About a year ago I put a solid state drive (SSD) in to my system and I was stunned at how big a difference it made in performance and boot up time. Prices for SSDs have continued to drop and I have started to offer them in my basic computers with very impressive results.
In spite of the fact that traditional mechanical hard drives keep getting faster they still aren’t fast enough to not be a major bottleneck in performance. Solid state drives being completely electronic with no moving parts eliminate this bottleneck, even on older computers.
The only drawback to SSDs is cost per gigabyte. A traditional hard drive 1 terabyte (1000 gigabytes) in size costs about $100. A 120 gigabyte SSD runs about $130 for 880 fewer gigabytes. The SSD is MUCH faster but only has about 10% of the storage of the traditional hard drive.
However, most of my customers are only using 50-60 gigabytes, on average, even with pictures and games so 120 gigs is plenty of space. Even if you are using over 100 gigs you could get an external traditional 1 terabyte hard drive and off-load data to it to make a 120 gig drive usable.
The performance gains when using an SSD are nothing short of amazing. 7 – 10 seconds to boot up Windows 7. Applications like Word or Excel snap open briskly in 2-3 seconds. Everything you do is quick and responsive. Simply put, the computer works the way you have always wanted/expected it to work. Quick without any undue hesitation.
The only thing an SSD might not help is Internet web site speeds because that’s more a product of your Internet connect speed and ISP quality than computer speed.
If you want a fairly cheap method of upgrading your computers speed look in to getting an SSD. Cost to do this is about $200.