The Low Cost of Solid State Hard Drives

by | Sep 30, 2008 | Practical Tips, Useful Tools

For months now, I have been watching the price of Solid State Hard Drives (SSD) come down. Today, I read a post at engaget stating that Super Talent is releasing a 64GB SSD for $179 and a 128GB SSD for $299. At that price, who wouldn’t want this? Read on to find out why I am waiting.

For those of you who have not heard of this technology, SSD uses RAM memory as a storage device. The computer you are using today uses a standard issue hard disk drive. This drive contains spinning disks that work much like your CD-ROM drive does. It reads and writes data to the drive as fast as it can spin and move its reading arm across the drive.

SSD drives work just like the ram in your computer. When a file is written to or read from the drive – it happens (virtually) at the blink of an eye because there are no moving parts. That is what makes SSD technology so exciting – because your computer will operate that much faster without having to rely on the speed of the moving parts in your current hard drive.

A word of caution about SSD – they are not all created equal (yet). There are different kinds of drives out there with different kinds of memory. These low cost drives ARE faster than your hard drive but only in some instances. They will READ data much faster, but in the moment to moment use of them has a hard drive replacement – they have much slower random write times.

So, Windows will load very very fast on an SSD because it is just reading the data. But when you have 10 web pages open, your editing a document, and printing that PDF file all at the same time, your system will run very slowly with these lower grade drives because the random write times are slow. That is why I am not buying one of these – yet.

Check back as this technology unfolds for updates!