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SSD as single drive in workstation pros and cons [Resolved]

What are the pros and cons of using an SSD as the only drive in a workstation instead of an array of several HDDs or a fast 10k/15k HDD?

To be more specific, Intel X25-M 80GB with Windows 7 x86-64 installed for use in developer/designer workstations, using a NAS, SAN or file server for storage of large files and the SSD for the source code.

Two I can think of right now:


  • Cheaper - you don't pay for additional HDDs


  • Less space - you don't have the space of HDDs

Question Credit: Mircea Chirea
Question Reference
Asked October 6, 2019
Tags: ssd
Posted Under: Network
7 Answers

Also take into consideration that most SSDs will run much hotter than even a pair of regular drives when pushed hard - so make sure you have good air clearance capabilities built into your machine (unless you don't intend to push them very hard anyway).

credit: Chopper3
Answered October 6, 2019

As you're comparing an SSD to an array of drives, consider "Single Point of failure" as one of the cons, too.

credit: Rob Moir
Answered October 6, 2019

Actually, it is:

Pro: Speed. Lots of it. (If you buy a fast drive.)

Cons: Price. Size. (SSD drives are small).

My workstation has: - One 256 GB SSD drive for system and source code. - Two 1 TB SATA drives connected into RAID0 for video files and other stuff. - One 512 GB SATA drive for onsite backup.

If you can live with a 256 GB, then one SSD would work great for you.

credit: gabr
Answered October 6, 2019

One possibility could be to use an ssd as a cache for slower media.
Example is using ZFS file system.
Unluckily as far as i know no windows file systems can do that.

credit: PiL
Answered October 6, 2019

I seldom see any huge speed improvements using SSD or multiple 10-15krpm raid0 drives for "linking and compiling large builds"... switching to an even faster CPU on the other hand will give a lot more gain.

I'd reserve the SSD for OS and application files instead, this will speed up the user response time in bloated IDEs like Visual Studio by a lot... but adding in a single low-fi 500 GB temp drive would be almost free - code and generators doesn't take much space but, the built binaries and generated intermediates can take a lot of space and modern 7k2rpm SATA drives will handle linking and building just fine.

credit: Oskar Duveborn
Answered October 6, 2019

Don't forget that some SSD's have a limited (compared to a hard drive) number of writes, called "Write Endurance". This article discusses the issue in some depth. It was certainly an issue with older SSD's, but is becoming less of an issue with newer ones.

An SSD might be more suitable for an OS drive that doesn't change that often, whereas a normal hard drive is more suitable for a data drive that's frequently written to.

If you do go with SSD's make sure you find one with a high "Write Endurance".

credit: Eureka
Answered October 6, 2019
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