Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Solid State Convert

I got a new laptop at work this week. Having had a Windows 7 machine for the past few years, which I mainly use to host a Linux workstation via Virtual Box, I decided to take the opportunity to get a MacBook Pro on which, once I’ve got the core system tuned to my liking, I’ll mainly use to host a Linux workstation via Virtual Box (and perhaps a Windows one too; as part of my job I need to experience the joy of Windows once in a while).

The main incentive was that I could get a high spec machine with an excellent screen and very light weight. I found I was taking the laptop all over the place and the new one is a bit smaller and a lot lighter. The fact it came with a solid state drive was almost an afterthought but, a couple of days in, I am very impressed. I hardly ever properly shut the Windows machine down (hibernating instead) as it took so long to start up again. In fact, it even took an annoying long tie to shut down. The new machine isn’t quite instant but so much quicker. I don’t think I’d even have time to reach for a mug and take a drink whereas the old one felt like I could have set up my own plantation (or at least roast and ground my own beans).

Obviously it isn’t quite fair to compare a well-worn machine with a brand new one – I’ve got more RAM, a faster processor and a lot less cruft – but I think that solid state drive can take a decent amount of the credit and is a feature I’d recommend considering, especially as prices are now starting to get quite reasonable.


  1. I’m still not completely convinced about the long term reliability of SSDs, but I’m probably just getting conservative in my old age. I upgraded my work laptop to Windows 8.1 and the startup/shutdown time is light years ahead of Windows 7 even on the same hardware.

    • In this context, long-term doesn’t matter so much – I keep multiple copies of all my data now on a range of different systems. I’m ready for the “when” of failure rather than gambling on the “if”.

      Things like start up / shut down time are such a key part of the user experience, I’m surprised it has taken operating system producers so long to cotton onto the fact that they need to be pared down to the bare minimum (and the cheat of having an apparently loaded system still functioning well below par for several minutes after login – Windows, I’m looking at you!) also isn’t good enough.