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A Quick Comparison of SSD and HDD Performance

Install A Solid State Drive In Your Notebook

Even though it’s not the major purpose of this article, we can’t resist giving you an idea of the SSD’s performance.

Test configuration

The test configuration consisted of a 15" MacBook Pro (June 2007).

  • Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz CPU (4 MB L2 cache, 800 MHz bus)
  • 4 GB DDR2-667
  • nVidia GeForce 8600M GT 128 MB graphics card

Obviously the storage medium is different – a Fujitsu hard drive (2.5 inches, 160 GB, 5,400 rpm) for the hard-disk version and an Mtron SSD (2.5 inches, 32 GB) in the second case.


ssd portable

The MacBook Pro with an SSD was significantly faster than the hard-disk version and a little faster than the MacBook Air and its SSD.

Photoshop CS3

ssd portable

portable ssd

Launching Adobe Photoshop CS3 was incomparably faster on the SSD version. The loading time was divided by a factor of three. Opening a 500-MB image (TIFF format) was also significantly faster, though the difference wasn’t as great. Note that the MacBook Pro was a little faster than the MacBook Air, even though the memory and processor play a role.

Microsoft Word 2008

ssd portable

Launching Microsoft Word 2008, which is a very slow application, really got a boost from an SSD. The loading time was divided by three. But even with an SSD, Word 2008 still launches very slowly (especially compared to the Windows version).

File Decompression

ssd portable

For the last test, we tried decompressing an archive (.rar) containing a few large files (around 500 MB) and a large number of small files (less than 1 MB). With this specific test, we wanted to show up one of the weak points of SSDs – writing small files. The SSD in the MacBook Air, which is only average where raw speed is concerned, was a lot slower than the Mtron with the MacBook Pro. Even with this test, deliberately designed to challenge an SSD, the Mtron was faster than the hard disk.

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