Throw out those old-fashioned HDDs, get a SSD instead.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:53:41 PM
It's such a simple, obvious idea really. The Solid State Drive (SSD) is a hard drive for your computer that uses flash memory - the same type of memory used in MP3 players, digital cameras, memory cards such as SD, XD, CF and memory sticks. My cellphone has one the size of a fingernail that stores 1Gb of data. What's new is that companies such as Samsung, SanDisk and PQI are offering flash memory drives which have the same interface as a Hard Disk Drive - ATA or SATA - meaning you can get rid of that noisy, slow, loud HDD, plug a SSD straight in the same slot and you're away.
What they offer:
- zero noise
- zero vibration
- MUCH more robust: no moving parts means nothing to break
- more reliable - they tend to come with 5 year guarantees standard.
- much lower power usage
- more than twice the data transfer rate of the fastest Hard Drives currently, both in burst and sustained rates.
- most importantly, almost no latency. Regular HDDs can have a seek time of up to 20 milliseconds. Multiply that by the millions of file fragments it has to look for all the time and it adds up quickly to a lot of waiting time for software and data to load. This is the main reason why a computer will seem slow - it will always be waiting for the hard drive.
These are not new, they've been around for a couple of years. Up till now though, they've been quite small in size - 8, 16, 32 Gb. The thing that's really got me a bit excited about this:
Samsung introduces 64GB flash drive.
They are getting faster too... Of course, it's still going to be a bit of a wait before they start becoming affordable. They are currently about 20 times the price of a similar sized regular HDD. It shouldn't take long for that price to come down though, once large-scale production comes online.
Meanwhile I have visions of my money-is-no-object PC with a 64Gb SSD for the OS and programs, and a 500Gb HDD or two. You know, just for extra storage.