Whoa! I Should Have Upgraded To An SSD Last Year
Today I transformed my 2009 laptop into a machine that feels like it's from 2012.
All I did was rip out its 500GB spinning-rust hard drive from Seagate and popped in a 256GB Vertex 4 solid-state drive from OCZ . Now I'm kicking myself for not upgrading to an SSD a year ago.
If you're not up to speed on your PC components, here's the technical background on SSDs vs. HDs . For decades, hard drives handled storage chores by writing data as tiny magnetized patches on spinning platters. SSDs use flash memory chips instead, a design that can retrieve data much faster. The biggest drawback is the price: SSDs cost more and store less than hard drives.
My primary machine is a Retina-era MacBook Pro  with a 256GB SSD, so I'm used to SSDs overall. What I hadn't appreciated was how much life an SSD can breathe into an older machine, in particular since processor performance isn't improving at the rate it once was.