If you are not using an Solid State, SSD drive on your development machine, I can only recommend you give it a try. In hurry. They are shock proof, super fast (well most of them are), light and have low energy consumption.

I’ve been using an SSD for last 2 years and we have given SSD drives to our developers as well. SSD drive is the best performance improvement for the money you can buy today. Especially with VS.NET which is known to be disk intensive app. How fast it can be? My VS.NET 2010 starts up fully in about 3-4 seconds and that is with all add-ins.

One thing about SSD drives though is that you should keep an eye on their health. There are only so many times that flash memory can be written to so it does have limited life-span. Even all flash cells do not have the same endurance within the same chip.

SSD lifespan is quantified by number of erase/program cycles a cell block can go through before it is unusable and generally that is 10,000 cycles for MLC flash and about 100,000 cycles for SLC. Good luck with knowing where your drive falls on this scale. SSD OEMs also represent this with rule of thumb figure which says that you can write 20gb per day, every single day, for 5 years.

That is still not good enough for me so I was happy to find utility that puts little more actionable data on this. SSDlife which has free and paid version gives info on how many times your drive has been powered on, written to, what its health and S.M.A.R.T. status is, and even give you an estimated lifespan of the drive.

If you are looking into getting SSD drive I recommend staying away from cheap ones. Go for Intel X25-M , Corsair Performance series and Crucial SSD. Also look for drive which supports TRIM.

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