Unlike most internal drives, solid state drives have no moving parts, which means that they run silently, are less vulnerable to shock damage from being dropped, have faster access time and less lag when compared to your standard electro-magnetic spinning hard drive. As cutting edge as solid state drives are, they actually have their roots in the 1950s. However, at the time, drum storage units were far cheaper to produce, so solid state drives were largely shelved until recently due to prohibitive cost. Luckily, today, advances in technology have brought the cost down to the point to which these high speed and highly reliable memory devices are available to the average customer.

Solid state drives are generally 2.5 inches wide, whereas the standard electro-magnetic spinning hard drive is 3.5 inches wide. This means that a solid state drive can be swapped for a hard drive with room to spare. These solid state drives are compatible with Windows, OS X, Linux, Ubuntu, ZFS, and FreeBSD file systems. The solid state drive attaches to the motherboard through the SATA 3 cable. Solid state drives have multiple advantages over standard hard drives. Solid state drives have nearly instantaneous start up time (compared to sever seconds for hard drives), boast a random access time of less than 0.1 ms (compared to 12 ms in a laptop hard drive), do not need special cooling systems, can be operated at -67 degrees Fahrenheit (compared to 32 degrees for the hard drive), have no need to warm up after moving from a cold to warm environment, and can be mounted in any direction and any orientation without affecting performance.

While solid state drives and standard spinning electro-magnetic hard drives largely do the same job, solid state drives are worth looking at if you’re trying to up your game in terms of storage and performance. The range of manufacturers make solid state drives and the versatility of operating systems that merge seamlessly with the drives make them an ideal upgrade for discerning computer owners.