This Article is About
speed internet connection
starcraft 2
work operations
high speed internet
reading reviews
Will An SSD Change Your Life?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Will An SSD Change Your Life?

For those of you who don't know what an SSD is I invite you to look it up on Google or Wikipedia. Once you know what one is you could spend weeks reading reviews, white papers and comparisons only to find that you still aren't sure if you should buy one, which one you should buy or if it is going to stop working in a year or so down the road. I'd like to help clear up some of that confusion if possible.

A couple of years ago I got my hands on a deduplication appliance to the industry that used Intel X25-E drives. The drives were only 64 GB and at the time I think our cost was around $700 per drive. Since this was a lab machine and the drives were being used in a RAID 1 configuration I was able to remove one and do some testing of my own.

So I connected one of the drives to my Dell Precision M4400 and installed Windows 7 on it. I used it for about 3 weeks for my primary work operations which included log analyzing, spending a lot of time in Outlook, Visual Studio 2008, Chrome, Oracle, MS SQL, Visio, and Virtual Box with two or three VMs running at a time. At some point I put Starcraft 2 on there just to see how it ran but I don't game much on my laptop so I didn't spend much time on it.

I didn't run any benchmarks and I didn't record loading times but I was reminded of when I got my first high speed internet connection vs my 56k dial-up connection way back when. While the people in the office around me were complaining about slow load times and solid hard drive lights I was moving from operation to operation with response times that were almost instantaneous. When I booted my laptop in the morning I would turn around to hang up my jacket and by the time I turned around my system was ready to be used.

It was a game changer...until I had to start actively monitoring my disk space. At 64 GB (57 or so usable) I quickly ran out of space and had to inconvenience myself with moving files. Before long, the responsiveness of the SSD was outweighed by the hassle of watching my disk space. I looked at some disk caddies for my laptop that let me install a second hard drive in the optical drive slot and then I sat down to make a decision for purchasing my own SSD.

At the time, the decent SSDs were $400-$500. Since they weren't large enough to handle all of my data I'd also have to spend $60 on a drive caddy for a 2nd hard drive in my laptop. Ultimately I decided that approximately $500 was not worth the convenience.

I returned the SSD to the lab system and started using my 7200 RPM drive in my laptop again. A few days later I was so frustrated with how slow my laptop was that I started shopping for SSDs again! :D Then I had a baby, kids had some dental bills and other things came up so I forced myself to get used to my really horribly slow hard drive again.

Then, about 8 months ago, I read a review about the OCZ Vertex 3 drive and started saving up for it. Fortunately, I was able to make a deal where I traded some services for the 240GB version. At the time it was around $600.

Was it worth it?

Abso-freakin-lutely! It changed my life. Keep in mind that I work from home on my computer and average 45-50 hours a week. With that in mind, since I installed this SSD, I don't wait for anything. When I click on something, it opens. For the first time in my life, my hard drive is no longer the bottleneck in my system. I replaced two 10,000 RPM WD Raptor drives in RAID0 which were pretty fast as it was and the difference is still comparative to the difference I felt when I upgraded my 56k connection to my first high speed internet connection.

Windows 7 x64 installed in 7 minutes. A reboot takes about 15 seconds. When I open Outlook it just appears. The same goes with Visual Studio 2010. You know that feature with google that gives you search ideas as you type? The ideas actually come up before I'm done typing now. They didn't with my other drive because it was always caching. My 50mpbs internet connection helps with that as well.

When I first installed the Vertex 3 240 GB I had a 780 SLI board with an e6600 core2duo and 4 GB of RAM. The drive was still as fast as I have claimed but I knew it could be faster with an intel controller that supported AHCI and did 6 GB/s. I finally upgraded to an i5 2500k, ASUS p8z68 Pro and 16 GB of RAM. Thanks to my faster CPU and better SATA controller my response time feels even faster. It has actually taken me a minute to get used to and has surprisingly messed with my typing! Previously, I could watch a "sort of" delay between hitting the keys and the letter actually being displayed but now it almost feels as if the letter shows up too fast. So that typing training I've done over the past decade got a bit confused due to that slight delay. :D

In a world where time is money, this drive has paid for itself. I suppose that if you don't work on your computer for a living then the investment may not be worth it but if you've got a PC or laptop that is feeling to slow for you and it has a SATA controller then I would recommend upgrading the hard drive to an SSD before you buy an entire new system. For most systems these days, your bottleneck is going to be your hard drive and a good SSD will remove that bottleneck.

Will an SSD change your life?

I'm often called to a friend or family's house where they complain about their computer being slow. When I sit down the first thing I notice is the sound of the hard drives spinning up and that solid hard drive light. For some systems it can be 5 minutes before it is available to be used. So Grandma wants to send a picture out to the family. She sits down at her computer she bought a couple of years ago and turns it on. 3 minutes. She then browses to aol or gmail and logs into her email. 2 minutes Next she plugs her camera in which starts that crappy software that came with the cheap camera. 3 minutes. She types the email and starts to upload the picture files. The files are busy being imported and the hard drive light is solid. 5 minutes because it has been 6 months since she last connected the camera. Finally the computer becomes responsive enough to attach the files to the email. 2 minutes She hits send and a minute later the email is sent. 1 minute. Next she hits start->shutdown which triggers the installation of the latest updates because she hasn't powered on the PC in a couple of weeks. 20 minutes. If she wants to use the computer in that 20 minutes she's plumb out of luck.

That was 21 minutes that it took Grandma to send her family a couple of pictures! I've seen many systems like this where a RAM upgrade usually gets them down to 10 or 15 minutes for that task.

What if Grandma didn't have to wait for that hard drive? Even if she did run out of RAM the SSD would be used for paging and would be a lot faster. With my system using my OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Grandma could send that email out with attached pictures in 2 minutes flat.

