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HDD vs SSD Performance


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Prior to some experimentation with two SSDs in RAID 0, I cloned my SSD OS drive to a standard 1TB HDD. This is on a PC with a SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a SATA 3Gb/s SSD. The SSD OS drive has always worked well, and is very quick, although not as good as a SATA 6Gb/s mother board and SSD. I've been using SSDs as OS drives on all my PCs for a while now, so I am spoiled by their performance. This is with Windows 7, using the Intel IRST driver in AHCI mode.


The clone to the HDD worked fine, alignment was preserved fine, and the HDD is empty besides the clone of the SSD, all of about 20GB. I defraged the HDD after the clone, so I assume that the OS has been written to the fastest area of the HDD. The HDD was purchased this year, 7200RPM, and is a typical drive of this type. It booted up fine and the PC functions normally, I'm using it as I write this.


The performance/speed difference? Very obvious, much slower. Boot time is three times as long with the HDD, being generous. Program starting is much slower, and little things like the time it takes to display the browser's bookmarks is surprisingly slow. Anti-virus scans are much slower, and attempting to do other things while the scan is running is when the difference really sinks in. The entire usage experience of the PC is different, not terrible and unusable, but would be clear to anyone. I could go on, but no need to.


If you are on the fence about getting a SSD, the performance difference between them and a HDD is very real, and will be more tangible than upgrading to a new mother board and CPU.

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Yup. I myself am used to SSDs by now.


Once in a while I get the "pleasure" of spending time with a friend of mine's older laptop with a nice and frisky 5200RPM HDD. I feel like shooting myself. The PC is obviously slower than me; I can't work with that anymore.

If I ever have to go get a laptop, I'll be dead-set on equipping it with an SSD. An upgrade to the storage subsystem really means that much.

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