A: One of the most cost-effective performance improvements for running virtual machines (VMs) on your desktop or laptop can be bought for the price of a new solid state disk (SSD). SSDs achieve vastly greater read and write speeds than traditional rotating hard disks, especially when compared to the 5400rpm hard disk drives one typically finds in today's laptops. With improved memory management reducing VM consumption of physical memory and the number of cores per machine forever going up, adding an SSD for VM disk files stands to be your best solution for improving VM performance.