On Tuesday, I ordered an OWC-branded SSD. It was the 120GB Mercury 6G model, and yesterday, it arrived. The installation process was quite tedious, but it wasn’t difficult: I just followed a guide on iFixit to make sure I didn’t mess anything up and eventually, the SSD was inside and all connected.

At that point, I installed Snow Leopard from my recovery discs, downloaded the OS X combo update to get access to the Mac App Store, and proceeded to download the behemoth 4GB file known as Mountain Lion.

Just like the other two Macs on which I installed it, Mountain Lion installed perfectly onto my brand-new SSD. After entering my iCloud credentials, I was finally able to feel the speed that my new SSD offers.

I don’t have many applications installed at the moment – just the Office for Mac 2011 Home & Student suite, the stock Mountain Lion apps, and a couple of apps I downloaded for testing – but every app on my Mac opens in literally under one second. Once they’re open, they still continue to feel much more responsive than my old 5400RPM hard drive. Browsing files and making edits to anything are as quick as lightning. There is virtually no waiting for anything to happen; it feels like a brand-new laptop again!

Heat is not much of an issue anymore, but the fans do still rev up from time to time. I think that stems from the fact that I have never blown compressed air into the system to clean it out – not a fault of the SSD, but of my stupidity and forgetfulness. I will say, however, that the palmrest above the SSD is always the coolest part of the laptop except for the screen.

Aside from performance and heat, the SSD also makes my laptop much quieter. Whereas before I was used to hearing clicks and clacks from the inside of my laptop, I now hear absolutely nothing when the fans are idling. Those noises were caused by Apple’s motion detection system, and now that I have non-moving storage, I don’t have to hear those noises every time I bump or move my laptop. It’s really refreshing.

As of right now, I’m more than satisfied with my purchase. I will come back next week with some final thoughts about the SSD itself and whether I think that buying an SSD is a worthwhile investment for an older computer. Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them either directly or in next week’s post.