Fast SSD vs. Hard Disks

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 20, 2008
Updated • Dec 4, 2012

I first thought about getting a SSD (Solid State Disk) drive for my new computer that I assembled at the beginning of this year. The SSD drives were rather expensive and only available with capacities of 16 or 32 Gigabytes which probably would have been enough. Far more pressing was the state of the performance of those drive.

The situation seems to be changing slowly with 64 Gigabyte SSD drives available in larger quantities and better prices. One SSD drive that I was looking forward to was the OCZ Core Series SSD drive with 64 Gigabyte capacity and the guys at Hot Hardware managed to get their hands on one of those drives and compared it to the ultra fast WD VelociRaptor hard disk.

While the OCZ Core Series SSD drive lacks behind in write speeds (tops 87 MB/s compared to 129 MB/s for the VelociRaptor) it managed to win the read speed benchmark (140 MB/s compared to 123 MB/s) and of course in random access times.

Far more impressive than those computed values are values from real applications, and those tests make a difference.

How about a Windows Vista startup of 51 MB/s compared to 15.6 MB/s for the conventional hard drive ? Similar results are available for gaming (77 MB/s vs. 12.5 MB/s), application loading (21 MB/s vs. 3.7 MB/s) and Windows Defender (66 MB/s vs. 19.8 MB/s). The SSD drive managed to beat the hard drive in every test which has to be attributed largely to the low random access time.

This convinced me and I just ordered a OCZ Core Series SSD drive with 64 Gigabyte capacity for 200 Euros. Once I have that will do some tests with various operating systems and benchmarks.

Update: Advancements in Flash memory technology and controller design have improved the speeds that you can get out of modern Solid State Drives significantly. Top drives now manage speeds of 500 MB/s and up in both read and write benchmarking tests.


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  1. Rob said on July 22, 2008 at 5:14 am


    New wear leveling algorithms have been developed that mean that SSD’s will last significantly longer than conventional HDD’s.

  2. Dotan Cohen said on July 21, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Please do an Ubuntu install and let us know how it performs compared to a regular hard drive install of the same OS. I’d love to move to SSD but 200 Euros is too much to drop to see if it _might_ make a difference. Don’t forget to publish power requirements as well! Thanks!

  3. Thinker said on July 20, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I dream of having 2 or 4 SSD raid disks instead of mine 2x250GB raid, but prices of SSD kills my enthusiasm :(

  4. rupert said on July 20, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    What about the lifespan of the ssd drive. Flash drives have a lifespan of about 100,000 read/writes, so does the same apply to ssd drives as well?

  5. yair said on July 20, 2008 at 7:27 pm

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