SSD Or Better Processor.

I have an XPS Studio 1340 4GB RAM, 2.6 GHz processor, 500GB HD with 6MB L2 Cache. I bought this for 970$ before 1.5 yrs.
Now I am getting an Core i5 for the same money.
Is it better to get a faster processor or get an SSD
Suppose I have a Core i5-560M with 2.6 GHz with 500 GB HD with 3MB Cache.
and if I put a 256 GB SSD on the above processor. Which will be faster and why?
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Gladys KernsCommented:
srikanthrad - anything that benefits from faster I/O will benefit from an SSD... anything that is bottlenecking on computations will benefit from a faster Proc and/or RAM.

Oracle is a good example... DB queries WILL run more efficiently on an SSD with the same processor... but it depends on the data and on the queries as far as how much faster.

It's hard to really tangibly isolate these things to make concrete arguments either way.... so here's my $0.02 based on my own experience both in workstations and servers:

Overall - an SSD has not been worth the cost for me in terms of value for performance.  If I want faster I/O I'll build a RAID with some kind of striped-access.  RAID1+0 or similar...

A Core2Duo is a pretty great chip for a lot of computational needs... the Corei5 is markedly better.  Again it depends where you're bottlenecking at.

Random thoughts:  Database performance generally would improve with either or both types of improvements

Gaming will mostly benefit from graphics card, RAM, and cpu improvements

General system operations will generally benefit from I/O and RAM improvements

Intense graphic design and/or video rendering type/work will generally improve with both but tend to weigh more heavily on the CPU/RAM aspect...

just some thoughts to help!
Gladys KernsCommented:
"faster" depends entirely on what you intend to use the computer for...

the XPS Studio is a Pentium 4 or a Core2Duo?

What do you do with your computer - day to day?

What kinds of things are you hoping to improve performance on?
It really depends on what you exactly do!
An SSD will make file read/write operations faster and smoother, while running the actual program
in memory doesn't have to do with it unless the app is out of memory and it's swapping!!

All in all for a regular house use it would be better to have the SSD in my openion, this will make windows
load faster and will make apps load from disk to memory (hence open) faster, it will not affect the speed of a video game for instance! only it's first load up time!!!

I hope this gives a glempse of the issue and helps some.. ofcourse it's always better to have everything tip-top if you can afford it!
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Well in IMHO i believe if u have alot of programs that use heavy disk interaction u go to SSD if u have heavy computation needs u go for the processor.
Let me give u an example.Suppose u have program that u spends some 10 minutes to do something and then u wait 1 hours so that the computer gives u the result u want...then u go to CPU...but if u spends a lot of time moving fies,opening and closing windows then u go to the SSD.
srikanthradAuthor Commented:
It is a Core 2 Duo processor.
Thank you. I understood what you are trying to say.
okay thanks. I thought that SSD will increase the speed of a video game. I have a decent graphics card. Nvidia 256MB. So, I thought I shall go for SSD. I will not be playing games though. I use Compiz effects on my Linux I thought it will run even smoothly or may be my video editing will be better.

My Requirements:
I want my Linux system to be faster when I try to open it. I will not be performing any Mathematical Computations. Mostly will be writing Java Programs for myself to understand some technologies but not anything time-intensive though. Mostly I will be remoting to my office computer to do my work.

I use Compiz effects on my Linux I thought it will run even smoothly or may be my video editing will be better.

So, SSD is only for faster opening and closing of a program? I thought that since the fetch time will improve, may be CPU will not be idle. So, I thought CPU will peform better. For instance, I have Oracle installed on my system. If I fetch something from Oracle, if I use SSD I thought Oracle will perform better. I thought that may be my "find" command will be faster. I use "find" almost everyday on my Linux system.

May be I am wrong. Please clarify.
srikanthradAuthor Commented:
I understood what you said. But, can you please see my requirements above and try to explain like you did with an example of what would be better. Thanks.

@aboo_s: and @otter77:
Can you please see my requirements above and try to explain. Thanks
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
An example of CPU intensive applications is 3d Rendering(not modelling).
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