If you’re considering buying a new computer or laptop because your current machine is slow to boot up and takes ages to load its software, then an SSD is a low-cost and extremely cost-effective upgrade for you to consider …
PC’s, Macs and laptops all use Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) that have been either 3.5 or 2.5-inch mechanical drives with spinning platters of disks. However, modern Solid State Drives use memory chips with no moving parts. That means they can be as compact as 2.5 inch HDDs, but they operate at 100x the read and write speeds of those mechanical drives.
What are RAM, HDD & SSD?
Your computer has two types of memory. RAM is dynamic memory used to run software – but, it doesn’t hold the data through a restart. The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is used to store the Operating System that the computer runs on (e.g. Windows 11, OSX), files and folder content that you have created, and application software used for creating documents, graphics etc.
The more application software you load onto your computer, the more hard-drive space is needed, and the more RAM is used to accommodate small pieces of each application to ensure they start, run and update correctly. Therefore, if you add RAM you will extend the space to run your software in – and if you upgrade your HDD to a Solid State Drive (SSD), then you’ll ensure faster boot up and loading of those application utilities. It’s notable that while it’s often a good thing to do, upgrading RAM alone won’t help speed up the operation of your computer.
Foxhall’s approach is to look at both the RAM usage and the hard drive. Our recommendation is to upgrade RAM if you are a person who works with a lot of applications and windows open – and to upgrade to an SSD anyway! Additional RAM memory will allow more programs and windows to be opened at the same time without slowing the operation of the computer. An SSD has a read/write speed that’s around 100 times faster than a spinning-disc HDD, and therefore the Operating system boots up much faster, and files & programs load into RAM faster from the SSD.
The upgrade process
We can apply an SSD upgrade to any Windows PC, Apple iMac, Macbook or laptop that is using a mechanical HDD. In most desk computers, the HDD will be the large 3.5 inch type – but, SSD’s are the smaller 2.5 inch format, so the upgrade may also need some sort of drive adapter to mount the SSD into. That means the SSD will fix to the chassis the same as the 3.5 inch HDD did.
Foxhall use disk-cloning technology to copy the operating system, applications, folders and files from the old HDD to the new SSD so that your computer or laptop will do what it did before, with the programs it had before – and with a desktop that looks the same as it did before – But – loading & working much faster! In other words, there is no need to re-install any Operating System or application software. We do need to ensure that the new SSD has at least the same capacity as the HDD it’s replacing – or it can be bigger if you need more disk space.
As an alternative – and if you are rebuilding a PC from scratch – then you may want to consider an NVMe M.2 SSD module. These SSD’s are much more compact than the 2.5″ format and are becoming common in laptops. You may not find a connection point to install an NVMe drive directly onto your PC’s motherboard, but you can get low-cost PCIe adapters allowing you to install the drive into your computer. What’s attractive about this is that the PCIe/NVMe combination provides even better read/write speeds than the SATA-connected 2.5″ SSD (above) – without the need to connect SATA data and power wiring.
A faster computer with no fuss
If your computer takes forever to boot, or your programs take a really long time to load and you’re looking for a way to speed things up! Swapping out your mechanical hard drive for an SSD, is a great way to do, just that! By upgrading, you’ll avoid the cost of a new computer as well as the hassle involved in reinstalling & re-licensing all of your software. You’ll also be doing your bit to reduce the 40 Million tons of electronic waste sent to recycling each year.
Contact us at Foxhall Solutions to talk about SSD upgrades for your computers …