Upgrading an existing piece of hardware rather than buying a whole new machine also saves a lot of waste from landfill, meaning it’s better for the planet.
One of the most cost-effective ways to improve performance on an older machine is to add an SSD. Last week we talked a little bit about what SSDs are and how they work, this week, we’ll be looking at the benefits they can offer.
Even without changing any other hardware, swapping out an ageing HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for an SSD (Solid State Drive) will give you a noticeable improvement in terms of performance, especially if you are frequently opening or working with large files.
Because SSDs contain flash memory chips instead of an actual spinning disk, the drive is not limited by how fast the disk can spin and how far the drive head has to move to read the data. Although this kind of difference might not seem huge when you hear about it, it can make a significant difference in the speed of your PC or laptop. A machine that takes 2-4 minutes to boot up (turn on) with a standard HDD may take less than a minute or even just 30 seconds with an SSD.
It can increase your machine’s responsiveness, and therefore also your productivity – lessening the frustration and potential distraction that may occur when you have to wait for what seems like an age to open a piece of software or a large file.
Some laptops or desktops sometimes also have ‘SSHDD’ Hybrid drives. These combine a traditional HDD with a small SSD. A smart on-board chip moves your most-used files onto the SSD portion of the drive, while less-frequently accessed data is stored on the HDD portion.
This kind of drive is best used where budgets are tight, as they do not give the same level of improvement as a full SSD, but will definitely still help to improve long boot up and loading times.
Hybrid drives are most often used in laptops where a large capacity drive is needed but physical space is limited or there is a single connector.
SSDs of larger capacities are still far more expensive than HDDs, gigabyte for gigabyte. However, the main use of an SSD is to get faster access to large and frequently used files.
It is becoming increasingly common for new-build computers now to have one SSD and one HDD. This means you can put Windows and your other most-used programs onto the SSD, and reap the benefits of faster performance, while keeping the HDD for storage of infrequently used or larger files.
Because HDDs are proven stable, reliable, and cost-effective, it makes sense to keep using them for long-term storage and backups.
Many people can benefit from upgrading to an SSD or dual-drive setup from a single HDD. If you’re still unsure, but are interested in improving the performance of your machine, give us a call and we’ll be happy to chat with you, learn about your requirements, and help you decide on the best option for your situation!