“All developers should have an SSD.” Have you heard someone say that before? I hear it about once a week. I hear the great amazing things about Solid State Drives (SSD - there’s no moving parts so the “drive” part of it is historical or maybe I’m wrong and it stands for “device” now). I finally fell prey to the ribbing about still using spinning rust in my laptop.
After doing some research I eschewed the advice of experts and went with the OCZ Vertex 2 128GB SSD. I’m still getting a Windows Experience Index Rating of 7.7 which is a marked improvement over the 5.9 I was getting on my old 7200RPM drive. Some peers have gotten 7.9 out of a Crucial Real SSD. But it took a lot of work to actually get the 7.7 rating. I had to make changes to the Group Policy and the registry. I had to manually tell certain services they weren’t needed anymore, and I really had to coax Windows to even install. This is all different from the experience that other peers have had with installing SSD.
With my old 7200 RPM rust drive I could install Windows metal to gold in about 20 minutes. Some people I know have been able to install from metal to gold in 10 minutes with an SSD, but me? No, try 3 hours. 2 hours of that the install was sitting at 47% complete. Yes I have the latest firmware on both the drive and the machine. Yes, my machine will support it. Yes memory is good in my laptop. etc. It just took forever for it to work.
Now that it’s installed and running am I fascinated with the speed improvement? No. It’s okay. It’s noticeably faster, but it’s not “Oh my God why have I lived so long without it.” What I am impressed with is my battery life though. I am easily getting double the battery life on my laptop than I had before. I can actually leave my laptop in Maximum Performance while commuting and I’ll still have over half the charge left when I get home.
I wish I could have the 256GB drive, but even for the battery improvement and speed improvement I couldn’t justify the cost. For about $220 I’m happy with what I got here.
If you are looking to upgrade your laptop to give it a little longer life I’d highly recommend getting an SSD, but it isn’t as life changing as some other developers out there would have you believe.