Do you have insufficient storage space and a frustratingly slow computer?
Today’s digital life requires lightning-fast devices and enormous storage capacity that’s never enough for our purposes.
Is there a single solution that can give us both performance and storage?
Many experts recommend an SSD, especially as opposed to the traditional hard drive, for boosting performance and speed.
As a storage device, can an SSD improve your computer speed?
Does SSD Make The Computer Faster?
A solid-state drive can make your computer faster because of its advanced technology and shorter read/write time.
The most important factor that makes an SSD faster is the zero seek time.
Since SSDs don’t have moving parts, they can find and retrieve data faster.
They make your computer boot up faster and give it shorter data transfer times.
As a result, your computer can open files and programs, process data, and store information much faster.
When you can load apps in seconds, you can multitask more easily because you don’t need to wait long until one program loads.
An SSD allows you to open multiple files and programs simultaneously.
Although a considerable boost in speed is the most noticeable effect of adding an SSD to a computer, an SSD has more benefits that make it a preferred component over other storage devices.
How Do SSDs Work?
The noticeable boost in the program launch times and data transfer speeds across all files, apps, and actions results from the advanced technology used in SSDs.
If your computer already comes with an SSD as its primary storage device, you may take its high speed for granted.
If you replace your computer’s mechanical hard drive with a solid-state drive, you can instantly see the difference.
To better understand how an SSD boosts your computer speed, it may be helpful to know how a hard drive works.
1. Hard Drives
An HDD is a mechanical storage device that’s older than SSDs, but it’s widely used on many computers.
It stores data on a magnetic-coated platter (roughly resembling a vinyl record), and the magnetic north and south represent ones and zeros, making your data digital.
A head moves over the spinning platter with a reading head touching the platter to read the data.
All these moving parts and the process of reading and writing data make the mechanical hard drive slow and less efficient compared to more advanced options.
When you click a file on your computer to open, the hard drive platter spins, and the head has to move toward the specific spot where your file is stored.
This movement takes time, slowing down the read/write process.
What’s more, the files you store on the hard drive aren’t always in their whole shapes.
If they’re too big for the empty spots on the hard drive, they get broken into pieces to fit into empty spots.
When you open a file, the read/write head has to move to different locations, and the platters have to spin several times to make it a whole piece.
These movements slow down data transfer in addition to other pitfalls (which we’ll cover later in the article).
2. Solid-State Drives
Now, let’s compare the HDD with an SSD, which is more advanced and faster.
Solid-state drives don’t have mechanical parts.
Instead, they have flash cells that use electrons to store data.
These electrons get electrically charged to represent ones and zeros.
A negative charge means one, and a positive charge means zero.
The first outcome of this design is zero seek time and much faster read/write speeds.
This design is much simpler than a hard drive as it only consists of chips sitting next to each other in an organized grid of columns and rows.
Despite this simplicity, the SSD gives you the biggest benefit of transistors and chips: speed.
Everything is about electricity and electric charge instead of movement and spinning.
Benefits Of SSDs
Although adding an SSD to your computer can make it considerably faster, reducing load times from minutes to seconds, that’s not the only advantage of this technology.
Here are the extra perks that come with solid-state drives:
1. Less Noise
If you have a mechanical hard drive on your computer, you’ve probably noticed its movements when you open a file.
These whirling noises can be annoying, especially when you need to focus or perform heavy tasks like gaming.
An SSD doesn’t make any noise even when it works much harder than an HDD because it doesn’t have moving parts.
2. More Safety
Mechanical hard drives are highly sensitive to physical shocks, drops, and high temperatures because of their moving parts and materials.
If you accidentally drop your laptop or external hard drive, there’s a high chance of getting damaged and becoming non-functional.
These parts are more prone to breaking and making you lose your important data.
Hard drive failure is one of the primary causes of data loss, which can be irreversible if you don’t have a backup.
One of the main reasons for hard drive failure is the degradation of its components due to constant movements.
SSDs don’t have these shortcomings because there are no moving parts.
3. Less Heat
Here’s another disadvantage of hard drives because of moving components.
Although electricity and the movement of electrons can generate heat, it’s much lower than physical movements and friction between components.
Therefore, you’ll experience less internal heat with an SSD.
In addition to producing less heat, SSDs are also more resistant to heat.
Since HDDs are made of magnetic materials, they’re super sensitive to excess heat, becoming magnetically unstable if they get too hot.
