For quite some time I have imagined an instant on computer and have pondered why with successive hardware upgrades we don’t seem to be getting any closer. In fact in certain instances we have taken a step backwards, noticeably in gaming consoles and mobile devices. Older computing systems around the time of the Commodore 64 were instant on. It seems the smarter a device is the longer it takes to boot up. While we haven’t quite solved this problem as yet we have made a step in the right direction with Solid State Drives ( SSD ). Simply put a solid state drive is probably the single best upgrade you could perform on many modern computing system. While in some instances the graphics card or memory may be a bottle neck, that is becoming less frequent. My experience with upgrading from a HDD to an SSD was so dramatic that I will never boot from a hard drive again. It is simply that much better.
You can expect to see boot times reduced by half, shutdown times significantly reduced and the best benefit of all is the overall system responsiveness. For instance Firefox now loads almost instantaneously, file and folder searches are much noticeably quicker so are local file transfers. Just about everything where disk I/O was the bottle neck is now greatly improved. Quite frankly when you get one you will be wondering why are HDDs still around when we have this amazing technology.
As SSDs get cheaper and their capacity and reliability increase within the next few years HDDs will be laid to rest in a standard PC and many other platforms. I suspect that within 3 years ( 2015 ) computers wont ship with HDDs by default any more.