Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop’s Hard Drive to a Solid State Drive

What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?

A solid-state drive serves the same function as the hard disk drive you’re used to in your laptop. This device allows you to store your data—like saving a word document to your hard drive, for instance.


While the two serve a similar function in your laptop, there is a significant difference between the two. More specifically, an HDD stores its data on spinning metal platters. When you want to access a piece of data, a component called the head moves to the data’s position to access it. Basically, as long as your laptop is on, the components within the HDD are always moving. An SSD, on the other hand, does not use any moving components and stores data in block instead. An SSD retrieves data electronically instead of using moving parts like an HDD.

Why an SSD?

If an HDD and an SSD serve similar functions you might be wondering why you should upgrade to an SSD. There are actually a number of reasons to upgrade to an SSD, though it can be much more expensive per GB of storage than an HDD. Before I get too far into these reasons, I should say that upgrading to an SSD is the single most powerful upgrade you can make to your laptop.


An SSD can reduce your boot times significantly. It can also help you launch and load applications almost instantly. It can also help document save speeds. That’s right, that two or three minute lag when you’re saving a large document will be significantly reduced with an SSD drive. Copying files from one place to another will also be much faster.


Faster might just seem like an empty word in this case but you’ll notice the difference, take my word for it! In addition to overall faster speeds, an SSD is less likely to crash since it doesn’t have any moving parts. In a laptop that is often being jostled around, having fewer moving parts makes is in your best interest.


Choosing the Right SSD

There are a lot of solid-state drives out there and you’ll notice a difference regardless of which one you choose. That being said, there are a few things you should look for if you’re ready to take your laptop to the next level with an SSD.


Firstly, look at the maximum read and write speeds on the drive. These speeds should be around 400MB/second for read speeds and 300MB/second for write speeds. To ensure that your SSD can transfer data as efficiently as possible, look for a drive that is SATA III compatible. Make sure your computer is also SATA III compatible to get the most out of the drive. If your computer isn’t SATA III compatible, know that you won’t ge the most out of you solid-state drive. Finally, try to purchase a drive made by a brand that has a good track record in this area. Although SSD technology has come a long way and most brands produce solid prodcuts, a trusted brand can still go a long way. For this reason, I recommend Crucial or OCZ drive.


All in all, if your laptop didn’t come with an SSD, it’s time for an upgrade. A Google search can help you to find more specific instructions on how to make the upgrade.


By Mike Agerbo

March 03, 2015