A word on SSDs & HDDs

New PCs shouldn’t come with single HDDs, period. The now incremental cost of SSDs is so small that it’s really not a big deal at all. I understand that ‘lots of people wouldn’t even realize the difference’ and blah blah blah, but does your mom *really* need a 3TB drive (running at 5400 rpm, no less) for stalking you on facebook & sending emails like ‘FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW: OBAMACARE DEATH PANELS — WHAT THE LIBERAL MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW?’

I digress. I started a new gig today. Pretty excited, lots of cool stuff to come — so I got in, they had ordered me a shiny new Dell Latitude ‘desktop replacement’ type of laptop. Meaty, meaty stuff — i7–3740QM, 16GB memory, 1080p screen — the works.

Then I noticed it took *literally forever* to boot up. Which left me perplexed — I’ve not used a PC without an SSD for a few years so I suppose I was taken aback at how long it takes platters to spin up. So I got home today and cloned the drive over to a Crucial M4 I had going spare around the house. The difference is…intense. I was shocked at just how dramatic the change was — I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:

7200 RPM 500GB platter drive (Dell claims this is a hybrid, I don’t believe it)

Pretty dismal, huh?

Crucial m4 128GB

That’s 6x faster sequential and 232x faster random…and these aren’t even ‘great’ numbers by today’s SSD standards. This m4 is probably a year-old+. The M500s are even faster.

Which brings me to my point. Why?

Why would Dell sell something marketed as a ‘desktop replacement’ or ‘workstation’ and give it such an abysmal drive? Starting price on the i7 E6530 is $1588 ($1111 with Dell’s ‘instant savings’ — whatever the hell that means) — and upgrading to a 128GB SSD is $84…so Dell, why not just throw it in? Why not make the SSD the default and let those with intense storage needs ‘splurge’ and buy a $50 500GB or 1TB HDD? Is abysmal performance at first run the kind of impression you want to leave on someone who just dropped upwards of $1500 on a ‘workstation?’ I could certainly understand this on the $249 Best Buy Black Friday special, but on a workstation? It completely undermines all of the other amazing internals.