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Solid State Drives

Storage and performance are two of the most crucial aspects of computing. Traditionally, the hard drive is seen as the figurehead of this for most personal computers, but alternative hardware does exist. Solid state drives have been adopted by people across many walks of life for their technological needs, and there several different classifications of SSDs available that can be used alone or in tandem with other equipment.

SSDs are a viable means by which to enhance the capabilities of computers. They should be considered by anyone looking for faster speeds and/or increased disk space.

What is an SSD?

Despite serving many of the same purposes, there is a vast difference between solid state drives and other types of hard drives. A typical hard drive is comprised of moving parts that respond to magnetics and optical media, whereas an SSD is, well, solid. Integrated circuits work with semiconductor memory that functions as a disk drive, favoring flash memory over the read/write heads on standard hard drives. SSDs are considered by many to be faster, with shortened times for booting and seeking, and because they lack moving components, they do not require part replacement and are also much quieter than traditional hard drives.

There are many benefits to using an SSD. As stated, they tend to be more responsive than other, similar hardware, and a fluctuation in price range is making them more affordable than ever. The differences in read and write times are significant, and those seeking higher input/output performance should explore the possibilities that SSDs can facilitate.

Types of SSD

Solid state drives can be used in several different capacities. Internal SSDs, like the SanDisk Extreme II and the Seagate 600 Series, are meant to be installed within the system hardware itself. Others, like the LaCie Thunderbolt and the Buffalo Drive Station Mini Thunderbolt, can be connected externally through ports such as USB. These are External SSDs.

There are also SSDs designed specifically for businesses. The Kingston SSDNow, the OCZ Talos 2 C Series and the Seagate 600 Pro are all touted as enterprise-class solid state drives. This kind of hardware comes in a variety of sizes, and can be either external or internal. Solutions of this nature also exist in an "industrial" distinction. These units, like the Wintec I-Temp and the Transcend PATA SLC, are often internally installed.

Another alternative still comes in the form of hybrid hard drives. This solution marries the inherently-larger storage space of traditional hard drives with the speeds that SSDs have become popular for providing. This way, items that are accessed frequently can be cached on the solid state portion of the hardware, freeing up the hard drive portion for expanded storage and processing. Models on the market, such as the Hybrid Drive line from Seagate and the Samsung Spinpoint M Series, are viewed as convenient ways to boost performance without using two separate technologies. This is considered by many to be a cost-effective solution to storage and speed dilemmas.

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