Upgrade To Insanity
TH: It almost sounds like we’re having an overclocking discussion.
LK: Yes! It’s a performance upgrade. I mean, you’re increasing the overall responsiveness of your system. It's akin to getting a processor upgrade. If you benchmark a system with PCMark Vantage and do nothing but change the HDD to an SSD, I gained over 40% overall system performance when I did this on my ThinkPad. It’s just like I overclocked the thing into orbit.
TH: I’ll second that. My main system used to take five minutes to boot. Now, with an SSD, it’s under a minute.
LK: If we can measure it in the amount of work you can get done, I think that’s a big deal. You’re not waiting for apps to open. I hang in HPC circles sometimes, and what’s the point of going with 24GB of memory and all this other good stuff when you’re still waiting on that hard drive? In the past, my solution has been to stripe four hard drives, but after one look at SSD technology, I saw that one SSD would smoke my four hard drive stripe. I just thought, man, this is the Holy Grail. And when I wanted even more performance, I found that SSDs in a RAID scaled just fine. So I don't know if there’s one killer app that I would pick for SSDs. Encryption is definitely one that we can point at easily, but I just think it's the overall system response. Like look at netbooks. That underpowered system is great for doing simple things, but to me it's almost unusable. Throw an SSD in one, though, and it gets usable really quickly.
TH: The president of OCZ told me that. He said I’d be stunned at the number of drives they sell that go into netbooks as upgrades.
LK: Yup, I wouldn't doubt it. People are doing whatever they can to upgrade to SSD. Throwing Vista or Windows 7 on a netbook is tough already on the processor. You've only got 2GB of memory. You’re making that thing work pretty hard, and SSD can really boost that, plus extend the battery life.