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HDD or SSD for long life mobile workstation?

Question asked by Warren Isaacs on May 24, 2011
Latest reply on Jun 20, 2011 by Valentin Leung

I'm about to buy a mobile workstation.  I will use it for 8 to 12 hours every weekday and I will probably keep it well past obsolescence (up to 4 years, maybe longer if it's still delivering the goods).  It'll almost certainly be a top-of-the-line offering from one of the big players, with latest Intel processor and 8 to16GB RAM.


As for type of usage, I need it to be able to do a bit of everything.  It'll mostly be used for day to day modelling of parts and assemblies which range from very simple, orthognal machined parts, through single injection-moulded plastic parts with,say, 50 to 200 features features, to assemblies containing these parts.  However, it might be callled upon to to run mechanisms analyses and simple FEA a few times a month and anything within Simulation Premium a few time per year.


I need it to do all these things without undue delay, because I'm a contractor and sitting watching a busy computer doesn't create a good image when on client premises.


Having had a look this forum, it seems that SSD is great as a working disk for Simulation and for speedy boot up, but I've seen comments about their limited life.  Does anyone have any experience -- personal or reliable anecdotal -- of the life of an SDD under similar usage?  Is there a time after which I would be foolish not to have a replacement on to hand with an up-to-date image of the installed disk?


Price isn't a great consideration, as it'll be spread over a long and busy working life...unless you tell me that I'll need to budget for a new SSD every year.


If I went with HDD, with the options of additional drive(s) and RAIDing, would I take big performance hit?  My gut feel is that, since this isn't a dedicated analysis machine, I've little to lose by sticking with HDD.  However, when I do run analyses, I don't wan to be wishing I'd gone for SSD.  I've had a look at Anna's benchmark info, which is great.  Is there a similar repository for Simulation performance measurements?


Sorry for long-ish post, but I didn't want to simply ask "HDD or SSD", because you'd quite rightly direct me to a selection of posts which I've already read and which are the root cause of my quandary.


One final, killer question: should I save my money and stick with the venerable Dell M70 on which I'm typing this email, and which does the Punch Holder Benchmark in a blink-an-you'll-miss-it 230-something seconds? 



Thanks in advance