Tuesday, March 8, 2011
So you've maxxed out the amount of RAM you can put in your system. You've upgraded to the fastest processor that your motherboard will support and you STILL need more speed? Where do you look, what can you do? Have I got a solution for you! Don't waste your time on an expensive 10K RPM harddrive, instead, spend your money on an expensive SSD (Solid State Drive). Well, expensive is relative and I can tell you from experience that it is WELL worth it. There are plenty of reasons to buy one but most of all is SPEED. Harddrives are rated by their access times or read/write times. They can vary greatly but in most cases the read/write times on the SSD's are approx 3-4 times faster than a standard mechanical harddrive. Not 30%-40%. This may not seem like much but just you wait, oh there's the rub, you WON'T be waiting. I have absolutely NO LAG when I execute a Word document or open an internet session. Extremely fast with very memory and resource intensive games also. (CODMW2, BFBC2, MOH) I was a little unsure about spending more than $200 for a 128GIG hard drive but am a great proponent of them now. Why, you ask, are they so much faster than a standard hard drive? Well, it is basically a harddrive made of RAM (flash memory), and we know how fast that is. It's only constraint is the capability of sata technology since that's the interface it utilizes. With mechanical harddrives the drives themselves are bottlenecks because of their design and moving parts. Other benefits of an SSD is they have no moving parts making them "noise-less". Mechanical harddrives have heads, platters, spindles etc and spin at very high speeds, therefore are "noisy" in comparison...SSD's are more durable and less susceptible to shock damage if you accidentally drop them because of this. They are generally cooler also. The only heat is generated by the power supplied to run them. With mechanical drives you have the power input plus the heat generated by the movement of the platters, heads etc so much more heat is involved. They one drawback that I can see is that there is a finite number of times that you can write to flash memory AND there is no warning when it fails. With a mechanical harddrive you usually get warning signs when it starts going bad. If you know to looks for these things you can usually be proactive and start retrieving data before your drive is totally inaccessible. With a SSD you can turn your PC on and NOTHING. That being said, make sure you backup whatever data you have on them. I use mine specifically for my OS and other program files. I store NO DATA on it. I have a separate drive for that purpose. You want the fast access times with your programs, not necessarily your data. If you want, you can copy the "live"data to the SSD while working on it, then move it back when completed. One of the things I wanted to find out is how much faster I can install programs on my new SSD, well I have an incredibly fast way of doing so now, however, I'm not sure how much I can attribute to the SSD and how much credit goes to installing from an ISO on my HD. Either way, I installed Battlefield Bad Company 2 in less than 5 minutes. I don't have the exact time of the original install via my DVD drive but I know it was more than 20 minutes. Anyway, I am well pleased with the performance of the SSD and am planning on purchasing one for my wife soon since she does lots of digital scrapbooking via CS5, which is VERY RESOURCE INTENSIVE. Side note, over the weekend I helped a friend build a new PC very similar to mine, INCLUDING the SSD. He called me the next day, couldn't believe how FAST his new beast was. Also, noted that he installed CS5 in approx 10 minutes versus the 30-45 minute standard. I'm SOLD. I won't "pimp" anything that I truly don't believe in. SSD's are something I stand firmly behind. Next time you're looking for something to upgrade, make it you're harddrive, you'll be surprised at how much difference there is between an SSD and mechanical. Enjoy...
Posted by Arizona I.T. Guy at 3:52 AM