SSD Drives -The most valuable upgrade to come to consumer computing since I started business in 2000 are solid state drives. They are essentially a usb thumb drive, or flash drive shaped to look like the hard drive in your computer. Old drives consisted of magnetic spinning disks and a quickly moving laser arm to read them. Solid state drives are just circuit boards with no moving parts. They are so much faster than your old hard drive that you can put them in to 5-8 yr old computers and make it run, in most cases, better than a new computer with an old style drive.
If after 2016 someone tries to sell you a computer without an SSD drive, look them in the eye and say, "why do you hate me?"
If your new Windows 10 computer does not come with an SSD hard drive it is like they are selling you a car with a carburetor, a 3 cylinder engine, and tires made of gummy bears. And guess what, if you walk into Best Buy right now and try and buy a new desktop computer with an SSD drive they won’t have one. They may have one with a hybrid drive which is part SSD, part old hard drive, and they may have some laptops with them (of course SSDs have been coming standard in Macs for at least 5 years). Why, you ask?
Well, the price of SSDs came down enough to where I have been putting them in used computers now since 2015. Why doesn’t Dell, HP, Toshiba find them to be affordable enough for their customers? I’m going with GREED. My best guess is that they are trying to sell off as much of the crappy old slow drives as they can before doing what is right for their customers. Also, out of all the hardware repairs I do, I would say 1% is memory, 10% power supplies, 30% laptop screens and the rest failed hard drives. They are by far the weak link. If you replace them with super fast SSD drives that are less prone to mechanical failure because there are no moving parts, then your customers are going to be able to wait 5 years instead of 3 before getting a new computer. So, really, they are just trying to create jobs! And boost the economy! ;-)
Friend, your new computer MUST come with either an SSD drive or hybrid drive! Windows 10 seems to really drag on the old style hard drives. In 4 years of installing SSD drives, I haven’t had a single one come back dead. That is miraculous.
Update Dec. 2017: HP, Dell, Lenovo so far seem to finally be selling some models with SSDs in the “right” price range.
To avoid buyer's regret and self-loathing, a new computer in 2019 with these things will run great:
- 8 GB of memory
- An SSD drive, sized 120GB if you only surf the net, 250GB if you want
some room for pics, music, video. Word docs take up no space.
- an Intel i3, i5, or i7 processor
You should be able to achieve these specs for $550-$800. You don't need to spend more unless you have special needs.
You can get a "deal" on a $300-$400 computer at Costco or Sams, but you will soon start to feel a gnawing sense of regret centered in your gut chakra - the chakra that longs for curious bargains. Those computers usually have slow processors, no SSD drives and will be slow right out of the box. Heads up. You can now get some $300-$400 computers that have small flash drives (the same thing as solid state). Those are okay as long as you don't expect them to do much more then surf the net. The only way a new computer with a solid state drive can be slow is if it has such a crappy processor that the processor is the speed bottleneck. Beware Intel Celeron and bargain AMD processors.
"So Eddie! In the last couple years I bought a new computer with an Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor. But it seems slower than my old computer! What gives?!!"
I have noticed that too!
It is the combination of the older mechanical hard drive and Windows 10.
It seems to me like Windows 10 has a lot of stupid crap running in the background. I'm sure it is meant "enhance" your experience. If anyone has had their experience enhanced I would love to hear from you. It is rare that I sit at a fast computer that is running Windows 10 on an old style hard drive.
And btw, if you put an SSD in any of those new slow Windows 10 computers with Intel i3, i5 or i7 processors, they'll run as fast as they should have run if the computer manufacturer was not a scumbag. Unfortunately, in a year or two that computer may seem as slow as the one you replaced. Call me and we’ll throw in an SSD Drive. Not all, but most of the new consumer grade computers that come with AMD processors, blow. AMD lost the processor race and now they are just floundering in the land of mediocrity. If you are lucky enough to have a quad-core AMD processor, that one may not blow so bad.
Before you buy a new computer feel free to give me a quick call. If your old computer is 5-7 yrs old or less, or older than that, but came with a better processor, then for under $250 I can put an SSD in it with Windows 7 and very likely hand you back a computer that will be faster than a new one with an old style hard drive. I have also been helping people track down newer used computers and putting SSD drives in them for around $400 total.
Wanna have a computer that boots to the desktop in 10-15 seconds, and runs great with no lag like those speedy little Windows 98 machines? Make sure you get an SSD drive. If I have overstated the importance of this point, then great. :-)