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Post Info TOPIC: Windows 7 and SSDs: just how fast are they?

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Windows 7 and SSDs: just how fast are they?

Does a solid-state drive make a difference in the performance of Windows 7?

In a word: Yes.

Conventional hard disks are typically the biggest bottleneck in any computing environment. If you can speed up disk activity, especially reads, the effects on system startup and application launch times can be breathtaking.

This technology is still new and expensive, and many of the kinks are still being worked out. I’ve been using SSD-equipped PCs with Windows 7 since October 2009, and I now have two laptops and one desktop PC that are fitted with these superfast drives. Over the holidays, I set out to fine-tune the storage configuration in all three systems and was able to increase overall system performance dramatically. In a follow-up post, I’ll explain exactly what you need to know to squeeze maximum performance out of an SSD.

But first, how much of a difference does an SSD make? I have an ideal platform to test: a new Dell XPS desktop system with an i7-920 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and two disks, a conventional 7200RPM Seagate 1TB hard disk drive (one of the fastest desktop models in its class) and a 60GB OCZ Vertex2 SSD. I’ve installed Windows 7 on each drive and configured a dual-boot menu.

I’ve been switching between the two systems for roughly a month. Today I went through the performance logs for both Windows installations and averaged the results for the last 15 starts for each setup. (If you want to see these results for your system, follow the instructions I published in this 2007 post—the event log format for Windows 7 is the same as it was for Vista.)

ZDnet has the article HERE!

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