What exactly is a SSD and how does it help me?

Well first of all hey everyone and sorry if I haven't searched good enough about this but I have a few questions regarding this, I haven't been checking up with computer parts in months now and I am so late right now but I have noticed something new in most computer builds, obviously the SSD .. I have noticed that they boost your computers speed like a hell lot faster but they have low storage and capacity but I have also noticed people adding 1TB harddrives + SSD's so I wanted to understand that part as well. What am I supposed to install on the harddrive and the SSD?
Thanks in advance,
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  1. If you get a small SSD (cause they're still a little expensive) the idea is to put your OS, and IMPORTANT programs on it.
    All other programs install on a partition on another HDD. If you use Windows 7, you can move your library to the HDD too (which is what i did). I've read that you shouldn't fill your SSD more than 80% (honestly not sure if thats true or why).

    I'd make sure your computer can support T.R.I.M. which helps w/ the longevity of the drive. Windows XP doesn't support this feature @ all, and i don't believe Vista does other.

    When you buy a SSD, make sure it has the latest firmware upgrade (these can be crucial, and can sometimes wipe the drive during the update).
  2. A SSD is a flash memory drive used like a hdd. People are buying a SSD + HDD because SSDs cost so much (around $2/GB while a hdd is around $0.10/GB)

    You would install the OS on the SSD and maybe a game or 2 if it can fit. They dont exactly make your pc faster, it makes file reading/writing faster. The benefit is faster load times for games and for others, it speeds up rendering time which is a big deal.
  3. Best answer
    I agree with skull and crossbones. Basically, you want a SSD drive for your operating system and your most important programs and normall HDD for data storage and perhaps some additional programs. I have two 64 GB SSD drives in RAID 0, which doubles the capacity and speed of one drive; this is used for my operating system and all my programs. Then I have two 2TB HDD drives in RAID 1 for data storage, which is used for all my data (email files, photos, music, documents). I also used the data-storage drives for all my temporary files because it is not good to be constantly writing to a SSD drive; hence my internet downloads, for instance, go to my data drive so as to not wear out the SSD drives.

    What does this mean for my performance? Well, I am coming from a 5-year-old Dell Latitude notebook with a Pentium M processor and a 5400 rpm HDD. With the Dell, it takes 3 minutes and 40 seconds to boot Windows XP and then I can start loading programs. With my new system, Windows 7 boots in like 20 seconds and programs load almost instantly; I could speed up the boot in my new system by disabling the bios post and Windows password, but you get the idea. I trade the financial markets and I don't like to wait 10 minutes to get my system booted and programs running....

    Edit: If you don't reboot your system a lot and/or reload programs frequently, a SSD drive or two might not make much difference. While I enjoy the benefits of my SSD drives on a desktop system, they make even more sense on a mobile platform (e.g. a notebook).

    Edit (2): Besides noticeable impacts on performance, you need to decide whether or not it makes sense to spend your hard-earned dollars on a SSD. Basically, it comes down to total system cost in many cases. Take a look at Tom's Hardware's quarterly system builder's marathon:,2902.html

    These $500 to $2000 systems are designed carefully with total system performance in mind. Using these systems as guidelines, high-end systems ($1500 on up) should probably include a SSD, but system builders with budgets of $1000 or less might get better overall system performance by spending money on other components. That leaves a gray area between $1000 and $1500 where the user must decide how best to spend his/her budget. If you are upgrading a PC, the following article is an excellent guide on how a SSD upgrade can impact performance relative to spending money on other components:,2730.html
  4. Best answer selected by megaswap.
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