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The solid state disk drive (SSD) is one of the newer devices available to speed up your computer. It has many advantages and some disadvantages. We will discuss them and see if the SSD is something you might be interested in as an add-on for your computer.

The technology is as old as RAM memory and flash memory, but it has been brought up to date by building the SSD modules the same size and shape (1.8 inches, 2.5 inches, and 3.5 inches) as the hard disk drive. This allows for easy installation in the computer replacing the existing hard drive. The electrical connections are also the same as hard disk drives, either serial (SATA) or parallel (PATA). Thus allowing direct swap ability between the hard disk drive (HDD) and the SSD.

  • Advantages:

    1. The solid state disk drive is as much as 250 times faster than the HDD in accessing the data, and also faster in reading and writing. This is accomplished by not having any mechanical parts that have to be positioned before the actual reading or writing is accomplished.

    2. Because there are no electric motors used for disk rotation or moving the heads, the SSD draws considerably less current than the hard disk drive. This is an important consideration for battery operated devices such as laptops and notepads.

    3. Since the solid state hard drive consists entirely of electronic integrated circuitry and contains no mechanical moving parts it is capable of withstanding greater physical abuse, shock, vibrations, extremes in air pressure and temperature.

  • Disadvantages:

    1. Currently the SSD can cost as much as the entire computer system based on a hard drive, and if you have more than one SSD this multiplies the cost.

    2. The solid state disk drive does not have the capacity of the HDD. At the present time hard drives are available as large as 2 terabytes, while SSD’s only have 256 gigabytes of capacity and growing.

  • Usages:

    1. It becomes hard to justify using the SSD in the average desk top computer. On the other hand, for a server, where hundreds or even thousands of disk requests are being serviced, performance can be improved greatly by switching to SSD’s. It is also easier to justify the expense for this purpose.

    2. As I mentioned earlier laptop computers become an ideal place to use this technology. The fact that they draw less current allows for greatly extended battery life.

    3. Not having to wait for the disk to get up to speed means that the operating system and programs load quicker, also data is moved in and out of the solid state disk drive faster.

    4. Specialized applications like military, aerospace, and rugged usage such as construction sites are ideal for this technology. You don’t have to be concerned about shaking or dropping the laptop.

    5. It is only recently that the software drivers and an interface for the SSD became available in the operating system. Windows XP and Windows Vista have them in their later service packs, and also Windows 7 has them now.


The SSD is designed around the RAM memory and flash memory. The RAM memory acts as a buffer and communicates with the rest of the computer at a very high speed, while the slower flash memory remains as the permanent storage. In the event of a power failure, an on board battery or capacitor flushes all of the data from the volatile RAM to the non volatile flash memory for permanent storage.

When you look on the Internet, at some of the manufacturers and suppliers of the SSD iconyou will see some specific pricing as well as some added information about applications. You might find this product is something you should consider now or in the future. As a general rule the price will come down and the data capacity will increase as time goes by. At that time the SSD might replace the HDD.

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For additional information about the solid state disk drive.

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