Thursday, February 25, 2010

SSD or 7200 RPM Hard Drive?

SSD (Solid-State Drive, based on non-volatile memory) has finally come of age, and is now a realistic alternative to rotating hard disk drives for certain purposes.

  • Fast read speed
  • Low latency (delay)
  • Low power
  • Silent
  • Instant starting
  • No moving parts
  • Cost
  • Write speed not as good as read speed
  • Performance decrease over time
  • More limited lifespan
It's important to note that there are great differences in performance between different SSD, with the slowest and least expensive SSD (e.g., OCZ "Value Series" SSD) not significantly better than 5th generation 7200 RPM hard disk drives (see 7200 RPM Laptop/Notebook Hard Drives) despite being considerably more expensive, with average read and write speeds (higher is better) of about 80 MB/s. Only much more expensive premium SSD (e.g., OCZ Vertex) offer substantial increases in performance.

It's also important to note even a premium SSD provides only a modest system performance gain (on the order of about 15% overall) as compared to hard disk. Is that worth the cost and other drawbacks?

Best Product
Honorable Mention

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