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How Solid State Drives are Different and the Advantages of SSD Technology

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/6/2010

Though PCs with solid state drives are more expensive than traditional hard drives they have a number of advantages that make them worth the extra cost.

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    Solid State Technology Helps

    Hard disk drives have been a popular component of computing for many years. The problem with them is that they are heavy on complex moving parts like heads, spindles, magnetic surfaces and platters which means there’s plenty of things that can go wrong. Another issue is that they can often run slowly due to the fact that they have to spin in order to get the head to the correct point to read or writer data on the disk. This process alone can be impeded by dust in the mechanism. Solid state drives are able to overcome these problems and also have a number of other advantages.

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    How SSD's are Different

    What Traditional Disk Drives and SSDs Look Like A solid state storage device differs from a had disk drive in that it has no moving parts so it doesn’t rely on spinning platters and moving heads. Instead data is split up into small chunks and stored in memory. Though this process has been used in RAM for some time, until relatively recently, the method was too costly to be used in sufficient volumes to replace the hard disk.

    Solid state drives use one of two memory technologies:

    · NAND flash - this is a non-volatile (meaning it does not use any power to maintain the stored information), computer memory that can be erased and reprogrammed electrically.

    · SDRAM – synchronous dynamic random access memory is able to run at greater speeds in sync with the system clock.

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    Solid State Drive Advantages

    The advantages of solid state drives over traditional hard disks are:

    · Greater speed of operation because the disk is not spinning

    · Information on solid state drives can be accessed immediately so there is no delay between the request for data and the beginning of data transfer. This means that even when data is fragmented there is no slump in performance

    · Decreased start-up time for applications

    · Greater stability because there are no moving parts. Dust or foreign particles entering the mechanism cease to be a problem because solid state drives can be sealed tightly unlike hard disks which need air to function correctly.

    · Because they are faster and run cooler, solid state drives are more energy efficient and cost effective