It is almost end of the year, although Christmas starts earlier than usual for me. Just got a new laptop with SSD at my work. So I want to give you an impression how it feels to switch from 2 years old Dell Vostro 3560 with Windows 7 to Dell Latitude E6540 with SSD and Windows 8.1.
One of obvious differences is Windows version. From my feeling, Windows 8 is so so faster compared to older versions of Windows. When Windows 8 was in development stage I was actively following all the coming news directly from Microsoft developers. I have seen many greatness coming up. I can feel now the built-in improvements in the new laptop for sure: amazing start up time, sophisticated resources management and really fast UI responsiveness.
Of course, software can’t do much without good hardware. Software developers are used to have best class CPU and a lot of memory for everyday development tasks. I always thought that hard drive speed is not improving so fast as lets say CPU or GPU. Although it is not totally true, because hard drive size is constantly growing, but speeds are not decreasing. The typical HDD is usually 7200 rpm, has less or more cache available and an interface. I have even read somewhere, that technology used in HDD remains the same for the last 30 years. So you can’t expect too much, from the old man, right?
So I did this comparison on the old laptop running full of stuff vs. and the new one already pre-installed with most of my components for every day work: IIS, windows services, SQL server, etc.
Lets see some numbers now. Just check this benchmark HDD vs. SSD:
If you compare only plain numbers, read speeds are 5x-268x times faster and write speeds are 3x-270x faster. Just amazing. Now cold start-up time of the machine is 15-20 seconds (till I can start clicking). Visual studio solutions compile times increased at least 2x-3x times. To open Visual studio takes less than 10s. For me, used to the old machine, these are really fast numbers. I can’t say how much performance is affected by the SSD in this case, but I believe it is a lot.
Old HDD was nothing special, just a standard model for consumers:
AData Premier Pro SP900 SSD: