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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video) 353

Posted by Roblimo
from the breaking-the-i/o-speed-barrier dept.
Obviously, the first performance enhancement you do on any computer you own is max out the RAM. RAM has gotten cheap, and adding more of it to almost any computer will make it faster without requiring any other modification (or any great skill). The next thing you need to do, says Larry O'Connor, the founder and CEO of Other World Computing (OWC), is move from a "platter" hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD). Larry's horse in this race is that his company sells SSDs, mostly for Macs. But he's a real evangelist about SSDs and computer mods in general, even if you buy them from NewEgg, Amazon or another vendor.

A big (vendor-neutral) thing Larry points out is that just because you have a Terabyte drive in your computer now doesn't mean you need a Terabyte SSD, which can easily cost $500. Rather, he says, all you need is a large enough SSD to contain your OS and software and whatever data you're working with at the moment, so you might be able to get by with a 120 GB SSD that costs well under $100. Clone your current main drive, stick in the new SSD, and if your need more storage, get another hard drive (or use your old one). Simple. Efficient. And a lot cheaper than buying a new computer, whether we're talking about home, business or even enterprise use. (Alternate video link.)

Robin:I am Robin Miller from Slashdot. This is Larry O’Connor from Other World Computing and we are talking about why you don’t need to buy a new computer, something I harp on sometimes. Larry, what can we do to make the computers we already own faster?

Larry:You’ve already upgraded the memory which is really the easiest upgrade you can do but also something that a very small portion of actual system owners ever do statistically. The SSD is the next big step—replacing a platter based drive with a solid state drive. It can make an unbelievable difference even to a system that is as much as a decade old.

Robin:Okay. How much does an SSD cost?

Larry:Today, a solid state drive starts at only fifty bucks.

Robin:Oh, really?

Larry:Yes siree.When you especially take a look at a system that is six or seven years old, that is doing everything you need it to do, there is always a point where you want something newer, and as you get past a few years old, you may not be able to run the latest OS and maybe the application, but you have everything you already need, want and wish to have. I mean, there is every benefit even in a system that is again, a decade plus old, taking out that platter drive and dropping an SSD inside, so you kick it up, it can really be quite impressive.

Robin:Looking off at the side, there is this funny 08 MacBook Pro I have, now it has got the latest operating system in it, and as I said, the video works—we are doing it now—I have the latest video software, so I can, well, video SSD should I, I also have a full bunch of external hard drives. I assume that SSD would be pretty small, wouldn’t it, at fifty bucks?

Larry:In terms of capacity or?

Robin:Yeah.

Larry:Really, the SSD is best served for active work, I mean things that are actively going on. You don’t need a giant SSD beyond quite frankly what you need for your daily processing. As long as you can offload platter drives you are plenty fast for completed data. It is when you are actually working on a project, when you are actually creating new content and we are getting – the OS, I mean things that are happening actively where drive idled is a huge bottleneck with that SSD is just night and day.Even when you have things that need more memory than you have, an SSD can make everything faster just by the nature of that high speed IO.

Robin:And then a little polish to shine it up and we are good to go? And you just saved me a thousand dollars, thank you.

Larry:Fantastic. Now let us say, if you are looking at something, actually even a 2006 MacBook, the very first MacBook that Apple shipped now eight years ago, can be with an SSD can actually boot faster and feel faster for a lot of common day applications than something that is brand new with a hard drive today. We have long been IO bound versus truly processor bound.There are things where a new GPU do make a big difference. There is no argument that things have gotten faster in other spaces. The problem when you think your computer is down, if you have not put an SSD in there and certainly if you haven’t upgraded the memory to the max, the best the system can support, you have no idea of what’s sitting in front of you.If you think you need an upgrade or need something faster and you have not taken advantage of what’s in front of you, you can save a whole heck of a lot and probably be happy for six months, twelve months or even longer with a relatively low investment in that current system.And the best part, I am sorry to be long winded about this but

Robin:It is okay.

