SSD Upgrade: Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD Right Now

SSD Upgrade: Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD Right Now

SSD Upgrade: Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD Right Now


SSD Hard Drives! It’s time to upgrade to an SSD if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive in your computer. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can give your computer, and prices have come down dramatically.

Solid-state drives are so much faster because they don’t have a spinning magnetic platter and moving head. After upgrading, you’ll be amazed at the performance improvements and wondering why you waited so long.

The short version: SSDs are cheap, you can get 256GB for $124.99 or a 512GB for $179.99, or even a 1TB for only $329.99. Nothing else will give you the speed increase that a new SSD will.

Why SSDs Blow Mechanical Disks Out of the Water


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We used CrystalDiskMark to benchmark a recent, inexpensive solid-state drive and a 7200 RPM hard disk drive. Here are the results, with the SSD on the top and the older mechanical drive on the bottom.

The results speak for themselves. Even with sequential writes reads and writes, the SSD was more than twice as fast. When it came to one particular type of random reads and writes — reads and writes to random locations all over the disk — the SSD was more than 400 times as fast. With a mechanical hard drive, the physical heads need to move around to read data from a spinning magnetic disk. With a solid-state drive, the drive can read or write data from any location on the disk with no performance penalty.


It’s not just theoretical benchmarks that improve. Your computer becomes much, much faster to boot. How much of an improvement depends on your operating system, hardware, and what software is loading at boot — but you can make it down to 10-20 seconds, even on an older Windows 7 system. Your desktop will load much more quickly after you log in too. Even if you have a lot of nasty bloatware running at boot, your desktop will become usable much more quickly.

Launching a program, opening a file, and saving something to disk will all happen much, much faster. Click a program, and it can load almost instantly. All those little moments of waiting you don’t notice when you use your computer are adding up. Even just browsing the web will be faster — with your browser’s cache files stored on an SSD, they’ll load almost instantly instead of more slowly from a mechanical drive.


Large SSDs Are Now Inexpensive

SSDs used to be very expensive, especially for the small amount of storage space they had. In 2008, an 80 GB Intel SSD would cost you $595. That’s a whopping $7.43 per GB.

This can seem awfully expensive when you can get a 2 TB mechanical hard drive for $129.99 or so. But how much space do you really need? For nearly every computer user, speed is more important than raw capacity. You’ll feel speed all the time, but most people won’t need to store 2 TB of data on their drives. If you do need the space, that’s a great reason to get both — an SSD for your system files and programs, and a mechanical drive for long-term storage of media files and other stuff you don’t need the speed for.


So the SSD upgrade is the single best upgrade you can give your PC, and it can keep that PC running nice and fast for years to come. If you spend a lot of time at the computer, you’ll see a huge quality-of-life improvement. They’re now available at great prices for a good amount of storage, so the price premium they command over mechanical drives is much less important. You can always have a separate mechanical drive for more storage too.


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