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Tales from the SSD

When should you spend more money for an SSD (solid-state drive) hard drive? We’ve talked about speed and about having electronic components instead of mechanical components. Here are two examples of when an SSD makes sense.

One of our clients, an auto body shop, recently bought a new desktop computer, and complained, after a month, that it was running slowly. We checked for viruses and gave the new computer a clean bill of health, but the performance still wasn’t the client had expected.

As we talked, we learned that the computer was being taxed by the shop’s data needs. The client accesses a huge database that’s used to create estimates for repairs. The process is highly detailed, and the shop’s customers can be highly impatient.

We explored his options, which came down to two: buy a newer, more powerful desktop computer or install an SSD and tweak the settings for better performance. Our client chose the latter solution, and when we turned on the system, the screen came up much faster than it had when the computer was just out of the box. The faster speed has increased the shop’s estimating productivity exponentially, and our client considers it a successful upgrade.

Another client’s mishap led to the discovery that he had an SSD, and that saved his data and apps. He had just brought in his desktop computer for some tweaks a few days earlier, but we never opened up the unit. As he was carrying it up a flight of outdoor metal stairs to get to his second-floor office, he dropped it.

He brought it back, and to our surprise it booted up. When we looked inside, we found a lot of broken components – and we did found a solid-state drive. This was good fortune. Had it been a mechanical hard drive, the fall likely would have damaged it beyond recovery, and all of the data and apps stored on it would have been lost. All of the other broken pieces were repairable, and our client was very happy.

Today, we are selling more desktop computers with SSDs because more clients are finding they can earn a faster ROI, such as our auto body shop. We don’t expect that computers will be dropped or damaged in some other way, but you can always insure your data and apps remain accessible by backing up your hard drive – a separate issue. Having the SSD was a bonus in this case.

If you’re thinking about a new desktop computer, we can help you with a cost-benefit analysis to see which type of hard drive best serves your productivity needs and your budget. We can also help with ROI projections. Just give us a call – 973-433-6676 – or send us an email to talk about it.