Sunday, July 11, 2010

Soluto, a cool program/service, measures boot time. Solid state disk wins big

When I got my new laptop with a solid state drive (SSD), I ran benchmarks comparing it to my old laptop and desktop with their hard drives. Windows 7 was faster than Vista, 64-bit was faster than 32-bit, and, most important, SSD was faster than a hard drive.

I've now run a final benchmark using Soluto, a program and service that analyzes and times the boot process. My new laptop, running 64-bit Windows 7 on an SSD loads 61 applications while booting in 36 seconds. My old laptop, running 32-bit Windows 7 on a hard drive loads 55 applications while booting in 2 minutes 32 seconds.

The SSD speed advantage makes for a qualitative improvement. SSD boot time is less than 25% of hard disk boot time, and it launches applications almost instantaneously. The responsiveness is relaxing. (The Soluto tag line, "enjoy your PC," is appropriate).

Soluto is a cool program/service. It shows all the programs you launch during boot divided into three groups: those you should not launch, those you may or may not want to launch and those that must be be retained.

You install Soluto locally, but it has a program description database to help you decide whether to drop a program. It also displays the percent of users who have decided to keep or drop a program. Finally, it keeps track of what you have taken out of the boot group, so you can add a program back with a single click if something unforeseen occurs.

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