Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Me and my Intel X25-E

This week I purchased and installed an obscenely expensive 64 gb drive for my laptop ($800). I had read an article from Joel Spolsky about the 160gb X25-M drive that he test drove. He was looking to see if he could cut down his compile times by using a faster drive- which didn't happen. His description of how snappy things ran on the solid state disk drove me to thinking I had to have one. I looked into the specs and found that the X25-E had a considerable performance lead on the X25-M. The E also did not exhibit slowness as the drive filled as the M does which is common with Solid State disks. The E is also more reliable for top speed being sustained over the ownership of the drive and was much more likely to last longer. All that being said I just went for it.

Performance? This thing is great! My main purpose for buying this drive was to quickly be able to index and perform queries on development databases for data mining projects I am working on. I noticed a tremendous speed increase here. Unfortunately, no numbers- but I did notice that when I was running a very large query that took several minutes the CPU was 50% (100% load on a core) and my system was still extremely fast and snappy. Finally I can run my machine into the ground with work without having usability issues with other apps. I was able to open a very large VS9 solution in les than 2 seconds even after high CPU load, as well as all my other apps.

For a long time I have been resisitant to using FireFox since it became as bloated as it is today. It would take a considerable time to start so I opted for running chrome instead. Now that firefox starts under 1 second, I can again use firefox as I did back in teh early days of its existence.

To anyone who may be reading this that is not sure if it is worth it: it is. At least get the X25-M drive which is considerably less expensive. I am not sure if the E really makes all that much of a difference (read Joel's blog post).

No comments: