Unlike traditional hard drives, with a solid state hard drive (ssd) there are no moving parts, making them unlikely to fail should they be subject to mild impacts or movement. They are also virtually impervious to magnetic fields whereas HDDs are not. Thanks to the absence of the usual hard drive motor, SSDs use very little power, helping to extend the battery life of mobile devices like laptop computers. One of the most notable advantages of solid state hard drives over optical drives is their speed; SSDs both read and write data much faster than mechanical hard drives do, allowing devices with solid state drives to copy, load and boot up quickly.
How To Choose a Solid State Hard Drive
If you are looking to upgrade your existing mechanical hard drive to a solid state drive, check both the dimensions and connectivity of your system. Most computers use a standard SATA cable hard drive interface, however, some require an ATA drive cable (also known as IDE or PATA). 2.5″ is the most common solid state hard drive measurement, while some systems use either a 1.8″ or a 3.5″ drive. Adapters are readily available that allow 2.5″ drives to be mounted in a standard desktop 3.5″ hard drive bay. Once you know the size and interface type you need, consider how much actual data storage space you need on your hard drive. Thanks to the emergence of cloud-based computing and external drives, onboard hard drive capacities have been shrinking. At the bare minimum, choose a SSD that can comfortably accommodate your operating system along with some other software. For most users, a 60GB hard drive is the absolute minimum, while a 120GB drive will allow some room for data and additional programs.
To help you choose , here are some of the best SSDs available today:
This line of user-friendly, moderately-priced 2.5 inch SATA3 solid state hard drives from Samsung ranges in capacity from 64 GB to 512 GB, making these drives a good choice for computer users who are looking to upgrade their existing drive to a quicker, quieter one. With read speeds reaching 520 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speeds of up to 320 MB/s, the 830 series of SSDs are backed with Samsung’s limited three-year warranty.
Sata 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive
The Corsair 480GB Force Series GT SSD is designed for demanding users and gamers who want a hard drive that delivers both maximum speed and capacity. This SATA 3 2.5″ drive is backwards compatible with both SATA II and SATA I, providing 6 Gb/s along with support for the Microsoft Windows 7 TRIM command that lets users optimize the memory to achieve the ultimate in hard drive performance.
If you are looking for an economical way to upgrade your computer, the 60GB SSD from Intel’s 330 series is a great choice. This 2.5″ SSD is packaged with an 3.5″ adapter tray and mounting bracket for easy installation in a desktop machine along with a software link that allows users to clone their old drive onto the new one.
Solid state drives provide far better performance than their more common counterparts, making them a favorite for gamers. They are also completely silent and less prone to damage due to the lack of any moving parts. Unfortunately, they do have some major downsides, however. They are vastly more expensive than conventional hard drives and they have a shorter lifespan. Nonetheless, if you are building the ultimate gaming machine or upgrading an existing one, a solid state drive still provides the best place to store your games. Installing your favorite games onto a solid state drive will greatly decrease load times and improve performance overall.
SSD Upgrade Kit
Users who are looking for a complete SSD kit should consider the Kingston HyperX Solid State Drive Upgrade Kit, offered in a unique 2.5″ 90GB size. This kit has everything you need to install your own high-performance solid state hard drive including a 3.5″ bracket and a HyperX-branded multi-head tool. An added feature of this kit is the external USB HyperX drive bay and the SATA cable that gives consumers the option of using this drive as either an external or internal storage device.
2.5Inch Solid State HD
The 2.5″, SATA II internal SSD from Corsair delivers a low-cost way to add a solid state drive to your older laptop computer or bare-bones desktop system. Priced to compete with traditional hard disk drives, this budget model is a good option for users who want to achieve better boot speeds without breaking the bank.
Hi-Spec Solid State Drive
When you need maximum data capacity in the smallest possible form regardless of the cost, you need the Octane 1TB SSD from OCZ Technology. This 2.5″ solid state drive delivers lighting-fast performance, clocking in at 4 KB read and 460 MB/s write with performance-enhancing features like “fast boot” and proprietary cross-application mapping algorithms to optimize speed.
A solid state hard drive, also known as a solid-state drive or an SSD, is a digital storage device for computers, tablets and other electronics that has no moving parts, making these drives lightweight, compact and silent. A SSD uses flash-based memory, a highly stable, non-volatile type of digital memory that lets users turn the drive off (power down) without fear that the contents of the drive will be lost.
Solid State Hard Drive Development
Solid state hard drives were first developed over 40 years ago; however, until recently SSDs were prohibitively expensive for the average consumer, making it impossible for computer manufacturers to include SSDs in their products. The surge in mobile computing devices has created a demand for solid state hard drives, leading tech companies to focus on developing low-cost, high-quality flash-based memory devices. As a result, solid state hard drives are now affordable and readily available, making them a good alternative to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).
Most solid state hard drives use high-density NAND-type flash memory, the same type of memory that is common in SD data cards and portable USB drives. The first mass-produced computer to use a solid state hard drive was the MacBook Air, an ultra-portable laptop introduced by Apple in 2008. Since then other manufacturers have begun including SSDs in their products, allowing them to build faster, lighter machines that are mobile-friendly. Consumers can now choose from a wide variety of replacement solid state hard drives that can be used to upgrade an existing hard drive or for use as an external data storage device.
This offering from Crucial is of a 2.5″ size, as are most solid state drives. However, you can easily install it in a desktop computer using a drive bracket. This drive is available in four capacities from 64GB to 256GB and the prices range from approximately $72 to $204 respectively. It uses the SATA III 6 Gb/sec interface although it is also compatible with the SATA II interface used on older motherboards.
Corsair provides this drive in a choice of six capacities ranging from a tiny 60 GB to a very respectable 480 GB. It is a 2.5 inch drive, although it also comes with a 3.5″ bracket for easy installation into a desktop computer. Prices range from around $90 for the 60 GB version to almost $500 for the 480 GB version. Although backwards compatible with the SATA II interface, it is designed for the newest SATA III connectivity. It uses the SandForce SF-2200 SSD controller.
Offered at a relatively affordable price compared to many similar solutions, this offering from OCZ Agility 4 is available in seven capacities ranging from 60 GB for only $65 to 480 GB for $350. It uses NAND flash memory and connects to a SATA III 6gb port , although it is also compatible with SATA II. If you wish to install this into your desktop gaming machine, you will probably need to purchase a 3.5″ drive bracket.
Gamers on huge budgets who want to make use of the most powerful home computing hardware in the world will probably want to look at OCZ’s new range of PCI-Express solid state drives. Installing into a PCI-Express 1x slot like a regular add-in card, these hard drives offer the very highest performance of all with transfer rates of up to 1.5 gigabytes per second! All games will load instantly thanks to these speeds. However, the price tag is high ranging from around $350 for the 240 GB model to over $2500 for the 960 GB model.
For gamers who want exceptional performance without spending the enormous prices demanded by the RevoDrive 3, a good compromise is the hybrid drive from OCZ. This solution offers a much larger capacity of one terabyte at a vastly lower price of around $270. It is also a PCI-Express hard drive, offering much better performance over standard hard drives thanks to its NAND Flash components. Seagate Momentus X Hybrid Drive For those who cannot afford a true solid state drive which provides an adequate capacity for storing a large collection of games and other files, the Seagate Momentus offers a great compromise. With a capacity of 750 GB, it is able to meet the storage requirements of the vast majority of users. However, being a hybrid drive with adaptive memory technology, it offers greatly improved performance over standard hard drives. The drive is also available for around $139, making it around a fifth of the price of a true solid state drive with the same capacity.