Upgrade Update: Solid-State Drives Yea, or Nay?

Written by mcarberry on. Posted in Gizmo Glorification, Tech Musings, Upgrade Update

In the world of computer storage, bigger used to be thought of as better. Recently however, that belief has changed. Not that people prefer less storage space, but they want their space to take up less… space. Although solid-state drives (SSDs) have been around since the 50′s, they’ve only been cost-effective enough to market at a consumer level for the past few years. In fact, many of these SSDs are being used in computers like the Macbook Air and in tablets as well. So what is an SSD anyway? Well, it’s basically a souped up version of that USB flash drive you carry around in your pocket. The technology is pretty similar, but it works on a drive that has a much larger capacity. Instead of carrying around a 2gb flash drive, you’re more likely to find SSDs in capacities up to 250 GBs. SSDs allow computers to retrieve information exponentially faster than a regular hard drive, and they aren’t prone to shock-based malfunctioning because they don’t have moving parts. In addition to stability and speed, SSDs also save space and reduce power consumption. One drawback to this technology is price. While the cost of the SSDs has been reduced significantly, most people still see it as a novelty. Typically SSDs are priced at around $0.90 – $2.00 per gb, whereas HDDs can be found for as low as $0.05 per gb. As the demand for smaller computers with larger storage capacities goes up, SSDs will inevitably settle into mainstream pricing. Eventually, the solid-state drive will become the preferred method of storage, but until then it seems a little superfluous. So why should you upgrade to an SSD? Well, there are people who would get more benefit for the extra cost. Gamers would appreciate the speed boost, as it would allow them to boot and load games faster, and save on power consumption. Speaking of the battery, laptop users can get a lot of good use out of these drives because it would greatly increase the battery life. Unless you’re one of these people, the only reason I can see for buying an SSD is to get faster PC boot times, but that reason alone was good enough for me. My OS runs incredibly fast on the drive, and with all the Adobe software I use, I’m grateful for the increased efficiency in loading programs. Whether you buy now or later, SSDs are here to stay. They will only get faster and smaller and less expensive. Get one if you want, but if it’s just not your thing, don’t worry about it. Now let’s say you do make the upgrade, and have now have an old hard drive. Well why not just use it as an external hard drive with one of these awesome Rosewill enclosures!
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