Solid-state drives (SSD) use integrated circuits to store data. As compared to the traditional mechanical disks, the SSD does not require any moving parts. Hence, wear and tear is minimal. SSD delivers incredible performance, its main selling point. The new technology renders speeds that can be up to 250 times faster than the traditional HDD read/write speeds.
There are great benefits in switching to SSD. It is a technology built to meet the demands of the performance hungry, next-generation computing systems. Here is a quick overview of the most important benefits of a SSD.
1. Pure Performance
As suggested in the introduction, the No. 1 reason for anybody to opt for a SSD is the top-notch performance that it can deliver. The access time when you use a SSD is much, much faster than traditional hard disks. Since there are no moving parts in a SSD, the read and write times are exponentially faster when compared to traditional disk and spindle hard disks.
The burst speeds in mechanical drives are good but their random access speeds are very mediocre or poor when compared to what the SSD is capable of. SSDs can render sustained random high performance I/O speeds that improve the overall performance of general hard disk access. Users can experience an instantaneous and tremendous improvement while accessing files on their system, after switching to solid-state drives, especially when it comes to OS running speeds.
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2. Extended Life Expectancy
The life of solid-state drives is at least two to three times longer than conventional hard disks. The average life expectancy of a mechanical drive is three to five years. Many of the mechanical drives conk off midway and very unexpectedly, giving you intense frustration and agony.
Mechanical drives wear off quickly due to the presence of spinning parts in the disk. In order to get a decent life out of a mechanical drive, users must exercise regular maintenance, like defragmenting their hard disk, running spin down cycles and even powering off hard disks when not in use.
In contrast, SSD lasts longer and has greater resistance to shock and general wear-off. The risk of mechanical failures is negligible. SSDs have great resistance to shock, bumps and g-forces which makes them an ideal choice for mobile devices. They are also virtually maintenance free, unlike traditional HDDs.
3. Brilliant Boot Speeds
With solid-state drives, not only does your system performance improve, your boot times are also sensationally reduced. A system with SSD can boot 25 times faster than a system with mechanical hard disk.
The integrated circuit technology ensures faster access to OS system files and the absence of moving parts reduces the access time considerably.
4. Smaller and Lighter Footprint
Solid-state drives are light in weight and can fit smaller areas. This is the reason why most modern hybrid tablet/laptop computers have an SSD in them.
The form factor of SSD is between 1.0 and 1.8 inches which is much smaller than the mechanical disks that range between 2.5 to 3.5 inches. SSD is ideally suited for new age, sleek devices that have space constraints.
5. More Battery Friendly
Solid-state drives consume less power. The initial cost of SSD is higher than a mechanical drive but over a period of time, you will appreciate the value for money a SSD can offer by giving you more portability.
Standard disks consume six or more watts during a full sprint while SSD consumes a maximum of three watts. Many manufacturers are producing energy efficient models to leverage the low power consumption capability of a SSD.
6. Less Noise, Less Heat
There is absolutely no noise in solid-state drives. You must be aware of the noise levels in a data center. Traditional disks produce noise whereas SSD drives on their own don’t make any noise. The higher end models which require cooling fans generate some noise owing to the spinning of fans.
Also, the heat dissipated by SSD is significantly less. Heat impacts the performance of systems. Hence, low heat dissipation means better performance. The cooling requirements for SSD are also less and this is one of the reasons why data centers are making the shift to SSDs.
7. Ability to Fight Voltage Fluctuations
Solid-state drives have a mechanism to monitor voltage fluctuations. They have in-built power failure circuitry to backup data in the event of voltage drops. A secondary voltage hold-up circuitry provides sufficient supply to save any pending writes on the disk.
Some models of SSD also come with in-built batteries that allow data to be backed up during a power outage. These features are available in enterprise class drives.
The cost of SSD is significantly higher and you will be paying more for less capacity as compared to a standard hard disk. But, when you weigh the long-term benefits of a SSD over the initial cost, the solid-state drive is a clear winner.