I have an older Dell laptop with a Core 2 Duo CPU and a 256GB SSD for software development. It's *barely* fast enough to make me happy. I recently purchased a 17" MBP (2.2GHz i7, 8GB RAM, 750GB 5400 RPM HD) and installed VMWare Fusion 4 and Windows 7 x64. I'm using FileVault. I purchased the machine for iOS development and got the idea that it would be nice to be able to develop both sides of my applications on the same machine -- not to mention the battery life on the Dell blows. My Windows 7 performance would be acceptable if I were, say, editing Word documents and such, but I'm just warming up and testing things like Visual Studio 2010. The performance of the Dell sucked with the stock 7200RPM HD until I upgraded it to the 256GB SSD. The symptoms I'm observing on the MBP are as follows: When launching the VMWare instance (4GB of 8GB RAM and 4 of 8 CPU cores allocated), CPU usage seems to be pretty low. Also, the disk IO in Activity Monitor doesn't show sustained high rates of activity in terms of transfer; I suspect this may just be how slow the 5400 RPM drive performs in terms of random access. I get occasional short-lived beachballs and OSX lags a little. I can type out an entire URL in Chrome before it starts to show up. This level of performance does not justify me carrying only one laptop. I assume my bottleneck to be disk IO and possibly the "hidden" cost of FileVault. I would prefer to continue using FileVault, though I suppose I can only encrypt my user directory, move my VMWare files outside of it and then use shared paths for my personal stuff that I work with in Windows. My questions are: given what I've said, would upgrading to an SSD alleviate most of these issues? If not, what are the other things I can do to get performance up to the level I'm getting on my older Dell? Bootcamp is not an option as I need to run the Windows-based web stuff to support the iOS front-ends. I assume that with the i7's virtualization and additional CPU cores that the CPU running VMWare should still smoke the dedicated Core 2 Duo in the Dell.