While CPU technology has been constantly upgraded on computers, there hasn’t been a drastic improvement in the performance of hard drives. These spinning magnetic disc drives have been around for about two decades, and although capacities have gone up, they still aren’t really fast. That’s the reason a lot of premium laptops and ultrabooks come with Solid State Drive (SSD) storage.
SSDs are extremely fast because they don’t have any moving parts. While HDDs use rotating magnetic disks (or platters) and a mechanical arm to read and write data, SSDs are essentially a set of microchips that store data. SSDs are also much smaller and can hold larger capacities of data for of the same reason. SSDs are costlier than HDDs even though prices have fallen significantly recently.
One of the best SSDs available in the market currently is the Samsung 850 Evo, which features the 3D V-NAND technology. 3D V-NAND allows for stacking of SSD cells vertically in addition to using horizontal area. This greatly enhances speed, efficiency and density - allowing for larger capacities (as much as 2 GB) in a 2.5” drive.
I’ve also realised that the SSD has unlocked the true potential of the 2.5 Ghz dual-core i5 processor. Sometimes, the SSD proves to be so fast that the CPU is pushed to 100% usage and heats up to 100 degrees celsius. However, my Mac has never experienced the 'spinning wheel of death’ while using the SSD.
Perhaps the only con of upgrading to an SSD is the price. The 250 GB Samsung 850 Evo I bought costed me Rs. 7600, which is about thrice the price of a 250 GB hard disk drive. Then again, the upgrade is worth it and will future-proof my 2012 MacBook Pro for another 3-4 years.
If you plan to do this upgrade, I also recommend you upgrade the RAM on your computer to at least 8 GB. For the mid-2012 MacBook Pro, I recommend the Kingston Mac Memory 2 x4GB sticks which you can purchase using the link on the right. It isn’t necessary for, but it can make a big difference when multitasking.
Will you consider upgrading to an SSD? Let me know in the poll below.