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Does putting your OS on an SSD effect boot speed?

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June 10, 2010 10:18:51 AM

Does putting your operating system on a solid state drive have any effect on your boot speed, and overal OS and system efficiency?

A low-capacity SSD would be more appropriate for putting an OS on, because it does not take up too much space. Does putting your AV software on an SSD improve it's efficiency any?

I'm using a traditional hard drive, for some reason it takes my desktop Two or Three whole minutes from start up and then into windows (vista HP 64-bit) desktop.

Any reason why my boot takes so long?

I have a 2.66 GHz C2Q and 6GB of RAM.
a b G Storage
June 10, 2010 12:12:11 PM

Yes, Adding an SSD as a system drive would boost your boot times and Windows performance as well, however, there are a few things you should know about SSD drives.

1. SSD drives are manufactured with NAND flash memory cells and they have a LIMITED bumber of write cycles available before they wear out. SLC (single level cells have about 100,000 write cycles, and MLC (Multi-level cells) have about 10,000 before they wear out. SLC also = faster functionality but less storage space, while MLC drives aren't quite as fast as SLC but have greater storage capacity. SSD drives are also great at small read and writes vs large r/w like movies, etc.

2. Most SSD manufacturers recommemend that you NOT defrag an SSD drive. It isn't necessary because of the way data is written to an SSD vs an HDD.

3. Due to the finite lifetime of NAND cells, it is recommended you relocate your swap file, temp files and Internet temp files to your fastest HDD, or since you have 6 GB of memory, you could probably disable the swap file altogether, but personally, I don't recommend disabling.

4. Try to keep 20 to 25% of your SSD drive free (for OS updates and such). A 30 GB drive would probably be OK but 40 to 64 GB would be better and try to stick with the drives that support TRIM (Win 7 only). SSD drives are different in how they handle deleted data vs an HDD. An HDD is informed that the space used by a deleted file is available for reuse and can be re-written to. SSD drives handle file deletions differently in a more complex manner but TRIM helps automate that process.

5. Try to stear clear of SSD drives with early JMicrons controllers, they're getting better but early models sufferred from stuttering problems.

6. Great URL for learning about SSD drives: http://ssdtechnologyforum.com/forum.php and also check out the support forums for the brand of SSD you decide to purchase. Lots of good info available.

When you start thinking about purchasing a specific SSD drive, post your thoughts and you'll get plenty of good advice. I'm kinda short on time today or I'd go into greater detail. Hope this helps.

In regards to your current boot times check out msconfig to see what you have running in your startup and check your system for add-ware and mal-ware etc.
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June 10, 2010 12:20:25 PM

It would depend on the hard drive you are looking to replace i would suppose.

Recently purchased an 60gb OCZ Vertex SSD to use as a boot drive and flicked my WD caviar black 640 over to storage duties.

Boot speed difference was pretty much negligible, to be honest I really havnt noticed any real performance increase to justify the price. Overall after reading reviews of people raving about the speed of an SSD I was pretty dissapointed.

Saying this Im comparing to a caviar black drive which is a bloody good mechanical drive for the money.

In all honesty I would explore other issues within your o/s before looking at a mechanical slowness. 3 mins is a bloody long time and your processor is certainly not a slouch. How many apps are you firing up at startup?
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a c 99 G Storage
June 10, 2010 10:41:13 PM

You bet it does!

sminlal has a video on YouTube (here) showing a side by side comparision of a computer booting up Windows 7, one with a HDD, and one with a SSD.

There are ALOT of other videos on YouTube showing application launch comparision (i.e. One launching 50 programs HDD vs. SSD).

tonkatuffmofo: Is your BIOS set to ACHI for the drive? Do you have the latest firmware for your SSD? My machine boots up from my Windows logon in 2 seconds. Ready to use, no mouse circles.
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June 11, 2010 1:03:06 AM

Wow, that is a great video. Sadly I didn't get that much difference when I swapped my GF's laptop SATA HDD with an Intel X-25M, I would say I got a 10-15 second improvement under Vista 32-bit but at least the applications now pop open much faster.
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June 11, 2010 1:07:17 AM

If you are only annoyed with Windows startup you can always use Hibernate instead of Shutdown. It will reduce the Windows load time to 30 seconds.
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