My work laptop runs windows 7 professional on a 7200rpm drive, which I feel is a bottle neck. Two programs I frequently use (they are always open) are Netbeans and Outlook, which seem to enjoy thrashing the hard drive on a regular basis (my Norton system monitor is constantly warning me about their high disk usage).
I cannot move or mess with my windows install, but I have the option of installing an ssd in place of the optical drive using an hdd caddy that sits in the drive bay. If I am running the OS on the spinning drive, but have my programs installed on the SSD, will the performance gain be worth it? Naturally I would rather have the whole system on an ssd but since that is not the option, would I see any real improvements?
How I would measure improvement
Netbeans will "hang" from time to time while performing a "background scan of projects," (which I imagine is analyzing all files in open projects and putting them into local memory for faster access for tasks like code completion) and outlook will do something similar while "updating folders." (Syncing mail on the server with the local copy on my computer.) This computer has 16gb ddr3 1600 and a dual core intel i5 email@example.comGhz.
On my computer at home, which has the OS on an SSD, and uses a quad core intel i7 firstname.lastname@example.orgGhz, does not have either of these problems; netbeans still does background scans, and outlook still updates folders of course, but both programs are completely usable during this time, whereas on the work computer they are pretty much locked up and I have to wait anywhere from 15 seconds to a few minutes to let them complete. I'm sure the quad core makes a huge difference, but to what extent I'm not certain.
So any "improvement" would be either: The ability to use either program while it is doing one of these tasks, or simply a shorter wait time until it is done completing one of these 2 tasks.
Thanks for reading!