[tpm] OT: Are SSDs really worth purchasing to speed up our computing experience?

Stuart Watt stuart at morungos.com
Wed May 30 06:48:10 PDT 2012

As a MacBook Air user, I can say yes. It's a surprisingly speedy little system, considering its relatively weak CPU, and I'd put most of this down to its SSD. I also have a Mac Mini, which has about an equivalent CPU but traditional hard disk, and the responsiveness is hugely better with the MacBook Air. It's very fast at application startup. An informal poll of a few people on Twitter a while back rated the MacBook Air as more responsive than the MacBook Pro, which had a much faster, and quad core, CPU. You are probably right that it is code bloat, but the code has to get off the disk somehow, and if its bloated, that will take longer than if it isn't. If disk latency is an issue, SSD is a good plan. 

For video editing, there will be no point - that's almost entirely CPU bound. Possibly the same is true for most image editing. But for general application responsiveness -- especially for large applications which might otherwise be hit by paging -- browsing data and so on, SSD works well for me.

All the best

On 2012-05-30, at 1:56 AM, Abuzar Toronto wrote:

> Hi there,
> Sorry for the off-topic post, but I think some folks here would have
> good advice on this question.  I've read that SSDs significantly
> improve boot up speed, application startup time, etc.  Does anyone
> have any experience with SSDs?
> I don't think a few extra seconds for computer/application startup is
> a big deal, but it would be nice to have applications that are more
> responsive, run faster or more smoothly, like working in photoshop, or
> being able to quickly skip through large images in a slide show
> application, etc.
> The system this is for is mostly used for photoshop, gimp, blender,
> and a few video editing apps like adobe premier.  The OSes being used
> are Windows, two flavors of Mint Linux, and Haiku.
> Is the performance boost from SSDs really anywhere close to what
> they're hyped up to be? Here's an example of the kinds of articles
> I've been reading:
> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp
> I've read stuff like 'investing in an SSD is the single most important
> thing you can do to improve the overall performance of your machine,
> because hard drive latency is increasingly becoming a bottleneck in
> application performance' (not exactly those words, but you get the
> idea).
> Personally, I have a suspicion that code bloat might be a bottleneck
> in application performance... but, whatever.
> The hardware I'm working with:
> - Processor: A8-3870K
> http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1723935&CatId=7239
> - Motherboard: Gigabyte A75-UD4H
> http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_334&item_id=039551
> - 8GB of Kingston DDR3 1866Mhz RAM
> Any advice is appreciated.
> Thank you!!
> Abuzar
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