As I am a consultant, my best friend is the laptop I’m carrying all the time with me.
Being a Team System consultant, it’s not easy to fulfill all the needs with a single laptop:
It makes a lot of things for a small laptop! Did I mention that the limit weight I am willing to carry is 5 pounds?
The standard configuration
As you can guess, a “standard” laptop is not suited to fulfill all these needs: it’s a Core 2 Duo @ 2GHz, 4Gig of Ram, 200Gig of HDD and running a Vista 32 or 64Bits. Typically you have a Dell Latitude 630 or XPS M1330 (to keep the weight accordingly).
With such configuration you’re bound to use Virtual PC for your work. The soft is fine, but kind of limited if you want to work all the time with. It consumes a lot of resources: especially RAM and IOP (HDD read/write operation). You can make several VPC communicating each other, but it’s a bit tricky. One feature that I miss is the inability to create multiple snapshots of a given VPC, the undo drive a nice feature, but again, it limits you in many ways…
Like some people when I saw Windows 2008 Server coming out more than a year ago now, I decided to go for it to get the benefits of a real hypervisor: Hyper-V.
The experience was interesting; it had some pros and cons.
Pros of Hyper-V:
The Cons of Hyper-V:
So after few months of working with such configuration, I decided (like many) to roll back to Vista.
A new age
Now things have changed, the moment I was awaiting for many many months have finally arrived: I can suppress the two bottlenecks that were preventing me to use 2008 with Hyper-V which are RAM limit and HDD poor performances.
With the new Dell Latitude series (E6400 for me) I can finally have a laptop with at least 6Gig of RAM (which is enough for me), and the most revolutionary thing (and I mean it) is I got rid of the poor HDD to replace it by a new OCZ Vertex 120Go SSD!
And boys, I can tell you: it rocks deadly!
You can’t even imagine the overall improvement by just using this SSD, which is the first true generation affordable, with a good capacity and which gives you want you were looking for: fast random reads/writes, instant access time and high bandwidth!
Here are some benchies just to give you a little comparison of the “high end 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache HDD” (yes it is, can’t have a better one for a laptop) and the OCZ Vertex:
HDD 2″5, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache
SSD OCZ Vertex 120Go, 64MB Cache
The first is HD Tune’s random read benchmark, just pay attention to the difference of IOP/sec between the two:
The average speed is greatly improved too. Let’s look at the 4KB and 64KB stats (the most important ones to me):
The second is Crystal Disk Mark with three tests: sequential access, random 512KB operations and random 4KB operations for both read and write. The numbers speak of themselves.
Some real world random numbers and facts
Told you, a new era has arrived, and I’m enjoying it big time! J