Why an SSD is the best upgrade you can buy right now

If you’re looking for a low cost upgrade for your computer, you cannot get more performance for so little than with an SSD (Solid State Drive). As long as your computer has the connections to use one, an SSD can offer a significant performance upgrade without breaking the bank. It’s pretty easy to fit one too.

Here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey, upgrading customers from older hard drives to SSDs is one of the most popular tasks we undertake. For as little as $100, you can multiply the speed of your computer with a single upgrade. Not only is an SSD faster, it’s more efficient and uses less power too.

Solid State Drives

SSDs come in two main types, NVMe and SATA. Depending on your motherboard and budget, they can offer speedy performance for not a lot of money. As most people don’t have a spare PCI-E socket for NVMe, let’s talk about SATA.

A SATA SSD uses flash memory to provide storage. There are no moving parts, it can read and write sequentially, is silent and much, much faster. As an example, a typical HDD will write at a maximum of around 50 Mb/s and cannot read and write at the same time. A Samsung 860 EVO SSD can read and write up to 550 Mb/s and do both at the same time.

NVMe is faster but also more expensive. It uses a computer’s PCI-E slot, the same as you use for graphics and can write up to 2,300 Mb/s and read up to 3,400 Mb/s.

So why not stump up the cash for an NVMe drive instead of SATA?

On average, NVMe are double the price of SATA SSD. Most legacy motherboards will only have one PCI-E slot, which is likely taken up by your graphics card. Even if you have a space PCI-E slot, if you have an older processor and RAM, you may not get the full speed out of NVMe anyway.

For now, I think a SATA SSD makes more sense. They are cheaper, around $55 for 250GB or $80 for 500GB, easy to install and as long as your computer motherboard has a SATA II or SATA III port, can be installed in less than five minutes.

Upgrading to SSD

If it were my money, I would install an SSD as my boot drive. That way Windows and any programs it uses will load faster and your overall user experience will be much improved. If you’re a gamer, you may prefer to install your games on SSD instead, although it will quickly be filled up as games tend to be huge now.

Either way, all you need do is save any data you want to keep from your old drive just in case. Then open your computer case, use the cable that usually comes with the SSD. Locate the SATA III slot if you have one or SATA II if you don’t, plug one end of the cable into that, the other into the SSD itself. Then add power from your computer’s PSU.

One word of warning though. SSDs have different power needs than older hard drives. That means they have different connectors. It may be worth checking your power supply to make sure it has the L-shaped connector suitable for SSDs. If it was manufactured within the last five years, it should have but check first.

Upgrading to a solid state drive offers huge performance improvements for very little effort. If you have any trouble installing yours, bring your computer to Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. We can help with any computer or networking issue you may have!