A few years ago solid state drives - SSDs - started to appear as a replacement for the traditional hard drive. The first commercial SSDs were a bit flaky, but now an SSD represents a practical and affordable upgrade. Alongside adding more RAM memory, an SSD can produce significant improvements in speeding up your laptop or PC.
Solid State Drives vs Traditional Hard Drives - Improved Speed and Performance
Traditional hard disk drives - HDDs - have physical internal movements, with a head moving across a number of disc platters to read and write data. This physical mechanism is the usual culprit for hard drive failures - as anyone who has experienced a clicking hard drive will know. No storage device is failsafe, so backing up data remains essential, but some SSDs, like Crucial Solid State Drives, come with a 3 year warranty, so the manufacturers must be confident of their reliability.
SSDs can retreive stored data much I recently upgraded my PC with an SSD and the boot up time and performance is much quicker, for example Photoshop now opens in an instant.
Disadvantages - Cost and Storage Capacity
The main disadvantage with an SSD is the price to storage capacity ratio. A 250GB SSD costs around £70, while a 500GB hard drive costs around half that. The price may limit the amount of storage you can afford, so this is an important consideration, particularly if you store a lot of photos, videos and music. If you have a desktop PC, as opposed to a laptop, there is usually the option to have both an SSD and HDD, with the SSD storing Windows and your programme files, while the HDD can store your data.
Upgrading to an SSD
Upgrading can be a little tricky, particularly for more modern UEFI systems, but it should be possible to clone your existing drive partitions across to the SSD, though a clean install may be better in some cases. Feel free to contact me if you would like help with this.