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Optimizing Your Computer

June 14, 2017

In our every increasing world of faster access and more bandwidth, get it done now, and why is this taking so long, there is one significant upgrade to your computer that'll make a significant improvement. You may already have a computer with a SSD drive, and if so, you can stop reading. This article is about the difference between a traditional platter/spinning drive and a SSD drive. (Yes redundant - SSD = Solid State Drive).


You can read specifics about SSD on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive) however I'll cut to the chase in that if you don't have a SSD as your primary OS drive, then you are losing time waiting for a traditional drive to spin up/load data.  A typical SSD will take about 0.1 ms to access data where a typical hard drive may take 2.9 to 12 ms to access data.  Once located, a modern HDD can transfer data at about 200 MB/s where a SSD can transfer data anywhere from 200 MB/s up to 2500 MB/s.


Clearly the SSD is faster in getting to data and faster in transferring data into your computers memory. Plus other benefits in working in colder temperatures, higher altitudes, and with no concerns to environmental factors (shock/vibration).


So why not a SSD? There are a couple concerns when it comes to SSD technology, one is the ability to write data to the same block of memory. Over time a block will be unusable and the drive/OS will relocate that block. The other concern is unstable power - if you experience numerous power outages/blackouts/brownouts, a SSD may be susceptible to the effects of poor power. The solution to power is a UPS. The long term read/write of blocks may require replacing the SSD every 3 or 4 years.  However as of 2011, SSDs have had a lower return rate than mechanical drives and with general use may easily last 5 to 10 years.


So what if you want to upgrade from a traditional mechanical drive to a SSD? It's actually fairly simple. While there are many variables, the typical process is to get a SSD, copy the data from your existing mechanical drive, then replace your mechanical drive with the SSD. The easiest process is to get the same size SSD as your hard drive and do a one to one copy to it.  Larger is fine, however a smaller SSD than your hard drive is very difficult (not impossible) to implement. After you copy the drive, put your physical drive on the shelf as a back up for a period of time. Most SSD manufactures have software that'll make the copy process easy and there are physical devices available that'll process copies between different devices.


A typical 500GB SSD from Amazon


Take-away - for the cost of a SSD and the time to transition your system, your computer will boot faster, load documents faster and generally perform better.  With the SSD tools that the manufacture provides, you can DIY, however Inline Technology Services is here if you need professional help.




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