When I first wrote about using solid state drives (SSDs) to radically improve the performance of older Macs, high-capacity SSDs were just beginning to become affordable. Replacing a Mac’s 500GB or 1TB hard drive with a same-sized SSD required at least $250 back then, but the benefits were tremendous: even an aging machine became markedly (5x) faster, silent, and — unexpectedly — more fun to use. All for much less than the price of a new Mac.
Today, high-capacity SSDs are more affordable than ever. Replacing your old 500GB hard drive with a same-sized SSD from a reputable manufacturer costs only $150, while 1TB drives are under $330, each $100 less than only a couple of years ago. Once unthinkably huge 2TB and 4TB SSDs are now commonly available, too, albeit at eye-watering prices.
With this week’s release of macOS High Sierra, Apple has officially made SSDs its preferred Mac storage solution, introducing the new APFS standard to further optimize SSD performance over Fusion and traditional hard drives. So this is a perfect time to revisit the topic of SSD upgrades; if you held out before, now’s the time to jump in!