Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/194750/its-time-why-you-need-to-upgrade-to-an-ssd-right-now/
It’s time to upgrade to an SSD if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive in your computer. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can give your computer, and prices have come down dramatically.
A while ago I made a tutorial on how to migrate the OS to the SSD. That might be useful in the context.
Do I have to physically install the SSD in my laptop, or can I run it from one my usb ports as the primary drive? If so, could I then designate my internal hard drive just for storage of space gobbling data like a portable hard drive? My laptop has 750 GB's, hate to give that up, and I fear the installation. I am no expert on this, just a guy who likes to use my computer every day. Your advice is greatly appreciated!
@cooper, you need to install it in your laptop.
The process is pretty easy; you just need a USB enclosure. You use a piece of software to clone your internal hard drive to the SSD, which is all fairly automatic, then you open a little door on the bottom of your laptop and switch drives. After that, you can use your old hard drive for backups.
Great, thanksd for the info. I would not recommend that anyone buys or tries to install a Samsung SSD on a computer more that two years old as you will get repeated BSODs, particularly if you have IDE hard drives running on the same comp[uter. i bought two Samsung 250 Gb SSD for a machine running Windows 8.1 and the other windows 7. One of them an EVO and the other Pro. the Samsung 250 gb on the Windows 7 machine without any other hard drives, i get a BSOD about twice a week. The Samsung Magician software does not cope very well. I can run the other Samsung SSd Pro on Windows 8.1 and have to run on IDE instead of AHCI to avoid a BSOD.
Then i bought a Cruciual SSD for my laptop running Vista. Never a problem with the Crucial.
I will buy another Crucial for the windows 7 machine and see if that solves the BSOD proble,. Alot of Samsung SSD users have the BSOD problem.
Depending on the age of your laptop, you may not see anywhere near the improvement you expect. I popped a Samsung 256 GB SSD in my HP TM2T, purchased in March of 2010. It ran almost as fast with the original 7200 rpm 500 GB HD. I believe the reason is that the SATA interface in this computer is SATA 2 rather than SATA 3, greatly compromising the potential throughput. I was also hoping for improved battery life, but I did not get that either, unfortunately.
For the past several years when I have read about SSD's it is the same thing. They are lightening fast but very finicky (cannot qualify that any better at the moment) and they have a high failure rate. This has kept me away from seriously hunting around for one. Suddenly here I am reading, "yeah go get one!" with none of the usual cautionary words. Have SSD's improved in quality or it this just an exceptionally enthusiastic article?
To be honest, Dex, this is what has kept me from getting an SSD as well.... well, that and the fact that my primary hard drive is 2TB, and I don't really want to start playing the "where does this file go?" game.
I agree that an SSD is so much faster. However, I am hesitant because I understand they have a limited number of reads and writes. I carry a flash drive in my pocket all the time, and have to replace it once or twice a year because it just wears out. Wouldn't an SSD be subject to the same problem? I don't know if the long-term reliability is a good thing to trade off for the great speed.
As a user who has 6 system running on SSDs (the oldest is from 2008 with Vista) plus 6 other operating systems from an external SSD. I do not understand all the hesitation. I found the following:
The SSDs last at least as well as HDDs. The stories about the limited number of writes are true but my research showed that you have to keep them for 100 years before you get to that limit.
There is nothing really complicated about SSDs. The only real difference to HDDs is that you have to align a SSD and that you disable defrag (because it would be useless. Access time to any point of the SSD is the same).
I would not want to operate without my SSDs. Every time I am on a friends system without a SSD, I cannot believe how slow those systems are. Those slowpoke systems put me into a tizzy.
I even run virtual systems (one Windows 8 and five Linux) from an external SSD attached via USB3 or eSata and they run great. e.g. boot time of the external Windows 8 is 26 seconds - Linux is even faster. No HDD could compete with that. Big advantage here is that I only have to maintain one set of operating systems which I can run on any of my PCs.
Here is a video recording I once made comparing Windows 8 and Linux Mint boot times. These are the virtual partitions from the external SSD. The real boot time is from when the OS logo appears to the Start in Windows 8 or desktop in Linux. The rest of the time is VMware Player setup.
wilson - Got a better idea, get ur butt down here to Fla, fix it for me and I'll take you fishing! Seriously, is there some sort of tutorial that I could look at before I start "opening little doors." I learned as a little kid, don't open doors if you don't know what's behind them! LOL!
Thanks for your help, good buddy!
Here's one that I found after a quick Google search: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss5eI8FhvoQ
The only problem is that I don't know if Clonezilla works with Windows 8, and I also don't like the external USB to SATA adapter he's using. I have that one, and it's great for doing the job, but what you really want is an external enclosure.
Here's an example of an external enclosure: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0VN-0003-000H3
With a box like that, you can plug your drive in to the USB port; you'll put the SSD on there for the cloning process, then put the HDD in there later for to use as a backup drive. (You can either re-clone to your HDD once in a while, or use backup software like Crashplan to keep your PC backed up regularly.)
I've had an SSD in every computer in the last 5 years or so, and none of them have died or had any problems.
I think it's one of those things - at the very beginning, SSDs weren't quite as reliable, and people heard about it, and then they hold on to the idea for a really long time. It'll be 2018 and people will still be saying that you shouldn't use them because they have a limited number of writes... even though nobody knows what that limit is or whether it would even affect them.
