Solid State Hard Drives – Officially Awesome
I’ve been using a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) in my laptop for about 6 months and it has been a great experience. Everything opens so much quicker than it did with my old 7200RPM hard drive. I liked it so much I bought another SSD for my 3 year old desktop computer and doubled it’s speed.
Today I installed an SSD in a client’s laptop and I decided to document the performance gains with actual numbers. The old drive is a Toshiba MK1234GSX 5400RPM, 120GB. The new drive is an OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD with the newest 1.30 firmware. The old drive was cloned to the new drive so they contain an identical installation of Windows XP. It also happens to be a brand new installation that has never been used. It is fully patched as of today. Laptop is a Dell Latitude D630 with 4GB of RAM and 2.20Ghz CPU.
The Numbers (all times in Seconds):
Startup – Power button to Control-Alt-Delete screen: SSD :23 HD :43
(Both times include :07 for Dell Bios before first Windows loading screen)
Login – From pressing enter after password to all system tray icons loaded and hourglass removed from mouse arrow: SSD :28 HD :31
Launch IE8: SSD :03 HD :08
Launch Word 2007 SSD :03 HD :14
Launch Excel 2007 SSD :01 HD :03
Launch Firefox 3.5 SSD :01 HD :07
Launch Adobe Reader SSD :01 HD :03
Zip a 210MB folder of Dell drivers SSD :29 HD :52
Unzip the same zip file to the desktop SSD :07 HD :19
Shutdown Windows – from OK to power off: SSD :28 HD :32
There are certain aspects of Log In and Shut Down that don’t benefit much from the SSD. But for the other 99% of the things you do on your computer, it will be at least twice as fast.
Turn on the computer and open Internet Explorer and Word 2007: SSD :57 HD 1:31
Saving 34 seconds may not sound like a lot but it really adds up quickly if you spend very much time on your computer.