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Upgrade to a Solid State Hard drive...should I?

Posted on 2014-01-12
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell T5500 Precision that I use for CAD station that has the below listed specs. The question I have is will I gain enough in performance to upgrade this machine to a solid state hard drive, or I am just better off buying a new workstation.  Is this machine worth investing the money into?  If so, what are my options for a SSD that are compatible with this machine?

Dell Inc. Precision WorkStation T5500
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5530 @ 2.40GHz
Number of processor cores 4
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
12.0 GB RAM
Total size of hard disk(s) 466 GB
Display adapter type NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800
  Total available graphics memory 4095 MB
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Question by:fdbguy
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39774917
An SSD will give you a major performance boost even with low end hardware, which I don't regard yours to be. So sure, get an SSD.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 39774991
Looks like a pretty good machine to me, an SSD should help and it'd be a shame to dump that machine if it's still doing the job for the most part.

One of the things I've see is SSD drive just getting jam packed and the machine going to hell cause the C: drive fills up too fast.

so a good thing is to make symbolic links for all except a LocalAdmin account, as you may need an account to run updates (been seeing this in Windows8, but it's a possible issue in 7 also, I just haven't run across it.)

if your using apps that have a really heavy disk use only link the data folders.  as all the swap and temp files should be on the SSD unless it's so much it fills the drive.

I've seen several people with SSD drives end up with only minor improved performance due to size and or swapping to the standard HDD
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LVL 23

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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 39775003
I would invest the money on an SSD. The configuration on this machine looks quite good. I don't see any reason to invest on a new machine.
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 39775300
On the surface I'd agree the answer is yes.   With only 466GB of hard drive space, you could even put in an SSD that would have space for all of your OS and data -- 480GB units are reasonably affordable these days. [e.g. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0AT0PC2604 ]

However, before doing that, confirm that you're indeed being limited by your disk speeds and not by your CPU (Not likely, but certainly possible).    Load Task Manager, and then do some of the tasks you're trying to improve the speed of.    Then look at the Performance tab on Task Manager and see what the CPU utilization history looks like for the last few minutes.   If you're "pegging" your CPU, then a faster disk isn't going to help very much.    If the CPU utilization is modest, then the SSD would likely provide a very nice performance boost.
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by:andyalder
ID: 39775329
Certainly a performance workstation, you could also up the RAM to 48GB to avoid any memory paging.
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LVL 93

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by:nobus
ID: 39775926
you can use this tool for moving your OS to the SSD, if you don't want a fresh install (which is always the best)
Paragon move OS to SSD :  http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/

at even not 20$ it is very affordeable
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