Wisbech computer expert on speeding up older laptops and desktops
Here's the fortnightly I.T Crowd column by Philip Brooks of Diamond Byte Solution of Wisbech...
We’ve had many calls from customers over the past few months enquiring about speeding up their older laptops and desktops.
We usually suggest upgrading to an SSD (Solid State Disk) – some people have heard of them but are not familiar with what they do and what the benefits are of using them. So, we thought we’d share the information here.
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?
Reliability: 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.
Durability: 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 has an SSD installed, your screen would probably break before the SSD.
Speed: Without moving parts to slow your computer down, most SSDs offer instant-load performance, meaning faster boot times, faster application loading times, and better system responsiveness.
Portability: Since SSDs have lightweight components and solid construction, they are more mobile-friendly, and they help make your laptop easier to carry.
Efficiency: For laptops, power consumption is an important factor. 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.
Cost: The price of the drives has come down dramatically in the last year, the most common one sold is around £35 to £40. This is for a 240Gb drive, rising to about £110 to £130 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.
lAll our articles can be found at www.diamondbyte.co.uk