You might have heard of “magical” solutions on the internet more times than you can count, but when it comes to speeding up your computer, recent technology has given us an almost magical solution that won’t cost you a fortune and actually works.
That solution is SSD drives. SSD stands for “Solid State Drive” and is a kind of drive that has no moving parts. Anyone that is into computers knows that these drives have been accessible to the average consumer for a few years now, but not many common users know about them.
To understand why they are so revolutionary, we must first understand one basic thing. And that’s that the slowest part of a computer is the hard drive. The reason hard drives are slower than the other components is pretty simple actually. Hard drives have moving parts. They have needles that literally read and write on specific parts of the physical disk.
Therefore they are the only component that needs to perform physical movements to work, while the other components are just chips that electricity passes through. No matter how fast you can make a physical component move, it will never be as fast as electricity running through chips.
Disclaimer: The above picture compares a 3.5 size HDD to a 2.5 size SSD. Laptop HDDs are 2.5 size and are therefore the same size as the SSD in the picture. Anyone can purchase a 2.5 HDD if they want to. They are just a bit more expensive.
Solid state drives solve that by removing moving parts and basically being chips with a plastic cover around them. They boast tremendous read and write speeds, better resistance to shock(shock from falling or hitting things is one of the biggest hard drive killers in existence), lower power consumption and heat and most importantly, they are on average more than 10 times faster at random reads and writes, which is what makes a system “feel fast”. In fact they can make an ancient system feel modern, or a modern system feel like its much more expensive counterparts.
Their only drawback, as with all new technologies, is their price. For example a 1tb regular hard drive will cost you around 50-60 euro, while a 1tb SSD will cost you around 300.
However that problem can easily be solved by using some common sense. That means that you keep all the storage consuming files in a separate disk, which can be another internal hard drive if you have a desktop or a laptop with two disk slots, or alternatively an external hard drive if you have a laptop that can only take one disk, or if you generally want to be able to take the files with you in a drive.
This way you can purchase a 120-240gb SSD and use it as your main system drive, which is where you install the operating system and all the programs/games that you want to run from the fast speed and have any large files located on a traditional and much cheaper hard drive, that you probably already have. A cheap 120gb SSD will cost you around 50-60 euros and a cheap 240gb SSD will cost you around 80-90 euros. In other words with the price of a 120gb SSD you can get a 1tb HDD.
There is no real reason to get anything larger than a 120gb drive, since system files and programs should be able to fit just fine in it. 240+gb SSDs are mostly for gamers that want to run their games from the super fast drive for much better loading times.
So yeah, if you want to speed up your current system or give a significant breath of life to an older system(like an old laptop for example), an SSD drive will work wonders.
It will not fix problems such as videos not running smoothly at higher resolutions(typically a CPU problem), or anything performance related, but the speed with which your computer boots and opens/installs files and programs, will reach a completely new level, that only those that have experienced what an SSD drive can do, can understand.
I’d also seriously recommend that if you buy a new laptop for example that has the typical 500gb hard drive in it, but you don’t really need that much space, you go on and sell it(you can use insomnia.gr for that if you’re in Greece) and replace it with an SSD drive. That’s what I do in all similar cases. The difference in speed will be incredible.
By the way, if your system has 2gb ram or less, it might be worth investing in some more ram so that you can have at least 4gb of ram, that will help the system run smoothly during intensive use(for example having many tabs opened on an internet browser).
So that’s all for now. If you feel like taking the time and dropping some money into your current system, upgrading to an SSD will transform your experience.
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or even disagreements, please comment them on here and we can talk about them. You can also email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thanks for reading!
*All images are taken from the web*