Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Searched around the various SSD threads in here but most are typically about replacing a single physical platter drive w/ a single SSD.

I'm currently running on the current Macbook Pro (13") and using an adapter kit, I swapped out my optical drive to add a second HD. I use the laptop almost exclusively for software development and almost always have a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion) running, typically a Win7 environment.

  • OS drive is a 250GB 5400 RPM Toshiba
  • VM drive is a 320GB 5400 RPM Western Digital

Watching activity monitor, I frequently beach ball the machine when my guest operating systems are running, and while their are certainly memory and cpu spikes, the beach balling frequently correlates to my disk I/O (as reported by activity monitor) spiking hard.

I plan on picking up a SSD drive, probably a 128GB Intel. But I'm not sure which partition to place onto the SSD to get the most bang for my buck. E.g. move my operating system over to the SSD or move all my VMs to the SSD. If it helps any, I never have more than 1 guest OS running--primarily because my machine simply can't handle it in its current form.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated--

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I would hazard to guess that the VMs should go on the SSD drive. One would think that its the VMs causing your IO to spike. Another possibility - perhaps your VMs aren't alotted enough memory, causing them to write to their respective swap files more often than not?

The new Patriot Torqx series has been getting rave reviews performance wise.

Either way - pick up a drive and experiment.

share|improve this answer
My VMs are typically allotted 2.5GB RAM, should be passable for Win7 VMs, but given the dev heavy tasks I run on them, I wouldn't be surprised if I was taxing the memory and that in turn was causing disk swapping. Ordered my SSD along w/ an upgrade to 8GB RAM, will investigate and post back. – bakasan Mar 1 '10 at 6:02
Swapping the VM drive for the SSD has had a very dramatic improvement in performance. As suspected, most of my slowdown on the host and guest OS was related to heavy IO on the VM. Without allocating extra memory or more CPU cores to the VMs, pretty much all operations across the board "feel" like they're responding more rapidly. Don't have the desire to go rebuild my OS to try the SSD on the OS drive, the results thus far are good enough. – bakasan Mar 2 '10 at 8:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .