I feel pretty good about it.
The installation took about four hours, but none of it was really the drives fault. Partially, it was my fault for being an idiot1, but that only ate up about 15 minutes. The rest of it was some obscure, arcane Ubuntu boot setting that was causing the os to try to find drive partitions by (a non-existant) UUID. It's simple in retrospect, but when your new hard drive gives you a message along the lines of
CANNOT FIND BOOT PARTITION; NO OPERATING SYSTEM INSTALLED
it's a little nerve-wracking. You probably don't really care about the intricacies of Ubuntu installation, though, so I'll just close that subject by saying that I didn't expect to have to understand how my OS references its devices merely to install it.
What I'm dying to talk about is the drive. I've been reading things like "order of magnitude improvement" from various people who've installed SSDs and loved them, but I really wasn't sure going in that it would be worth the $250. It was either going to be another incremental boost to system performance, OR it was going to be a substantial increase but since I was now expecting it, I'd be disappointed anyway. Well, earlier in the week, my HDD kicked the bucket pretty hard. At that point, I figured "Self, it's going to cost you about a hundred bucks for a new drive anyway. You may as well just try the SSD and get it over with." My plan was to grab an OCZ Vertex 30gb (I checked my HD usage earlier in the week; I was sitting at just over 8gb used, so I knew I could get away with it), but they were out of stock so I ended up getting an OCZ Agility 60gb. An extra 30gb never killed anyone, and it had the same read/write speeds so I was ok with that.
This thing is awesome.
It used to take about a minute to get from "Push the power button" to "My desktop is loaded". It now takes 16 seconds to get from "Push power" to the login screen, and loading my desktop once I'm logged in is instantaneous. It literally takes no time. Opening up my browser or editor is easily twice as fast as it used to be. It doesn't seem to affect the speed of saving files though, which is neither a surprise nor a deal-breaker. The other cool thing is that, other than the fan, my computer is now silent. It's a nice bonus.
From this day forth, all computers I buy will be equipped with SSDs2
- Forgetting that a SATA 2 drive still needs to have power connected, if you must know.↩
- Greetings from 2016! So far, I've kept this up. I'm up to a 128G drive at the moment, which is also mildly faster and much cheaper than the 64G I wrote about here. I don't think anyone other than potentially the Finance and Medical industries still force their employees to use non-SSDs, and most consumer-grade computers these days are phones or tablets, which never had platter drives to begin with.↩