I’ve bought my first SSD 13 years ago, in October 2009. For 199.98 euro, I bought the 80 GB Intel X25-M, to be used in my work laptop. Just before that, I had a chat with someone from our infra department, and asked them casually how much trouble I would get into if I swapped my harddrive in my laptop for an SSD (I learned - they didn’t really like it when I bridged my ethernet connection to connect my PDA to the network…). The answer was: not really, they were quite interested in the speed improvement themselves.

So, after I received the brand new SSD, I opened up my Dell D620 and removed the drive. Connected it externally together with the SSD to a linux machine, and with a carefully crafted dd command, a few hours later my data was cloned. Did some performance tests - I don’t know the exact numbers anymore, but if I remember correctly, things like compiling our main project was more than double as fast. After that, I presented the numbers and not long after that, everyone in the company got an SSD (when you think of it, quite a bad deal right :), I was the only one ending up paying for their own SSD…).

Thirteen years later, that SSD is still active, it is now the boot drive of my NAS.

Last week, I stumbled upon inxi, as command line system information tool, and saw the type of SSD in my current laptop. That lead to me looking up the specs of that X25-M. Still, today, I’m very impressed pleased by the SSD in the NAS, I don’t think it is a bottleneck (although, the NAS is also not doing that much interesting things), so in my head I had the idea that things have improved a bit, but not significantly (and that you (SATA) was limited to the bus speed anyway). How wrong I was. The Intel X25-M does only 70 MB/s in writes. And the 35K reads / 6K writes IOPS was certainly impressive at the time, current modern SSDs completely dwarf these numbers (a modern NVMe drive reaches 7000 MB/s, and with a queue depth of 32, does over 1M IOPS).

I certainly didn’t realized the speed improvements over the years. But, with my current work laptop (A 2020 MacBook Pro) having such a drive (ok, one generation old), I don’t have the feeling that the laptop actually really got that much faster (but that can also have something to do with MS Teams on MacOS…). The speed bump in 2009 that I got, was still the largest improvement I witnessed in my live by just changing one component (and the speed decrease a year later when switching to an expensive MacBook Pro - without an SSD - was even more memorable).