Justify the Purchase of Solid-State Drives8 Oct, 2014 By: Robert Green
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Online information offers good summary of SSD benefits.
As processors and random-access memory (RAM) have become faster and cheaper, it is more and more likely that your CAD applications are simply waiting on the hard drive in your system to bring data to your processor. In recent years the dropping cost of solid-state drives (SSDs) has made them an affordable add-on to workstations for only a few hundred dollars. I've been preaching the value of SSDs for a while, but have always found it somewhat hard to quantify the performance increases and cost/benefit numbers to IT managers, who are typically very cost-conscious.
In doing some research on the subject, I found some really compelling information compiled by Christopher Ryan at Tom's Hardware. The site is a longtime favorite of mine for reviews on all sorts of computer hardware. It has a "build your own" section that is awesome for enthusiasts/gamers who really want understand how to optimize their own computer builds. The site's coverage of computer components along with its exhaustive analysis of costs make it a go-to resource.
To get a clear picture of SSD benefits, I recommend starting at the end of the site's slides and then working your way through them backward to see interesting summaries of available SSD devices, performance/reliability metrics, price points, purchasing links, and recommendations.
Slide no. 8 in the Tom's Hardware series by Christopher Ryan defines cost-to-performance trade-offs for many commercially available SSD drives of various sizes.
Can you get all this information by slogging through a bunch of hardware web sites and do your own comparisons? Sure, but why would you bother when this series of slides has done the work for you?
Whether or not your IT department will buy through the Tom's Hardware site, it is still a fantastic resource of comparative graphs that I've not found in other places. Hopefully it will help you leverage the cost/benefit strategies you need to get IT on board with SSDs.
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