How to make your laptop 300% quicker..

How to make your laptop 300% quicker..

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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 - - 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!


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  • 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...

  • Hi Martin.

    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:


  • 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

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