SSD boot disks: a performance test

Summary:Solid-state drives are now affordable enough to fit in your desktop PC or notebook, in order to speed up the loading of the OS and key applications. We put five contenders through their paces.

High prices for solid-state disks (SSDs) have historically restricted the business market to enterprises requiring performance for large databases or financial services, where microseconds really matter. But as Moore's Law inevitably kicks in, prices have fallen to the point where you can realistically contemplate buying an SDD as a boot disk — just to hold the OS and closely associated applications. This way, you get a performance boost when booting and doing everyday tasks, without having to pay the huge price that a terabyte of flash memory would cost.

We asked major SSD vendors to send us a selection of drives for use as boot disks for a mainstream business notebook. We received the following:

Corsair Nova 128GB

Intel 80GB X25-M

Intel 40GB X25-V

Kingston SSDNow 30GB

Patriot Torqx 128G

The prices we've quoted are the cheapest we could find with a Google product search; you may be able do better with more in-depth research.


Topics: Storage, Hardware, Reviews


Editor, journalist, analyst, presenter and blogger. As well as blogging and writing news & features here on ZDNet, I work as a cloud analyst with STL Partners, and write for a number of other news and feature sites. I also provide research and analysis services, video and audio production, white papers, event photography, voiceo... Full Bio

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