Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Laptop Performance Quest - An affordable way to use SSD (Solid State Disks) in my current laptop.

By Andrew Pollack on 10/27/2007 at 08:22 PM EDT

Solid State Disk -- essentially big flash drives in the shape of and with interface level compatibility with internal laptop drives -- is here. They don't compete for size with traditional spinning drives, and won't soon for anything close to the same cost. But they can be used effectively.

What got me started this time was realizing that I had this modular drive bay in my Dell D820 that is currently filled with a CD/DVD that almost never is needed. I found a $50 unit that goes in the same bay, and is meant to house a second 2.5" IDE laptop drive. With some looking I found SSD drives in that configuration ranging from 2GB all the way up to 64GB. The sweet spot right now is at 4 or 8 gb which can be purchased for under $200.

So, what is the advantage if I were to plug one of these devices in?

Well, 8gb is enough to store my local Notes data directory, my windows temp directory, my windows swap file, AND the windows hibernation file. That represents about 75% of the disk activity I may use if I am working at the pc. I could probably also move my firefox cache directory as well and then need the regular drive only for program loads and big files.

SSD uses a tenth as much power, and provides throughput on large file transfers up to 40 times faster. There are some definite down sides to this strategy however. Chief among them is that you do NOT want to swap out the drive windows has its virtual memory or temp data on just to use a CDROM.

A shame I don't have a second internal bay.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Laptop Performance Quest - An affordable way to use SSD (Solid State Disks) in my current laptop.By Nathan T. Freeman on 10/28/2007 at 10:49 AM EDT
Be cautious on this approach. I was thinking of doing something similar when a
friend pointed out that SSDs have low MTBF numbers, mostly because they have a
limited number of writes over their lifetime. I think it's something like
half-a-million writes to the same memory. (I could easily be mistaken about
the exactly number.)

That's probably not a big deal if you're talking about music or picture files,
but your windows swap file is extremely volatile, yes?
that's changing rapidlyBy Andrew Pollack on 10/28/2007 at 02:32 PM EDT
The number of write cycles is changing rapidly with these units. In
particular, those configured as hard disks are designed to combat this by
distributing writes to different locations and changing the address map on
writes -- which is invisible to the programs using it, and takes no longer
because there is no difference in read time across locations. NAND
manufacturing techniques are also improving.

Sure, plugging your basic compact flash card in isn't going to work, but a good
IDE or SATA replacement will be reliable for quite a while.

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 01/28/2020Copyright Troll WarningThere's a copyright troll firm that has automated reverse-image searches and goes around looking for any posted images that they can make a quick copyright claim on. This is not quite a scam because it's technically legal, but it's run very much like a scam. This company works with a few "clients" that have vast repositories of copyrighted images. The trolls do a reverse web search on those images looking for hits. When they find one on a site that looks like someone they can scare, they work it like ...... 
  2. 03/26/2019Undestanding how OAUTH scopes will bring the concept of APPS to your Domino serverWhile a full description of OATH is way beyond what I can do in this quick blog entry, I wanted to talk a bit about how "SCOPES" interact with the already rich authorization model used by Domino. Thanks to the fantastic work by John Curtis and his team, the node.js integration with Domino is going to be getting a rich security model. What we know is that a user's authorizations will be respected through the node.js application to the Domino server -- including reader names, ACLs, Roles, and so on. The way ...... 
  3. 02/05/2019Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concernedDear Toro Customer Service, I arm writing about the following machine: Toro Power Max 1120 OXEModel:38654S/N:31000#### Specifically, bearing part #:63-3450 This is the part ($15 online / $25 at the local dealer) that caused me to raise my objections on-line. This piece of garbage is supposed to be a bearing. It carries the shaft which drives both stages of the auger. The shaft passes through the bearing (which is what bearings do) after the auger drive pulley as the shaft goes through the back (engine ...... 
  4. 10/08/2018Will you be at the NYC Launch Event for HCL Domino v10 -- Find me! 
  5. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects.  
  6. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino? 
  7. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back. 
  8. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
  9. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? 
  10. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.