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I want to run Hyper-V virtual machines on my Dell E6400 laptop as fast as possible.

I currently use an external 7,200rpm 2.5 inch hard disk over E-Sata which is pretty good.

However if I want to 'push it to the next level', has anyone tried running virtual machines (over e-sata):

  • from a 2.5 inch SSD external drive?
  • from a 3.5 inch velocirapter external drive?

The SSD option is most convenient, but has the potential to 'wear out' if I am running a whole virtual machine (with Visual Studio for development) with lots of writes.

The Velociraptor will not wear out, but would be quite noisy next to my laptop.

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I think I read somewhere about an SDD where every byte of flash was individually cached with RAM, and with a capacitor holding enough power to guarantee that everything gets written back to flash after power off. Basically giving RAM-like access speeds most of the time, and avoiding wear-from-repeated-writes issues with flash. I can't remember where I saw it now - and it must have been absurdly expensive anyway. –  Steve314 Oct 30 '11 at 4:44

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Use an SSD. They will wear out in a couple of years but you will probably replace the SSD with a 1TB version long before that happens.

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Thanks, that makes sense. I bought an Intel X-25M and am pretty happy. As you say, even if it wears out inside two years, the replacement cost will be rather low. –  Andrew Oct 2 '10 at 12:06
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@Andrew - There were scary storeys not so long back about SSDs dying a lot - far faster than two years. For example, codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/… - see that guy who had 7 out of 8 drives fail within one year, the first failing in 15 days! Those odds may be worth it for the gains, but keep backups and make sure you can cope with drive failures (e.g. perhaps buy a spare drive ready). –  Steve314 Oct 30 '11 at 4:38
    
@Steve314: True, it's a fast evolving technology and always buying cheapest probably doesn't improve things. That said, I'm running on SSDs for more than two years now and the biggest issue so far is that my PC's BIOS sometimes doesn't detect the drive at boot time. –  Aaron Digulla Oct 31 '11 at 8:32
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Well 1 year and heavy SharePoint use later, my Intel X-25M is still going strong. Even if it was to die today, then a replacement would cost less than half the original price. –  Andrew Dec 5 '11 at 7:47

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