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SSD–The Single Best Investment You can Make In your Computer

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I’ve heard for a while how much faster an SSD drive can make your computer run but I’ve had first had experience twice over the last month that proves just how true this is.

The first is on my own computer.  I have an 8 core, 16gig of ram computer.  You’d think that would be fast enough for anyone.  But, because I’m constantly compiling and running the code I’m working on, I’ve been doing a lot more waiting than I’d like.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So, I broke down and purchased an SSD drive.  I configured it so that all of the code I work on, all of my programs, and my swap disk all reside on the SSD drive.  The drive  cost about $150 and gave me 240 gig of space.

Everything else I have on my standard hard drive.  You can do a search to find out how to move the Users directory off your boot drive.

Now, my computer boots up faster in the morning.  If I need to reboot, it reboots faster.  When I load Visual Studio, I barely have to wait for it.  I have a solution with about 20 projects in it, they all load instantly.

The best part is, running my code is nearly as fast as if I were working with a scripting language.  I barely have to wait to test the changes I’ve made.  A huge increase in productivity since prior to this, waiting for my code to run would sometimes take just long enough for me to get distracted and go do something else, which would then cause me to suffer the added time of the dreaded mental “context shift” that is known to steal 15 minutes from your day.

So, when my son started talking to me about getting more memory for his gaming computer, which currently has 2gig of memory, my comment to him was, “you know, if it were me, I’d spend that money on an SSD drive first.”

Keep in mind.  He has 2gig of memory, and the reason he wanted more memory is because his games were starting to lag why they were swapping memory to virtual memory or loading additional code from the DLLs they needed.

Well, he got the drive yesterday and got it installed.  OS, swap drive, and programs on the SSD.  Data on his old drive.  And he reports, “dad was right.”  Games start faster, shutdown faster, and games that he had hesitancy problems with before now all run smoothly.

Your hard drive is the single biggest bottleneck of your computer.  If you are a developer and you think you need a new computer, you probably only really need an SSD drive.

The Performance Zone is brought to you in partnership with AppDynamics.  Learn the essentials of APM and how to implement best practices of application performance, better understand what it means to capture, analyze, and react to performance problems as they arise, and more specifically with .NET applications. 


Published at DZone with permission of Dave Bush , DZone MVB .

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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