Larry:It just gets better and better to me.In addition to being happy with what you already have, and saving all that cash upfront versus buying something new. When it is time to buy something new, because you just bought that time, whatever you buy is probably going to be faster and even cheaper than what you would have bought today new and you would be happier yet. Plus you are going to know what an SSD does. Make sure whatever you are buying new has got that SSD inside.

Robin:Let’s stop talking about personal stuff; commercial, the last one I was talking to before you is a sysadmin who runs a pretty huge data farm, data center outside of Chicago. And I knew that the computers that were put in that is a whole rack of Dell midline one use servers, about 2007 originally, something like that. What is a disk I’d be looking at?

Larry:You know, in an enterprise space, in data farming, there are other considerations with age, because the systems run a bigger load, there are higher probabilities of failure, so in an enterprise space, upgrading versus replacing, it has a whole other set of financial ramifications. That being said, depending upon the nature of what they are doing, a simple upgrade to the boot, I mean just the boot time, I mean what the system operates and pages to and what it logs to can make a night and day difference.Anytime you can remove an IO bottleneck We see sys a lot of the stuff that goes in today, and obviously this is not always the case, but the majority of the work is IO the processors spend there is always, again I don’t want to say this is absolutely 100 percent but processors spend a lot of their lives being barely utilized compared to other bottlenecks in the system, or the IO is such where the processors just kind of sit there, almost idle, and there is plenty of capability in the processor and it’s everything else has to wait.

Robin:I suspected this. And also something else I want your opinion on—we’ve been for a long time, Moore’s Law, every 18 months everything got twice as faster and wonderfuller and all of that. But for the last couple of years, now I mean I track this stuff fairly well, I write about it, and I look at it and say, “Wow! actual net usage, this new thingy in 2014, isn’t really going to do me any good or any better than the 2011 one”, because the software—what is the biggest software change, Windows 8? Oh please, oh please, I went through Windows 8 and then I upgraded to Windows 7 again. And I am not alone.So nothing has changed.

Larry:I think that has really happened is because there is so much processor power available over the last, really the last decade, and software has become less efficient and more bloated. And that goes right back to, there is so much processor capability available versus the IO capability, so now like I said you drop an SSD, since the bottleneck has long been not so much processor based but other bottlenecks, and we will put the GPU off to the side,and the graphic side and push that into its own quadrant, but for most things, that’s why again you can take a computer from seven or eight years ago, easily drop an SSD inside because those are SADIS systems and everything is SADIS supported, SSDs are SADIS today, they are backwards compatible, there is no adapters, there is no real trick here, there is nothing complicated to making one of these latest and greatest drives to drop into those systems, that’s where you can take a system, drop in the SSD, and you have memory limitation, and you have other limitations, but suddenly that system is transformed.

And to your point, really more to your point, in the Apple space, the new Mac Pro 2013 just came out, it is a fantastic machine it is loaded with GPU capability, but with a couple of simple upgrades, the Mac Pro from 2009 with Nehalem processors actually can beat the base and even may be a little bit up from base on a new Mac Pro for a fraction of that new Mac Pro cost. And that is just a video card upgrade, and an SSD, and of course memory equivalent to the new sys, but you put a 128 gigs into the 2009 Mac Pro, you can put a 128 gigs, actually just as of very recently because Apple ran64 gigs.

But we are not talking about us right now, the bottom line is you can put the memory you need in a system from four or five years ago, no problem. And with a simple SSD and a GPU upgrade, it actually for PhotoShop beats the new Mac Pro with certain functions and other functions, we are talking fractions of a second behind as opposed to when a machine that is stocked with a hard drive and with this original video card, a new Mac Pro today would be five, six, or seven times faster. But it is not that the processor architecture has suddenly evolved, like you said, Moore’s Law and just amazingly new frontiers have been conquered here. There are other bottlenecks to the new 2013, it has an SSD built into it, and it has the GPUs, but they built a fantastic machine five years ago.And with very little effort, that machine is still amazingly fantastic today.

