SSD (Solid State Drives) Seemed Too Good To Pass Up

Some Background

I recently notice on Amazon a discussion thread of about 15 people saying how absolutely wonderful SSDs are and how the brought new life to their notebook computers.  Every one of them raved about the magic this brought into their lives.

Well, after checking out the prices and performance, it seems that right now there are two classes of these drives.  It seems there is a first generation drive that performs in the area of 15/40Mbs/sec and ones that perform in the 100/170Mbs/sec.  To put this in perspective, when people refer to SATA/150 or SATA/300, the 150 and 300 are the Mbs/sec.  With Vista resource manager, you can actually see for yourself how man Mbs/sec you are actually getting.  Below is a screen shot showing that.

image

The price point for a 64Gig SSD which performs in the faster category is now about $150.  Off to the computer store I went to get mine.  The one I bought is a Patriot Warp as shown below.

 

What Happened

So, I get home and immediately put this new drive in my computer and since I now only have 64Gig for my system ( C ) drive, I need to load Vista Business on my Lenovo W500 from scratch (see description at bottom of page).

Immediately, I noticed it booted faster and shutdown faster.  This in fact was power of suggestion because when I looked at the numbers, it really did not boot much faster.  Here is the comparison.

Drive Time to Win Logo (seconds) Time To Login Screen (seconds)
WD 7200 RPM Drive 25 70
SSD 15 53

Well, then things really began to fall apart.  It normally takes me a while to load all my different software programs.  Usually I can work at the same time as I’m installing software (most of my software I have ISO’s for so I don’t need to mess with DVDs).  It usually slows me down, but not too bad.  I quickly found that on this SSD, while software was installing, all I could do was wait.  If I tried to do anything else, the computer just slowed to a crawl.

In disbelief, I kept going down this path thinking it was all my imagination and that things were fine and fast.  I even convinced myself this was normal.  Finally, when installing one of my packages from Microsoft I got a failure.  I decided, since I really needed this software I should see if it’s the SSD drive causing the problem.

Next thing I did was to make an image backup with my favorite software (Acronis, see link below), then restore the SSD data to my WD 7200RPM basic rotating drive.  Well, to my total surprise, everything is now fast again and the Microsoft software actually installed no problem.

Conclusion

Wait for the next generation of SSD’s to come out.  This generation just does not work for me.  Thank goodness for 15 day return policies!

 

 

Hardware and Software Used

 

About Peter Kellner

Peter is a software professional specializing in mobile and web technologies. He has also been a Microsoft MVP for the past 7 years. To read more about Peter Kellner and his experience click here. For information about how Peter Kellner might be able to help you with your project click here.

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Comments

  1. Extremely good advice. Upload files to file hosting internet sites to share them with any person for nothing.

  2. Tempesta says:

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  3. geoffrey.mcgill says:

    What you did wrong is that you need 24 of these drives, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs

  4. I had assumed the big draw for SSD drives is the low power consumption. With the speed problems its kinda a moot point that your batter will last longer when it takes twice as long to do things. Bummer man.

  5. I did run a bunch of stuff without doing installs and I found that the first application opened very quickly. For example, visual studio comes flying up. Then, when I would open outlook (even with VS doing nothing but being open), outlook would get very pokey. Sometimes, taking over a minute to just get through the login screen. If I reversed the order, VS would be slow. It was really hard to put my finger on what was going on until I replaced the SSD with a rotating hard drive and then I realized how hog tied I was with the SSD. Something has to change a lot for me to want to put the SSD back in.
    -Peter

  6. geoffrey.mcgill says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post your results. Very interesting and helpful information. After everything was installed, did you notice any speed increase or decrease during runtime? Were the performance issues only during install? or were there still performance issues when running multiple apps.

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