Making the Case for Solid-State Hard Drives SSD

Making the Case for Solid-State Hard Drives (SSD)

Bet you thought all hard drives were the same, right? Wrong!  A hard drive with mechanics (HDD) vs. a solid-state drive (SDD) with NAND flash chips. (source: Intel)

Hard Disk Drive vs Solid-State Drive

This may have happened to you in the past or to someone you know. In fact, it’s from one of my long-time clients, who owns a small marketing agency. She was traveling back to Dallas from a business trip in another state. The airport was really packed and hectic that day. As she was being rushed through the TSA lines and hurrying to the gate, her laptop slipped out of the case and dropped on the hard tile floor. I sympathized, because that’s life and these things happen. However, we both shared a moment of panic when we talked later that day. The drop had done damage to components on her laptop’s hard drive resulting in total data loss.

Sound pretty extreme? In fact, most PCs and laptops use what’s called hard disk drives or HDDs and offer little protection for the wear and tear we put on our devices. These hard drives are built with disks called platters that spin at a high RPM. (You may have noticed a spinning noise on your computer before). Data is stored on a magnetic coating on the platter. A read/write ‘head’ on an arm moves back and forth while the platters spin to pick up the magnetic data. If this head gets damaged, like it did for my client, the hard drive will no longer work and you’re likely to lose all of your saved data.

Up until recently, PC users have had very little choice in what hard drive or primary storage they got with their laptop, netbook or desktop computer. Fortunately, those options are more readily available and less costly. Let’s take a look at another option for storage – a solid-state drive or SSD, which, as the name implies, is a hard drive with no moving mechanical components. It does essentially the same thing as an HDD (booting your system, saving your data while the system is off, etc.), yet data is stored on memory chips rather than moving disks. Compared with the HDD variety, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, are much quieter, and have lower access time because they don’t need to seek to locate stored data. Most of the advantages of SSDs over traditional hard drives are due to their ability to access data completely electronically instead of electromagnetically, resulting in superior transfer speeds and mechanical ruggedness.

Today most high-end computers and ultrabooks come standard with an Solid-State hard drive (SSD). As of 2012, the price of Solid-States has begun to decline dramatically making them a worthy option for everyday computer users – including small businesses and personal/at-home users.

Other advantages of solid-state hard drives include the following:

1.       Much faster start-up time
2.       Faster time to access data
3.       Faster boot and application launch times
4.       Solid-States have no moving parts and therefore are basically silent
5.       Don’t require special cooling and can tolerate higher temperatures
6.       Resistant to shock and vibration (If you travel a lot with your computer or use it out in the field, this is of major importance to you).

For these reasons, Blue Diamond PC installs Solid-state hard drives on all of its custom built computers. If you already have a computer, there is no other system upgrade that will give you the performance boost of an SSD. You’ll quickly notice a dramatic boost in performance and boot-up and application load times.

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