Robin:And I noticed something else. For the longest time, I run Linux for everything except video editing. And for a long time, Linux desktops have gotten heavier and more bloated, and yet the latest ones and the basic X desktops which I am running now—they are faster, they are easier. You just take it and you run your latest Linux Mint, whatever and you stick it into the computer and you say, “Oh my goodness! It is much faster than it was with this three-year-old one—amazing! So is there a reason other than reliability? I mean like this keyboard it needs to be replaced, I have worn off the letters, but other than pure physical breakdowns, and the power supplies are getting old, that sort of thing.Why would we buy a new computer?

Larry:The only gating factors in terms of upgrading versus new come down to systems where the GPU is not upgradable. I mean if there is a GPU limitation, when you need a faster GPU that is not available as an upgrade, or maybe its memory. There is a lot to be gained by having more memory, but otherwise, these systems are certainly solid, and by and large, I can speak for the Mac side, I have less experience on the PC side, I would strongly argue that systems built, the older systems I think of all brands I think are built better than most by and large, there is exceptions, but there is a consistency, but I would say that stuff has been around is number one, has proven most failures happen sooner than later after use and by and large, these things are built to last. They are amazingly built to last, so there is very little reason.

Again, if it is already working for you, unless you have an absolute software requirement that has to have newer hardware and it just will not run on what you’ve got, there is no reason whatsoever, in my opinion, not to go down the upgrade space, as long as it is possible to upgrade, very few systems limit you in that way, just drop in a drive, add in memory, are very easy things but a huge reward.

Robin:So even I computed less time, I bought a computer I was desperate, it was because my one good big desktop broke, and I had added some videos that day, so I went up to Tiger Direct because they are local to me in Florida. And I went up there, and I bought an HP for 400 bucks. I handed out a piece of plastic, they hand me the computer and I was back home, and in action in 45 minutes. And then later I spent a couple of hours cursing and pulling out the bloatware of course. You know how that goes, you save that one you don’t buy a new computer, but if I’d had a little more time, I could have looked at craigslist or eBay for used stuff, couldn’t I? And then upgraded it to need?

Larry:I agree a 100 percent. In truth, we see more second hand owners that do things with their systems than the initial, I mean, a lot of buyers, they buy the system however it comes, it’s how it goes I mean, we’ve seen Mac Pros, I mean lots of Mac Pros that come off corporate leases, it’s like they spent all this money to get Mac Pro and it is still a base with the base memory and the base hard drive and the base, I mean they have this machine, they spent all that money to get all that potential and never did anything. It is shocking, be it a school, a business or individuals how little is done with that, and that’s why if you look at what Apple has done, I mean Apple recognized this, and it is an unfortunate recognition , but they’ve started soldering things that they used to have slots for.

Robin:So what you are saying, is they want to make it harder for us to do well?

Larry:It is not even that. I am not going to – the result is an affirmative to that, but they recognize that the vast majority of users, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. And most people in sales anybody selling computers doesn’t want to say about you can upgrade it to make it better; they want to sell you a new computer.

Robin:Really? The guys at Tiger are pretty good hobbyist guys, they say oh and this thing has 84 slots, you can upgrade it, that’s actually how they sell it, but those are like the commercial people and hobbyists, the average guy who walks in that store, and I don’t know, a Fry’s store in Northern California probably does ask of users how many USB ports has this sucker got?

Larry:Sure. But I mean that is still the minority. And the other side, the claim there is, it is easy to sell a system on a feature that it is upgradable but then you come back in and it’s like, well you know, you are going to spend $200 to upgrade this and for $400 we can sell you this. Again, it is to their most benefit – and a lot ask the other thing, when it is not you that is doing the, I am not sure, when you are talking to somebody for advice, I mean I have been involved in upgrading systems for ever, and one of the biggest arguments for us was why would you want to upgrade that? I mean for not that much more you can just get a brand new and it is going to have – right, it is always going to be all this much better.

