Upgrading my Lenovo W500 to a OCZ Vertex 250GB SATA II Solid State Disk (SSD)
It's an old metaphor I've used for years, originally stealing it from comedian Larry Miller, but it's time to use it again, this time in reference to Hard Drives and SSDs.
The difference between an SSD and a regular Hard Drive is the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it.
Sweet wondrous universe, it is. Remember that Lenovo W500 from last week? It's a great machine, truly. The best laptop I've ever had.
Here's my Lenovo W500's Windows Experience Index (WEI) under Win7 RC.
Note the 5.9 under Hard Disk. Here's that same machine using the PerformanceTest Disk Benchmark. My computer is the LAST one in each list, the green one, marked "This Computer." I've compared it with other people's results on the same Lenovo.
Looks like 68.6 megs/sec Seq. Read, 43 megs/sec Seq. WRite and 3.5 megs/sec Random Seek+RW.
Here's the same machine after I backed it up with my Windows Home Server, put in an OCZ Vertex 250GB Sata II Solid State Disk (SSD) and restored it.
Aside: Also available in sizes from 32 gig for $300 and up. The 256gig, while spendy, is the best deal. Others, however, prefer the 120gig for about $350 as the best price point.
The drive looks to your machine like an SATA II hard drive and it's already the same shape, so I just plugged it in and it was recognized as a Hard Drive. I didn't need to do anything special to get the computer to "recognize it."
Notice the 7.3 (out of 7.9 possible) in the WEI now. Here's the PerformanceTest results:
Now we see 110.8 megs/sec Seq. Read, 82 megs/sec Seq. WRite and 40.3 megs/sec Random Seek+RW. No physical parts to move around!
Joel Spolsky SWEARS by SSDs and told me it was the single most important upgrade one could do to take a machine to the next level. I hear he's bought new ones for his whole office. Expensive, a bit, yes, but it looks like my disk speed will be at least TWICE as fast, so you can do the math as to the number of minutes I'll save per day.
If you value your time at, say, $100 an hour, and you can save 10 min day total, that's $16. The $650 drive will pay for itself in about two work-months. It's worth your money, from what I can tell.
My Win7 laptop boots cold to password in 10 seconds now, enter password, then working desktop in 6 more seconds. Woot. I wish I had money to put an SSD on every machine. Here's hoping the prices go down.