The Dell Inspiron Mini 10v is one of Dell’s Netbooks from the time most manufacturers released their own equivalent models. Like most Netbooks from about two years ago, this features the Atom N270 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, a 10” screen and Windows XP Home. Unlike the Mini 10, the RAM in the 10v could be upgraded to 2GB, but for this review I left it with 1GB as this model must be fully dismantled including removal of the motherboard just to get to the RAM module!
After I cloned the HDD to the SSD, I placed the HDD back in the Netbook and ran the initial timings on the tests. After this, I installed the SSD and reran retimed the tests:
Boot up timings:
To my surprise, the SSD did very little improvement for start-up performance on the Dell Netbook. These timings were rerun a few times and they were quite consistent. On the other hand, when I brought up the task manager the moment the desktop appeared, it become quite clear that it was not the SSD at fault, but the limited CPU power, as the CPU was maxed out for roughly 30 seconds after the desktop appears.
Install .NET Framework Windows Updates
Just after I thought I had all the Windows updates applied, 5 more showed up, all .NET framework related. Anyone who has installed .NET framework patches is probably aware just how lengthy these updates take to apply, so let’s see whether having an SSD in the Netbook reduces the installation time. These timings were timed from the moment of clicking “Install updates” to when the “Restart Now” icon appeared:
The saving this time was 3.5 minutes. Again like Windows Start-up, it appears that most of this time installing these updates is down to CPU time. Unfortunately, like most Dell Inspiron laptops, this Netbook lacks a HDD LED, but even while installing the updates with the HDD inside, I heard very little HDD seeking activity, giving the indication that the most of the installation time is result of the sluggish Atom CPU.
Install Microsoft Office 2007 Professional
While most computers now come preloaded with Microsoft Office, requiring just the product key to activate, most Netbooks do not have this package preinstalled, especially not the full professional version. So I timed the installation between the time of clicking the “Install” button to when the “Installation complete” screen appeared.
While still a lengthy installation with the SSD, the few minutes saving is more noticeable this time than with the Windows updates. On the other hand, this installation is still much longer than the typical 5 minute installation on a more powerful desktop PC.
When it’s time to put away the Netbook, especially in a carry case, it’s nice for it to shutdown as quickly as possible.
This is one of the few cases where I noticed a dramatic difference between the SSD and HDD in this Netbook.
As aged Windows installations tend to access the hard drive a lot more frequently than a clean installation, let’s head on to the next page to see how the SSD performs against a HDD with an aged Windows XP installation.