Number one, you do have a savings upgrading. Number two, the other big saving is guess what, my system works just fine right now, I’ve got the software the way I want, I can get everything working the way I want it, whether it is driving a processor upgrade, putting in some more memory, or putting in a solid state drive, I can transfer what I have in the case of a drive upgrade to the new drive and it is all, everything looks good.I buy a new system, I got to transfer my data, and then I have to sell the used one. It sounds great in theory, but you end up, it is not just a $200 difference to upgrade, there are other costs involved, and some of the costs, especially in newer systems, in fact you can’t even run some of the software you may already have on your current hardware.

It means you need to buy an upgrade for it, because the newest hardware will only run the new OS and the new OS or the software you want to run only works with the X version and later in that new OS. Now they are reaching into your pocket for something else.

Robin:If anybody from Apple or HP or Dell or Lenovo is watching this and listening to us, should we be worried about assassinations?

Larry:Absolutely positive now. At the corner of their heart, they want to see every user happy and getting the most from their technology and what they do in it, and by and large, not always but a lot of what they do is really geared to how they see people using their products. So I can’t fault any of these guys too much for some of the things that they do.

Robin:I am going with that. Of course, watching this and listening to this, we’ve put some thoughts into, I don’t care where they are buying it, or they are already buying from Other Word, they buy it from New Egg, they are buying it from monoprice, the end result is by looking carefully and just having this thought—whether it is commercial or personal—so people can save and will save if they listen to what you just said, so people are going to save a lot of money, aren’t they?

Larry:Absolutely. To the benefit of all of these brands, they end up with greater satisfaction because they are seeing what that system can do, now they are happy with their brand, and honestly I think they are more likely to feel good when it is time to buy an upgrade. When you feel you are forced, because this thing is not fast enough, I need something better, I am not satisfied, maybe you won’t even buy the same brand again.

So this is an opportunity to get more from that existing hardware, have a better experience with it, and well move on happy, and you are going to the bottom line is you are going to buy another system at some point, it is certainly better that you get the most you can and to be happy with whichever brand, product etc., because they all want that.

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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

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  • DUH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:18PM (#46653905)

    YEAH WE KNOW

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:19PM (#46653919)

    Soo this is Slashdot, not "Mom Computer Consumer Weekly".

  • HyperDuo is not a comic book, it is a nifty technology that allows one or more SSDs to be coupled to a standard HDD and treated as a single drive, with the hot data residing on the SSD storage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MattGWU (86623)

      Hyper-Duo! It's not a comic book! It's a nifty technology that allows one or more SSDs to be coupled to a standard HDD and treated as a single drive! Hi! I'm Troy McClure....

    • It's the worst idea ever. Same with Intel's solution with cache drives. It's like an SSD except only the write speed improves since data is still fetched off the actual spinning storage drive the majority of the time if not all the time. Then you get a 32GB cache SSD that receives every single write ever written to the system. It'd fail within a year or two. Three SSDs in a RAID5 is a vastly superior solution or just buy a 480GB Crucial M500 for $230.
      • Theoretically the disk controller could initially access only the spinning platter, and then only the frequently-accessed blocks (reads or writes) would get relocated to the flash drive.

        • That's not how HyperDuo works, but you're on the right track. It's not a cache in the strict sense of the word, it's a striped set where the hot data is determined in real time and stored on the SSD part of the stripe. There is no fetching "off the actual spinning storage drive" for data that's stored on the SSD, since, well, that data isn't ON the HDD.
      • by locopuyo (1433631)
        Totally agree with this. Put the stuff that benefits from the performance on the SSD, OS, web browser, etc. Put the other stuff on an HDD.

