Windows 7 and SSDs

Mike Halsey MVP
Jan 24, 2011
Updated • Jan 24, 2011

Ed Bott has published a very interesting article today about the benefits of running Windows 7 on a solid state hard disk (SSD).  He wanted to test the real-world benefits, if there are any, of upgrading to an SSD on which to install your copy of Windows.

I won't repeat what the article says here, but it's extensive and he's gone into some depth.  I would like to add my voice to a choir though.

I built myself a new desktop PC back in July 2010 around an Intel Core i7 860 running at 2.80GHz, 6Gb of DDR3 RAM and an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD.  I bought this particular SSD on the recommendation of PC Pro magazine here in the UK who had only the month before group tested a great deal of them.

I also bought a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb hard disk, a couple of them actually, for data storage as they too had come recommended in a group test.  Both of these components I selected for sheer speed.

Now I can attest that not only is booting Windows 7 from an SSD significantly quicker than from any conventional hard disk, but running it from the SSD is also significantly quicker day to day.  If that is, you buy the correct SSD!

One of the things that the PC Pro group test revealed is that the wrong SSD can be as slow as a normal, ordinary middle of the road, mechanical hard disk.

If you intend to buy an SSD it's worth checking the computer magazines and online to see group tests that compare the current crop of disks side-by-side as the differences in read/write and general access times can vary dramatically.

So have a look at Ed's article as it's extremely informative, but before you rush out to buy yourself an SSD, do your homework and make sure that you're not throwing your money away on an expensive gadget which will provide no real-world benefits.


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  1. Precia Carraway said on February 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Win 7 on SSD has been a nice speed upgrade however if you change your user profile location (placing daily date on a larger, less expensive HD), you will no longer will be able download files or view videos in Internet Explorer. As soon as I set the user profile back to the default location I am able operate as expected. How does one change the user location from c:/User/(User Name) to x:/User/User Name) without losing the abilitiy to download files, view videos (YouTube) within Internet Explorer?

    Temporary Internet Files Location pointing to the correct drive.
    Deleted Index.dat
    Restarted computer

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