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Hardware Setup And Benchmarks

SSD Performance In The Office: Nine Applications Benchmarked
By
Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Motherboard
ASRock Z68 Extreme4, BIOS v1.4
Memory
Kingston HyperX 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System Drive
OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.06
Graphics
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB
Power Supply
Seasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS
System Software and Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX
DirectX 11
DriverGraphics: 285.62
RST: 10.6.0.1002
Virtu: 1.1.101
Benchmarks
Intel Trace-based Tool
v5.2
Games
Office 2010
Outlook: IMAP, Gmail
Word: Default
Norton Internet Security 2012
Intelligent Skipping: Off
uTorrent
v3.0
Firefox
v7.0.1
iTunes
v10.5
WinRAR
v4.0 x64
Settings: Best Compression, Verification Record
MediaEspresso
v6.5
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  • 4 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 15, 2011 4:05 AM
    Nice escape, Tom's... I was wondering "hmm, what kind of torrent will they download, 95% of them are copyright infringement"... nice :D  And a good article, too - maybe now I can convince some of our "office-only-don't-need-fancy-hardware" clients to switch to SSDs, esp. considering the HDD price increases.
  • -7 Hide
    iLLz , December 15, 2011 5:05 AM
    I want an SSD so bad I can taste it. The biggest problem for me is Price and Size. For my system drive I would need at least 500-600 GB and these sized SSDs are way to much money. My Steam folder is like 280 GBs alone. I know alot of you are going to say just put Windows and the most critical apps on the SSD and the rest on my 1TB drive but that defeats the purpose in my book. I want all my apps to benefit from the SSD especially if I am going to invest so much money into it. Here's to hoping the prices come down and fast!
  • 6 Hide
    mikewong , December 15, 2011 5:07 AM
    Better question: which SSD is more affordable, and which is more... reliable?
  • 8 Hide
    richboyliang , December 15, 2011 5:18 AM
    SSD's are meant for holding only your operating system and a few key applications you can't live without. All your data/media should be stored on a regular, large hard disk.
  • 1 Hide
    phamhlam , December 15, 2011 5:27 AM
    Unless you are working with huge files like pictures and videos, there isn't much a need for a huge SSD. A pair or HDD in RAID combine with a SSD can give you even better capacity and speed. I think most consumers are better with a 90-120GB SSD and a nice large HDD. I got an alright 120GB SSD for $120 w/ rebate. A good 120GB SSD cost about $180-$220. Laptops can hold two drive if your replace your dvd drive which most people rarely use. Once you get a SSD, it is hard to go back.
  • 0 Hide
    Proximon , December 15, 2011 5:37 AM
    Your office is apparently far different that the ones I service :p  At least you got a virus scan and MS Word typing in there.

    I suppose I can see some inexpensive reliable SSDs in office machines in the near future, mostly to reduce the failures connected with mechanical drives and speed up boot times and installation times.
  • 5 Hide
    Zero_ , December 15, 2011 6:34 AM
    I dont get it :??: 
  • 3 Hide
    billybobser , December 15, 2011 6:52 AM
    Office computer, files on server.

    SSD not really appropriate.

    Unless by office computer you mean where you have the only computer in the office, or files do not need to be shared around the office.

    Given the amount of work people do who open large files (where an ssd may be appropriate), they are too small/too expensive to be justified.

    Example, large 3d CaD drawings, spend extra money on them loading faster, lose funds for better overall computer (graphics especially).
  • 0 Hide
    xtreme5 , December 15, 2011 6:54 AM
    still love ocz vertex3
  • -5 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , December 15, 2011 7:47 AM
    I've got a C300 in my work pc, and I have to say I'm disappointed. Not by the performance itself, but the overall result. Productivity went DOWN after the upgrade, as the size of the thing simply isn't adequate. You spend more time cleaning up and moving data than you do actually working. And I even had to move all my virtual machines to usb. That didn't exactly speed up anything either. Replacing a 750gb drive with a 120gb ssd simply isn't viable.

    I find it ironic that the only place your tiny ssd drives are good enough are in computers where speed isn't important in the first place. Until 320GB ssd's can compete with regular magnetic drives, it isn't an option to upgrade.

    Imagine the added cost of upgrading the 2442 registered clients to ssd drives! About half could make do with a 120GB drive, and the rest would need at least 160GB and possibly bigger.

    That's an expense you can't possibly gain in productivity.

    Replacing sas drives with ssd's might make sense for your database or vmware/hyper-v systems, but it isn't going to make much sense on the majority of workstations.
  • 8 Hide
    Zeh , December 15, 2011 8:51 AM
    Good article, but I think it missed this:

    A AutoCAD (or some other CAD software) benchmark for loading and saving a file.
    In this case, it's not just about how many second of work I lose per day. I waste a minute just to open the damn program on this notebook (which runs a HDD), and another half a minute to open a file. Saving also takes from 5 to 15 seconds (autosave is a bitch, but it is needed).

    "It's not just about how many seconds I waste" because while it is working/saving/loading, i tend to alt+tab to something else and get distracted. I have absolutely no patience to wait 10 seconds for something, and I move to the next or get distracted, wasting even more time. That's why I think such a benchmark would've been important. And remember: Autosave is a (much needed) bitch. :S
  • -2 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , December 15, 2011 8:56 AM
    ZehI waste a minute just to open the damn program on this notebook (which runs a HDD), and another half a minute to open a file.


