How much is important a SSD for the performance and speed of a heavy simulation?

Does it make the computation faster when I use, for example, Mathematica?

  • An SSD will generally make anything that's disk-bound faster. Whether your Mathematica simulations are disk-bound wound need to be inspected . . . depending on the scenario, they could easily be gated by memory or CPU instead of disk.
    – ernie
    May 30, 2014 at 21:46
  • Uhm, I don't think I gave any opinions in my answer. Jul 13, 2014 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


An SSD drive will improve the execution performance of virtually any application that depends on reading or writing files to disk.

Programs like 'iostat' (Unix-based systems), TaskMgr (Windows), or Activity Monitor.app (Mac OS X), can be used to examine disk input/output activity, where one would note the read/write rate before, during and after running a suspected disk-bound application, and noting how heavily it increases while the program runs. If disk usage only occasionally spikes, or does so for just a fraction of the total time the program is executing, then it may be CPU-bound, or have some other dependency that an SSD won't ameliorate.

  • For completeness I'd add that SSD can help make virtual memory usable due to it's fast random access, with 4GiB RAM up to around 6GiB of program memory may be usable with 2GiB swap partition/paging file. So can help certain kinds of memory intensive applications which exhibit moderate locality and sparse-ish access to data structures
    – Rob11311
    Jul 12, 2014 at 16:36
  • Ooh, good point; I'd not even considered swap. And gee, they've closed this question because...? Did I voice an opinion in my answer? Jul 13, 2014 at 2:37
  • Funnily enough, I read just yesterday that HPC applications are one reason Linux over-commits memory by default. HPC progs quite often allocate huge amounts of actually unused memory as it's never written to. I guess in sparsely accessed matrix arrays. I think the moderators gets badges for finding threads to close, lots of useful info on Stack* is in closed threads, but still found by Google. Your answer was MUCH better than the question.
    – Rob11311
    Jul 13, 2014 at 9:52
  • @Rob11311 Do you have a link to this article about HPC and Linux memory over-commit?
    – becko
    Mar 31, 2016 at 21:14

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