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This guide outlines the main differences between solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs).
There are two major types of SSD in current production — NAND and DRAM. This guide focuses on the more common one: NAND.
It’s worth noting that advances are being made all the time on both types of drive and that these differences are generalisations. Individual performance will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Most solid state drives, except ones made using cheaper components, are significantly faster at reading data than a hard drive.
This is because there are no moving mechanical parts on a SSD and so the “seek time” is significantly reduced. Incidentally, DRAM drives are faster still.
Writing large files is also generally quicker on a SSD, though at present there are often performance problems when trying to write a lot of small files to a SSD. It’s possible to overcome this through improved system design.
In general, though, SSDs are faster than HDDs.
(PS: SSDs are generally quieter than HDDs because they don’t have any moving parts and are usually fanless)
Most people know that the hard drive is one of the slowest bits in most modern computers, and we’re all eagerly anticipating the arrival of affordable, capacious SSD drives, but I hadn’t quite realized how fast these things were until I saw this video, from Samsung’s marketing team. Watch it above.
A set of 24 SSDs in RAID can open the entirety of Microsoft Office in half a second, the entire start menu (53 programs!) in 18 seconds, and can copy a DVD from place to place in less time than it takes to throw the aforementioned DVD out of the window. Best of all, the system can defrag in just three seconds. Impressive!
If you needed any more evidence that solid-state-drives (SSDs) will be taking over from traditional hard drives pretty damn soon, then here it is. Toshiba’s developed an SSD that’s 512GB – twice the size of their recently launched 256GB model.
SSDs use fast flash memory for storage, rather than the traditional mechanical magnetic platter which is slower and more prone to failure. This particular drive uses 43-nanometer Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash technology to cram those gigabytes into a 2.5″ enclosure.
Tosh will also be offering 256GB, 128GB and 64GB drives, each in a choice of 1.8″ or 2.5″ enclosures.They’ll be available sometime between April and June, but they’ll be shown off at CES in January. No pricing info yet.
Micron Technology is an American company wthat makes various semiconductor devices – RAM, flash memory, etc. It’s just announced that it reckons it will be able to build a blazing-fast Solid State Drive before the end of next year that’ll be able to transfer data at rates of up to 1GB/s.
Currently, they’ve managed to hit 800MB/s throughput, and 150,000 – 160,000 random reads per second. They’re hoping to get that latter figure up to 200,000. For comparison, the current fastest-available SSD, from Intel, can do 250MB/s data transfers and just 35,000 operations per second.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that this tech will be in your laptop next year. It’ll take a little while longer than that, and initially only be available for servers, but if anything, it shows that the rapid pace of innovation continues in the world of flash storage.
Micron Technology (via Computer World)
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