Adding a solid-state drive (SSD) to your PC is by far the best way to speed up your computer. A solid-state drive (SSD) provides the same functionality as a traditional hard disk, but there is a big difference in how they operate.
Hard Disk Drives (HDD) vs. Solid State Drive (SSD)
A hard-disk drive (HDD) stores data on a spinning metal disk. It has to read/write data by using a mechanical arm. The faster the platter spins, the faster an HDD can perform. HDDs typically have speeds of 5400, 7200, and 100 rpm. The speed is slower on an HDD due to the physical limitation of using moving parts.
Rather than using disks, motors and read/write heads, SSDs use flash memory. A solid-state drive relies on a controller (embedded processor) instead of a mechanical arm and moving parts. SSDs store their data in blocks using the controller in a very direct and efficient manner. The controller in an SSD is what separates an incredible SSD from a good SSD.
How I resurrected my 7-year-old laptop!
My current DELL XPS L502X was bought in January 2011, before I upgraded to SSD, I had a 250GB (7200 rpm) HDD installed on my PC. Prior to this, I had upgraded my RAM from 8GB to 16GB, but I wanted more speed. After checking out a few SSD brands, I decided to go with a Samsung 860 EVO with 250GB. Installation was simple. I cloned my HDD to SSD (migrated data) using free disk backup software and a SATA to USB cable. Next I removed the keyboard bezel on my laptop, removed the HDD, and replaced with the newly imaged SSD. The final step was reassembling keyboard bezel and turning on the device.
After installation of the SSD, I immediately noticed an exponential jump in speed after first boot. Before the upgrade, my boot times averaged 2-6 minutes – sometimes longer. After the upgrade to SSD, my boot times were shortened down to a blazing 17 seconds (faster than my smartphone)! In addition, there is a noticeable difference in the responsiveness of apps. Nothing hesitates to load and it is a much smoother experience. It’s like I have a brand-new computer since I have installed the SSD.
If you decide to upgrade to an SSD, you will bring new life to your aged computer. Even though, an SSD will cost more than an HDD, it’s one of the best investments you can make for increased speed. I’ve been enjoying the benefits of an SSD and I can’t imagine going back to a traditional HDD.