Slow laptop? Swap out your hard disk drive (HDD) for a solid state drive (SSD)

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

A laptop with a worn out hard drive will run very slowly. Upgrading to an SSD will drastically increase performance in most cases.

We work on many mid-range laptops that take 5-10 minutes to start up, and 1-2 minutes to open a program. By installing an SSD, we can reduce these times to 20-30 seconds.

We can also install Windows on the new drive, and clone the old drive; thus retaining all files and programs.

Here's how they work...

A hard drive retrieves digital data using rotating magnetic platters. A sharp bit of metal called an actuator arm writes tiny 0's and 1's, which it can later go back to read and retrieve data. For example, an upper case "A" is stored as "10000001". The platter is divided into billions of sections. The arm will magnetize a section to write a 1, or demagnetize a section to write a 0.

A solid state drive uses flash memory. Millions of transistors open and close gates to trap electron flow. Electrons are charged (0) or not charged (1), and are stored in grids. Then, lots of complex and clever electrical processes (that we don't understand) happen, and voila, storage.

Key differences:

> An SSD has no moving parts, which means it can read and write (store and retrieve) data a lot quicker than a HDD - about twice as fast.

> An HDD uses about 3x as much battery power than an SSD.

> A HDD can generally store more data. A big HDD will store 4 terabytes, whilst a big SSD will store 512GB.

> An SSD is more reliable, because the magnetic disc in a HDD can be damaged by drops or dust.

> An SSD is more expensive per byte.

Computer Upgrades

Thanks for reading!

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