SSD vs 7200RPM Hard Drive - Upgrading Laptop for multiple VMs

Hi There,

I'm looking at upgrading my laptop hard drive in the next few days and I'm after some help / suggestions. My main use for my laptop is for my virtualisation subjects at TAFE. I won't be using it for much else.

It's an MSI FX600 - 12GB or RAM with a Core i5 processer, it currently has a 120GB SanDisk SSD.

I'm just wondering which will be better in terms of overall performance - a 256GB SSD or a high-end 7200RPM drive?

I'm aware that SSDs are great for initial loading, but will I see any noticeable performance increases or speeds whilst running multiple Virtual Machines? These will be Windows 7 / Windows XP / Windows Server 2008 R2

Thanks in advance!


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1 Reply

Hi, Mike,

I went the HD route, as I run multiple VM's at one time, a VM Lab and Nested VM's often.  I use a Lenovo Thinkpad W530 with 32 GB of Ram, i7-3740 Quad-core CPU and 2x 1 TB HGST 7200 RPM HD's.  For fast Boot, I use a 32 GB mSata Cache (24 second without login and 27 seconds with login enabled)  There are a couple of vendors who make 1 TB SSD's but for me its not worth the price right now, $500 for the SSD vs $75 for the size HD.  I run Win 7/8.1, Several Distros of Linux, Win Server 2008 R2, Win Server 2012, ESXi to name a few.  At any given time, I may have 19+ VM's on the HD.  With the amount of Ram I'm running, the VM's are always very responsive.

A lot depends on the size of your VMDK files, it they remain somewhat stagnant and don't grow too much then the SSD may be the best choice, however, if they tend to get very large you best option may be a 1 TB HD.


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