Should you spend lots of money on Solid State Drives?
If you’ve heard much about computer hardware, then you’ve probably heard about SSDs. Solid state drives (SSDs) use flash memory to deliver dramatic performance gains compared to mechanical hard drives. Since SSDs don’t have small moving parts that are prone to failure, they offer a wide range of cost-effective benefits to nearly every computer user. On Facebook, we asked our fans to help us compile a list of the top 10 reasons to get an SSD. Here’s what they said.Before you buy an SSD, decide if it’s going to replace your current hard drive, or if you’ll keep both the old and new drives, letting the Solid State Drive supplement the spinning platters. If you’re supplementing, you can get away with a smaller SSD and therefore save money. (As I write this, $60 can buy you a 120GB SSD or a 2TB hard drive.)
But supplementing the drive may not be practical. If you have a spare drive bay in your PC—common in desktops but rare in laptops—you can easily supplement. But if your Desktop has space for only one hard drive, replacing the drive will likely make more sense.
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If you’re supplementing, you need only an SSD large enough to contain Windows, your installed programs, and maybe a handful of commonly-used documents. Everything else should remain on the spinning hard drive.
Yes, the hard drive will slow down the PC when compared to one with only an SSD, but not by much. Since all of the files you’re regularly using are on the SSD, the performance hit will often be non-existent and rarely noticeable.
My test computer (a homemade desktop with a lot of bays) has a 120GB SSD. It has Windows 7 Ultimate installed, along with a huge number of programs (I use this computer to test software), and 14.2GB of documents, songs, and photos in the libraries. And that doesn’t quite fill up two thirds of the drive.
If you don’t have a spare bay, replacing your hard drive with an SSD makes a lot more sense—even though that means buying a larger, and therefore more expensive drive.
How large should you go?
The obvious answer: At least as large as your current hard drive. But that could be too expensive, take a good look at your current drive drive. Is it half full? If so, consider a smaller drive, although choose one that’s still large enough for reasonable growth.
If that’s no cost effective enough, then,you can still use a smaller, supplemental SSD. After you remove your HD, put it in a USB enclosure, which effectively turns it into an external hard drive. And keep that external drive plugged into your PC, so you can access files that didn’t fit on the SSD.
But there are two problems with this approach: First, the external drive will make the laptop a little less portable. And second, access to files on the external drive will be considerably slower, especially if your laptop lacks a USB 3.0 port.
The top 10 reasons to get Solid State Drives (SSD)
If you’ve heard much about computer hardware, then you’ve probably heard about SSDs. Solid state drives (SSDs) use flash memory to deliver dramatic performance gains compared to mechanical hard drives. Since SSDs don’t have small moving parts that are prone to failure, they offer a wide range of cost-effective benefits to nearly every computer user. On Facebook, we asked our fans to help us compile a list of the top 10 reasons to get an SSD. Here’s what they said.
#1: Faster everything.
“Faster boots and faster program loads compared to a hard drive.” — Hiren P.
Imagine clicking on a program and having it load immediately. That’s the power of an SSD. SSDs also enable “instant on” performance — the ability for your system to boot almost immediately. Since SSDs don’t have to mechanically seek out data on a moving platter (as a hard drive does), they help your system achieve instant-on performance.
#2: Seamless multitasking.
“Faster backups, faster antivirus full system scans, faster everything!” — Ruben F.
The improved data access capabilities of an SSD allow you to toggle multiple programs with ease. From backing up your data to running antivirus system scans to accessing apps, websites and playlists, an SSD enables you to multitask like a pro — with little to no lag time.
#3: Increased energy efficiency.
“Lower energy consumption.” — Jason C.
Since SSDs don’t have small moving parts, they require less energy to operate and can increase the life of your laptop’s battery.
#4: Better system cooling.
“Low temperatures when in use.” — Leon C.
Since SSDs access data using flash memory rather than seeking it out on a spinning platter like a hard drive, they’re able to maintain more consistent operating temperatures, which can help keep overall system temps down.
#5: Less fan noise.
“No noise, [and they] run cooler as no moving parts to generate heat.” — Joe B.
Since SSDs stay cooler than hard drives, your fan doesn’t have to work as hard, which means less fan noise and quieter overall performance. That humming sound you heard when using a hard drive? Gone.
#6: Increased durability and reliability.
“Higher survival rates after a drop/accident … that alone is priceless. Anyone who has ever had to do data recovery knows what I’m talking about.” — Lisa C.
Since SSDs don’t have small moving parts that are easily susceptible to damage, they can be thrown around and still retain your important files and information. Designed to reliably store your data for years, SSDs offer additional shock and vibration resistance for travel-tested durability.
#7: Flexible storage.
“You can use them like a flash drive if you have a hot swap bay or dock.” — Nicholaus R.
SSDs are available in multiple form factors, and some form factors (like mSATA) are able to plug directly into your system’s motherboard, allowing the drive to act as a cache drive or to work alongside your existing hard drive. What’s more, with a USB cable, you can use an SSD like a giant flash drive — just plug it in!
#8: Better gaming.
“Faster load times in games so you are the first to load into a battlefield.” — Travis D.
For gamers, the faster data access speeds of an SSD help enable faster load times, so you can spend more time playing and less time waiting. Many gamers love using SSDs because it means they’re a step (or a load) ahead of the competition, giving them an increased chance at first strikes and a more seamless gaming experience.
#9: Easy installation.
“Waiting is overrated.”
With our step-by-step videos and install guides, installing an SSD couldn’t get any easier — no computer skills necessary! Just grab a screwdriver, your system’s owner’s manual, and one of our Easy Install Kits and we’ll walk you through the process.
#10: More time for what matters.
“To me, it’s pretty simple: the main reason to get an SSD is to save time. Be it booting up, loading applications, general OS responsiveness or intensive operations, a good SSD will save you time so you can focus on what matters.” — Jesse P.
Since computers are used to accomplish a wide variety of personal and professional tasks, the increased speed and efficiency of an SSD means that you’ll have the ability to get more done in less time. Life moves fast — your computer should too.