Solid state drives (SSD) – now a reality?

By pure accident, I happened to run across some information about solid state drives for laptops. I scoffed, "they’ve been talking about that for years!". Well, as it turns out, the technology is finally here! Let me recap in case you’re not familiar:
Your hard drive is the slowest, most error-prone part of your computer. Is it the only mechanical part left (well, aside from fans). Because it’s mechanical, it *will* fail at some point. On top of that, hard drives (even the faster ones) are still pretty slow.
So imagine that instead of a mechanical hard drive, you have "the stuff they make memory out of" and made a drive of the same stuff? It’s always been a pipe dream because memory is also so much more expensive than mechanical drives. Well, they still are expensive – but not prohibitely expensive!
With these new "solid state" drives, you’d basically replace your current hard drive (in laptops, mostly) and you get:
  • Quieter operation
  • Less power consumption (good for laptops!)
  • Speeds of up to 30x faster than mechanical drives. Wow. Supposely, you can install Vista in around 7 minutes – and double-clicking something is instantaenous!
  • Lifetime of 140 years. In other words, it will outlive you and your laptop.

After researching, there are apperently two technologies: SLC and MLC. SLC is faster and more reliable – and MLC is still fast, but has some limitations. Because of this, SLC drives are anywhere from 2x to 4x the cost of MLC. So beware on Ebay when people try to sell MLC drives for the price of SLC! So how much are they?

SLC is around $17-$28 per GB (100+MB/s, more reliable)
MLC is around $4-$8 per GB (50-80MB/s)

Posted in New Technology, Uncategorized

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