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What A Difference A Drive Makes

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

Crucial MX500 CT2000MX500SSD1(Z) Internal SSD

One thing about making a high value purchase, is that it always takes me an eternity to make the decision to actually make that very purchase. And that was certainly the case with this.

I’ve read reports and seen people on YouTube for years, talking about how much of a difference an SSD had made to the speed of their computers, almost resurrecting them from the dead apparently…. So, from that I’ve always been interested. I’m the type of person that will spend all day trying to pull out that 1Mbps of speed from the Wi-Fi in the end room or get another MPG from the car. However in this instance, I’ve shyed away because of the cost and also my perception of the size of the drive.

I’ve got a 4-year-old Lenovo All In One 700 with a 27” screen. The processor is an Intel i7 so not shabby on that front, and the Hard Drive is 2TB, so plenty of storage. However, it took an age to boot and just as long to open intensive programs such as Nero. I lived with it and lived with it until it was almost a case of getting a new AIO, and then I thought about an SSD again.

The Hard Drive is basically a spinning disc with a needle on it, in simple terms. It has to get up to speed and the information on it can only be read from wherever the read head is. This dictates the speed of information transfer. Every time the PC askes for info, it has to run off and get it from this, a bit like a record player. An SSD (Solid State Drive) is completely different. It’s made up of memory chips and as such can access data from different places at the same time (a bit like the RAM memory that your computer uses when you are on the web or using word, no lag there as long as you have enough RAM)

Anyway, that’s the layman’s description over with. A big thing that kept me away from an SSD, apart from the cost, was actually installing it. That changed when I found out that you can basically just clone your existing HD onto an SSD and swap them out, start up the PC and that’s it. The next slight obstacle was that I didn’t want a tiny SSD, I wanted at least the same size as the HD. After much soul searching I decided on a Crucial MX500 2TB. I’d been on the Crucial site and priced it at around £308 and a cloning cable off Amazon for around £6. I even went to my cashback site to get 3% back on the purchase but was pleasantly surprised when it was available on Amazon with next day Prime delivery for £295. Booooom, ordered.

The video will tell you so much more about how I installed it, and other than the time copying the information across, it was a doddle. There are also all the how to videos and tools on the Crucial website that makes doing the job easy. To cut a long story short, 3 months on, I am still amazed at how fast the PC is now. If I had spent another £900 on a new AIO, it would still not have been as fast as this because it would still have come with a Hard Drive. To give an indication on speed, it went from booting in over 5 minutes to booting in under 1 minute, absolutely amazing. You notice the speed on anything where the PC needs to access information on the Drive. It doesn’t necessarily increase the speed of anything that needs processing unless that involves accessing the HD also. Creating videos on Nero, opening basically any program I have, Booting, all of these are just so much faster.

Other than increasing the RAM on all the PC’s and Laptops I’ve owned, swapping out the HD for an SSD is the best, most cost effective thing that I’ve done. I would recommend it any day.

I did plenty of research into which SSD I should get and other than the cheaper, unproven and unwarranted drives, it was a toss up between the Crucial one and the Samsung one. The Crucial site helped me find the right one for my PC model and when I found it cheaper on Amazon (and cheaper by another £25 today at £270), that was the clincher. Do this, you wont regret it.

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