Monday, October 12

SSDs - Solid State Drives

Hello again! You may have heard of things called solid state drives or SSDs for short. Well basically these are drives that contain no moving parts in them, unlike a conventional hard drive. They are used in, primarily, USB flash drives because of their high read/write speed and their durability. SSDs are also starting to be used in netbooks where power and weight are at a premium. So what are the main advantages of SSDs?
Firstly Solid State Drives consume a lot less power than hard drives. Whereas a hard disk drive would require it's own power supply, a SDD can run off the computers internal supply. That is why they can be used in USB drives, because they need a minimal power supply.  This reduced power usage also lessens the heat output.
The greatest benefit of SSD Drives is what is provided as a result of how they work, because they contain no actual moving parts unlike an HDD. This means an SSD is perfect for any notebook or portable computer because they are robust enough to easily absorb several knocks and falls without suffering any serious damage or failure. Hard drives contain moving parts (the write head and the disks themselves) meaning that they are not so durable.
Furthermore solid state drives can read information faster as well as write faster. SSDs can do this because a hard disk drive uses a needle to locate the data and this takes time. The solid state drive doesn't need to this. This will mean that PCs utilising an SSD will start up much faster and the transfer of data will be significantly quicker.

But there are disadvantages to SSDs.
They are much more expensive than hard disk drives meaning that any device using them will have its price jacked up by this. But, like all technologies, this price will slowly come down, making the solid state drive more accessible to everyone.
Secondly, SSDs have a limited number of read/write processes. This means they have a finite number of times that they can be used. Everytime you access the drive, more read/write processes will take place, thus shaving a small amount of their remaining life.
Finally, SSD capacities are much lower than that of hard disk drives, thus limiting their application. Although this capacity is expected to increase rapidly, with drives of 1TB (1 terabyte=1000 gigabytes) already available for industrial applications.

Overall, it depends on what the SSD will be used for, whether it will be better suited to the job than an HDD or not. But the price is expected to go down and capacity and performance to go up meaning they could be a serious rival to the hard disk drives long standing reign. Watch out!

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