With the number of netbooks on the market continuing to increase each month and more of these mobile devices switching to solid-state drives for their reliability, extended battery life, and faster performance, SSDs are becoming quite common and finding themselves meeting many Linux hosts. How though does the real-world performance differ between hard disk drives and solid-state drives on Linux? We have run several tests atop Ubuntu on a Samsung netbook with a HDD and SSD. In addition, we have also looked at the encryption performance using both types of drives.
The Samsung NC10 netbook we were using for our HDD vs. SSD testing has an Intel Atom N270 processor, 945GME motherboard, 1GB of DDR2 memory, and has a 10" 1024 x 600 display. The Samsung NC10 lacks a model sporting a solid-state disk, but by default it's using a 160GB Fujitsu MHZ2160BH G2 HDD. The Fujitsu 2.5" SATA HDD operates at 5400RPM and has an 8MB cache.
The SSD we installed into the Samsung NC10 for testing was an OCZ Core Series V2 OCZSSD2-2C30G. The OCZSSD2-2C30G has a 30GB capacity, Serial ATA 2.0 interface, sequential read rates up to 170MB/s, and sequential write rates up to 98MB/s. The maximum shock resistance is 1500G and there is a 1.5 million hours MTBF. This product is additionally backed by a two-year OCZ warranty.
For those in need of greater disk space, the OCZ Core Series V2 SSDs are also available in 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB varieties. The OCZ Core Series v2 SSDs have an integrated mini USB 2.0 port, which makes this drive very versatile.