Feeds

How I learned to stop worrying and love SSDs

An upgrader writes ...

Security for virtualized datacentres

Who needs to sleep?

So the SSD is a revelation. Firstly, I find myself using different applications. On a four-year-old MacBook, Photoshop opens almost as quickly Preview – the default Mac OS X image viewer. There's little point in associating Preview with images now. And since a cold boot takes 10 to 15 seconds, there's little point in putting a PC to sleep either.

SSDs specifically cured one feature I used out of necessity, that was a real speed handicap: disk encryption. The performance penalty of FileVault is now negligible. I don't even remember it's on, until I log out, and see the clean-up screen.

This is most impressive, considering that the e-mail client creates hundreds of thousands of individual files. Thousands more files are scattered around the disk. I'd expected to see performance improvements on large reads and writes, but this is where it really pays off.

I also find myself using Virtual Machines much more than I expected. Installations probably take half as long - and reviving a sleeping VM is almost instant. If you find yourself regularly using Windows on a Mac, you'll want an SSD.

Kingston V+100 256GB SSDNow kit

Kingston's approach to SSD transplants includes an enclosure for the old HDD and cloning software

Since tasting the first hit, I've gone on to give three machines the upgrade, largely because of the convenience of Kingston's SSDNow bundle, which includes all the bits and bobs and a nice USB enclosure for the drive you're swapping out, and a case design held together by a slider rather than the screws.

For pure performance, and if money is no object, it has to be an enterprise SSD. But most users won't require a "100 per cent duty cycle" - that some servers do - and won't need the guarantees that come with such kit. Most of us don't have SAS (aka SCSI) interfaces, for that matter. And for an enterprise SSD, you're looking at around £3/GB - nearly three times the rate of regular SSDs. But for value and practicality, Kingston is a good bet, and I'm a Kingston convert. You can find a 128GB V+100 kit for under £120 on eBay, or a 256GB for around £300. But you can judge the capabilities and choice available from our recent SSD roundup, where the latest Samsung came out on top.

The SSD conversion has meant a few compromises, and arguably, pushed discretionary spending (somewhat reluctantly) in other directions. 256GB is just enough for a my basic music and photo collection - and doesn't leave room for my clippings archive or backpages, or any game files. So I've been using shared and off-line storage much more and looking for the perfect home NAS. The search for the latter isn't a happy story, but I'll save that for another day.

New hybrid storage solutions

Next page: Fly in the ointment

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.