I’ve written about SSDs several times since I first adopted the technology three years ago, and there’s no doubt that replacing a spinning hard drive with an SSD is the best way to boost overall performance of an existing PC (or Mac). I’ve owned three SSDs in total, and am about to replace my current model – a 128GB Crucial C300 – with something newer, faster and bigger (in storage capacity).
As is my custom when upgrading computer components, I’ve spent hours researching various reviews, benchmarks, real-world user observations, and recommendations from trusted online sources to find the best SSD available. And in this particular hardware treasure hunt, I’ve had the welcome (and rare) experience of finding almost every source of information pointing to a single choice:
The Samsung 840 PRO SSD
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While USB 3.0 has been around since early 2010, only this year has the newest, fastest universal port come into widespread use. USB 3.0 ports are now common on Windows 7 desktops and laptops (usually marked with a blue connector), and are even on the latest-generation MacBook Pros and Airs.
Faster USB peripherals aren’t nearly as plentiful, however, with only thumb drives and external hard drives getting widespread USB 3.0 treatment – and the latter far more than the former; in fact, while USB 2.0 remains the connection method of choice for USB thumb drive makers, USB 3.0 now dominates external hard drives.
Which is great. After all, USB 3.0 drives can transfer data far faster than their 2.0 predecessors – up to 10X faster, in fact – which makes them more useful and and less time consuming.
But there’s a problem:
USB 3.0 and the drivers that make the I/O technology possible are still new enough to have bugs, which can create some headaches for users.
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If you have a large 1TB or 2TB boot drive in your Windows PC, you probably won’t care about this article; a few lost gigabytes means jack to you. If, on the other hand, you’re using a high-speed SSD as a boot drive, every gigabyte counts, and you’ll want to read on.
Most Windows users with SSDs probably have either 64GB or 128GB models (256GB, 512GB, and other large capacity models are still quite pricey). Filling these drives with applications, videos, photos and games is easy, but we expect these things to occupy our precious gigs of space. What we probably don’t expect – and certainly don’t like – is having 10-15GB taken up for no good reason at all. And, for most users, that’s exactly what the HIBERFIL.SYS and PAGEFILE.SYS files do: take up space and offer nothing in return.
What follows is a quick outline of how to get rid of these two files and free up space on your SSD or hard drive.
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You won’t find a bigger proponent of SSDs than yours truly. If you have a desktop or laptop, there really are few (if any) upgrades you can perform that will increase the performance of your system more than replacing your boot hard drive with an SSD.
I’ve been using an SSD as a boot drive for about two years and have never looked back. Faster boot times, app start-ups, file loading, media playback, software performance… I could go on and on.
My first SSD was a 60GB OCZ; I chose it because it was the only model in my price range at the time and its performance was okay. I replaced it early last year with an excellent 128GB Crucial C300, which I’m currently using. I have two other drives for storage, so I don’t think I’ll go to a 256GB model quite yet, but when I upgrade my office PC with a new Ivy Bridge CPU and motherboard in a few weeks, I think I’ll upgrade my SSD as well.
After some looking, I’ve decided to stick with Crucial, and go with their newer, faster m4 series, which promises about a 30% increase in speed (assuming you have a motherboard with a compatible SATA III interface).
The 128GB Crucial m4 SSD looks like the one. Maybe if the price drops on the 256GB version… no, no. 128 is fine.