In this article, I will walk you through the process of installing an SSD in your computer. If you’ve never used an SSD before and still rock an HDD as your main boot drive, boy are you in for a treat! We’ll get into what are SSDs, and why SSDs are beneficial to add to your PC. I’ll tell you all about the various types of SSDs and which ones are best.
Here we go!
What are SSDs:
SSD is short for Solid State Drive and it is a type of storage device that uses flash memory to store data. It is similar to a traditional hard drive in that it can be used to store files, documents, and other types of data. However, unlike a traditional hard drive, an SSD has no moving parts.
Benefits of SSDs:
There are many benefits to using an SSD in your PC, you can see some of them below:
- Faster speeds: SSDs are significantly faster than traditional hard drives, which means that your computer will boot up faster and programs and files will load faster.
- Increased durability: SSDs have no moving parts, which makes them less prone to physical damage. This makes them a good choice for laptops that may be subjected to rough handling or for users who need to frequently transport their data.
- Lower power consumption: SSDs use less power than traditional hard drives, which can help extend the battery life of a laptop or reduce the overall power consumption of a desktop computer.
- Silent operation: SSDs have no moving parts, which means they produce no noise. This can be a huge benefit for users who work in a quiet environment or for those who prefer a quieter computer.
- Improved reliability: Since SSDs have no moving parts, they are less prone to mechanical failures and data loss due to hardware failures. This can be especially important for users who rely on their computers for the utmost critical tasks.
Types of SSDs:
There are several types of Solid State Drives that can be used in a computer.
Here are some of the most common types:
1. SATA SSD
This is the most common type of SSD and is usually the easiest to install. SATA SSDs use the SATA interface to connect to the motherboard or SATA port on the computer. They are typically slower than other types of SSDs but are still much faster than traditional hard drives. These are the cheapest type of proper SSDs available currently.
2. M.2 SSD
M.2 SSDs are small, thin drives that use the M.2 interface to connect to the motherboard. They are typically faster than SATA SSDs and take up less space, making them a good option for laptops or small form factor PCs.
3. NVMe SSD
NVMe SSDs are the fastest type of SSD and use the PCIe interface to connect to the motherboard. They offer significantly faster read and write speeds than other types of SSDs and are often used in high-performance gaming PCs or workstations. These are expensive compared to the other types.
4. External SSD
External SSDs are portable drives that can be used with any computer that has a USB port. They are convenient for storing and transferring data but are typically slower than internal SSDs.
5. Hybrid SSHD
There are also hybrid drives or SSHD (Solid State Harddrive), which combine a traditional hard drive with a smaller SSD to offer the benefits of both. Hybrid drives are a good option for users who need a lot of storage space but still want the faster performance of an SSD.
How to Install:
Installing a Solid State Drive in a desktop computer is a relatively simple process that can help improve your system’s overall performance.
Now let’s get straight into it!
Here’s everything you’ll need before you start in order to smoothly get your new SSD hooked up to your computer
- A Screwdriver (depending on your PC case, you may need a Phillips head or flat head screwdriver)
- SATA cable (this should come with the SATA SSD)
Before we begin, I recommend you do the following first:
- Backup your data: Before installing a new drive, it’s always a good idea to back up your important files and data in case something goes wrong during the installation process.
- Shut down the computer and unplug it: Make sure the computer is completely powered off and unplugged before attempting to install the SSD.
- Remove the PC case panels: Depending on the make and model of your computer, the process for removing the panels may vary. But generally, most PC cases have two panels, front and back and you need only to remove the front panel.
- Locate the drive bay or PCIe NVMe slot: Most desktop computers have a drive bay, a place where you can install an SSD or hard drive. The drive bay is usually located on the front or side of the case, where you can mount your SATA SSD.
On the other hand, newer more advanced PC motherboards may come with PCIe NVMe slot(s). You can find these right on your motherboard usually near your processor socket.
Main Event: Installing the SSD
Now for the moment, you’ve all been waiting for!
The steps below will show you how to Install your SSD in your PC:
- Remove any screws or mounting brackets that are in place in the drive bay or on the PCIe NVMe slot.
- Carefully slide the SSD into the drive bay or NVMe slot.
- In the case of SATA SSDs make sure the connectors on the back of the drive are aligned with the connectors on the motherboard or SATA port. For NVMe drives just slot it in with the pin side in and the screw mount aligned with the motherboard.
- Secure the SSD with the screws or mounting brackets you removed earlier. There is usually one screw required for NVMe SSDs to be secured in place. You can skip the next two steps if you’re installing an NVMe drive.
- Connect the SATA cable (For SATA SSDs): Once the SSD is securely installed in the drive bay, you’ll need to connect it to the motherboard using a SATA cable.
- Connect the power supply (For SATA SSDs): The SSD will also need to be connected to the power supply using another cable. This is usually a four-pin connector.
- Boot up the computer: Once you have connected the SSD and closed the case, plug the computer back in and power it on. The computer should automatically recognize the new SSD and you should be able to use it like any other drive.
This video by PCWorld will definitely help after you’ve understood everything in this guide:
That’s it! I’ve broken everything down and made it really easy for beginners and pros alike.
With these simple steps, you can successfully install an SSD on your computer. If you have any issues or questions, don’t hesitate to ask for help in our comments section.