The Need for Speed

Now it’s official – I got myself a brand new SSD disk to get a little bit more speed out of my laptop. For comparing things I did a short hdparm test with my older Seagate Momentus XT as I am too lazy to look up some kind of datasheet. Keep in mind, that disk is a hybrid disk – which is slower than an SSD.

# hdparm -t /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 326 MB in 3.01 seconds = 108.43 MB/sec

Sure, 108 MB/s aren’t that impressive and it might be that this benchmarking method doesn’t use the cache – which reminds me a little of my daily experience. The SSD disk of my choice is an Angelbird Crest 6 Master 480 GB.

The first notable thing is capacity: the disk ‘only’ offers 480 GB instead of the common 512 GB. The reason for this is having 32 GB as spare memory in case of memory failure.

Exchanging the disks isn’t a big deal at all and it doesn’t take long until I’m booting again – a rescue system for getting my data onto that new SSD. But first, let’s have a look at hdparm again:

# hdparm -t /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 670 MB in 3.00 seconds = 223.24 MB/sec

The datasheet shows twice as what I am getting – the reason for that slowness here is my old SATA controller of this notebook. As my data gets copied over now, it’s time to talk about some technical things: SSD disks dislike power loss. Worst case is, their controller being stuck into some weird state having all data lost. The Master-Series of Angelbirds’ disks do have a built in UPS which allows the memory controller to shut down correctly in case of power loss, which minimizes the risk of data loss pretty well then.

Enough talk for now. Let’s see how that beast acts in daily business. Guess the next days will show that pretty well and impressive.

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