Posted in: Technology

Two Weeks of Daily Use of SSD – Real Gain in Productivity or Smoke and Mirrors?

Crucial SSD

After careful consideration, I chose to grab a SSD for my new computer build instead of going the more risky choice of setting up two HDDs in RAID-0 mode.

Here’s is a review by Guru3D on the model that I’m currently using. It cost RM333 (approximately USD $105) when I bought it earlier this month for a usable capacity of 119GB after formatting it.

128GB of (limited) blazing fast storage

Due to the limited capacity, I only install applications that takes a long time to boot up such as the operating system (Windows 7), Microsoft Office 2010, and lastly Adobe/Autodesk softwares.

For a fresh Windows 7 install, it is extremely quick to load up from cold boot compared to mechanical HDD. The average speed for bootup is around 5-7 secs compared to around 15-20 secs for a 7200RPM mechanical HDD (in this case a Western Digital Green 1TB with 64MB cache).

Although it start to slow down to around 11-13 secs after installing various drivers and applications.

Will it make my life faster?

Since this post is about general daily usage, SSD does wonder when you need to load up various applications and if you can afford to get at least a 256GB SSD, browsing local files on it. Compared to mechanical HDDs, the fast access seek time helps the operating system to locate files on average 10-15 times faster than HDD.

So browsing a directory with lot of files is much snappier and as a result, Windows is more responsive for the end user. Oh if you’re the type to surf lots of websites, there is a huge improvement for Firefox when you need to search your browsing history. IT IS REALLY FAST.

For Adobe and Autodesk applications, I have to say Adobe applications benefit a lot from SSD while 3ds Max and Maya shows little improvement from my observation.

I have RAID mechanical HDD. So do I need a quiet lightning speed drive?

In the end, it is worth it to grab an SSD? Well it is hard to recommend if super fast seek time is not your top priority. Also remember that when setting up a RAID-0 HDD array, the seek time is as fast as a single HDD so it will help to boost the read/write speed when dealing with low volume of large files but not improve the time for various small files (which is often the case for normal users).

For me, I have no regret getting the SSD. Maybe when the price drops end of this year, I’ll have no hesitation to add another SSD to my current build.