Whether your computer is taking forever to turn on, isn’t running as fast as it used to, or becomes unresponsive all together, an SSD is certain to give you back those precious lost hours of your week.
For the rest of this article I’m going to use the acronyms SSD and HDD, if you are already aware what these are, you can skip the next 3 sentences… For everyone else, ‘SSD’ stands for ‘Solid State Drive’ whereas ‘HDD’ stands for ‘Hard Disk Drive’. SSDs are similar to HDDs but rely on flash memory rather than a spinning disk. This hugely reduces latency and can increase the access speed of your files and folders by over 40 times. I expect that already has many of you convinced, but if you’re not, read on for 7 more reasons for why you should have one in your laptop or desktop:
1. Windows will start faster
This may seem obvious but with an SSD instead of a standard hard drive we would expect your PC to turn on and be completely usable in under 30 seconds, for most it won’t even take that long. For Windows 7 computers, they usually turn on before the boot animation even has time to finish! Waking the computer up from sleep will also happen instantly, instead of the small pause on a black screen you likely have now while your hard drive spins up to speed. It may also be worth noting here that SSDs are also completely compatible with all Apple Macs as well as Linux if you’re that way inclined.
2. Programs will open faster
It’s not just your operating system that will start faster too, every program you use will open quicker. That includes every app, from your preferred Office package to your web browser of choice. It will also take considerably less time to install these programs and update them in the future. So, no more waiting for Outlook to “load your profile”, no more tapping your foot as Internet Explorer opens up but isn’t actually usable for a further 10 seconds and far less time for cups of tea whilst you wait for larger programs to load such as Adobe® Photoshop® or Sage™.
3. Programs will BE faster
But opening programs is just the beginning! Having an SSD means that every time your computer needs to read or write something to your hard drive it can do it amazingly fast, this benefits every single application installed on your computer, some to a higher extent than others. Activities like opening documents in your image or video editing software will be hugely improved, as will exporting photos and videos from these programs too. Even your Anti-Virus will be able to scan faster! It will also cause far less lag when it is scanning as an SSD can handle multiple requests far better than a HDD.
4. Games will load quicker too
This won’t apply to everyone, but for gamers, loading screens are just annoying aren’t they? Impressively, you can decrease the wait time for most games’ loading screens to just a couple of seconds by using a SSD as a caching drive or even just by manually copying the games folders onto it while you’re playing. Does anyone remember playing Skyrim on the xBox 360 when it first came out all those years ago? Full minutes we had to wait back then. Playing the same game installed on an SSD in a decent gaming PC cuts this down to less than a second for most loading screens. Not recommended if you like to read the hints!
5. You can use your old HDD
If you have a Deskop then it is more than likely that we can pop your old hard drive back in (if it is healthy enough to be used) so you can fill it with data or back up your PC to it after we’ve copied all of your files over to the new SSD. This won’t be anywhere near as fast as the SSD but we can still use it for long term storage of files where we’re not bothered about access speed, such as your music library or a full system backup. Unfortunately we often can’t do this with Laptops as they don’t usually have space for two drives.
6. Increased efficiency/less heat
Productivity is also sure to go up when your computer is operating faster than you, it’s not hard to understand that a computer you no longer have to wait for will allow you to get far more work done, but many business still rely on 7 or 8 year old machines that chug along at a snails pace. In this far too common situation, an SSD is the answer. There’s no need to splash out on a new £400-500 PC to replace every one that you have currently, a simple £130 (starting from) upgrade will see your team back at the top of their game.
7. Silent operation
Finally, but important to many: A typical hard drive has a spinning ‘platter’ inside it which it uses to store data magnetically, in much the same fashion as a DVD or a vinyl record. This zooms round at 5400rpm (7200rpm for some and 10000rpm for others!) to allow a small arm to quickly read the data. This unfortunately creates a lot of vibration which can cause a fair bit of racket in older drives and is believed to be a main cause of failure for mechanical drives. SSDs have no such disk and do in fact operate completely silently, they are also expected to outlast a HDD by many years because of this.
So there we go, I hope you enjoyed reading through our tips and have hopefully learnt something along the way!