Solid State Hard Drives save you Money
Computers are getting faster and faster over the years, but one part in the computer has not increased in speed much, and because of this the rest of the computer, no matter how fast it, is slows down as well.
This part is also referred to as THE HARD DRIVE the most important part, because it has all of your saved data on it.
Now this may not be of much concern to you but it should because the hard drives have dropped in quality over the years, it’s the number one replaced part in our repair shop. With a lot of bad drives comes the loss of data and the expense of replacement. So in order to explain to you how a solid state hard drive can benefit you I have to explain what your current hard drive is like.
Your current hard drive…
They have not changed much in over 20 years. They got a little faster and hold more data but that’s about it. They also figured out how to make them really inexpensive, and to do this they chopped away quality. To anyone who ever bought or currently has a laptop or desktop computer that cost less than $ 500, then you are most likely using one of the cheapest hard drives on the market.
Here are the scary facts about owning one of these hard drives
- Slower than average
- Holds up the speed of the computer
- They have a high failure rate (this means a LOSS OF DATA)
Generally speaking, the majority of users are not backing up their data as often as they should. There are higher end hard drives, and that’s what works best in new desktop PC’s. Since we switched over to these better hard drives we have been getting 5 – 7 years of life or longer out of them. That’s a lot better than the market average of 3 -5 years, and a lot better than the low end hard drives that seem to be less than 3 years.
How your current hard drive works…
Inside a hard drive there are platters that look like little CD disk. There is a read and write head that looks like the arm on a record player that goes over the platters that write or delete data. The platters can spin from 4200 to 15000 RPMs, but most hard drives found in computers today spin around 7200 RPMs. With all of this spinning comes noise and heat. The mechanical parts of the drive are attached to a circuit board that hook up to your computer, PVR, game system or whatever device that has a hard drive inside. If the parts are good the drives will last a long time, if not a short time, but after a while all moving parts do wear out. That’s where the solid state hard drives come in.
How a Solid State hard drive works and its benefits.
Solid State Hard Drives have no moving parts, so they do not generate noise and heat. A hard drive with no moving parts is less likely to fail compared to a regular hard drive. Lots of users who like a quiet computer enjoy the silence of the solid state drive.
Laptop users who put the laptop on their lap will notice it is a lot cooler with a solid state hard drive due to the fact that with no moving parts to make heat it hardly gets warm.
Now the best part – the speed. On average, a solid state hard drive speeds up a computer by 30%. Internet and YouTube speed up a lot too. Our new PC called the Intel Solid State boots up to the Windows 8 start screen in just 7 seconds once the hard drive starts to load, and the Intel CPU chip installed is just a basic i5 not a high end chip. We sell four year old laptops with a solid state hard drive installed and they out-perform new laptops selling over $ 800. So just by putting in a solid state hard drive on a new or used computer you can benefit from the results.
We are frequently asked what the life span of the drives are, and in truth, at this point it’s hard to say because they have not been on the market for a long time. I compare them to how the LCD screen replaced the big bulky tube monitors. The tube monitors had moving parts inside, gave off a lot of heat due to these parts and did not last as long as an LCD that had no moving parts and ran cool. LCD screen last for the life of two or three computers. I would liken this to solid state drives as well. Some solid state hard drives come with a 5 year warranty, most regular hard drives do not.
Data is saved into memory chips. The same way data is saved on your USB stick drive that you carry in your pocket. A regular hard drive has a lot of work to do to find your data. It has to spin its platters fast and the read and write head has to go over these platters to find the data. This is why hard drives are the slowest part of your computer.
To make matters worse a hard drive stores the data all over itself. So if you wanted to play a song, one part of the song may be in the middle of the drive, the other part of the same song may be in the beginning part of the hard drive. So in order to bring up the song you want the hard drive must scan the drive, passing the end of the song it stored up front just to start the beginning part of the song that it stored in the back – this fragmented file just slows the hard drive down further.
The solid state hard drive has no moving parts so when you want to play a song it is instantly available. When your regular hard drive gets full the computer slows down a lot, as a rule to prevent the slowdown I tell users to keep about 25% of the hard drive empty – the more files on the drive, the longer it takes to scan itself to find the data. I had a solid state drive over 95% full and did not notice a drop in speed.
What to be careful of when buying a Solid State Hard Drive….
Some solid state drives are awful for quality just like regular hard drives. These ones you must stay away from, even if they got good warranties on them. They will die and take your data with them same as poor quality regular hard drives.
To get around this problem I would recommend only Intel Solid State Hard Drives – mainly the 520 series. We use these drives at home, in our own computers at work, and many businesses in and around town that we sell our PC’s to have these drives installed. It’s been over 2 years of selling the Intel solid state drives and I only had one defective drive come back – that’s unheard of in this industry.
Different brands sell solid state drives but I don’t recommend them. Customers will buy them from other stores and install them in their computers, when they don’t work they bring them to me and I trouble shoot the computer and find out the new solid state drive is the problem. Customers buy these other drives because they are almost half the price of the Intel drives.
Solid state hard drives are also a little smaller than regular hard drives so they can’t hold as much data. Usually this does not matter because most users don’t need the extra space a regular hard drive offers. The most common solid state hard drive we sell is a 120GB in size. For example if we install MS windows and office, and a few other programs, you will have less than 30GB used, that leaves you over 80GB for all other files that you may save in the future. Some users need more data storage and we have a way around that too, ask us for details.