        If you're using the caching method you won't always be getting SSD performance on things that actually matter, but if you use them separately you always get maximum performance.
        • If only there was a controller card with a co-processor (maybe a little ARM SoC) that could determine dynamically which was which and then assign the hot data to the SSD and the other data to the HDD automatically, constantly reevaluating which was which and making it all transparent. Oh wait, that's EXACTLY what HyperDuo is .....
      • Actually no, only access to the hot data improves, but it's not a cache in the strict sense of the word, it's a striped set where the hot data is determined in real time and stored on the SSD part of the stripe. There is no fetching "off the actual spinning storage drive" for data that's stored on the SSD, since, well, that data isn't ON the HDD. This is assuming a person is using the recommended "capacity mode" (striping) and not the mirror mode. However, even for the mirror mode you're perfectly wrong in
  • it's true (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:21PM (#46653947)
    Almost every failing of a computer can be related to where the OS sits. I have replaced/installed over 50 new/used computer platters with SSDs as the primary and a platter as the storage. Not only does boot time vanish, but just about everything under the sun is improved. I could ramble on but I think that's what the video does. Basically it's just smarter regardless of whether you use Win/Mac/Linux etc.
    • by cj_n_sf (781833)
      I had a friend who was adding memory to his Macbook to also add a SSD. Those two additions made "amazing" speed improvements. With the prices of SSD's it is a no brainer. No computer should be without it!
      • by ulzeraj (1009869)

        I'm comfortably living with a MBP equipped with a 250GB Samsung EVO 840 and a home server with FreeBSD and a 4x3TB mirror pool and Netatalk. After installing the SSD I've also encrypted the file system with file vault and since the processor features AES-NI the speed is still leagues ahead of the old spinning rust.

        I keep all the work and important documents on the MBP and media, virtual machine images and so on on the home server. Better part is that as soon as I enter my home network Time Machine starts wo

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The boot boost is irrelevant if you don't need to reboot very often so that benefit to Linux users questionable.

    • I sure hope you're checking if it's a SATAII or SATAIII controller first. It sounds like you're not, you're epically screwing up. Yeah they run but at half speed and with half the features disabled.
      • I just got done doing a benchmarking exercise to figure out what hardware to buy for our large business, where we compared like laptops from the "Big Three" (Lenovo, Dell, HP).

        Rotational disk throughput, 1Gb random 512KB block read: 33 - 46 MB/sec depending on disk model

        SSD disk throughput, 1Gb random 512KB block read: 339 - 464 MB/sec depending on disk model

        Conclusion: Most rotational disks barely used the available bandwidth of SATA I. SSDs are only now passing SATA II speeds. A SSD on a SATA II cont

    • Did this to my i5 about 18 months ago and was pleasantly surprised at the performance boost, it's now as responsive (and in some cases more so) than my i7. Having said that the SSD died after less than 6 months of use. It was replaced under warranty and has been running for about a year now, but the experience reinforced their reputation for poor reliability in my mind and I still don't quite trust it.

      PS: The little tool bundled with windows that rates the performance of the PC is very handy, it tells y
    • I tested and windows had no substantial improvement booting from SSD, nor working on my usual apps. Windows must do a lot of writing during boot compared to most OS.

      Linux benefited tremendously, from 90 second boot to 13 seconds. Usual apps were loading in less than three seconds.

       

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I tested and windows had no substantial improvement booting from SSD, nor working on my usual apps. Windows must do a lot of writing during boot compared to most OS.

        The biggest difference is in Vista. Every other Windows shows less improvement. Windows is actually really good at optimizing boot, since XP at least it will even defrag and relocate files for boot optimization.

    • by bug1 (96678)

      Almost every failing of a computer can be related to where the OS sits.

      Slashvertisers do comments as well now ?

      Viruses and malware got you down, SSD is what you need, buy now !
      Having mouse problems with your computer, SSD for you, buy now !
      Power supply burnt out, buy SSD now !

