The speed locker
Since the dawn of PCs, everyone who owns one has wanted just one thing – for their computer to be faster. Apparently getting twice as competent at processing information every two years isn’t enough for the demanding human beings who haven’t gotten better at much in the last thousand years. Once you have a computer there aren’t many ways to improve its actual performance, but the best magic trick we’ve learned recently is to switch to a solid state hard drive if you don’t have one. It’s l ike putting your computer on steroids.
The reason for this is that solid state hard drives (SSDs) enable much faster data access times, compared to the far slower, older hard drives that had spinning platters within. Long story short – SSDs are fast, but expensive. Prices have come down considerably, however.
The Sandisk Extreme II is one of the new generation of SSD products with even faster speeds than what were available before and also offers a reduced price. While things are still considerably more expensive than comparably sized hard drives, the performance kick may be worth it for many.
In a laptop with a replaceable 2.5” hard drive, slipping in a replacement SSD is a good move and, in most cases, provides a remarkable improvement in performance for much less than a new machine.
The catch, however, is that this often means doing with less storage capacity. The drive sent to us for review, as example, is 240GB and costs around R2 800, whereas a regular hard drive at twice the size costs much less.
In desktop machines a good tactic is to make the SSD your primary drive, where the operating system and your applications are stored, and then stick photos, music and other f iles on a larger secondary hard drive.
The other, arguably bigger advantage than speed, is that SSD drives are more robust and don’t fail as easily as their notoriously fragile predecessors. Your data is just safer on an SSD.
So if you’re looking to improve the performance of your computer without replacing it outright, and you’ve already made sure you’ve got more than enough RAM, then replacing the hard drive with an SSD is not a bad way to go.