Windows 7, Photoshop, Visual Studio Developer on SSD

Hello All-

I just got the stuff I need to build an i7-920 rig for my small business and with bells and whistle. As part of the build, I got the Samsung 1TB platter disk but now I'm contemplating getting an Intel SSD to install my OS and Program files on it.. and use the Samsung HDD as my file storage using my NAS.

So, my question is, would I see a performance difference if I spent the additional $215 bucks or so to get the SSD for my line of work? Or, since my storage will not be on the SSD, it doesn not make a difference? Please let me know what you feel.


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  1. Best answer
    Windows 7 will boot faster, Photoshop and Visual Studio will load faster.
    (Opening Photoshop - SSD = 9 seconds vs HDD = 16 seconds)

    Visual Studio performance while running won't be much changed and compile times probably won't improve.
    Photoshop notes from CG Society forum

    A SSD won't improve your typing accuracy and speed, or improve your ability to run a program efficiently and that is where we spend the bulk of our time setting up the programs and manipulating the data to finish a job.

    Have you already gone from 6GB to 12GB of RAM on your workstation? That might be the best use of ~$200.
    As fast as SSDs are they're not nearly as fast as programs and data already loaded in RAM (SuperFetch).
    Superfetch learns what programs and data you work with on a regular basis. Based on experiance watching you run your computer SuperFech will pre-load programs, helper files and data into RAM just on the chance you're about to start working.
    Some people will say this is the reason Windows 7 gets a bad rap for using too much RAM. But if you're not using RAM it's being wasted.
    Background on SuperFetch
  2. @WD2 Thanks for the response. The box will have 9GB Triple Channel RAM (3x2GB and 3x1GB)

    I found this youtube test and it appears the SSD it'll be a tad bit responsive.

    Knowing that my box already has 9GB RAM, do you think the money will be better spent to take the box to 12GB instead of getting SSD?
  3. dotmike said:
    and it appears the SSD it'll be a tad bit responsive.
    It often appears that way when PCs use a 'fresh install' as is often the case during testing. That limits the effectiveness of the Superfetch 'learning curve' (and also maximizes the SSD performance). SSDs slow down a tad as they get experience. The demo also emphasized disk load operations where SSDs have a clear advantage.

    Stick with 9GB. I can't see any reason to ditch 3GB of RAM (3x1GB) just to get 12GB.
    Getting a SSD can't hurt performance. I'm just not sure you get a decent ROI for what you spend.

    To help you sort out the SSD options and for more a more technical look at SSDs I like the reviews over at @ AnandTech
  4. Great. Thanks for the feedback.
  5. Best answer selected by dotmike.
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