If there’s one thing you know about SSDs, or Solid State drives, it’s that they’re expensive, especially when you compared capacities with traditional hard drives.
However, we also know that SSDs, which have no moving parts, are much faster than traditional hard drives – and that each new generation of SSD memory technology reads and writes data even faster than the last, as seen with Apple’s 2012 MacBook Airs and the 2012 SSDs contained within both the 11.6 and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs operating twice as fast as the 2011 SSD technology.
So, while many have wanted SSD technology, it remains expensive, but is finally coming down in price to a degree that, in smaller capacities, it’s much more affordable while delivering great speed benefits in return for what might be less internal storage – depending on how much you’re willing to spend on an SSD drive upgrade for an existing computer equipped with traditional hard drive.
Samsung’s SSDs are the 830 series, and are available in 64, 128, 256 and 512GB capacities in a 2.5mm form factor compatible with most traditional PC and Mac notebooks with hard drives over the past few years – prices and options for desktop installation listed below.
64GB - AUD $129
128GB - $249
256GB - $399
512GB - $899
Samsung SSD 830 Desktop/or Laptop Kit:
64GB - AUD $159
128GB - $279
256GB - $429
512GB - $929
The SSDs have SATA 3.0, come with Norton Ghost to make the transfer of your OS to the new SSD an easy process, along with Samsung’s “Magician software” to “help keep the SSD running at its peak”.
The case itself “comes in a brushed metal enclosure, highlighted by a deep black tone with an orange accent in the corner”.
The package comes in either laptop only configuration, or for $30 more per SSD model, with both laptop and desktop configuration through a 3.5-inch bracket that holds the 2.5-inch drive and all the necessary cables so it can easy go into a desktop computer’s drive bay alongside your old hard drive, while “easy installation and detailed instructions” are promised for both kits, although if you’ve ever changed a hard drive in your computer before, desktop or laptop, you’ll know what to do.
So, after all that, Samsung’s push is for existing computers to get a big performance boost from existing computers by simply upgrading to its SSDs, which can stave off completely replacing your computer with a brand new one, to which this SSD can be transferred when you do.
Samsung says its “new range offers an improved computing experience by significantly upgrading many aspects of PC functionality including performance and minimal noise operation, without the need to have to purchase an entirely new PC”.
In addition, desktop computers generally able to easily accommodate two hard drives, letting you use a new SSD as your primary boot, OS and major app+data drive.
The hard drive then becomes a secondary drive, like D:, E: or other drive (on PCs, at any rate), on which you store the rest of your digital media, your less important apps, your Windows swap file and anything else you don’t want cluttering up your SSD sitting on your secondary regular hard drive.
Tony Iganatvicius, IT Director of Samsung Electronics Australia talked up the “exceptional performance and reliability” of Samsung’s SSDs and their ability “transform an older system or help enhance even the most advanced setup”, which is hard to disagree with given the superiority of SSD over hard drives for performance, at the literal expense of a higher cost.
The only shame of it is that SSDs still cost, at higher capacities, much more than hard disk drives.
However, 64GB is more than enough for a Windows boot drive and to store Office and your PST file (for those still using PST files etc), and on a desktop computer would cost $129 while making your Windows experience dramatically faster – without replacing the whole PC and using your existing hard drive for everything else.
That’s not so easy to achieve on a laptop or notebook computer, as most only have one hard drive, but they’re easy to add pocket hard drives and USB flash thumb drives to, with the 128GB version $249 and the 256GB $399.
If you laptop is worth upgrading rather than replacing, this is one way to do it, and while you might have to store less stuff, it’ll speed up an existing laptop to light speed and save the much more expensive cost of a $1500+ ultrabook or notebook.
It’s also worth looking at boosting your RAM if you’re upgrading, as RAM upgrades are cheap. If you have 2GB, see what it costs to go to 4GB for your computer or laptop, and if you have 4GB and you’re running a 64bit OS, see what it costs to go 8GB.
So, if you feel the need for SSD upgrade speed – and can live within the budget-driven space constraints of your chosen SSD size against the benefit of blistering performance – it is within your grasp, and while there’ll undoubtedly be even faster and cheaper SSDs next year, it is possible to get the satisfaction of superfast storage and speedier computing in 2012 today - and have your bank balance live to tell the tale.