Text and photos by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
One of the best and most sensible upgrades available to most notebook users is to switch their existing hard drives with a fast Solid State Drive (SSD). I did just this by replacing the stock hard drive on my 13-inch MacBook Pro with one of Sandisk's 240GB Extreme Solid State Drive.
Part of my work entails testing the newest hardware and for the past 18 months I've had the privilege of reviewing many new Ultrabooks as well as Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display and MacBook Airs. Many of these notebooks bring powerful processors but are made even faster by their SSD drives.
SSD drives have no moving parts and because of this require far less time to mode data around. Today's PC modern operating systems are designed to be more like mobile operating systems on tablets and smartphones which start up quickly and have no latency because they use Solid State Memory.
While my MacBook Pro is no slouch in terms of processor speed and RAM, I do feel a performance bottleneck when rendering videos or when running multiple applications simultaneously. This became evident after using a loaner Ultrabook for a few days and then getting back to my production Mac which felt slow in comparison.
The price of SSDs has been steadily going down while the storage capacities and performance have been going up. Sandisk's 240GB Extreme Solid State Drive was an ideal fit for my needs and I decided to install it into my MacBook Pro.
The most obvious benefit of an SSD upgrade is a faster boot up and shut down time but all around-performance is improved. Basic navigation and opening and closing of applications and folders is greatly improved, as is battery life which is increased and head production which is reduced.
After backing up my old hard drive, I set up to install the new SSD. Notebook owners who aren't comfortable opening up their computers or upgrading to an SSD should consult a technician since they would know the best way to move the files to a SSD and make sure it is optimized.
With the Sandisk 240GB Extreme Solid State Drive installed, boot up time of my MacBook Pro on Mountain Lion was easily twice as fast. I found a dramatic increase in performance and opening larger applications like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Apple Aperture was much quicker.
I also noted that battery life increased by 30% per cent which is great for a notebook that's got a sealed in battery. best of all, the Sandisk 240 SSD Extreme Solid State Drive made my one-year old MacBook Pro feel like new again and very much as fast as any Ultrabook in the market today. An added bonus was that the SSD is completely quiet since it has no moving parts.
If you have a notebook that is running an OS that can support SSDs and is easy enough to upgrade, I highly recommend looking into the Sandisk Extreme State Drive as a solution. The 240GB SSD is now on sale at TigerDirect.ca for $219.97, which is a superb deal for an overall excellent upgrade.
The SanDisk Extreme Solid State Drive is compatible with SATA 6Gb/s motherboards and is backward compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s. It is backed by a three-year limited warranty.
Rating: 5 out 5