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Sitting in the lap of luxury with an SSD

OK, it finally works. I have my OCZ Vertex running in my Compaq Evo D510 using a Rosewill RC-203 IDE-SATA bridge adapter.

It’s fast and quiet. I haven’t had it working for long but I really wouldn’t want to give it up. I’m not looking forward to that clunker with spinning disks on my desk at work tomorrow.Windows boots in well under 30 seconds. You barely see the Windows XP splash screen. And once you get to the desktop, you can start loading programs even though the disk light is still blinking a little. The system doesn’t care.

Firefox loads in about three seconds. I could probably reduce that some if I cut down on the amount of history I made it remember. But since I keep it loaded all the time, I probably won’t bother.

Excel loads in a second. I think it spends as long displaying its stupid splash screen as it does actual work now. You can disable that, and it might be worthwhile to. There’s no perceptible difference between loading it the first time or loading it the second time.

Word loads in about a second too. Like Excel, the first launch is about the same speed as launching it from cache.

Photoshop Elements is still a slow pig. It loads about five seconds faster than off my old Seagate drive, but takes about 20 seconds to load. That’s not bad, but it’s about as long as Windows itself.

It’s quiet and cool. The system fans on this Compaq adjust themselves as necessary, and they’re spinning very slow. A bird singing outside your window drowns it out. The drive isn’t completely silent, but without putting my ear right up to it, I can’t hear it.

With no more worries about physical wear, shutting the computer off at night (or at least hibernating it) becomes more feasible. And while it’s on, the system’s power usage will drop a few watts.

I had problems cloning to my new drive with Ghost. If you want to clone rather than rebuild, Drive Image XML looks like a better bet. The downside with it, as I found out, is that your new drive has to be the same size, or larger, than your old one. Even though I had 18 GB free on my 40 GB drive, it wouldn’t let me clone to a 30 GB drive.

Why did I buy a 30 GB drive? Because I expect prices to continue to drop. 30 gigs is enough to be useful, so if I decide to buy a larger drive this year or next, I can move this 30 GB drive into another system.

This is a big deal. If you can’t afford an Intel SSD, buy the OCZ Vertex. You won’t regret it.

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