There are many factors that determine if a computer performs fast or not. A fast processor is certainly helpful if you are rendering video, applying effects to large bitmaps or simply dealing with complex calculations. Having enough RAM is also very important.
Often it is the speed of the hard drive that can slow down a system. Remember that the drive is constantly reading operating system files as you start up your system and launch software. Launching software also needs to read the files for that software. Those operating system and software files can be quite large.
Yes, opening and saving your own graphics, documents, spreadsheets and other data also uses the hard drive though it doesn’t push the drive as hard as the operating system and software. The flavors of data that can push a hard drive are really large photos and video.
Speeding up your hard drive performance can be achieved with an SSD (solid state drive). Rather than a mechanical arm moving over fast spinning disc platters, it uses flash memory. The downside is that SSD drives cost more than mechanical drives. If money was no object, you’d fill your computer with several of the largest SSD drives available. In reality, you’re better served installing a decent sized SSD drive for your operating system and software and then an affordable mechanical drive for your data.
There are several SSD drives that push performance as fast as possible on the 6 gb/s SATA III interface. Data simply cannot go any faster because of the limitation of the interface. Unless you are already pushing those limitations, it is much faster than you’ll get with any mechanical drive. Today I’m featuring the OCZ Vector 150 series of SSD drives as they are as fast as any drive out there, deliver decent value and come with a 5 year warranty. Pair one of these drives with the Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive I featured last year and your data will move fast!
There are three sizes of the OCZ Vector 150 drives available. Each of the sizes along with the price shown as I wrote this post are listed below and linked to the Amazon page where you can research and/or purchase one.
- OCZ Technology Vector 150 Series 120 GB 2.5 Inch SATA III SSD Drive (approximately $129.99 at Amazon)
- OCZ Technology Vector 150 Series 240 GB 2.5 Inch SATA III SSD Drive (approximately $239.99 at Amazon)
- OCZ Technology Vector 150 Series 480 GB 2.5 Inch SATA III SSD Drive (approximately $479.99 at Amazon)