I’ve been playing a lot of Minecraft lately. I host my server out of my closet at home on a little 1.66 GHz Intel Atom CPU with 2 GB of DDR2. Whenever the hard drive starts getting hammered, you can hear it grinding in the closet, which actually amplifies the sound and makes it sound like fireworks way off in the distant. I’ve noticed that when 2 or more people are playing on the server in different chunks at the same time and/or are traveling via mine cart, the hard drive really gets a good lashing and things can slow down or get jerky for the players. Since receiving an SSD drive from my wife for Christmas, I suddenly want ALL my hard drives to be super-fast SSD or better. After one particularly annoying grind-a-thon last night, I decided to benchmark my various hard drives and options. I even went so far as to test out a RAM drive created using software. The results are below. Or you can view them outside of the iframe here.
I don’t have the exact specs for the RAM used in each computer, and I don’t care to take apart either one to check. Just assume it’s moderately cheap RAM that meets the minimum requirements for each motherboard chipset.
A little note about the SSD: It’s a little slower than the top drives on the market. However, it is 240GB at an affordable price ($420 at the time of purchase). Either way, it’s a HUGE improvement over a little 2.5″ SATA drive.