I’ve known for a long time that SSDs (Solid State Drives) are better than traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) in almost every way. They’re faster, lighter, consume less battery, and are resistant to damage caused by too much movement. The only thing that’s been keeping them out of computers is price; they use to be far too expensive for regular consumers until just recently. Now you can find 120GB SSDs for under $100, and 250GB for under $150, which isn’t much more than their HDD equivalents. Most notable are Crucial’s M500 series and Samsung’s 840 EVO series.
I started investigating SSDs when I got a 15″ mid-2012 MacBook Pro with a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB 5400rpm HDD. Coming from a a three year old Windows laptop made by Acer (and having owned an MBP in the past), my MacBook Pro was running much slower than it should. Pretty much anything I did on it was sluggish, sometimes even slower than my old Acer.
It turns out the 5400rpm HDD was causing a bottleneck between anything stored in the HDD and the processor. A hard drive speed test revealed that I was topping out at 60 Mb/s read/writing (35 Mb/s average) So I switched it out for an SSD, which is read/writing at 500 Mb/s. I’ve actually never seen a computer work this well before. Everything is incredibly snappy, animations are fluid (such as the genie effect when you minimize apps), I can quickly open app after app and close them again without even a hint of slowdown. Check out the difference in the video below: