If it matters, it's a (relatively) cheap Kingston unit, I've seen them
> > around for $120. I know Linus says to not buy
> > anything but an Intel SSD, but he probably has more money than I do, and
> > may get hardware for free.
> I've built a couple dedicated FEs using 32GB SSDs.  I've noticed some
> lagginess when using Firefox, but apt updates seem to work very quickly.
> Not sure if there's correlation in the disk IO between those or not.  I
> have been very pleased with Myth FE performance using SSD.

Funny you mention that, I'm testing the unit with a clone of my desktop system (Kubuntu, not Myth). Firefox seems to be 
the main problem, stalling for long periods, and getting many "a script has stalled" messages, but hitting "stop the 
script" doesn't seem to help, I still have to wait.

OTOH, OpenOffice opens MUCH faster than with a conventional HDD, but that makes sense.

I have done everything  have found suggested, including moving to the deadline scheduler, having Firefox cache to RAM and 
a couple of other tweaks. FF still stalls a lot. Interestingly Chrome seems to run fine.

Most of the "optimizations" I have found, other than changing the scheduler, seem to be mainly to minimize disk writes and 
thus preserve the life of the SSD, such as mounting with "noatime".

This is why I am leery of using an SSD for Myth, I don't need something that often stalls the system for long periods.

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