Benefits of Solid State Drives

HARD DRIVES have been around since the 1980s. Like floppy drives, which they replaced, they have a spinning disk or disks like a record player—but the arm skips around. Solid state drives (SSDs) are a newer technology with no moving parts, similar to memory. Just as hard drives replaced floppies, SSDs are starting to replace hard drives. Below are some of the reasons:

 SSDs are faster

  • Your operating system and programs will go from loading in minutes to seconds. Saving files will also be faster, allowing you to be more productive.

SSDs perform better

  • Although software loads from the main drive into memory, it still uses the main drive now and then to perform various operations, even when you’re not loading or saving a file. If you run out of memory, the operating system, too, uses the main drive–potentially much of the time. The slower your main drive runs, the slower your computer will run in general. Due to physical limitations, a hard drive can get stuck for minutes–or indefinitely–doing an operation that an SSD would perform seamlessly. An SSD means less downtime.

SSDs are more robust

  • A hard drive can be ruined or data lost if the computer is struck, dropped, or suddenly loses power, especially during a write operation. An SSD, on the other hand, because it has no mechanical parts, has a much better chance of surviving a physical accident.

SSDs last longer

  • A hard drive has parts that wear out over time. While it is true that an SSD has a limited write cycle, for today’s best SSDs, that means decades of use on the average workstation. A typical hard drive has a statistical lifespan of 3-5 years.
    Even if your hard drive doesn’t fail completely within five years, it bogs down and becomes increasingly slower because of operating system updates and patches as well as mechanical wear and tear, until it becomes unbearable. With an SSD there is negligible difference, if any, in performance over time.

SSDs pay for themselves

  • While the initial cost of a hard drive is significantly less than a SSD, a hard drive makes your computer perform less optimally and is more prone to problems. An SSD is far faster and more reliable, saving time and money on maintenance and troubleshooting. Over time, the savings more than compensate for the higher initial cost of the drive.
  • When a computer becomes unbearably slow because of the hard drive, most people will replace the entire computer. Fortunately, it is possible to copy the hard drive to an SSD and use that instead, making the computer perform better than when it was new. This saves hundreds of dollars over computer replacement.

The SSDs We Use

  • We use Samsung SSDs because they have the best track record for speed, performance, longevity, and reliability.
  • A typical workstation only needs a 250 GB SSD. For computers with large amounts of data, we can install a larger size.

Cost of an SSD Upgrade

  • Upgrading a typical workstation to an SSD (250 GB) costs around $150 for the part and labor. Newer computers may take less time, costing a little less; older computers and those with large amounts of data may take longer, costing a bit more. If in a given case replacing the computer would be most cost effective, we will recommend that instead.

The Bottom Line

  • Because of the benefits of SSDs and the limitations and pitfalls of hard drives, we insist on all our customers having solid state drives on all computers. If the initial investment is cost prohibitive, we are happy to do the upgrades in stages. In the end, the upgrades will help you be more productive, save you money, and spare you a lot of trouble!