If Grandma could send pictures in 2 minutes flat it would change her life and her entire family's! Mostly because she would now send way too many pictures. :D

The answer to the title, for most PC users, is definitely yes.

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Computers And Technology - Hdd's Vs Ssd's?
Ah, the the art of comparison. If you are unsure what (HDD) and (SSD) stands for, do not worry. I will explain the differences so when you look into buying either or you know a little about both. So HDD stands for hard disk drive,commonly called a hard drive is…
By: Jenn T. in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Dec 27, 2011  
  Likes: 0

The Monster In the Room: Television
The Sony BDP-S590 Blu-Ray disk player with Wifi saves the day. As the economy slowly goes to hell and all the plights of the world are thrust upon in the evening News, Our own personal financial situation creeps into our thoughts as we turn off the lights and warm up…
By: Don Gallauher in  Computers and Technology  >  Personal Tech   Feb 26, 2013  
  Likes: 5

How To Play Starcraft 2 Like A Pro
I have a few tips here to teach you how to play Starcraft 2 like a pro. I have played Starcraft since the first version of the first game, but stopped playing and wanted to quickly get back into the game as Starcraft 2 was then new to me. So…
By: Harry John in  Gaming  >  Online Gaming   Jul 13, 2011  
  Likes: 3

How to Master Protoss In Starcraft 2 Using the 4 Gateway Build Order
Protoss is probably one of the most overlooked race in Starcraft 2. Most players online prefer either Terran or Zerg but Protoss can be a fun and easy race to play and ultimately dominate with. What most players forget is that Protoss is a race that is highly dependant on…
By: Nicklaus in  Gaming  >  Computer Games   Nov 10, 2011  
  Likes: 2

Staying Competitive
When you think about competition, it's everywhere in everything you do. Most of it is friendly competition, which is extremely positive in most circumstances. Then you have competition in business, which can get rather harsh. I try to focus on friendly competition, even in business circumstances, because it's always helped…
By: Justin Kelley in  Gaming  >  Online Gaming   Feb 14, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Guide for Starcraft 2
When you’re looking for a good guide for Starcraft 2, there’s a few things you need to consider. Are you looking for a guide to complete the single player campaign of Starcraft 2 or are you looking for the strategies and tactics the pros use to dominate the ladder in…
By: Harry John in  Gaming  >  Computer Games   Jul 10, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Starcraft 2 Heart Of the Swarm - Next Big Game Release
In October of 2011, Blizzcon announced the long awaited information on the next expansion set to come out for the world renown Starcraft 2 Game. In Heart of the Swarm, you are Kerrigan and follow the Zerg side of the story. Although this is not a start over again from…
By: Nicklaus in  Computers and Technology  >  Software   Dec 14, 2011  
  Likes: 2

Starcraft 2 Build Orders - Beginning A Game
Starcraft 2 Build orders are the basic initial building block to your game and when you’re watching the loading screen you should be thinking the following: What race am I playing What build orders could I be facing What build orders could I use What Starcraft 2 build orders might…
By: Harry John in  Gaming  >  Online Gaming   Jul 12, 2011  
  Likes: 0

The Ultimate Starcraft 2 Guide
Good news, The ultimate Starcraft 2 guide is here! Guide But first off I would like to say that if you came to this site for help on how to get into the top diamond and masters in 1v1 then your doing in right! :) If you also came here…
By: Travis Schafer in  Gaming  >  Computer Games   Oct 05, 2011  
  Likes: 2

Dota 2's Future As An Esport
E-sports? Most people, if you were to ask them what the word "Esports" meant to them, would probably not be able to give you a good answer. Believe it or not, there is an entire industry built around competitive/professional gaming or "Esports". With the recent popularity of games such as…
By:  in  Gaming  >  Online Gaming   Jun 25, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Starcraft 2 Macro Tips
When do you know you have enough workers in StarCraft 2? Have a number in mind? Trick question! You can never have enough workers in StarCraft 2. Your worker units (the Drone, the SCV, and the Probe) form the backbone of any player’s strategy and build order. The Importance of…
By: Steven6 in  Gaming  >  Online Gaming   Sep 22, 2011  
  Likes: 9

What Makes Starcraft 2 - Wings Of Liberty A Great Game
For the past ten years, Starcraft has been Blizzard Entertainment's biggest game ever. When it first came out in 1998. The game did not catch my attention too much. What got me interested in playing Starcraft was that a friend from high school was playing the game and I just…
By: Miguel Castro in  Gaming  >  Online Gaming   Feb 15, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Brother Printer Technical Support – A Few Clicks Can Resolve Your Any Complicated Issue
Maintaining its head office in Nagoya, Japan, Brother is a big name in providing an exclusive variety of electronic devices and products that include Printers, Machine Tools, Fax Machines, Typewriters and various other computed pertaining peripherals. This printer machine comes in different models Multi-function, Wireless Brother Printers, label and Laser/LED…
By: UK Tech Number in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Jun 06, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Portable External Hard Drive
The most useful external hard drives in the market are the portable hard drives. They are easy to carry and come in handy. Even though they are small in size, their storage capacity is quite big. Physical Size Portable external hard drives and laptop hard drives are the same in…
By: Procurepod in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 28, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Logitech H600 Wireless Headphones Reviews: Wireless Free Life
The world's most famous computer peripherals suppliers Logitech is also famous in PC multimedia entertainment design manufacturers. With the development of multimedia entertainment, Logitech followed the market pace, attaches great importance to the game, multimedia and network audio-visual AIDS develops. In order to adapt to the current consumption trend, greatly…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 28, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 2546    Report this Article