Solid State Drive: Enhance developers’ productivity

I just got a new laptop
with Solid State Drive and here are some benchmark results against my desktop
which is quite a massive machine. See the results for some of frequent
developer activities ; they are quite instructive:


Laptop: Dell Latitude
E4300, Intel Core Duo SP9400 2.4GHz 32bits, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD with Windows XP.


Desktop: ASUS Intel Quad
Q6600 2.4 GHz 64 bits, 16GB RAM, 465GB RAID 7200 RPM HD with Windows Vista Ultimate.

Note that I never had a 10.000 RPM HD in hand and don’t know how SSD and 10.000 RPM HD compare.


  • Full Build Process of community and professional editions of NDepend 2.11 with obfuscation with
    (but without automatic tests):   Laptop: 2:53  Desktop:5:07


  • Compilation of NDepend Professional Debug : Laptop: 7s


  • NDepend analyzing its own code base: 
    Laptop: 8s   Desktop:13s


  • Starting VisualStudio 2008 SP1 and Resharper 4.1 on the main NDepend solution: Laptop: 9s   Desktop:11s


  • Run of 1846 NUnit
    tests: Laptop: 9.5s   Desktop:26s 


  • Run of 1846 NUnit
    tests with NCover 2.1   : Laptop: 5:39  
    Desktop:4 :05
      (I did the test 2 times, the only result where
    the desktop is faster, I don’t know why ?!) 


  • Uncompress a rar archive of 149MB (7245 files) with winrar:   Laptop: 37s  
    Desktop:2 :40

  • Duplication (Copy/Paste) of the149MB file:   Laptop: 4s  
    Desktop: 11s

  • Delete all the 7245 files  (727MB) :   Laptop: between one and two seconds   Desktop: 9s


Also the SSD Laptop doesn’t do any noise (I cannot hear if it is on or off), doesn’t produce
much warm and weights 1.5Kg (3.3 lb). IMHO SSD is an excellent way to enhance my productivity, as getting several monitors.



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  • Mike Marshall

    Thanks for this, more ammunition that I can use to push the beancounters into letting me have a new machine.

  • Vaibhav

    Awesome Captcha, by the way :)

  • Vaibhav

    Very interesting. I recently did a lot of R&D when trying to decide between an SSD and a regular hard drive. I decided SSD – still have to order it though.

    You should see even better benefits when you install Windows 7 on that laptop:

  • F.D.Castel

    Sorry but you are comparing two things absolutely distinct (OS, Processor, RAM, RAID, manufacturers…). Why do you think the SSD drive gives you the lead? The laptop has a newer and faster processor. Also, what is the RAID configuration on desktop (0, 1?) and memory speed/latency on both computers? If you want a fair comparison, test it again on the same laptop with a conventional HDD drive (tip: don’t expect too much)

  • Patrick Smacchia

    Here also I partly agree with you Fabrice, but my Vista x64 has really not gotten much slower than the first day. Each time my Window gets slower I take the time to re-install it.

  • Fabrice

    As already noticed, Vista vs XP can make a difference. Also, I guess that your Windows installation on the laptop is brand new while the one on the desktop may date a bit. This also makes a big difference. After a while and slowly day after day, Windows is getting slower and slower. a fresh install is always much faster. You may want to rerun the comparison in a few months and see if there is a difference with this one.

  • Patrick Smacchia

    I don’t know rai, it is not written on the bill.
    It is the one that comes by default with the Dell Latitude E4300.

  • rai

    What’s the model of your SSD?

  • domsparks

    I toyed with this idea myself, but without enough cash for a solid state drive I just opted for use of a Ram Disk. With a full build of my java project it slashed the build time by 30-40%, maybe even more. This was running Vista (natively) on a 2.5Ghz Macbook Pro. I have my source code on the hard disk (of course) but all class files and other temporary stuff is created on the ramdisk, so it makes a BIG difference.
    I’d recommend that anyone thinking of the SSD route try a Ram Disk first; you may have to be 30$ or so for a non-trial version, but that’s significantly cheaper than even a small SSD, and maybe more realistic than a hardware upgrade.

  • Patrick Smacchia

    Bunter, I partly agree with you and part of the enhancement might be due to Vista slowing down disk access. This is why btw, I asked Dell to install XP by default.

    However I am positive that I never seen any HD providing such performances.

  • Bunter

    Not a fair comparison, your desktop was running Vista, infamous for really poor disk speeds.

  • Casey

    I’m waiting on the Samsung 250Gb to drop in price … (don;t know the initial price yet, but it won;t be pretty :)

  • Torkel

    Wow, that is very impressive!

    I need to talk by boss into buying one for me :)

  • Victor Kornov

    I wonder how long SSD will last. Compilation is very DD intesive, small reads&writes.