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Windows 7: SSD - Observations


24 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
SSD - Observations

I put my first one in last night. A Crucial M4 64gb.
Boots maybe a 20-40 seconds faster. It's a significant difference.
Knocked my system imaging time to a spinner from 4 to 3 minutes.
Obviously faster reads are seen in both those cases.
I forgot to note the time on a system image restore.
Changed my WEI disk score from 5.9 to 7.8. Whoopie.
Not using Access or Oracle or Photoshop or any really data-heavy apps.
So for what I usually do, which is browse the net, watch Youtube, read/send e-mail, and play games, the difference hasn't added up to much more than a hill of beans.
When I install a game on the drive, I'm sure it will load faster; that will be a plus when playing something that requires me to reload a lot because I'm getting my butt kicked. But I might not notice - because I'll be mad about getting my butt kicked.
My hardware was fast enough already that I had no complaints.
That's all personal perception, of course.
I don't regret buying it - it cost me about 30 bucks on Amazon after getting the $50 gift for signing up for their CC, and that will cost me some time to pay the first bill and then cut up the card.
Anyway, just some observations. SSD's are the future, but if your computing habits are similar to mine, and you have decent spinners, think a bit before spending too much on them. They are far from "necessary."
Nice, but not necessary. If you do decide to buy, enjoy! I kinda, sorta do.


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24 Jun 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
the difference hasn't added up to much more than a hill of beans.
Were you surprised by this?

I generally agree with your observations, but detect some level of disappointment or surprise in your tone. You seem underwhelmed.

What did you expect to happen that did not actually happen?
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24 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
Anyway, just some observations. SSD's are the future, but if your computing habits are similar to mine, and you have decent spinners, think a bit before spending too much on them. They are far from "necessary."
Nice, but not necessary. If you do decide to buy, enjoy! I kinda, sorta do.
Anybody who told you that an SSD is "necessary" needs to not give advice. They are nice, and they are big performance gainers, but far, far from necessary. I run SSD's in a couple of boxes, but not in all of them. I easily live without them in a number of boxes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
the difference hasn't added up to much more than a hill of beans.
Were you surprised by this?

I generally agree with your observations, but detect some level of disappointment or surprise in your tone. You seem underwhelmed.

What did you expect to happen that did not actually happen?
It was as pretty much as expected. I still haven't done some app loading that may let the SSD shine a bit. I do appreciate the boot and imaging gains. I'm big on imaging. Since I had move about 200 gig to make my system changes, I wish I had all SSD.
I have seen here a push to buy SSD's for performance gains, but maybe that's in my head. Since I'm a bit of a tech geek, it wasn't a stretch for me to get an SSD for my system drive. I mostly wanted to change my system a bit for the sake of change.
But I've seen posts here where those a bit down on the tech scale mostly buy trouble when replacing a perfectly adequate spinner with an SSD.
My post was largely directed at them. The "typical" PC user - if their usage is anything like mine, won't see much real world performance gain with an SSD over a good spinner. And to discuss it a bit. I nearly always learn something when "discussing."
Couldn't really talk about this until now, since I didn't have an SSD.
Again, it's mostly personal perception. I use 7200 rpm Caviar Blacks on this box.
I can hardly stand doing anything on my other box that has 5000 rpm WD's.
But it was perfectly fine when it was all I had.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Anybody who told you that an SSD is "necessary" needs to not give advice. They are nice, and they are big performance gainers, but far, far from necessary. I run SSD's in a couple of boxes, but not in all of them. I easily live without them in a number of boxes.
I haven't noticed a "big performance" gain. Certainly a net gain in the couple of instances I've mentioned - booting and imaging 17gb. Nothing to write home about. Otherwise, in my daily PC use, I wouldn't know I have that SSD.
But it's early, and I might be pleased with app loads later.
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24 Jun 2012   #6

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Hard disks (mechanical) do a pretty good job of sequential I/O, so much so in some cases that the SSD speed increase in this area is negligible (from a human observation perspective). The place you're going to see a real improvement in SSD over a spinner is in random read during write (especially random write) and vice-versa, as well as seek times. This means things like running virtual machines, booting your box, or anything that deals in smaller files in a random fashion. Loading programs may or may not be faster depending on how the program loads, and usually playing media or anything that's already memory or CPU-bound won't see an improvement either.

If I have a choice, I always choose the SSD, but going with a mechanical drive (especially a hybrid) is usually sufficient for most needs anyway.
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24 Jun 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You will obviously not see much of a performance improvement in operations that do not involve the disk - e.g. when browsing the web. But overall the system is a lot snappier.

I use SSDs since 4 years on 6 systems and never looked back. Every time I have to fix a friends system with spinners I get nervous. I am used to my 15 to 24 second boot times and don't want to wait when I call a big program.

For imaging, which I do 3 times per week, it is less of a deal because that can run in the background.
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24 Jun 2012   #8

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
I haven't noticed a "big performance" gain. Certainly a net gain in the couple of instances I've mentioned - booting and imaging 17gb. Nothing to write home about. Otherwise, in my daily PC use, I wouldn't know I have that SSD.
But it's early, and I might be pleased with app loads later.
It was the same here last year when I went with my first SSD. I was using Cav Black 7200 HDD's as you.
SSD was a nice imporvment but not a big deal.

I had cloned the image of my spinner HDD to the SSD then unplugged the HDD.
That way if a problem occured I could boot to the still functional HDD.
After a week no problem so I plugged the HDD back in to reformat it for storage.

I booted to the HDD instead just to give it one last go with the OS.
It was so slooowwww!
Perception I realize.

Going from HDD to SSD didn't seem a huge improvment but going BACK to the HDD was incredibly obvious.
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24 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hopalong X View Post
Going from HDD to SSD didn't seem a huge improvment but going BACK to the HDD was incredibly obvious.
I think you're right. I'll never go back!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
I haven't noticed a "big performance" gain. Certainly a net gain in the couple of instances I've mentioned - booting and imaging 17gb. Nothing to write home about. Otherwise, in my daily PC use, I wouldn't know I have that SSD.
But it's early, and I might be pleased with app loads later.
My boot times were cut a bunch, my virus scans and malware scans are faster, my imaging if faster, loading games is super fast, i don't have to bother with defragging anymore. Applications install faster. Those are the performance gains. I say it's a big gain because if you went from say 4GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM, you would see nowhere near as much performance gain.
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