      Line up to purchase you magical Snake oil^W^W SSD drive, fixes all your ails.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most laptops don't come with the ability to put in two drives so you can't have an SSD and platter. You'd have to have an external USB drive which most users would not want to lug around.

    Many people I've known with 128GB SSD run out of space fast. I'd recommend at least 240GB. Another option for light users would be a hybrid SSD.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Most laptops don't come with the ability to put in two drives so you can't have an SSD and platter. You'd have to have an external USB drive which most users would not want to lug around.

      Many laptop motherboards come with an internal mSATA port.
      This can be used for SSDs as either a standalone drive or a cache drive for your spinning disk.

      As a combination, SSD cache + spinning disk is almost as fast in all the ways that matters.

    • Rip out the mini PCI-E wireless card, go to a USB-based N150HG from rosewill (actually a realtek product) and put a crucial M500-series PCI-E-based SSD into it. Tada, two "hard drive" slots.
    • by Wycliffe (116160)

      Another option for light users would be a hybrid SSD.

      Why only for light users? I would think a small SSD in front of a large HD would work great.
      A simple algorithm that kept a combination of the most commonly and most recently accessed files on SSD
      should make cache misses rare.

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      With my laptop, when my platter only hard drive died I put a 1TB hybrid SSD drive in as a replacement. I'm not sure of the SSD cache size, but OS operations were instantly faster (boot and things I use a lot). As well, anything I use regularly such as Visual Studio or Photoshop now start up in 3-4 seconds.

      I would recommend hybrid drives for any laptop user, it is a great upgrade and the price was very reasonable.

    • Most laptops don't come with the ability to put in two drives so you can't have an SSD and platter. You'd have to have an external USB drive which most users would not want to lug around.

      Thank heavens for the classic MacBook Pro. Well, you have to get rid of the optical drive, but an external one is £20 or so. SSD drive one side, 1 TB hard drive on the other side, do-it-yourself-fusion drive to bind it all together invisibly to the user.

  • Guess I'm out -- my current main drive is 1.5 TB.
  • 1TB for $500? Remember when the 16gb ones were expensive as hell just a few years back?

    I guess they're bound to replace platter based drives even for storage by the end of the decade, since that just really budged in capacity significantly in years.

    Right now doing fine with a 256gb one. 128gb ended up cramped far too often with os/apps and normal downloads.

    • I'd recommend 240+. My work PC has a 120GB drive; and Win7, four versions of Visual Studio, SQL Server, and a few other apps pretty much fill it up. I've had to continually shuffle data including some source code to my secondary platter drive (slower compilation, boo) just to keep some space free (currently 3.3GB).

  • ... the problem with buying a small SSD is that you'll just want to upgrade anyway later. So you should just take the plunge and get a reasonably sized SSD so that you can run common intensive apps off the SSD. Traditional HD's are just for storage/movies/big stuff. Most people only use a few common programs at a time so having enough space on an SSD for things you use frequently is a must. It just makes your life that much easier and you won't have to upgrade until many years later when program sizes o

    • by Firethorn (177587)

      ... the problem with buying a small SSD is that you'll just want to upgrade anyway later.

      I've experienced that myself. In addition I've found that the time I spent manually moving my steam games to the HD when I was done actively playing them(even mostly automated with a script) was taking enough time & effort that I ended up just installing them all to the HD by default, leaving the OS as the main SSD use. I really need to find some sort of smart caching system like the hybrid SSD/HD.

    • I agree. A 500 GB drive seems to be the sweet spot these days for a typical user, even in a corporate setting.

      And most 500 GB solid states are almost down to $250. For the kind of performance improvement, it is going to be a necessity soon.
    • The other thing with SSDs is that within a given generation, speed correlates to capacity. The 512GB model doesn't use chips with twice the capacity, it uses twice as many chips. Sequential write speed close to doubles because twice as many chips can be writing at any given time (random writes, and the latency of sequential writes, obviously doesn't benefit)

  • Have 32 GB of ram 18 GB of which currently used by OS disk cache. There is no disk delay to do anything. A week after starting a VMware workstation image it is always still cached in ram and resumes instantly. All of my apps and everything load instantly with no disk related delay.

