Have you heard of an SSD?  This is a replacement for your mechanical hard drive, and if you have one in place of that normal SATA drive, you will see enormous increases in speed.  I have an SSD installed in my laptop and my desktop computers as the primary OS drive and the difference in speed is nothing short of phenominal!  This works primarily because the SSD has no moving parts.  It works kind of like a memory stick, thumb drive, USB memory, or whatever you might call it.  There is no defrag to concern yourself with and there is no noise from the hard drive churning.

My boot times on my computers a super fast.  It used to take somewhere around 1.5 minutes or more to boot either of my computers, but that has been drastically reduced.  On my desktop at the office and at the house, the additon of the SSD has reduced my cold boot time, using Windows 10 Pro to about 6 seconds.  To come out of sleep mode, it takes about 2 seconds.  When I launch a program, it's nearly instantaneous!  It's the sort of difference you have to feel to believe, but it will be immediate with no other changes to the system.

Up until recently, getting an SSD meant handing over about $1.50 or more per gigabyte, but these prices have come down.  Also, the sizes of these drives are increasing as well.  I still only recommend that you use one of these drives for the OS and programs, but you are no longer limited to 80gb-100gb for your SSD.  You can now get them in 256gb sizes and more.  This is big enough that you might even try out moving a project file over to it while you are working on it for super fast data access.

When I originally wrote this article a few years ago, the SSD capacities, speed, and price were all a LOT different than they are now.  Now, a Samsung 850 EVO is not only one of the best performers around for consumer SSD usage, but is affordable as well.

I do not build a computer without an SSD any more, even if it is just going to be used for regular office applications, web surfing, and email.