I was recently approached by Samsung to take part in their SSD Drivers program which would allow me (and a few others) to test out their latest SSD (Solid State Drive) and review it here for you guys. After reading up on SSD drives and their benefits, I decided to join the program and the results so far have been awesome.
What is a SSD?
A solid-state drive is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store data. SSDs have the same purpose as traditional mechanical hard drives, but there is one major difference – they’re electronic devices and don’t have any mechanical parts. Unlike HDDs, SSDs don’t store data on spinning platters, but use flash memory instead.
In short, this means that a SSD will make your computer considerably faster in a more reliable, silent and energy efficient manner.
After receiving the SSD, I watched a video from Samsung on how to install it on a Mac and after a quick stop at the hardware store for a new screwdriver, I was good to go. I copied 480GB of data from my previous HDD to the new SSD, which took about 7 hours overnight. After that was done, the physical installation / swapping of the drives took just 10 minutes.
Benefits of SSD vs HDD
There are a number of benefits of using a SSD vs a HDD, and I personally noticed a huge difference in the speed of my daily routines. Before I get into the differences, let me outline my current hardware & software I use as a designer.
I use a Macbook Pro 17″ (3.06 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB DDR Ram) attached to a 27″ display and at nearly all times I have these programs open; Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro, InDesign, Mail, Tweetdeck, Chrome, Firefox, as well as Font Explorer, Spotify, TextMate, Bonjour, TextExplorer and Dropbox.
Increased Speed & Productivity
Within the first hour of using the new SSD I could visibly notice the speed difference in nearly every task performed. The most notable differences are listed below.
- Faster boot time (Even faster when I cleaned my computer with Onyx)
- All programs open much faster, especially the Creative Suite. The most notable speed difference is on startup as I have my programs set to auto start.
- Search is much faster, especially when combined with my productivity bud, Alfred.
- Moving between programs is much more responsive, eg. when changing from Photoshop, to Illustrator, to InDesign.
- Opening files and using Finder is way faster, as well as using program menus.
- The battery life seemed to last a bit longer too, only about 15-30 minutes but still noticeable.
- The only downfall I could think of would be the price (the 500GB was $608 after tax). The 256GB or 128GB gets you more bang for your buck, but you do get less space.
Anyway, I’d definitely consider getting an SSD for a much faster & more reliable computer experience.
What has your experience been like with SSDs?