Can solid state hard drives really improve system performance?

Or is it too early to see a significant difference?There's an interesting debate going on over at Slashdot this morning after one user made headlines by claiming that system performance bumps from SSDs are already upon us.

Dell Latitude with solid state hard driveOr is it too early to see a significant difference?

There's an interesting debate going on over at Slashdot this morning after one user made headlines by claiming that system performance bumps from SSDs are already upon us. And, according to some, the Lenovo Thinkpad X300 ultralight notebook is exactly the vehicle to find this change:

"Hard drives are typically one of the more significant performance bottlenecks in any system today. An evaluation of Lenovo's new ultra portable Thinkpad X300 notebook shows a fast solid state hard drive can substantially improve the performance of a system. This is especially true of a low-end, low power processor and integrated graphics, in addition to reducing overall power consumption. Despite its 1.2GHz CPU the Thinkpad X300 is actually able to outperform some desktop replacement notebooks equipped with dual 7200RPM hard drives in RAID 0 in productivity benchmarks, and in data transfers. Interesting results, especially considering the X300's ultra portable form factor."

We're all familiar with the feud over the SSD in the Macbook Air, which had people up in arms over a high-price item that made a low-grade difference on a not-so-high performance machine. But as SSDs pop up in more consumer machines, that might change. Now, we have this Lenovo system to evaluate. New benchmarks, it seems, are changing that view across the board.

What do you think of a solid-state Lenovo? Is it worth the price tag? (We thought so -- here's our review.)

And, for that matter, are SSDs overhyped tech trophies or performance powerhouses? Tell us in TalkBack.