Enter the SSD — Speed Redefined


Last year, I told a friend that I would buy a SSD (Solid state drive – a new form of hard disk running on memory chips instead of disk platters) around mid-2009.

3 weeks ago, I did just that – but only remembered telling my friend this after purchasing my Intel X25-M SSD. So my prediction did came true (I swear I did not buy the SSD on purpose just to prove myself right!).

After receiving my Intel X25-M 160GB SSD, I hopped around like a happy geek at my office. OK.. that did not happen. But I was all excited even though I blew my last pay cheque on a mere 160GB hard disk – it cost me around 700 USD (2550 Malaysian Ringgit to be precise).

So why on earth did I blow such a huge amount of cash on this thing called the SSD? Let’s do a reality check, shall we?

According to Newegg.com,

the 160GB Intel X25-M SSD cost $619 USD

whereas the Seagate Momentus 7200RPM 2.5″ SATA is $129.99 USD

Holy f–k! Now if my math skillz still prove to be strong, what I paid for actually equates to 2 freaking TERABYTE (2000GB) of hard disk space. So why on earth did I pay the same price for only 160GB?

Folks, an SSD is no child’s play. Ask any pro’s about SSD’s, what comes to mind are two things – SPEED and RELIABILITY.

The SPEED is intense, when I say that 90% of the applications on my MacBook Pro launch instantly when I click on them, I ain’t bullshitting. Even Adobe Photoshop CS4 launches in 3 seconds, that gives you an idea how fast SSD’s are.

The way I explain the speed to my dad is: “It’s like upgrading from a scooter to a f–king bimmer!”

My VMware Fusion’s Windows XP virtual machine is now just like an app. A fresh boot’s resume is just 2 seconds, then the consequent resumes are so fast that the progress bar had no chance to appear.

All that speed, do I really need that? To most people, the price tag is just too hard to swallow and I won’t blame you, I hesitated many times before finally joining the SSD club. But let me tell you, once you go SSD – you’ll never want to use a traditional hard disk anymore.

The reliability of SSD’s is a plus point, as they run on memory chips and there are no moving parts at all. As my boss puts it: “you can now throw your laptop around with no worries”. Btw, he has two OCZ Vertex SSDs, one for his Sony Vaio Z and another one for his MacBook Pro.

Now, if I get you all excited bout SSD’s – read on.

Not all SSD’s are made equal. I have done my research for a few weeks and I have concluded that (Multi-level cell) SSD’s are ranked like this:

1) Intel X25-M (good all round performance, seems to hit top speed in almost every situations, very high IOFlops compared to competing drives, but much higher priced)

2) Samsung P128/256 , Corsair P128/256, OCZ Summit (these three are using samsung controllers, seems to have speed in between Intel and the Indilinx drives, but seems to suffer major in performance degradation but I believe this will be solved in future firmware updates)

3) OCZ Vertex (Indilinx controller, seems to be a winner in file copy tests – but falls when performing at random 4K blocks, however this is still a very good drive)

DO NOT BUY JMicron controller drives (i.e. OCZ Apex), they are utter crap. End of story.

If you have any questions regarding SSDs, don’t hesitate to post a comment here. I hope you find my post informative ;)


4 responses to “Enter the SSD — Speed Redefined

  1. interesting article. When r u gonna b on twitter !
    by the way, you prolly already heard of this but SiteLauncher is pretty useful. it’s the Quicksilver of Firefox.

  2. I have looked and can not find a 2terabyte ssd drive anywhere, have a link to the one you bought. I have the Mac book pro from a bout a year and half ago. I really would like to but this in to it. Let me know.

  3. Loboryne: I don’t think there’s a 2 terabyte ssd for sale. If there is one, I think the price would cost a bomb (no joke, 5 figures USD).

    SSD drives usually come in various sizes between 40 to 250GB. There are 512gb ones but they are for desktop only.

    In any case, the Intel X25-m will be a good choice for you. The largest one for sale is 160gb. Also, make sure you get the 2nd generation ones – they have grey/silverish casing rather than black.

    I think OCZ Vertex is a good alternative as well, and the upcoming OCZ Vertex 2 seems to be awesome.

    SSDs are definitely worth it if you run IO-heavy programs often, or you just want the almost-instant load times for programs ;)

  4. SSD sucks, the upcoming harddisk going to replace SSD is BPD.

    Bullet Proof Drive

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