[CS-FSLUG] General Advice SSDs and Linux

Karl Kleinpaste karl at kleinpaste.org
Thu Apr 1 13:39:07 CDT 2010

Ed Hurst <ehurst at soulkiln.org> writes:
> My old laptop keeps on ticking, works with my preferred distro
> (CentOS), and I don't want to spend a huge wad of cash on something
> new and incompatible. Last month I got a steal of a deal on a new
> battery and it's now good for about 3 hours instead of 30
> minutes. This month, I might be able to afford an SSD.
> What can you folks tell me about selecting and using Linux on these
> things?

On the one hand, SATA SSD is operationally indistinguishable from a
regular disc with peculiar timing, largely because read -vs- write
performance is asymmetrical.  So there is (er, let's be safe, "should
be") no issue with SSDs vis-à-vis Linux.

But in a world where I can buy 1TB(!) of rotating disc for $100...


...while SSDs with just 1/6th of that capacity cost 2.5x as much...


...for a net price multiplier at equivalent capacity of 15x(!!), I have
to wonder at the idea of continuing to work with an aging laptop into
which to shoehorn the up-n-coming generation of devices whose
manufacturers are just barely beginning to think about the possibility
of forming a committee to debate the reasonableness of a resolution in
support of encouraging the idea that these devices become mass-market-
worthy.  SSDs are still really a niche market (e.g. military, or other
"harsh environmental factors") for now.

My advice: SSDs are expen$ive.  If you can afford that, you should spend
the money on a whole new laptop that will give you overall better
performance, or spend a fraction of it on a far higher capacity ordinary
rotating drive for the old laptop, and use the ca$h difference on
something worthwhile.

Either way, for us mere mortals, SSDs are not yet cost effective.

Or do you have a line on a really, *really* good deal for SSDs?

Believe me, I too lust for SSD, but I simply cannot justify paying for
it until I can get not less than 500G at a price that is at least in the
same general ballpark as a rotating device.


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