As you know, I'm always "dabbling" with my laptop(s) - trying to get me demos performing at their very best.
I run Windows Server 2008 on my demo machine because I use Hyper-V for all my demos.
Yesterday I put a Solid State Disk (SSD) into my current demo laptop.
I ran a few "noddy" tests before I did though - so I could compare:
1st thing I did was take the machine out of its domain and joined a workgroup (didn't want any external influences to affect my tests).
Then I simply timed how long my laptop took from switching it on until I was presented with the logon screen (1 minute and 32 seconds).
Then I booted a virtual machine (with a 9GB VHD on the C:\ drive) - it took 1 minute and 7 seconds.
Now I replaced my 7200rpm disk with my new SSD, Installed Windows and configured it back to where it was (desktop experience, Hyper-V, etc).
Now I ran the same two tests - and the results are amazing!
Boot laptop (used to take 92 seconds) - now takes 36
Boot VM (used to take 67 seconds) - now takes 25
That's more or less 300% quicker - WOW.
Now, I did do my homework before I bought my SSD. I'm not in the business of recommending other people's products, but the OCZ Core v2 SATA II devices are currently the best/quickest.
You'll find them cheaper in the US - but if you don't live there, you'll stumble across the need for an American address and an American credit card. Look what I found - a local/Irish company who sells memory products at the same price (or cheaper) than the US - http://www.memoryc.com/ - and you'll save on the international delivery.
SSDs are still quite expensive for the capacities they offer - but if you need the speed, they're worth every penny!
I'd be interested in hearing about any tweaks you would make to Win2008 / Vista to get the best out of SSD. For example disabling defragmentation or other such services, running and SSD spindle as the C: drive and a traditional HDD as a secondary drive that sort of thing.
I'm running Vista on my little Atom powered netbook and loving it - however I went for a traditional HDD at the time because the performance gains for SSD at that time were not so significant. Now that a new generation of SSD devices are coming online and pricing are coming down it is getting more and more tempting...
Well SSDs are new to me too - so I'm still learning. As far as I know they don't need defragmenting.
I am going to be putting an SDD in as my secondary drive (but it has to be IDE - so it will have to be an old one - not as fast as my OCZ one). I'll do some tests that compare my existing 5400rpm secondary drive and my SDD when I get it.
I could go back down the external drive route (using SDD) - but my goal is my small(ish) light laptop, with no extra stuff that I can forget and/or lose.
I also put 8GB of memory into it yesterday (2x4GB DIMMs) - no impact on performance, but that will let me run twice as many VMs (hopefully - SDDs willing)...
Windows Vista with SP1 (and some tweaks) is faster than Windows Server 2008. Since my last post on this
Dave I have the SSD for a while and they are the digs when it comes to performance. Especially when you take into account all the disk thrashing that vista enjoys doing. I am curious though of the 8GB memory that you specify. Is this a 32 bit machine and if so how can you make your VMs see it. We share goals where laptops are concerned :)
Great post, explained really well and I could really understand. Thank you.
It turns out that how I built my demo laptop is generating a bit of interest.  These posts have
Dave, I've been searching all over for someone who did NOT install their OS on the SSD but used the SSD only to host one or more Hyper-V virtual machines. The only info I come across doesn't seem to be setup even close to that. Actually, most people have completely unorganized statistics which I literally have to assume what their actual configuration is. Do you either have any information or somewhere you can point me to?
Zac, I don't have anywhere to point you to I'm afraid. I do run my VMs from a SSD by the way. I have a second SSD in the DVD bay of my laptop, but it had to be IDE, so it's not a quick one (it is quicker than a spinning disk though). I currently have 11 VMs doing all their reads for Windows from it - I have differencing drives for each VM on two external USB drives (more info here: http://blogs.technet.com/daven/archive/2009/01/12/building-my-demo-laptop-part-2.aspx).
That doesn't mean your laptop will be 300% quicker. First of all: it varies of the components inside the computer, Next of all: it's not possible.
I tried running Far Cry (which is a PC games) on my internal 5400rpm drive and after on my external USB 2.0 7200rpm drive.
People on the internet said that because it doesn't use USB, the internal harddrive is 5 times faster. Is it true? Not at all. It's like 1/4 faster.
i dont now how to use it you idiot