It has been about 5 years since I have shopped for a new computer. The time had come as my aging desktop was sputtering and spitting every time I was pushing it past its threshold of about 30 minutes of Photoshop work before it would overheat. No measure of vacuuming, cleaning or tender loving care seemed to make a difference.
A few nights later I had a nice consolidated list of potential successors and I noticed a few of the upper mid range models were sporting solid state drives (SSD). Working in IT SSDs are currently the holy grail of speedy hard drives. With no moving parts they are also more reliable. In my work world these special drives were reserved for high performance top end servers and until recently for a personal computers they were unrealisticly expensive. But now that has changed. If you can afford to spend a bit more on your laptop or desktop I am convinced the extra money will pay back in gained productivity.
So why do you need an SSD, pure speed. Aside from RAM and processing power reading data from a traditional mechanical hard drive is slow. That means on a SSD your programs have the potential to load much faster. As an example Light room 5.2 is loading in about a blazing 10 seconds on my new laptop with an SSD. Photoshop is loading in about 12 seconds, including loading my NIK software plug-ins. That is a huge difference compared to my old desktop which would load in about 30 seconds to a minute.
Yes it s true that CPU, GPU and RAM all have a direct influence on the speed of you computer, but for the money I don’t think you can get a better direct and very measurable impact on the speed and responsiveness of your computer in a multitasking, application rodeo know as the photographers workflow.