Android Development can become tough when you do not have a decent PC to run the most popular Android IDE known as Android Studio.
Lots of developers or coding aspirants have a question in mind that “Will an SSD improve Android studio performance?”.
Well, I had the same question in mind when I was using this program on my i5 laptop with a 7200 RPM HDD. This type of HDD can give you great speed but it can never be compared to an SSD.
So, I finally decided to upgrade my second computer to an SSD and the results were amazing. I am actually a fan of SSD and that’s why I have started this blog to help people make this tough decision as soon as possible. That is why I am going to share my own experience here.
So, let’s see what are the factors which can an can’t be improved with an SSD upgrade. Let’s get started.
Is SSD recommended by the company
No, the company does not say that you must have an SSD on your laptop or computer to make the most out of this program. If you check the official download page, they just have said that you should have 2 GB of minimum storage space. However, having 4 GB of space is recommended.
But, along with this information, there are lots of problems related to this program as well. Especially, the Android Gradle plugin creates lots of issues because of numerous bugs most of the time.
The most common issue is that you are going to have a slow speed while building a Gradle. In any computer will less RAM, the performance can be very low that you may have to wait for hours to let this process finish.
Now, we know that Gradle building is a complex process and actually Android studio program itself is very heavy. But, most of the time, we see performance issues just because our storage system is not capable enough to provide all the required information.
So, the company is not suggesting that you should have an SSD. But as per my own experience with this IDE, having SSD is one of the most important things to enhance your user experience.
Also Read: Best SSDs for laptop in 2022
Why should you choose SSD over HDD?
I am going to test the performance of Android Studio in different areas using two different systems. The configurations of both are as follows.
1st Test PC Configurations: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM (7200 RPM HDD)
2nd Test PC Configurations: Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM (500 GB SATA SSD)
1. The Boot Time of Android Studio will reduce with and SSD
Well, the first thing is the app loading time and this is the most amazing thing you will discoved just after you load any of your software with an SSD. Regardless of the overall configurations of your system, an SSD will make sure that all your software including Android Studio load smoothly and rapidly.
Now, if you want your Android studio to load much faster and perform better in all aspects, you must have to upgrade other elements as well i.e. Processor, RAM, etc.
But, we are talking about the SSD and the first benefit is that you are going to have at least 3x boost in startup time.
Startup Time in 1st Test PC: 50 Seconds
Startup Time in 2nd Test PC: 15 Seconds
2. Reduced Project Loading Time
Not only while starting up, but Android Studio is also very slow when it comes to the project loading. As per your project’s size, Android studio can take a high amount of time to load your project. But, in general cases, even if you are opening a small project, the IDE is going to spend a lot of time loading the project files and all other important resources.
So, I tried to test this thing as well with the SSD. Because SSDs are great in data reading and writing, I saw some great benefits here as well. Let’s see the results when I tried to open a simple Hello World program from both my test PCs.
Project Loading Time in 1st Test PC: 56 Seconds
Project Loading Time in 2nd Test PC: 31 Seconds
We can say that SSD will give you around 1.9x faster results when it comes to project loading.
3. Project Run Time
Project Run Time is another major thing impacting the speed of your development. You may have to open the emulator and test your program several times. SSD is going to help you in this thing as well.
When It tried running a simple program, I saw some great results again. Let’s see.
Project Run Time in 1st Test PC: 1 Minute 12 seconds
Project Run Time in 2nd Test PC: 40 Seconds
We can say that the SSD will give you around 2x faster results when it comes to project running.
4. Gradle Building will speed up
Gradle building is a complex process of compiling the written code and all other related files. If we talk about the process of Android Gradle building, it compiles the Java code and compresses all the files into a file format known as .apk. This extension can then be run on an Android device or in an Android emulator for testing purposes.
The number of files included inside this process is huge. So, as per the size of your project, Gradle building can take a big amount of time to complete.
Even if you have a decent PC with good configurations, Gradle building is something that will suck all its power for a long duration of time. The level of compilation is so intense that a normal laptop with an i3 processor can take hours to finish an average project. So, I tried testing a simple flashlight app using both my test PCs. Let’s see the results.
Gradle Building Time in 1st Test PC: 5 Minutes 12 Seconds
Gradle Building Time in 2nd Test PC: 4 Minutes 3 Seconds
Well, this was not a very good result but you can see a performance boost for sure. A combination of SSD and RAM upgrades with a decent processor will be good to increase the Gradle building time.
Note: If you are thinking about upgrading your system from HDD to SSD, consider checking if your motherboard has an M.2 SSD slot. If yes, buy an NVMe SSD instead of SATA. NVMe SSD will give you more speed.
5. Files will get saved instantly
This is another great thing about having an SSD in your system instead of an HDD. When you are working on huge projects, your system can sometimes fail to save your files instantly. SSD can be a direct solution to this problem. I have discussed this and various other benefits of SSD in another article. You can check that out as well.
6. No More Freezing IDEs
Because Android Studio is a big program, it requires a lot of files to run properly. So, whenever you start it, it requests numerous files that are stored in your storage space. Now, if you have stored them on an HDD, the system will try to find them first and then try to retrieve them by spinning that magnetic drive.
Because of these physical movements, the process can be slower as we all know. Now, if the files are not ready when they are required, the IDE will freeze because it doesn’t have access to the resources it is looking for.
SSD eliminate all those things. The files required for your IDE will always be there. If they are not ready, the Flash memory used in SSD is great in find and reading that information and provide it to your program.
We can say that your system storage will never become a bottleneck for Android Studio performance if have switched to an SSD.
How much SSD will be good to run Android Studio smoothly?
Having more is always good but I can understand that SSDs are not affordable. Fortunately, Android Studio doesn’t demand much storage space. For the installation only, having 4 GB is recommended. But, because you will have to save your files on your SSD for maximum benefits, it will be good if you go for at least 250 GB SSD.
If you have a good budget, you can go for 1 TB as well. This thing depends on your requirements and budgets. But, I would suggest you go for a minimum of 250 GB SSD if you want to run Android Studio or any other IDE on any system.
Other Required configurations along with an SSD
It is not possible to get all these great results just by upgrading your storage to SSD. As I have discussed above, having a combination of SSD, RAM, and Processor is good to make the most out of Android Studio. A Graphics card is not required if you are not working with the apps that require it. but, let’s see what else you should have.
My Recommendations for the best Experience in Android Studio
Processor: Intel Core i5 or Equivalent (i7 if you can afford but i5 will also work well)
RAM: 8 GB Recommended (Clock Speed > 2500 Mhz)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Integrated GPU is enough if you can’t afford)
What will not improve in Android Studio with an SSD?
The lags caused by low RAM or RAM frequency can’t be solved by simply upgrading to an SSD. Also, the Gradle building time will not improve a lot even if you are upgrading to an M.2 SSD. You will see some good results but ultimately, a good processor and RAM upgrade will be required to see some tangible results in Gradle building time.
With all these tests and my own experience with Android Studio and SSD, I can say that you will see more than a 25% boost in performance. For the best results, make sure to put all your active projects only on your SSD.
I hope this article will help you in any way. If you have liked this article, consider sharing this information with others as well.
Thanks for reading!