SSD against hard drive: This way a notebook performance improves

Improving the performance of a computer, whether desktop or laptop, directly, simply and economically, is currently replacing the traditional hard disk with an SSD. At the price we can find them currently, it is a winning solution and does not require a significant effort or outstanding payout. At least for the improvement we get in return.

Advantages of SSD vs. Hard Drive

When thinking about changing a classic hard drive by an SSD the first thing that comes to mind is the speed improvement that we will get. But it is not the only one.

With very short access times and maximum speed transfers, which allow us to run applications faster or copy / move files faster, we must add that we are talking about units based on flash memory that do not have moving parts, So they are more reliable and resistant. This causes that the falls of the equipment do not pose a risk for the own data (if the SSD is not damaged, of course).

On reliability with time and GB of writing, as we discussed in the analysis of SSD Blue WD, except in very specific cases, we will change equipment or unit before the current begins to fail.

SSDs are also silent disks in their operation, and with a very reduced consumption compared to classic HDDs, since they do not require movement of any part. With the advancement in the capacity with which we can get them without the price, difference is very large compared to classic disks and increasing reliability, there is no reason not to have an SSD in our desktop or laptop except for very specific cases.

Speed Differences Between SSD and a Hard Drive

Still have not been convinced of the advantages of SSD in your desktop or laptop? We have been running games for a few weeks, testing programs and doing regular tasks with a laptop with a few years behind, with a classic HDD as a main unit, as with an SSD.

The result is a comparative in speed of execution of software and tasks between the same PC with a classic hard disk or an SSD.

To complete the test we have done the same action but with a current team dedicated to gaming. So we can assess for which tasks in particular it is more beneficial to opt for an SSD in both old and new equipment.

Test Equipment

For comparing the operation of a team with years behind it when we exchange the HDD for an SSD, we “resurrected” an Acer Aspire 8942G laptop with more than 7 years of age and recently we have performed a transplant of a basic SSD 120 GB. We did not need a better drive, as we could not take advantage of the laptop’s SATA compatibility.

This new unit replaces one of the two HDDs with this equipment. We left one of the old 320GB HDD as data storage and support of the SSD where we installed the operating system. Due to the age of the team, we opted to install for the test a copy of Windows 7, identical in both units to be able to run and test with the same software base.

The second test features the same head PC as in our latest hardware tests: the ASUS G11 that has a base equipment made up of the Intel Core i7 6700 (Skylake) at 3.4 Ghz accompanied by 16 GB of DDR4 RAM 2126 Mhz and an Nvidia GTX980 graphics.

For the tests and experience with the current PC we installed two identical Windows 10 images, one on a classic 1 TB hard disk and another on an SSD of the same capacity. And we started to play and work.

Image Source: Google Image

Hard drives vs. SSDs

The speed comparison between the two discs is based on the speed specifications of each of them. Let us also not forget other important long-term values such as running consumption.

In the case of Acer laptop, these are the two hard disks faced. The classic model is 5400 rpm.

Toshiba 320GB
Sandisk 120 GB 445 MB / s 535 MB / sec

As for the most current desktop model, the comparative faces two units with a capacity of 1 TB. The Toshiba DT01ACA100 at 7200 rpm and with consumption of about 5 W and the WD Blue SSD just arrived at the market with only 0.7 w.

Toshiba 1 TB 150 MB / s 150 MB / s
WD Blue 1 TB 525 MB / s 545 MB / s

Synthetic tests

After installing the disks in their corresponding places and the identical configuration of the operating systems and software, the first thing we asked ourselves was whether there would be performance differences with synthetic tests when using a classic hard disk or an SSD.

You may also like to read another article on iMindSoft: If you are going to buy a hard drive, look out for these models they are the ones that seem to fail

To check it we passed in the two disks a series of benchmarks habitual already in our tests of hardware components. The tests were with the storage test of PCMark 8, the Home benchmark of the same program, as well as with the classic CrystaldiskMark that we always use in the tests of performance of the hard disks and SSD.

In the case of the Acer notebook, the difference in scoring is very prominent in the case of CrystalDiskMark, given the quality and technologies of both disks.

HDD 1034 36/42 MB / s
SSD 1231 184/219 MB / s

If we do the same series of tests in the most current ASUS equipment, the differences are not so abysmal but significant at least on paper and with this type of software.

HDD 2431 4705 192/223 MB / s
SSD 4877 4828 496/507 MB / s

Differences running applications, playing or copying files

The data provided by the programs to measure performance guide us but do not complete the experience we wanted to transmit with this test. Now try to see in what more real situations we can take advantage of the SSD.

If we refer to the Acer laptop, the first differences are already arriving from the moment we have to install the operating system. As we have indicated the version chosen is Windows 7, and while when we perform the installation on the hard disk the operation takes 13 minutes, repeating it but using the SSD as base unit, the speed increases considerably and we could have everything ready in only 8 Minutes.

Also at the time of starting the operating system, there are differences. In the case of the Acer laptop, with Windows 7 on the SSD the computer was ready in 7 seconds, while when we did the same with the classic hard disk partition, the time was up to 16 seconds. Only for this reason, it would be worth investing the 50 dollars that costs the SSD unit of Sandisk and the 3 minutes that we used in changing the units.

For hard disk performance tests against SSD, in the case of the Acer notebook, I have selected 5 different scenarios.

  • ISO copy of a game with 18 GB capacity.
  • Software installation The Gimp
  • Run The Gimp by opening 18 images with a total of 97 MB
  • Compress 18 images with a total of 97 MB
  • Start playing a 4GB UHD video with VLC

The benchmark performance of the notebook when we performed these actions from the SSD or from the HDD are these:

SSD vs. HDD on a current PC for gaming

Since we were entertained performing tests and more tests with our laptop renewed with an SSD, we decided to perform five similar but more demanding tests to verify the real advantage that in the day to day with a PC with gaming configuration has to have an SSD unit for The operating system.

In this case the five tests consisted of …

  • ISO copy of a game with 18 GB capacity.
  • Installing the game Mafia III
  • Open 48 RAW images (total 553 MB) with The Gimp
  • Unzip 3 GB with a total of 3000 files
  • Load saved game in The Division

In addition to these tests we did other comparisons like starting LoL, with almost identical results (10 seconds of the SSD for 13 seconds of the HDD) or open The Gimp as it is (5 seconds with SSD for the 8 seconds that took the ASUS PC with an HDD).

I think there is no doubt that, in a current PC, an SSD is almost obligatory, that although it does not mark the same differences as in older equipment, the improvement is appreciated however small. And as you have checked with our tests, in the case of the laptop, we cannot be more pleased with the improvement experienced even though it is not able to get the most out of an SSD unit like Sandisk.

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