Traditional hard drives store data on spinning platters. Bigger drives mean more platters with greater data density.
There’s an arm that moves across the grooves to access the data. All those platters are spinning really fast, and the read/write heads scream back and forth to grab bits of data from here and there. It works well, but whenever there are moving parts, they can be slow, and they are susceptible to failure.
Solid-state drives store the data on memory chips instead of spinning platters.
Because solid-state drives have no moving parts, they are much faster at accessing data, which means everything you do on the computer will be faster. They are also silent.
Your computer will boot faster. Programs will launch faster. Big files will save faster.
So if you remember one thing, get a solid-state drive on your next computer.
Of course, if your current computer has a spinning hard drive, you can upgrade to a solid-state drive for a pretty decent speed bump.
I upgraded my own and my wife’s Macbook Pros to solid state drives a few years back, and we could not be happier.
Fast processors are great. Lots of RAM is also good, but for my money, nothing beats a good solid-state drive to speed things up or extend the life of your computer.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at email@example.com.