I'd like to buy a new laptop, probably with an SSD drive. Lots of vendors provide a ready-made solutions, typically with some random 128GB or 256GB SSD included for a almost average retail price plus 10..15%.
Laptop would run Linux with my normal workload - i.e. 8-10-12 hours per day, writing code, compiling, debugging, e-mailing, browsing, running heavy clustering software tests, listening to the music, occasional video encoding/decoding, testing some OpenGL, etc.
Can someone shed some light on current state of SSD technology, as of the Fall 2011?
More specifically, I'd like to know if:
- Does it make sense to use SSD for my typical described workload? Would it do any good?
- Does SLC vs MLC debate still matters? The traditional drill is "SLC = fast, reliable, expensive, MLC = slower, less reliable, cheap", but I've heard that in a last 1-2 years lots of elaborate algorithms and workarounds made MLC almost as good as SLC. Is that true? Can anyone show me some definitive modern benchmarks that either prove or dismiss this fact?
- What drives are usually supplied with vendor's PCs? Are they all cheapest garbage MLC SSDs and it's much better to buy SSD and install it on my own separately?
- Any problems with particular form factors? I've heard that majority of 2.5" SSDs are server-style discs with 10mm height and they won't find most thin laptops and 7mm 2.5" SSDs are relatively scarce and generally fairly slow. Is that true? If I'll go the "buy a good SSD later and install it myself" way, would I basically end up buying the same slow 7mm SSDs that manufacturer originally could add to the system?
- Are there any clear performance leaders of SSD market, as of today? I recall that 2 or 3 times ago Intel X25 Extreme were undisputed leaders, but may be the world have changed since that times?
- Is it a good idea to buy a laptop with big HDD initially and then add an SSD using bay drive adapter, such as Dell's or ThinkPad's bay?