4. Lowe Energy Consumption
If you upgrade to an SSD, you’ll notice that your laptop battery will last longer because it has fewer mechanical parts to give power to.
This higher energy efficiency comes in handy with mobile devices and is a big plus when it comes to energy bills.
5. Lower Weight And Smaller Size
Although you may notice no physical differences in size between a mechanical hard drive and an SSD, the latter is much more compact.
As mentioned, an SSD has a simple design consisting of small chips and nothing more than that.
On the other hand, a hard drive has many tiny components attaching the platter, spindle, head, and arm and increasing the weight and form factor.
Manufacturers can make SSDs much smaller, but they have to fit the space already allocated inside PCs and laptops, which should be the same for HDDs and SSDs.
Whether your SSD is internal or external, it can greatly decrease the overall weight and make your device more portable.
Disadvantages Of SSDs
The instant-load performance of SSDs is enough to make them the preferred choice over traditional HDDs, much less their other advantages.
However, they come with some pitfalls.
1. Higher Cost
SSDs are generally more expensive than HDDs of the same capacity.
However, that’s barely a disadvantage anymore.
The advances in SSD technology have lowered costs considerably, making them more affordable.
Plus, the overall performance boost and the many benefits an SSD offers make the higher costs reasonable, turning the SSD into a great investment.
The lower failure rates and energy consumption make it worth the extra cost.
2. Lower Read/Write Cycles
Despite the SSD’s higher speed and performance, it has limited read/write cycles.
The memory cells on an SSD are covered with an oxide layer, which deteriorates with time.
The more you write over your data, the faster it can fail.
That’s one of the main reasons that some businesses prefer to stick with the traditional hard drive.
3. Failure Rates
Although SSDs have higher longevity than HDDs, they can fail.
And if they do, recovering data is more difficult than the traditional hard drive.
It may not be a deal-breaker for many performance-minded users because electronics are bound to fail sometimes.
It can be a sobering fact to force you to back up your data no matter how reliable your storage is.
Do I Need An SSD?
You can definitely use an SSD if you have an old laptop that takes forever to load and open files.
The zero-seek time and instant access that comes with SSDs make your job much easier, and your laptop will thank you for it.
You can get an external or internal SSD to store different files based on their functions and your own requirements.
For example, since an internal SSD is faster, you can use it for programs requiring high speeds and leave the external SSD for data you don’t need to access frequently.
If your PC doesn’t have a built-in SSD, you can use your hard drive and the SSD together if you don’t have space limitations.
Many users prefer to keep their operating system or programs that require fast loading and response times (like games) on the SSD and leave the hard drive for files like movies and pictures.
RAM Vs. SSD: Which One Do I Need?
When your computer is slow, upgrading your RAM and getting an SSD are the first two options that experts recommend.
Although these two components serve different purposes, they can equally boost your computer’s speed.
However, you may wonder which one is a better choice.
You should first consider whether you have enough RAM for your purposes.
Average users don’t need more than 8 GB of RAM, while heavy gamers or video editors need 16 to 32 GB of RAM.
If you already have this much RAM, you don’t need more.
If you multitask, upgrading your RAM can considerably boost your performance.
However, having more RAM than you need won’t give you any extra advantages and will be overkill since your computer won’t use it.
On the other hand, you can solve most performance-related problems by switching to an SSD.
The SSD’s overall advantages make it a preferred choice over RAM in most cases.
How Much Storage Capacity Is Enough?
You’ve decided that an SSD can speed up your computer, but you don’t know how much storage capacity you need.
Unlike RAM, you can’t have too much storage space.
If you want to future-proof your system and don’t mind the extra costs, go for the highest capacity you can afford because the amount of data we generate on our devices is growing overwhelmingly fast.
However, if you have budget limits, use cloud storage, or want an SSD for specific purposes, here’s what you need:
If you need an SSD just for storing your OS and using it as a boot device, a 250GB drive will be more than enough.
You can even use the extra space to back up your important files.
You may need a 500GB–1TB SSD for business work and light gaming, saving HD movies and photos.
Large games and programs can benefit from a high-capacity SSD because it gives you enough storage space while enabling you to boot instantly.
While most average users will be fine with 1TB of storage space, you should upgrade to 2TB if you play heavy AAA games or perform demanding projects like 3D editing.