Laptops and Notebook computers cost a fraction of what they did years ago. A decent general purpose laptop can be had today for around $500. However as time marches on our older computers can begin to feel slower due to more resource demanding applications and operating systems.
Maybe its not time to toss out that used laptop! With some easy modifications you can spruce up your laptop and get a few more years of good service life out of it.
Add a Solid State Hard Drive – SSD
Continue reading “Spruce up your laptop with SSD”
Yesterday I spoke about the different “i” series processors offered by Intel and compared them to various model cars from economy to performance. Today I want to talk about the different types of SATA hard drives you might come across when purchasing a new PC or portable backup drive. I don’t want to talk about brand specifics, but rather what kind of performance you can expect out of the different types of disks. I’m a bit of a Western Digital fan boy so I am going to focus on their hardware, however the information in this post would hold true for just about all hard drive manufactures.
RELATED READING: Choosing the best Intel processor!
The Mechanical Hard Drive
Since its inception in 1956 hard drives have been mostly mechanical devices. Only until recently have SSD (solid state drives) become more main stream and I will talk more about that later. A mechanical hard drive consists of a spinning platter driven by a motor and a magnetic read / write head that can change a microscopic spec on the platter from a positive to negative charge and vice versa. The spinning disk in your computer right now is filled with 0’s and 1’s and when read back from the disk is converted to data. Our pictures, videos and word documents are just a sequence + or – magnetic fields. Amazing!
Depending on the type of drive and its specification will determine how fast it can read and write our files. Mechanical spinning disks are rated at rotation speed, how fast the drive can spin the platter. Faster rotation speeds can equate faster data transfer.
5400 RPM SATA
Continue reading “Which Hard Drive Should I Choose?”
Solid State Drives continue to gain traction in the computer industry. I personally have been ordering all of the workstations for my office with SSD drives for at least a year now. The slight premium in cost and reduced capacity is well worth the performance increase.
I was baffled to find out today that Western Digital released their first SSD portable drive. I was thinking to myself “Wasn’t this already a thing?” I already have my own portable SSD. Well I actually made it myself with a stock SATA SSD like this one from Amazon, and a cheap USB 3.0 enclosure. My total cost was about $160 for around 525GB of storage.
I have been using Western Digital’s rainbow of drives (black, green, blue, red, yellow, gold ETC.) in my devices for decades and for the most part they have always performed well. Their new portable SSD is part of the newly redesigned My Passport line of drives and will come in three sizes 256GB for $99, 512GB for $199 and 1TB for $400. All drives support USB Type-C and Type-A (adapter included) with speeds up to 515MB/s Continue reading “First portable Solid State Drive (SSD) Released By Western Digital”
Solid State Disk Drives (SSD) have become increasingly popular in workstations over the last few years due to the lower cost of acquiring the equipment. I believe upgrading to an SSD disk is one of the best ways to introduce new life and performance into an old PC.
With this technology also comes new headaches. Last week one of the partners at my day job brought his personal Del 7040 into the office that would not boot Windows 10. It would just sit and spin endlessly and never get to the login prompt. My first thought was to simply do a clean install of Windows 10, but as many desktop users he said he didn’t have a backup and all his family photos were stored on the drive. Continue reading “My Solid State Drive (SSD) Is Broken! Now what?”