Performance Upgrades

SSD – The Ultimate Performance Upgrade

What Is an SSD?

SSDs contain a form of non-volatile computer memory. In other words, the information stays put on memory chips once it’s been written. That’s different from the regular RAM in your computer, which is reset when you turn off or restart the computer. Compared to HDDs, SSDs are more shock resistant and are less likely to be affected by magnetic fields.

For more about the differences between HDDs and SSDs, check out “Hard Disk Drive vs. Solid State Drive: What’s the Diff?” or the two-part series, “HDD vs. SSD: What Does the Future for Storage Hold?” (External Links)

Why Upgrade to an SSD?

The reason most people replace their HDD drive with an SSD is performance & reliability. Depending on the task at hand, SSDs can be up to 10 times faster than their HDD counterparts. Replacing your hard drive with an SSD is one of the best things you can do to dramatically improve the performance & lifespan of your older computer.

Without any moving parts, SSDs operate more quietly, more efficiently, and with fewer breakable things than hard drives that have spinning platters. Read and write speeds for SSDs are much better than hard drives.

For you, that means less time waiting for stuff to happen. An SSD is worth looking into if you’re frequently seeing a spinning wheel cursor on your computer screen. Modern operating systems increasingly depend on virtual memory management, which pages out temporary swap files to disk. The faster your drive, the less performance impact you’ll experience from this overhead.

If you have just one drive in your laptop or desktop, you could replace your HDD with an SSD. If you’re a computer user with a great deal of data, replacing just the drive that holds your operating system and applications could provide a significant speed boost. Put your working data on additional internal or external hard drives, and you’re ready to tackle a mountain of photos, videos, or supersized databases. Just be sure to implement a backup plan to make sure you keep a copy of that data safe on additional local drives, network-attached drives, or the cloud.

Any Reasons Not to Upgrade to an SSD?

If SSDs are so much better than hard drives, why aren’t all drives SSDs? The two biggest reasons are cost and capacity. SSDs are more expensive than hard drives. A good SSD might cost you anywhere from double to triple the cost over a traditional HDD. The second reason would be capacity.

Traditional platter HDD’s come in larger capacities compared to SSDs. If you store very large amounts of data, perhaps an Enterprise Grade HDD might be your better option. Ozark Computer Clinic does not usually install Consumer Grade HDDs because of the high amount of failures with tradition platter HDDs.

Almost all of the time, the benefits of upgrading to an SSD outweighs the possible size and price point factors. Either way, our technicians can drastically improve the performance of your computer by installing a new SSD drive and ensure that you do not lose any of your data. Most cases, we can clone over your operating system as well making the performance upgrade as seamless as possible for you.

RAM – The Other Performance Upgrade

Will more RAM speed up your computer?

Computer manufacturers often don’t reach the installed memory capacity in their systems to keep pricing low on their products. For example, if a desktop computer can hold 32GB of RAM, it often comes with 4GB or 8GB or RAM. This is one of the many reasons why a memory upgrade delivers such great results: there is almost always room for improvement.

Not sure how much RAM is in your computer? We can help you find out!

How to check memory on Windows® 10 & 11:

  • Click the Windows logo or Start button on the taskbar
  • Right-click Computer
  • Click Properties

How to check memory on a macOS Monterey & Above:

  • Click the Apple menu
  • Select About This Mac
  • Click on the Memory tab

How much RAM do you need?

Generally, we recommend 8GB of RAM for casual computer usage and internet browsing, 16GB for spreadsheets and other office programs, and at least 32GB for gamers and multimedia creators. How you use your computer influences how much RAM you need, so use this as a guideline.

Casual User
Internet browsing, email, listening to music, or watching videos
At least 8GB
Intermediate User
Internet browsing, email, Word Processing, spreadsheets, running simple graphics programs, flash games, music, videos or multitasking
At least 16GB
Professional User / Gamer / Graphic Designer
High performance gaming, multimedia editing, high-definition video, graphic design / 3D modelling, intensive multitasking
At least 32GB

Is 4GB of RAM enough?

4GB of RAM is the bare minimum memory needed to run a base computer model. That said, the bare minimum may not provide a productive use of your time as your system will likely slow down every time you run two or more programs like internet browsing, email and some word processing simultaneously. So, unless you are running a legacy system, we generally recommend running your system with 8GB of RAM.

Is 8GB of RAM enough?

8GB of RAM is the amount of memory we recommend for casual computer users. If your usage includes internet browsing, email, lots of office programs, flash games, and multitasking – this level of memory should be sufficient.

Is 16GB of RAM enough?

16GB of RAM is the amount of memory we recommend for intermediate users looking for extra speed and smooth functioning. This may be especially beneficial if you tend to have several programs open and running, simultaneously. This is also a good level of RAM for casual gamers and standard business professionals.

Is 32GB of RAM too much?

32GB of RAM is the amount of RAM we recommend for serious Gamers, Engineers, Professionals, Business Owners & anyone that will be using a lot of programs at once or for programs that are more demanding of your computer. This level of RAM allows for these memory-hungry programs to run smoothly, even as your computer ages. Therefore, It’s not too much, it’s just right.

When deciding how much memory you need, consider what you use your computer for, the operating system needs, and any software you use that is particularly memory-hungry. Installing the right amount of RAM will enable you to multi-task with ease.

Will I need more RAM in the future?

The minimum system requirements for almost every app continue to increase, but it’s possible to set your computer up with enough memory to avoid having to continuously upgrade. Maxing out your installed RAM will likely suffice until the end of your computer’s life, so it’s in your best interest to be proactive and add more RAM as needed.

Upgrading your OS is often a time to upgrade your memory. Because your computer’s OS uses hardware resources like RAM to run properly, the OS has a significant impact on overall performance. Typically, a newer version of an OS demands more memory than its predecessor. Adding more memory when you upgrade your OS ensures a smoother transition, prevents potential problems, and optimizes the performance of your system.

Also, new software often requires more memory than its predecessors, particularly productivity applications, such as photo editing software, video editing programs, and games. Similarly, new hardware components like video cards, storage, and even the processor require sufficient memory to deliver their promised level of performance.

If you purchased an inexpensive computer with minimal memory, you may want a memory boost. Before paying a higher price for replacing your computer, contact us regarding available upgrade options we have. You might save a lot of money while significantly boosting performance matching that of a newer computer!