Solid State Drives (SSD) Upgrade
5 Things You Should Know
Are you considering upgrading your desktop or laptop computer? Perhaps considering buying a completely new system? Before you make any purchase, consider either installing a Solid State Drive (SSD) into your existing desktop or laptop. Should you decide to purchase a new computer, then you definitely need to think about buying a system with an SSD. Not familiar with SSDs? An SSD is a hard drive with no moving parts. It is similar to the memory card used in the digital camera systems, but much more powerful. Because there are no moving parts, the SSD provides much faster data movement, which means your computer operates much faster.
1. Amazingly Fast Performance
Here are just some of the interesting features you can expect from a solid state drive immediately. The very first startup will be much faster, even if you have experience slow startups with Windows operating systems. This is due to faster launch for all programs and individual files. If you own a laptop that is noisy, you will notice a decrease in obnoxious sounds, because the SSD has no moving parts. Loud laptops, particularly low priced laptops, usually come with a loud hard drive.
You will not be able to view videos will playing a game on a PC with an SSD installed. Internet web pages will not load faster because the hard drive or SDDS on your computer has no control over the Internet. Also video games will not load faster either since the hard drive or SSD on your computer does not control the programming code for the video game. However, one very positive feature is that your SSD will use less electricity thanthe old style hard drive. This will also provide longer life span for batteries on laptops.
2. Operating Systems and Application Migrations
If you purchase a new computer with an SSD installed, there is no need to migrate software. However, if you are upgrading from an old hard drive to SSD, then software migration is necessary. You will need to migrate your current operating system plus your application software.
Anticipating this situation, many SSD manufacturers do include disk cloning and migration software programs. This allows you to migrate your entire operating system from the hard drive onto the solid state drive. The SSD package includes a CD and a device allowing for a connection from the SSD using a USB for the migration. Following the migration procedure, you then install the Solid Sate Drive into your system.
Now that we discussed migration, we're going to tell you that it is no longer the recommended method for setting up your SSD. Attempting to transfer without a full installation may cause programs to fail. A far better way to proceed is to reinstall the operating system and then reinstall the individual programs you want to keep using after the operating system is functional.
3. Pricing Is Quite Reasonable
Initially, the SSDs were very costly and appealed only to a small market segment. Prices are coming down rapidly now that the Solid State Drives have been available for a few years. Since there are more SSD manufacturers and more SSDs being manufactured, the price is now in the "reasonable" range, while still providing significant performance increase.
There are some price variables however. A 64 Gig SSD has a price about the same as a 128 Gig hard drive. Solid State Drive buyers tend to buy smaller drive capacities and use the SSD to store program files that are accessed often. They will then store their document files, like Word, Excel, or databases, onto conventional hard drives or external hard drives. The Solid State Drives range from about 20 Gig to 5 TB. We're not quoting pricing here since any number we quote will be out of date shortly.
Since a Solid State Drive is a bit more expensive than a conventional drive, we recommend you consider the true purpose for the SSD and do a bit more research prior to investing. If you need professional help choosing a Solid State Drive, call us at 360-823-8880 and we'll assist you.
4. Limited Storage? - Not Really
Since pricing is coming down and the volume of storage is going up, the Solid State Drives are available now in 1TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB capacities at excellent pricing. This means large proprietary business programs can run internally to manage inventories, accounting, personnel and the entire gamut of business software applications at amazingly fast speeds.
When we refer to "excellent pricing" we're referring to pricing for businesses that require this kind of computing muscle. For small businesses, home gaming, and home businesses, the 1TB SSD is often a best buy. One caveat here: pricing varies considerably depending on manufacturer and configuration. Again, call us at 360-823-8880 and we will help you with this process.
A few more points about SSDs. The original Solid State Drives were said to wear out faster if you used them for media like games, and word docs, and other media that was accessed often. Recent testing, however, shows that very heavy use will wear out an SSD in about ten years. So, how long and how much wear do you plan for your computer? Most individual computer owners and businesses swap out desktop computers every 2 to 4 years. Laptop computers are exchanged even more often, although most laptop owners are less concerned with hard drive speed.
5. Solid State Drive Installation
If you can install a hard drive into a desktop PC, you can easily install a Solid State Drive into your computer. However, installing an SSD onto a laptop computer is a bit more involved.
Laptops are secured very tightly so you will need to perform a lot of screwdriver work to install an SSD. It also gets technical very rapidly. You will need to access the BIOS and alter or configure the SATA setting to AHCI from IDE. This is also referred to as SATA Mode or SATA Mode Selection. Each laptop computer system has a different naming system (of course!), but you can locate it easily enough looking at the BIOS. Making this setting properly ensures maximum SATA performance.
If you don't know what ALL of this means, you should stop right here and call us at 360-823-8880 so we can perform this procedure for you. Now is not the time to try to learn "laptop 101." There's a real possibility you could blow the entire system and turn your laptop into an expensive paper weight.
A few words about Warranties. It should come as no surprise that the higher the priced SSDs come with the best warranties. Manufacturer warranties vary from company to company; some manufacturers have consistently high quality warranties and others do not.
Before you buy a Solid State Drive, we recommend you carefully weigh your needs vs. the pricing. Do you really need 4TB? Do you need the fastest and most expensive SSD? Would a 500 Megabyte SSD work well for you along with a 5 TB Hard Drive for document and media storage?