SSD? Don’t think! Just Buy!

My personal experience with SSDs began with an Intel X25M that I built into a Lenovo Thinkpad R61. It replaced a Seagate 160 GB 5400rpm which in combination with Windows Vista … well, let’s just say, it wasn’t that fast.

The SSD changed everything. It was not just faster, it was downright awesome! As if I had a completely new computer.

With that in mind I thought about my desktop PC. It’s a little more than 2 year old Windows XP box, Intel Core2Duo 2.7 GHz, 4GB RAM, with a not so slow Samsung HDD. I use it mainly for programming, which is most of the time Grails programming under IntelliJ IDEA.

And let me tell you, the Grails + IDEA combination can get dog slow at times. The start-up time of IDEA alone gives you time to skim over the first three pages of Hacker News and read the latest XKCD.

So the plan was to put an extra SSD into the Windows box and put only programming related stuff on it. This would save me the potential hassle of moving my whole system but would still give me development speed-up.

I had to be a little careful because the standard settings for IDEA’s so-called “system path” and “config path” is in the user’s home directory. (Btw, this settings can be changed in file “idea.properties” which resides in “IDEA_INSTALLATION_DIR\bin”, e.g.: c:\Progam Files\JetBrains\IntelliJ IDEA 9.0.4\bin)

I think you already guessed the result. Three words: fast, faster, SSD. It’s just amazing! IDEA start-up is so fast now, I barely have time for a quick look at the newest headlines on InfoQ.

The next step is of course to put the whole system on SSD but that will probably have to wait until we upgrade the whole company to Win7. Can’t wait…🙂

3 thoughts on “SSD? Don’t think! Just Buy!

  1. I’m running on a SSD-only system. There a few more things to consider:
    1) tune the filesystem options. For linux with ext4 I’m using “noatime,barrier=0,data=writeback,nobh,commit=100,nouser_xattr”
    2) have enough RAM in the system that is does not swap. Recently I’ve upgraded from 4GB to 12GB and this is also a huge boost. The only downside is that suspend-to-disk takes much longer.

  2. Pingback: A review of the year 2011 at Softwareschneiderei « Schneide Blog

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