    I don't have Autocad on this system, but I just opened Inventor 2012 Pro and loaded a new file based on the ansi (mm) idw file (so I didn't have to use scroll) - this took a total of 54 seconds on my C300 SSD.

    That's only 30 secs less than your estimated time.
  • 6 Hide
    ojas , December 15, 2011 9:18 AM
    billybobserOffice computer, files on server.SSD not really appropriate. Unless by office computer you mean where you have the only computer in the office, or files do not need to be shared around the office.Given the amount of work people do who open large files (where an ssd may be appropriate), they are too small/too expensive to be justified.Example, large 3d CaD drawings, spend extra money on them loading faster, lose funds for better overall computer (graphics especially).

    You sound a bit like Mordin, from ME 2... :p 
  • 5 Hide
    ivyanev , December 15, 2011 10:40 AM
    The problem IMO is the long list of startup programs-Hell its not the end of the world if i don't check adobe flash for updates right away.And after my intervention ,when i finally decide to update it pops up again.Many of my less tech savvy friends do not take care for their windows ,and after 2 years they decide to buy a new laptop.Of course startup windows times isn't the only benefit of buying ssd ,but it can be felt right away.When the price for GB falls under half a dollar I AM IN.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 15, 2011 11:01 AM
    The key advantage for an SSD with MS Outlook is search. If you're a heavy email user, you're using the search feature of Outlook dozens of times per day. Outlook 2010's indexing is good, and on a HDD it's usable, but on an SSD it simply flies, bringing back results faster than Google's Instant Search.
  • 8 Hide
    saint19 , December 15, 2011 11:06 AM
    What office worker have a GTX 580 and an i5-2500k for outlook and word? I would more agree if this article is do it with a more office rig, like C2D or i3 2nd generation both with non good mobos, generic RAM and not dedicated GPU.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , December 15, 2011 11:12 AM
    The last video pretty much sums up the advantages of SSD over an HDD in many uses. It's actually quite astonishing.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 15, 2011 11:41 AM
    last page, 3rd paragraph: "Launch times are only only component of performance, though."
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , December 15, 2011 12:03 PM
    While an interesting review I think you glossed over the main point through the article, but then illustrated it well in the video at the end. SSD's do not help with traditional performance. They do not make programs run faster, they will hot help your FPS in games, and they do not let your computer handle larger workloads; those tasks are specifically for the processor, GPU, and Ram (respectively).
    SSD's are great however at killing load times. I would love to see an article about SSD use on older or value processors, because it really brings new life to the computer. A perfect example of this is a comparison of my wife's PC and mine. She has a Core2Duo 2.66GHz with 4GB of ram and a passive 8600GTS, and a 60GB SSD (OCZ Solid3, and no, we have not had any firmware issues, it works great!). Not a speed demon, but a very respectable computer with a nice large screen and good stereo. Mine was a clone of that until I upgraded last month to an i7 2600 3.4GHz, 16GB Ram, and a GTX570, but mine has traditional HDDs.
    My wife's PC will run circles around mine all day long for office use, because the programs are more reliant on fast access to files, and quickly opening and closing programs, and not so much on raw processing requirements of said programs. The 3 second wake/sleep is fairly impressive as well. However, when it comes to video editing (which is what mine is made/designed for), and the occasional game, hers simply cannot run the programs, while mine will run them smooth as warm butter on freshly baked raisin bread (mmmmm).

    So is an SSD worth the money? For businesses and secretarial use; Absolutely! It will decrease waiting time way more then upgrading the computer in most cases (I mean, if you are running a Pentium 4 then it is time to upgrade, but if it is a duel core processor then the money is better spent on the SSD). For production and design work? If it came down to more ram, better GPU, or a Processor, vs having an SSD, then I would (and did) hold off on the SSD until later. While an SSD adds convenience, it does not do the work any faster in heavy workloads, and money is better spent on the processor and GPU and Ram (to a point of course). However, after using an SSD I must say... there is no going back once you get use to the fast load times!
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 15, 2011 12:16 PM
    iLLzI want an SSD so bad I can taste it. The biggest problem for me is Price and Size. For my system drive I would need at least 500-600 GB and these sized SSDs are way to much money. My Steam folder is like 280 GBs alone. I know alot of you are going to say just put Windows and the most critical apps on the SSD and the rest on my 1TB drive but that defeats the purpose in my book. I want all my apps to benefit from the SSD especially if I am going to invest so much money into it. Here's to hoping the prices come down and fast!

    Assuming you have a z68 chipset on your motherboard, here is what you should do: Get a midsized SSD (120-240GB), and make a 60GB partition on it. Load Windows, and your most used applicaitons (web browsers, utilities, office, small programs, and your favorite/long term games) on the larger SSD partition. Use the 60GB partition as a cache for your traditional HDD. This way you will get a permanent speed increase for your day-to-day files, and you will get a good speed increase on the programs/files on your HDD that you use regularly; and if your habits change then the files with the speed boost will change to match over time. And with a 60GB cache it will store a ton of files to boost.

    Not a perfect solution, but much better than waiting 5 years for 1TB SSDs to come down to an affordable price.
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