    Given that reality $130 for 3TBs of platters is still a much better deal.

    My machine suspends to ram when not in use and reboots less than once a month to install patches. Boot times are irrelevant as is time needed to initia

    • by timeOday (582209)
      That really depends on workload. RAM disk cache doesn't help any with writes. It also doesn't help if you have any programs that read or write very large files, as the cache just fills up with that one large file. Even 18 GB is only a couple hours of recorded broadcast TV.
  • by rduke15 (721841) <rduke15 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:31PM (#46654151)

    They may have fine SSDs, but the ones I bought to add to 2 mac minis were ridiculously slow for SSDs. Around 80 MBps read/write according to BlackMagic's disk speed test. Not faster than the original normal drive that came with the machines. In one of the Mac minis, I replaced the OWC with a Samsung, and it's much faster (I forgot how much, but certainly over 120 MBps).

    So in conclusion, yes, SSD may improve performance, but only if they are fast SSDs. Some aren't and won't make a big difference. (and when they fail, they tend to do so without warning and completely, so be sure to always have backups).

  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:35PM (#46654215) Homepage Journal

    Yes, because Windows makes it oh so easy to move user profiles to other volumes.

    For Linux users, it's really easy:

    mount -o rw /dev/sdb1 /mnt/tmp
    mv /home/. /mnt/tmp/home
    ls -lh /home #to make sure everything moved.
    mount -o rw /dev/sdb1 /home (ideally, add ,acl to enable access control lists)

    . . . then add it to fstab to make it permanent.

    On Windows, each user has to go to each individual folder and move it - and only lets you move certain folders. To do it globally it requires registry edits, which Joe Sixpack will inevitably screw up.

    • by kimvette (919543)

      . . . or you can use NTFS junctions (Windows' equivalent of hard links), which cannot be done via the Windows UI.

    • Depends on how many files you have it your home dir. If it's lots, I prefer:

      cd /home
      find . -print -depth | cpio -pvdum /mnt/home
    • by PReDiToR (687141)
      You might be interested in this [starkeith.net] article about moving an entire Windows profile from one location to another.

      Or not. It just isn't as hard as it seems at first glance. The stupid GUI is just as stupid as everything else in Windows.
    • Why move the profile in Windows? You can independently relocated My Music, My Pictures, My Documents, the Desktop, and I think also the internet cache. Then leave the actual folder itself and app data especially (hello, performance much?) on the SSD.
    • I actually was able to direct all user home folders to their own partition for the first time with my last Windows install. It turns out that there's a key combo you can hit on a certain page of the install wizard that will drop you to the desktop for the preboot environment the installer is running in, where you can run regedit (which will at that exact tab of the wizard see the registry of the newly installed system) and move the default user folder location (this is before any users have been created, ag

      • by kimvette (919543)

        That's fine if you've got the standard OEM with the system builder kit installed, but for the typical system Joe Sixpack buys that option is not present, nor is it documented, nor is it accessible once the system has been activated.

  • all you need is a large enough SSD to contain your OS and software and whatever data you're working with at the moment,

    Can the Linux kernel be configured to use a SSD as a 2nd-level disk cache, behind the RAM cache, so that you don't need to manually put your working data in the SSD?

    • by Graymalkin (13732) *

      There's a few methods to do this. The first is bcache [wikipedia.org] which allows an SSD/Flash memory to be combined to form a hybrid volume. Another is Flashcache [wikipedia.org] which is a little more transparent (as I understand it) with respect to the file system.

      • by Mandrel (765308)

        My thanks to you and the AC above.

