Wisbech computer expert gives advice on solid state disks
Here is the fortnightly I.T Crowd column by Philip Brooks of Diamond Byte Solutions...
Rumours abound that Microsoft are about to make Solid State Disks (SSD) mandatory for boot drives in Windows 11 computers.
This is good news for consumers since SSDs make even the most everyday of computers run extremely well.
In fact, upgrading Windows 10 desktops or laptops and Apple iMacs with SSDs is one of our most common jobs. So, this week I thought I’d let you know what these modern-day little miracles are all about.
An SSD is a storage component for your computer, like a hard drive, except it is a lot faster (between eight and 30 times faster in fact) and more reliable.
On a hard drive, data is sought out on a spinning platter, so it takes a while to boot up your system, load applications and save files.
In contrast, SSDs use flash memory to deliver pretty much instantaneous boot and load times and are therefore able to access data almost instantly.
So, what are the benefits of using an SSD?
Since SSDs don’t have small, moving parts (unlike hard drives which have magnetic heads, spindles, spinning platters etc) that are prone to failure, the chances of hard drive crashes and lost data are considerably lower.
Given that all your photos, videos, files, and programs are loaded from your storage drive, an SSD provides better protection for your important data.
With traditional hard drives, the continuous motion generated by small moving parts creates heat, which is a leading factor in hard drive failure.
SSDs are more resistant to accidents and wear and tear since they don’t have the more fragile parts of traditional hard drives.
If you happen to accidentally drop your laptop and it had an SSD installed, your screen would probably break before the SSD.
Without moving parts to slow your computer down, most SSDs offer instant-load, meaning faster boot times, faster application loading times, and better system responsiveness.
With lightweight components and solid construction, they are more mobile-friendly.
As SSDs have no moving parts, they require less power to operate, which means the battery will last longer. In addition, they are quieter than a traditional hard drive.
The price of the drives has come down dramatically, to £30 to £35 for a 240Gb drive, this rises to about £90 to £110 for a 1Tb model. Our advice is that if you want faster a computer, buy an SSD.
If you want more storage, get an external drive.