In the last few years we have seen a great revolution in the development of processors, graphics cards, RAM and network connections. Their performance has hence improved significantly, but one thing that hasn’t much changed is our hard drives. They still have mechanical parts, hence they are still heavy, slow, unreliable and consumes too much power.
SSDs (Solid State Drives) are changing the scenario
First you should know that the hard drive in your computer contains a spinning disk, coated with a magnetic material which retains the data. In contrast, SSDs have no moving parts, instead they are made of millions of tiny transistors (of the floating gate variety), where each parts holds a specific amount of data. And since there is no moving part, they are quitter, lighter and more energy efficient, more doable and faster.
This is obviously great if you’re planning on using it in a laptop, where space, energy use, and noise are all major considerations. The increased speed of the drives will also have a huge impact on PC and application startup times (and any other operation that reads from the disk a lot), and it can make your computer feel dramatically quicker.
On the downside, SSDs are comparatively expensive, for instance, you can literally buy a 2 TB HDD for the price you pay for a 120 GB SSD.So the question is, does SSD worth your precious money? And the answer is ‘it depends on how you use your computer and what things you may want to do with it in the near future.
The Truth Behind The Lifespan Of The SSDs
When it came, there was this fuzz going around that an SSD can last longer than our traditional hard drive. But, unfortunately that isn’t true. Like we said, SSDs are made up of several million tiny transistors, and as you must have guessed transistors have a limited life. It can only last for about 10 years, or around 10,000 writes, whichever comes first. And many firm reported that its performance also starts degrading with time.
Interestingly, thanks to the recent development in technology, in modern drives, with modern operating system and file system, the significance of these problems has been reduced massively. TRIM, the technology behind it manages the data allocation of blocks of data, ensuring that each transistor is written to minimum number of times without degrading performance.
So Is TRIM That Much Important ?
In an article at AnandTech, Anand Lal Shimpi reported that TRIM really helps the drive live longer and it really is worth enabling. There are many freeware available on the internet for doing this task and several other optimization tools at OCZ technology forum.
SSDs are great for Operating System performance; you can literally see the speed difference right after setting it up. The price of SSDs drives have been declining, what I will personally advise you to get one at least 60 GB data capacity, and install your OS and the programs you often use on it, once installed you can see the significant time improvement your OS takes to boot up. Along with that, you can have all your files on the traditional HDD. This way your system runs fast enough, programs load faster, and you don’t have to sacrifice your movies and personal data.