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Friday, June 17, 2016

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What is Solid State Drive and Everything You Need to Know About It

Oyetoke Tobi - Friday, June 17, 2016

Solid State Drive (SSD) as a matter of fact is an old technology which came into existence during the early days of RAM. Before defining SSD, it is important we first talk about Hard Disk Drive (HDD) which of course you know. HDD consists of metal platters with coatings of ferromagnetic materials a spin that is very much similar to that of a turntable. To store data on it, the polarity of the magnetic bits on the platters, are altered. Of course the operating principle of HDD isn’t as simple as this, but this is just the basic.

Unlike HDD, all the components of SSD are static. Its architecture isn’t much different from that of flash drives. NAND is the most common type of SSD out there in the market which unlike the RAM in your computer does not require electricity to store data. NAND is more efficient that mechanical storage devices like HDD which spends a good deal of its energy on spinning motion.

Processing speed

SSD processes data at a speed 100 times that of an HDD. The reason for this is the absence of mechanical motion, thus making data accesses a very simple task for SSD. 

SSD does not produce vibrations neither does it generate noise. Unlike HDD which wears out after a long time of operation, SSD does not.

Write cycles

SSD has a limitless number of write cycles. NAND type of SSD becomes read-only only when it gets to the end of its write-cycle. What this means is that when a sector of the drive fails, it will re-write data on another part of the disk. In the event of a drive failure, you will have sufficient time to back up your data.

Power requirement 

The energy requirement for SSD is 30% that of HDD. This may not look like much first, but the difference will become clear over a two years period.

Cost 

SSD is quite pricey. Even though their cost has fallen significantly over the past 20 years, there price hasn’t really fallen significantly. The current market price for SSD ranges between $1.25 and $2 per GB. Prices are dependent on the model and size of the SSD. 

Tips for taking care of your SSD

It is a bad idea to defragment your drive: Defragmentation of SSD only ends up shortening its lifespan. Even though defragmentation will work well on HDD, it won’t on SSD.

Indexing services needs to be turned off: If your machine runs on Windows, then you will have to turn off indexing services. This is because SSD runs very fast, thus making file indexing unnecessary. Indexing will only succeed in making SSD operate slowly.

The OS your machine runs on needs to support TRIM: It is through TRIM that SSD communicates effectively with your OS. In the absence of TRIM, some of the housekeeping capabilities of SSD will be lost. OS like Windows 7, Mac OS X10.6.6+ and Linux Kernel 2.6.33+ all support TRIM.



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