If you’ve looked into upgrading your computer anytime within the past 10 years or so, then you’ve probably heard about the possibility of upgrading to an SSD. You may have heard that it will make your computer faster, or that it will just work better in general. But what exactly is an SSD, and why is it such a highly recommended upgrade? What sets an SSD apart from a regular hard drive?
The job of an SSD (or solid State Drive) is more or less the same as a traditional hard drive: to store data, and possibly run an operating system. However, the technology behind the two types of drives is completely different, and while they may ultimately end up doing the same thing, their methods of doing this are nothing alike. To get a better understanding, let’s go into more details about SSDs specifically, and the benefits they offer over a regular hard drive.
The first and most obvious benefit of using an SSD is speed. A traditional hard drive is actually a mechanical device, meaning that data needs to be physically read off of it. By contrast, and SSD is entirely electronic, meaning that data can be accessed far more quickly. This is not only noticeable when browsing through folders, but also when booting up your computer, or even just through everyday tasks. In addition, the technology behind solid state drives is only getting better, meaning that their speeds will only continue to increase.
Generally speaking, an SSD will fail far less frequently than a traditional hard drive. This is mainly due to the fact that, unlike with a regular hard drive, they don’t have any moving parts in them, and that they are far less susceptible to magnetic failures. They also usually produce less heat as a result of not having any moving parts, which further contributes to their overall reliability and lifespan.
With that being said, data recovery from a failed SSD is usually next to impossible, so make sure to back up your data very frequently!
Another less talked about benefit to using an SSD is that they consume less power than normal hard drives. This is especially useful for laptops, where battery life is a much greater concern. Even in desktops, however, an SSD will still help to keep your electric bill down, even if only by a bit.
Another nice benefit of an SSD is that it will make far less noise than you would get with a traditional hard drive. Most of the noise you hear from a hard drive comes from their spinning platters (discs that data is written to, somewhat similar to optical CD/DVD/BluRay media) and the head moving back and forth to constantly read data from the platters. Since SSDs are completely electronic, they don’t have any of these moving parts, meaning that they are virtually silent.
There are two different types of standard SSDs: M.2 and 2.5” SATA. SATA SSDs are the larger of the two; however they are still relatively compact, especially in comparison to a 3.5” desktop hard drive. At worst, an SSD will be about the same size as a standard 2.5” laptop drive.
If your system supports it, then you can always opt for a much more compact M.2 SSD. These drives are not only smaller, but also faster in many cases. An NVMe M.2 SSD supports the latest technologies. Their performance is much better, and they are more reliable than both regular hard drives, and even other types of SSDs. NVMe is one of the best options when it comes to consumer-level storage, and is great if your system supports it.
If you are looking into improving the life, performance, and reliability of your current system, then an SSD can be a worthwhile upgrade. It’s an upgrade that will almost certainly improve performance substantially, and is an easy way to breathe some new life into your old PC. If you are ever interested in upgrading to an SSD, and you’re not sure where to start, feel free to give us a call! We would be happy to assist you in the upgrade process, and we can even transfer your data so that you can pick-up right where you left off.