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Hardware

Get SSD for a solid performance boost!

When buying a new computer, we look at a few specs such as the processor, memory, storage and sometimes graphics. However, many of us fail to realize that what is actually slowing down our computer is the good old Hard Drive. Let’s take a look at one solution for this.

Last week, I purchased a new laptop. After discussions with a good friend, I was convinced that the best way to increase performance is to get an SSD.

I go into the store and ask the guy for the Asus F555 and then ask whether he can replace the 1 TB Hard Drive with a Solid State Drive. That was when he mentions to me the Optical Caddy Bay, essentially an adapter that will replace your Optical Drive and where you slot in your HDD or SSD. Very cool.

Kingston 240 GB SSD
Kingston 240 GB SSD

I bought a 240 GB SSD which would sum up my storage to around 1.2 TB. This is more than sufficient for an average person.

Configuration

We removed the primary HDD from the laptop and replaced it with the SSD. Then, we slotted in this HDD to the Caddy and replaced it with the DVD Drive on the laptop. Now disk0 is the SSD and disk1 is HDD.

Optical Caddy Bay
Optical Caddy Bay with HDD

Now that the hardware configuration was over, I had to do a few software tweaks. This laptop, for instance, came with Windows 10 and I had to get it cloned onto the SSD, which was the whole purpose of buying it anyway. .

I first tried by creating a recovery disk on a flash drive using the Windows tools and then installing the recovery onto the SSD. This would not work, and said ‘Not enough storage’. I guess due to the recovery being created from the 1 TB drive.

The solution that worked, however, was a tool called EaseUS Todo Backup, a free software that can be used for backup or cloning. Click here for instructions.

EaseUS Todo Backup
EaseUS Todo Backup

Performance boost

The laptop has an i7 Skylake processor, 12 gigs of memory and NVIDIA 920M graphics. With Windows 10 on the Hard Drive, it booted up in 51 seconds. With the OS transferred onto the SSD, however, things got interesting. Boot-up time reduced to 17 seconds. If you work it out, that’s one third the time!

About SSD

Some bonus information about Solid State Drives. The stuff you find on a textbook.

SSDs have no moving parts and thus, the issue that they solve is latency. Just like a flash drive, your bits of information are stored on transistors instead of magnetic media. SSDs are more reliable, lighter, slimmer, faster to operate and access data, power-efficient and cooler (literally).

However, the disadvantage is their longevity since HDDs are said to have better endurance. However, this has been addressed and it is very unlikely that an average person will face any issue. Moreover, SSDs are considered expensive since their $ / GB ratio is higher compared to Hard Disks. Nevertheless, they are considerably cheaper now compared to their costs when being introduced.

Conclusion

If you are planning to buy a computer and want no compromise on performance, do give SSDs a try. You won’t be disappointed. However, if you want the extra Terabyte of storage, do what I did with my laptop. It’s been months since I touched a CD or DVD. You won’t miss the Optical Drive!

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