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Windows 7: SSD drive good for VMs?

03 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 RC 64bit
SSD drive good for VMs?

I was thinking of getting a SSD drive, but I'm thinking I may want to only use it for the Windows install and maybe a few other major programs I use.

I'm thinking that using it for VMs would be too intensive for it since it would writing to the drive a lot. So just curious if you think I should just put my VMs on my IDE drives? (havent upgraded to SATA ones yet)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #2

Win 7 Ultimate x4

Short story: I think it's worth it.

Longer story: I can tell you my experience.

I converted my old 32bit XP installation to a virtual guest machine (P2V conversion) under Ultimate x64. My old Xp install was running on 2 150GB Raptors in a raid-0, when I got Win7 (the week it went retail) I also got an Intel X25 for the Win7 install.

I already had an external-SATA 120GB Vertex SSD set up, so I moved my .vhd from the P2V conversion of my old XP install to that disk. Win7 running on the X25 and the old XP install running on the eSATA Vertex.

This kind of conversion is not particularly simple or as pain-free as a lot of 'experts' would have you believe, but the old XP install is insanely faster now than running on the old Raptor drives and native hardware - AND with less than 50% of the CPU horsepower (dual core reduced to single core - when is microsoft going to take this seriously anyway? Licensing by the devil....that's another post though).

It remains so now some three months later, and I use the XP install daily as my home-office work PC, and for long periods of time. Aside from some conversion headaches, I'm very pleased.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #3

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there.

The main problem with any sort of Virtual Machine is in the inevitable "Disk Fragmentation" that occurs due to the nature of the structure of the Virtual Hard disk.

A VHD is often just a single Windows file -- now if you see what an OS has to do you can see that the VHD is going to be updated quite often and eventually the Virtual Machine software will ask you to defragment the disk.

Current SSD technology doesn't like the defragmentation process -- but this will surely change with the next generation of SSD's.

Once the price comes down I'd use them not only for VM's but everywhere.

Note however like all computer bottlenecks -- once you clear one bottleneck you'll find anotherone.

Removing the usually poor I/O performance in a typical PC will now allow you to run MORE apps faster -- this will require more RAM and eventually a faster CPU.

(Note for current typical PC apps CPU power isn't a bottleneck at all -- you'd be surprised how even a basic laptop performs running Photoshop / or complex spreadsheets when you fit an SSD).

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 SSD drive good for VMs?

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