Just like every other tech myth... People still insist on defragging their computers when Windows does it automatically. And they use registry cleaners because a zillion years ago Microsoft made a registry cleaner once, even though they don't do anything useful.
Only if you leave your computer on overnight. I've been turning off my gaming PC at the end of a session and discovered today that my hard drive is horribly fragmented... for some reason, some pictures I imported from my iPad got scattered all over the hard drive; Defraggler's drive map looked like a checkerboard.
Windows 8.x should disable defrag automatically, when they detect an SSD. I'm not sure about Windows 7 though. As for useless: Not quite (sequential reads still are faster after all) but the difference is said to be way too small to justify the additional writes.
On a side note, I'm using a crucial M4 512 GB since roughly two years. I DID have some problems, but they turned out to be related to the SATA connector having become loose. Performance wise it is great; In particular it removed nasty micro-stuttering issues from some games (notably Diablo 3; Had similiar issues with WoW but never played it on the SSD), which I often experienced to be much more disruptive than plain framerate issues. It's no good if your hardware allows a stable 30 fps while standing still, but has occasional hiccups due to delay in disc operations, effectively reducing your fps to the 1-4fps range, albeit only for a fraction of a second.
Switch to SSD right now?
Nah ....... my mechanical drives are working perfectly fine right now. Besides I can get a 2, 3 or 4 TB mechanical drive for a fraction of the cost of what a comparable SSD drive would cost.
What about the speed difference? milliseconds in response between the two, I can live with the loss of a couple of milliseconds in speed until SSD's either become standard or come down significantly in price.
Price and demand on these things are really lopsided right now, when the market is flooded with them they will become dirt cheap, just like mechanical drives, so all those that are purchasing them right now your probably going to kick yourself in the butt a couple of years from now because you paid hundreds of dollars more than you should have for one, for the larger capacity SSD drives at least.
From what I understand also is that the life cycle of an SSD is significantly less than a mechanical drive if not used properly. SSD technology is still fairly new, I'm not going to throw money down a rat hole on something that will CLEARLY be much more advanced a few years from now.
Thanks but no thanks, I'll keep and still recommend mechanical drives to my customers until SSD's are the standard and are more affordable for the average home user.
4TB Mechanical Seagate SATA HDD on Amazon retails for $130.00 U.S.
4TB SSD Scandisk according to extreme tech could easily top $10,000.00 U.S.
A 500 GB SSD on Newegg is almost double the cost of a 4TB mechanical SATA ( if your just looking to run your OS and not use for storage ).
Sure hybrid's are cheaper, but if your talking going pure SSD and want the capacity, have a deep wallet or plan on not eating or paying bills for a while.
Yeah ........ I'll stick with the mechanical for now :/
Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 disable defrag during the installation when they discover a disk without rotation (SSD).
The problem occurs though if you transfer an OS installation with an image. Then you have to disable defrag yourself.
@Edward_Gudz You're missing the point about SSDs. Though indivial access operations save only some milliseconds, those very milliseconds can result in annoying microstuttering all over the system, as they add up. I found the SSD upgrade to make a major difference in overall responsiveness, while the quadcore CPU (as opposed to a three years older dualcore cpu) was barely noticable without the SSD. For games in particular, Diablo 3 went from badly stuttering to fluent on the same hardware. (Granted, the HDD of the notebook wasn't particularly fast).
On a desktop, you'll be much happier if you use one 128 GB SSD for your system, and additional HDDs for mass storage. Of course, if you're happy with your system, don't bother. But if you're planning to upgrade anything, the SSD is currently the upgrade that makes the most noticable difference.
As for pricing... I did a little analysis of the market prices myself in 2012. Plotting the price development on a logarithmic scale showed that both the price of SSD storage per GB and HDD storage per GB follow a nice exponential trend (except for early datapoints for SSDs related to their introduction as consumer product presumably), with the HDD prices actually falling FASTER than the SSD prices, so as bulk storage HDDs are going to stay.
@Yu0x3 Like I said, milliseconds really do not matter to me much, my system is already pretty responsive and it's almost 2 years old and has a 1 TB internal SATA system drive and a 4TB external SATA drive. When I click or open something it opens pretty much instantaneous unless I am opening a program like Photoshop which I leave open once it's running.
All I was trying to convey was that SSD pricing right now is very, very high and people are buying GB sized SSD's for what they could TB sized HDD's for in SATA. I mean if you want to spend upwards of $100 to $150 for a 250 GB SSD to just run your OS on and you have the extra cash then go for it. But the way I see it, in a few more years the pricing should level out and the technology will be much better and probably faster, THAT would be the time to buy them.
It's much like purchasing a first year car model, you just don't do it because chances are there are going to be problems and bugs with it, meanwhile you dumped $30 - $40,000 into that investment.
Don't get me wrong, if a customer insisted on an SSD drive I have no problem getting and installing one for them, but my reasoning is to them ..... do you really need to shed milliseconds in response time? if not get a SATA HDD with triple the amount of space you would get with an SSD, besides, right now the life span of a SATA drive will outlast a SSD, I have machines that have HDD's that are eight to ten years old and are still going strong, I don't think anyone with an SSD can make that claim ..... yet.
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