What are Solid State Drives?
Solid state drives are computer storage drives that have no moving parts and utilize a variation of flash memory. Compare this to traditional hard disk drives (HDD) which operate by writing data to available sectors on moving magnetically sensitive platters. Solid state drives therefore experience less wear and are physically more stable than HDDs. They also locate and retrieve data more quickly than a traditional HDD.
Solid State Drives Compared to Hard Disk Drives
Solid state drives have a host of advantages over traditional hard disk drives in addition to faster access times. SSDs are more durable, are quieter, and are more lightweight. They use less energy and therefore keep the computer cooler. However, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs by a factor of 8 to 10. HDDs have more storage capacity and are cheaper, but are slower and have a higher risk of damage due to shock or magnetic fields.
Features and Capabilities
- Storage capacity
- Form factor - The form factor is basically the size of the SSD. Generally, the 2.5 inch form factor is for laptop computers while the 3.5 inch is for desktop computers.
- Write speed - Manufacturers usually list the maximum write speed to the SSD, not the average.
- Connection interface - Most consumer grade SSDs utilize SATA, USB, or M.2 connectors.
- MTTF (Mean Time To Failure) - Mean number of service hours before a storage block can no longer be rewritten.
- Warranty period - This is a good indicator of how long the manufacturer expects the SSD to last.
Solid state drives are priced according to their storage capacity, write speed, and reliability. Expect to pay between $50 and $1,000, depending on your needs. Server SSDs have very large storage capacities, the fastest write speeds, and the highest reliability and can cost up to $4,000.