SSDs (short for Solid State Drives) are all the rage nowadays. Seems like every computer manufacturer is now sticking one into each new laptop/desktop they release. Forums and online retailers are crowded with people shouting about how fast their systems now are, once they’ve installed one of these beasts.

So what’s all the buzz and should you worry about getting one for yourself?

Solid State Drives serve the same purpose as Hard Disk Drives – to store your data and provide you access to this data when you need it. However, SSDs are constructed very differently from HDDs – they use flash memory to store data instead of the spinning disk found in HDDs. The flash memory (a.k.a. solid state memory) is what you have in your USB flash drives and memory cards.

SSDs provide a bunch of advantages over traditional HDDs:

  • SSDs are faster at accessing and writing data. MUCH faster! Your system will boot a lot quicker and your apps will launch a lot faster. No more waiting for Photoshop or your favorite game to launch
  • SSDs are dead silent. This is because unlike HDDs they have no moving parts inside, so your computer becomes much quieter. This also leads us to the next advantage
  • SSDs are more reliable. In a traditional HDD there’s a spinning disk with data, a bunch of heads reading this data and a motor that moves those heads. If any part of this mechanism fails – you got a dead disk. SSDs have no moving parts at all
  • SSDs generate very little heat
  • SSDs consume less power. Good for laptops (extends battery life) and for your electricity bill

To learn why solid-state drives are better than their hard drive counterparts read our SSD vs HDD comparison.

Surely, there must be some disadvantages as well. Well, there is… one. All this awesomeness comes with a price tag. Price per GB is still much higher for SSDs when compared to HDDs. However, you can get the advantages of solid-state drives without breaking the bank.