An SSD is a spectacular speed improvement.
- 2013-12 - The drive suddenly locked up and no system will detect it. OCZ is out of business too.
2015-10 - I didn't mention this, but I believe the problem was due to a half-inserted power cable. The hard drive was sortof dangling around, stuffed into a corner of my case because I was too cheap to buy a bracket for it. My bad. =( Also, it appears that Toshiba has bought OCZ.
An SSD (Solid-State Disk) is a memory-based storage device. It has no moving parts. Some improvements:
- Where a hard drive has moving parts, and has to move a read head across the platter to seek data, an SSD can access any point in its storage with no (significant?) change in seek time from one piece of data to the next.
- SSD technology is fundamentally faster to read and write data.
- SSDs know the fine art of shutting the fuck up.
It's difficult for any user to express the intangible experience of "speed". Benchmarks are cold and distant.
But using this thing. Holy. Crap.
It's like buying another motherboard, CPU and memory. Seriously.
Windows flies. Yes, I still use Windows, but it's only good for playing games. It's like running Windows 95 again.
Linux.. well it's faster I suppose. This is the curious thing..
The bootup is faster, but it's still slow and awkward because of all the annoying hardware detection and other nonsense. There has been some really nice effort to tidy that mess up, and a few distros out there already take advantage of new techniques, and to spectacular effect.
fsck .. HOLY GODLESS HEATHENS it is fast. I hard reset, and checks which would have me walking away in frustration would have me sit there riveted for mere seconds.
But to be honest.. that intangible experience of using my computer has not improved noticeably under Linux. I would never have thought it, and I'm prepared to make my window manager Openbox. Tabbing between programs is just as slow as ever, particularly between Firefox and Claws Mail. Now those are two piggy programs. Yes Firefox has been updated and is much better. Yes Claws Mail is small and agile, but it's got a LOT of mail (over a decade's worth of many tens of thousands of emails and many folders). So I'm also willing to assume that it's Claws Mail that is to blame, since it's the primary culprit.
Reading and writing has improved markedly under Linux, that I can easily admit. But there's something.. I don't know, something that I might have been expecting which hasn't happened. I'm not really sure what that is. I think it's just that Linux was already peppy and so "more faster" really doesn't mean much. Windows is dog slow, so any speed improvement is felt. That's how Windows has helped drive the hardware market.
So if you use Windows, get an SSD. Well, get an SSD and also get Linux and dual boot. If you use Linux, get a Samsung 500 GB or 1 TB. And look very carefully. 7 year warranty. Whoa. I don't know where the 1.5TB drives went, but I actually wanted smaller drives anyways.
Oh, I totally forgot about all the tweaking and such which ought to happen if you become an SSD user. Yes, there's lot of little things to think about, and the knowhow is scattered all over the place. I do have notes, but they too are scattered everywhere.
Right now the big challenge is figuring out Partition Alignment. It's a topic I've been avoiding for decades now, and I've only come to realize just how important it is to have properly aligned partitions. Imagine a 20% speed improvement on disk access. Damn. This isn't just an SSD thing either, it applies to traditional HDDs too.