SSD or HDD, any outstanding difference?

By Lightingbird · 8 replies
Jul 22, 2010
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  1. After some serious research and hunting around, I am finally going to buy a gaming laptop. So now I am faced with a question of getting a SSD or just a normal HD for the OS. I am ordering it in a few days, and I have not been able to find any good research, facts, videos, or anything solid showing if it was worth it or not. This will be on a quad core and I’m not really all that concerned on the cost difference.
    Any input? Keep in mind, I’m looking for more actual proof, testing, or any form of real world handling and not just opinions.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    For one users opinion, the SSD drives are not ready for prime time. They are slow, slow, slow compared to a quality Fujitsu, Western Digital, Toshiba, or Seagate hard drive. (Tested in Alienware, HP, and Toshiba... performance in other laptops may vary
    Their long life in gaming machines is yet to be proven. Wait until January, me thinks.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I can't provide any evidence from tests or anything and this is for a PC, but:

    I really don't see any difference with Windows 7 64bit Ultimate between my old Hitachi 500GB hard drive, and the Crucial 256GB SSD I use now. If I had to be seriously critical I guess it loads slightly faster, and shuts down quicker. It also installs software quicker than using the old Hitachi SATA.

    Every day use is exactly the same though - I genuinely can't tell the difference with most things.

    However, its a totally different story running under Ubuntu 10.04. It boots in seconds, and everything is lightning fast. I would say (no proof) that its probably twice as fast running Linux than it is running Windows (I dual boot the PC).

    I don't play any games though, so I can't give you any idea whatsoever about gaming performance.However, I do find that anything requiring disc access runs smoother, and quicker overall.

    My PC

    Dell Vostro 420
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200
    Dell 4GB DDR2 800 RAM
    Radeon 4670 1GB DDR3 GPU
    1x Crucial 256GB SSD 2.5"
    1x Hitachi 500GB SATA2 3.5"
    1x WD 160GB SATA2 3.5"
  4. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    It depends on the drive. SSD is still very new but it is much more mature than it used to be. Read some of the reviews and decide for yourself if it's worth it. If you want the really fast drives you're going to have to pay for it.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,037   +2,558

    At the end of the day, an SSD is just a big ugly USB flash drive. Lower priced units have a very slow write speed, which is actually slower than a HDD. But they do read quickly, an therein lies the reality of, "it boots way faster now" claims made about them.

    As the price increases, the read and write speed become much closer to parity, and also they are much faster than the mechanical hard drives.

    So, unless you're willing to step up a couple of price points, stick with HDD. Even if you are willing to pay the extra money, expect half the capacity for twice the price. And that's sort of a low ball estimate.
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I totally agree. My SSD was stupidly priced! I paid over £500 for it at the time, and was sorely tempted to get 3 Velociraptors (or whatever they're called) instead.

    To give you an idea, this is the one I have:

    In hindsight it was a horrible decision to spend so much on it. I could have upped my RAM, fitted a cooler system, purchased and run 2 raptor's in RAID and likely have had money left over! lol.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    We have several, and have tested many others.
    Which ones are faster, do you think, CaptainCranky...
    Their potential for higher speed is good, but perhaps you can tell us which ones are faster as we speak.
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    In actual use, of course, not on a test rack.
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    If your about to say the cheaper ones are just as fast I'll close my ears about now! LOL.

    Though I'm curious, as I'm considering a smaller capacity SSD to house my Virtualbox partitions on. :)

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