Thanks to a suggestion from jGromit, when building out a new PC, I went with NVMe solid state drives. The box is running a Ryzen-7 processor with 16 Gb of ram. Two NVMe SSDs. I am running Ubuntu Linux ver. 20.04.
For a project of size 1.5 Gb and 695 objects, a forced re-make took ~80 seconds! Good hardware certainly helps. And, only 2 Gb of ram were pulled into use, on top of the 2 Gb already in use by the system, jAlbum, and other loaded applications.
Thanks to Laza for also pointing out that jAlbum's upload application is fast. I had used Filezilla in the past. jAlbum's uploader is much speedier, and, has the added advantage of removing items deleted from an album when uploading a revised version.
The great unknown with SSD's is their life expectancy. They are subject to failure, just like traditional hard drives, but in very different ways, and for very different reasons. On the other hand, falling prices will eventually mean that you won't care if an SSD fails. It's like having a 16GB thumb drive that stops working. You paid less than $5 for it, so you just toss the sucker. Just make sure you have good backups - no storage medium is forever.
A potential issue with some, maybe only external drives, is how hot they run. I have seen several reviews where certain drives ran to hot to hold.
It is not a reliability issue, just one of making sure the case is insulated from a nice desk
Apparently SSDs have a tendency to die rapidly, unlike hard drives that tend warn of impending failure, so backup of data is maybe more important.
Modern SSDs, and mine are of the latest generation, have load-leveling software to even-out writes. I, too, have read criticisms about life-time, etc.
SSDs are now used in server applications where reliability is mandatory. I believe that reputable sources like Samsung have this problem cured. The Samsung drive's specs are,
MTBF: 1,500,000 Hours
Temperature - Operating (°C): 32 - 158 F (0 - 70 C)
1.5 M hours is 171 yrs! A WD Red drive is rated at 1 M hrs. and I'll be dead then so I'm less worried about the future than some. But, I DO backup. And, for what it's worth, there are heat sinks in contact with the SSDs on the MB and I've got lots of air moving through when needed.
They are probably using them for their speed, not their reliability.
I don't agree. These companies live and die by their uptime boasts. Yeah, I know, RAID drives can be swapped out live, at least in theory (my own experience indicates that that's an exaggerated promise), but still....
In a server environment, I suspect that anything that can get you away from "moving parts" is a plus. Those drives take a hell of pounding, 24x7x365.
I have used a Samsung SSD for my OSes for years with no problems. I used a Samsung 128 Gb SSD, 2.5" format. Dual booted Linux and Windows. Nice, fast boot once I got past POST. "Data" files were on another 2.5" HD, 7,200 rpm. Now I'm all NVMe SSD except for a 1 Tb HD. In the past, I switched to laptop HDs, 2.5" years ago. They run cooler and take up less space - with an adapter one can mount two of them in a 3.5" bay. I kept the 1 Tb drive for backup on the new PC. Now's the time to play: SSD prices have come down dramatically. Even better when on sale, e.g., on Amazon.