Knowing the advantages of solid state drive (SSD) over the conventional mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) makes SSDs the best replacement for HDDs and an appealing choice for everyone who wishes to have a high performance system. (You can read a comparison between SSDs and HDDs HERE)
SSDs in general are much more expensive than HDDs, and it is sufficient for you to know that a cheap SSD that comes in 64GB costs around $60, whereas for that price you can buy the best 1TB 7200 RPM HDD. But should this dissuade you from from getting one? The answer is not as simple as “yes” or “no”, it depends on the purposes you need the SSD for. If you need it solely for storage then you better go for HDD. Most SSD users use it in a combination with HDD, and so they benefit from the high speed and large volume.
So if you are considering to buy one for your computer and enjoy its many benefits, you need to be aware of a few things before you go through this new experience, and the objective of this article is to lay them out for you.
1. Know Your Needs
Foremost you need to ask yourself: How can an SSD benefit me? Why should I consider buying one? To make it easier to answer your questions that are popping into your head regarding this issue, I have made a special essay about the benefits of SSDs. Have a look at it then decide whether SSD is suitable for your needs or not.
2. System Compatibility
To enjoy the real power of SSDS you have to make sure your computer provides at least SATA-II ports, otherwise it is not worth the money you waste on that drive. If your computer is old enough to the level where it does not have SATA ports and still connects its hard drive, you better then not consider an SSD until you change your motherboard or have a SATA ports card (if it can fit). Generally speaking, an SSD is not a good upgrade for computers that are more than 5 years old. This is in regard to hardware. As for the operating system that runs on your system, if you do not have Windows 7 or 8 then your options will be limited.
3. System Migration Operation
If you are worried about having to re-install your operating system and all other applications and games on your new drive, taking into consideration the waste of time and effort, then do not worry anymore about that. Many SSD manufacturers (such as Samsung) support their drives with OS migration utility to help you shift to the new drive without a hassle.
Even if that does not exist in the software package CD that comes with the SSD, you can use some free utilities such as: EaseUS Todo Backup with migration toolkit such as: Apricorn SATA Wire Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit
4. SSD In Conjunction With HDD
Most desktop computer users who find the price of SSD expensive would buy a single SSD drive to use it as a boot drive that contains the operating system and important applications, and use the hard disk drive (HDD) for backup purposes. I personally use this method and it works well.
5. SSD Maintenance & Troubleshooting
SSDs need different care from standard hard drives. You need to follow a few steps to optimize the SSD drive to get running at its utmost performance level. Luckily Corsair made a SSD-Optimization document to help you in this regard.
Moreover, if you encounter slowness in the performance of the SSD you purchased, you can have a look at our guide here.