SSD in Staff Notebooks
We've been thinking about it for a while now and with Laptop Refresh coming up its time to push forwards - I've been thinking about putting 60-80Gb SSDs in our existing staff notebooks to extend their useable life.
The existing machines are HP6715bs with 2Gb of RAM, 160Gb 5400rpm HDDs, AMD Turion dual cores and TPM chips (TPM is the important thing for us in using bit locker) and by all standards they run Windows 7 very well indeed.
The batch of machines that we are looking at are now coming upto 3-4 years use at which point we would usaly replace them wholesale however with pending cuts I've been looking at ways to extend their useful life.
Looking back in the IT fault log the most common problems we are having with these machines are either their power lead failing, the HDD giving up or the screen getting broken (in that order).
The benifits that I see of SSDs (having used one in my personal machine for some time and in a limited deployment to staff machines) is longer battery life (yes I've seen the 'myth busting' posts but every time I've upgraded a PC with a SSD there has been a noteable differance), increased realiblity (no shock damage and so on) and pure speed (running Windows 7 Ent x86-64 in this case).
Looking at costs across 20 machines the upgrade (with a new battery, SSD and new power cable) would come to around £140 while new machines come in at £450 (with extended warranty and no SSD) which makes up a saving of £6,200.
For value added we are also going to be deploying Microsoft Direct Access at the same time.
The main question I'm asking is has anyone else put SSDs in their staff machines and what your experiances are?
I tried out an SSD in my own machine and it went so well I bought some for my home computers. The only thing I would say is watch out for which SSD’s you buy. Some of the cheaper ones are really poor and will slow down your system or cause shuttering issues. The other problem is recovering files from a broken SSD is next to impossible, even recovering deleted files is not easy so keep good backups.
Next I plan to place some in at least two older desktops as a trail to see how much difference it makes. I suspect SSD’s should add a fair bit of life to older computers.
In short the overall experiances has been good.
EDIT: Avoid putting them into machines that suffer from regular power cuts. SSD’s don’t seem to handle sudden power loss as well as old style drives. I wouldn’t want an SSD in a laptop with a dud battery.
I put one in a member of the PE staffs laptop as they tend to carry them around powered on a lot.
No reported problems with it so far.
Some older SSD's (which you may be offered cheaply if buying in bulk) don't support the TRIM command. Also be aware that in some cases they are not as power efficient as normal platter based drives as they have no power management that allows them to spin down during idle periods i.e. they are always 'on'. This may be an issue of you have a lot of users who operate of battery quite a bit. I know many newer drives have better power management, but be sure to check first.
I think at the moment we are looking at OCZ Vertex 2 80Gbs (most staff don't use more than 40Gb and thats even with pesonal stuff) - wouldn't settle for anything less (having used them before) and list price is showing up at about £100 exVAT.