I’ve been processing some relatively large sets of data at work lately, and I’m running into disk IO issues after kicking off some of the data processing tasks. As an easy way to alleviate this I picked up a 64GB Crucial m4 SSD and stuffed it into my laptop’s optical drive bay via a $20 Nimitz-branded SATA hard drive adapter acquired from eBay. The drive itself was $99.99 from Micro Center, and since I purchased it myself once I’m done working with it I’ll be able to repurpose it in a personal machine of some sort.
While not a panacea nor excuse for my poor habits of bolting together VBScript and GNU command line utilities, it has helped quite a bit. One typical script (immediately post-reboot, with an empty disk cache) takes ~120.234 seconds to run a task from the hard drive and ~28.400 seconds from the SSD. I’ve seen similar speed improvements across the board, and this really helps when I’m prototyping things and wanting feedback as quickly as possible.