        Both those Wikipedia pages linked to this [iu.edu] benchmark, that showed Dm-cache [wikipedia.org] is another option that gives very good performance in write-back caching mode (adequate for most desktop machines),

  • Who visits this site and doesn't already know this? I've been salvaging laptops (for a fee) by putting in SSDs for years. As long as it has SATA, slap one in (sure, they made PATA SSDs but why?). And no, a RAM drive is not the same unless you have external power for the RAM or you never turn you PC off. Disks have been a bottleneck since the invention of the PC. Only now can you have an average PC where the CPU is (sometimes) the largest bottleneck. Next up, you can speed up your computer by removing H
    • You are so far off, it's comical. Some laptops have a SATA controller that's just a SATA physical port connected to an IDE controller. Some have geniune SATA I which I think goes 100MB/s or something. SATAII runs at a pathetic 300-350MB cap in real world performance. SATAIII which is more of a 2011 and later product in laptops has enough bandwidth to properly run an SSD. I put a 256MB high performance SSD in my laptop with a core2 7350 and 4GB of RAM and it's pathetic compared to new laptops due solely
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Next up, you can speed up your computer by removing HPs bloated all-in-one software suite.

      I can go one better... Dump windows and all the HP garbage and load Linux. Presto, fast! Much faster than the Windows Bloat ware virus stuff...

      IF you want to get even more, compile everything you use for your CPU/Motherboard arch starting with the kernel, kernel modules, standard libraries and any programs you run. Yea, it takes time, but you will be amazed with what happens to your system speed. It is usually even faster than the default distribution which is usually compiled for the lowest common facto

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:38PM (#46654285)

    Obviously, the first performance enhancement you do on any computer you own is max out the RAM.

    Uhh...not exactly. In fact, his subsequent logic about why lots of people don't need terabyte magnetic disks applies directly to this point about RAM. If your system supports 16GB of RAM but all you ever do is browse the web and check email then you almost certainly don't need to max out your system's RAM. In fact, you could probably make do with 4GB.

    • Re:uhhh... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Russ1642 (1087959) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:46PM (#46654393)

      I'm posting through a time portal from 2035. Windows 22 requires 128 terabytes but you're an idiot if you try with less than 512. All I use the computer for is posting cat holograms and running porn programs on my holodeck. It's ridiculous.

  • what the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:47PM (#46654421)
    "Obviously, the first performance enhancement you do on any computer you own is max out the RAM"
    What kind of clueless moron wrote that nonsense?
  • my HD died in my macbook last year
    it was out of warranty so i bought a hybrid drive at best buy. 1TB with 32MB of flash and it made a huge difference in speed.
    pure SSD is most likely faster, but not enough for me to shell out all that money for a second here and there

  • Notable improvement (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:58PM (#46654603) Homepage

    This post probably deserves an off-topic mod. I know. With that out of the way...

    I'll admit, since my comment [slashdot.org] on the last video, I've been curious what the next would be like. Roblimo, I don't know if you saw or cared about my comment, but I notice that this story is far better. As of this writing, there is not a single comment complaining about advertising, even though there's still only a single company directly involved. The focus is more general, and that makes the whole thing much more appealing. Kudos to you. It makes me happy to think that I might be improving Slashdot in some small way.

    Granted, the subject is a bit under the typical Slashdotter's level of expertise, but that's beside the point. This would have been really nice when I was explaining to a former boss how SSDs should properly be used. He thought I was crazy for suggesting that the documents he wanted to have instant access to should be on the slower drive.

  • Full subject: An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One

    Yippee!! Free SSD!!

  • I'm actually embarassed for you, /.

    wth..

  • As always, it's a matter of tradeoffs.

    I run a small lab of computers, and I decided to try upgrading them to 128GB SSDs. The fast computers with Windows 8 became even faster. The slow computers with Windows Vista did not improve dramatically.

    Especially the small desktop with the 1.6GHz Core Duo. A lot of time is spent on hard disk access, but get slow enough and a huge amount of time is actually waiting on the CPU. Chrome opens pretty quickly, but Firefox still takes several times as long to launch. LibreOf

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