If your staff frequently use ‘heavy’ software that consumes PC / Mac resources or perhaps they regularly work on multiple applications at once, you might hear of complaints that their machines do not perform as optimally as they’d expect – over time this can become extremely frustrating due to time lost and loss of productivity. So what can you do about it? Increasing the RAM is the first and cheapest port of call, however if that does not do the trick you should take a look and see what type of hard disk is installed on the slow machines.
There’s a good chance standard hard disks (HDD) are being used, these are the traditional spinning drives that use a mechanical arm with a read / write head to move around and read information. These disks have come on leaps and bounds over the years, however their mechanical nature limits their overall performance. Hard drive makers work tirelessly to improve data transfer speeds and reduce latency and idle time, but there’s only so much they can do – for example you may notice a machine takes longer to start up over time.
The high speed alternative: Solid State Drives (SSD)
‘Solid State’ is industry shorthand for an integrated circuit, and that’s the key difference between an SSD and a HHD: there are no moving parts inside an SSD. Rather than using disks, motors and read/write heads, SSDs use flash memory instead. SSDs provide a huge performance advantage over standard hard drives – they’re faster to start up, faster to shut down, and faster to transfer data.
What’s more, SSDs can be made smaller, can use less power than HHDs do, don’t make noise, and can be more reliable because they’re not mechanical. As a result, computers designed to use SSDs can be smaller, thinner, lighter and last much longer on a single battery charge than computers that use standard hard drives.
From a cost point of view, a machine’s hard disk can be upgraded at a hardware cost of less than £100. Once installed the speed difference will make you think you’ve got a new PC – but at a fraction of the cost. There are obviously instances where a new machine is needed, however as long as the device isn’t too old a RAM and SSD upgrade is always recommended – but we always recommend testing one computer upgrade before deciding to roll out this approach for many machines within your business.
IT Support London