Saturday, January 16, 2010

Solid State Disks (SSD). What they are and how they work

Solid State Disks are a special type of storage drivimagee, similar to a standard hard drive, for computers. The difference between SSDs and standard hard drives is that there are no moving parts. SSDs are like a very large USB flash drive but designed to act like a hard drive in a computer. SSDs are very small so they are suited for laptop or netbooks, even smaller devices such as cell phones or portable media players. In fact, most netbooks on the market now come with an SSD as the primary storage device (where the operating system is installed on). When they are first used they are very fast which makes computers with SSDs installed seem faster than standard computers or laptops. But there is a downside to SSD technology. Right now, they are at least 4 times as expensive as standard storage solutions. Also, most computer makers that use SSDs have proprietary cables and connections. Servicing SSDs is not easy or if you need to take a drive out and place it into a different computer to restore data, in most cases this is not possible unless you purchase an expensive converter. Finally, reading and writing data to or from SSD drives gradually get slower over time and eventually gets to the point that they are unusable. Why is this? Well, it is too much to explain in this blog post. Anandtech has a great article explaining the technology right here. Depending on your application, an SSD would be great for the job. But for most people, you may want to stick with traditional storage drives for now. SSD technology is getting better by the month so keep your eyes and ears open.