SSDs Move Ahead to Over­take Hard Disk Drives

High speed, durable and sleek SSDs are mov­ing in to re­place ‘tra­di­tional’ HDDs.

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Asolid state drive ( SSD) is a data stor­age de­vice that uses in­te­grated cir­cuit as­sem­blies as its mem­ory to store data. Now that every­one is switch­ing over to thin tablets and high per­for­mance note­books, car­ry­ing heavy, bulky hard disks may be dif­fi­cult. SSDs, there­fore, play a vi­tal role in to­day’s world as they com­bine high speed, dura­bil­ity and smaller sizes, with vast stor­age and power ef­fi­ciency.

SSDs con­sume min­i­mal power be­cause they do not have any mov­able parts in­side, which leads to less con­sump­tion of in­ter­nal power.

HDDs vs SSDs The new tech­nolo­gies em­bed­ded in SSDs make them costlier than HDDs. “SSDs, with their new tech­nol­ogy, will grad­u­ally over­take hard disk drives (HDDs), which have been around ever since PCs came into promi­nence. It takes time for a new tech­nol­ogy to com­pletely take over the tra­di­tional one. Also, new tech­nolo­gies are usu­ally ex­pen­sive. How­ever, users are ready to pay a lit­tle more for a new tech­nol­ogy be­cause it of­fers bet­ter per­for­mance,” ex­plains Ra­jesh Gupta, coun­try head and direc­tor, Sandisk Cor­po­ra­tion In­dia.

SSDs use in­te­grated cir­cuit as­sem­blies as mem­ory for stor­ing data. The tech­nol­ogy uses an elec­tronic in­ter­face which is com­pat­i­ble with tra­di­tional block in­put/out­put HDDs. So SSDs can eas­ily re­place HDDs in com­monly used ap­pli­ca­tions.

An SSD uses a flash-based medium for stor­age. It is be­lieved to have a longer life than an HDD and also con­sumes less power. “SSDs are the next stage in the evo­lu­tion of PC stor­age. They run faster, and are qui­eter and cooler than the ag­ing tech­nol­ogy in­side hard drives. With no mov­ing parts, SSDs are also more durable and re­li­able than hard drives. They not only boost the per­for­mance but can also be used to breathe new life into older sys­tems,” says Vishal Parekh, mar­ket­ing direc­tor, Kingston Tech­nol­ogy In­dia.

How to se­lect the right SSD

If you’re a videog­ra­pher, or have a stu­dio ded­i­cated to au­dio/ video post-pro­duc­tion work, or are in the bank­ing sec­tor, you can look at ADATA’s lat­est launch, which has been fea­tured later in the ar­ti­cle. Kingston, too, has in­tro­duced SSDs for all pos­si­ble pur­poses. SSDs are great op­tions even for gamers, or those who want to en­sure their data has been saved in a se­cure medium. Kingston of­fers an en­tire range of SSDs, in­clud­ing en­try lev­els vari­ants as well as op­tions for gen­eral use.

There are a lot of fac­tors to keep in mind when you are plan­ning to buy an SSD—dura­bil­ity, porta­bil­ity, power con­sump­tion and speed. Gupta adds that, “The per­for­mance of SSDs is typ­i­cally in­di­cated by their IOPS (In­put out­put op­er­a­tion per sec­ond), so one should look at the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the prod­uct. Also, check the stor­age ca­pac­ity. If you’re look­ing for an SSD when you al­ready have a PC or lap­top, then dou­ble check the com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween your sys­tem and the SSD you’ve short­listed. If you’re buy­ing a new sys­tem, then you can al­ways check with the ven­dors as to what SSD op­tions are avail­able. Re­search the I/O speeds and get up­dates about how re­li­able the prod­uct is.”

“For PC users, some of the im­por­tant per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters of SSDs are re­lated to bat­tery life, heat­ing of the de­vice and porta­bil­ity. An SSD is 100 per cent solid state tech­nol­ogy and has no mo­tor in­side, so the ad­van­tage is that it con­sumes less en­ergy; hence, it ex­tends the bat­tery life of the de­vice and is quite por­ta­ble,” ex­plains Gupta.

Listed below are a few broad spec­i­fi­ca­tions of SSDs, which can help buy­ers de­cide which vari­ant to go in for.

Porta­bil­ity

Porta­bil­ity is one of the ma­jor con­cerns when buy­ing an ex­ter­nal hard drive be­cause, as dis­cussed ear­lier, every­one is grad­u­ally shift­ing to tablets, iPads and note­books and so would not want to carry around an ex­ter­nal hard disk that is heav­ier than the com­put­ing de­vice. The over­all porta­bil­ity of an SSD is eval­u­ated on the ba­sis of its size, shape, how much it weighs and its rugged­ness.

High speed

Speed is another fac­tor peo­ple look for, while buy­ing an SSD. If it is not fast, it is not worth the buy. SSDs of­fer data trans­fer read speeds that range from ap­prox­i­mately 530 MBps to 550 MBps, whereas a HDD of­fers only around 30 to 50 MBps. SSDs can also boot any op­er­at­ing sys­tem al­most four times faster than a tra­di­tional 7200 RPM 500 GB hard drive disk. With SSDs, the ap­pli­ca­tions pro­vide a 12 times faster re­sponse com­pared to the HDD. A sys­tem equipped with an SSD also launches ap­pli­ca­tions faster and of­fers a high per­for­mance over­all.

Dura­bil­ity As an SSD does not have any mov­ing parts like a mo­tor and uses a flash- based medium for stor­ing data, it is more likely to keep the data se­cure and safe. Some of the SSDs are coated with metal, which ex­tends their life. There are al­most no chances of their get­ting dam­aged. Even if you drop your lap­top or PC, the data stays safe and does not get af­fected.

Power con­sump­tion

In com­par­i­son to a HDD, a solid state drive con­sumes min­i­mal power. “Usu­ally, a PC user faces the chal­lenge of a lim­ited bat­tery life. But since an SSD is 100 per cent solid state tech­nol­ogy and has no mo­tor in­side, it con­sumes less en­ergy; hence, it ex­tends the life of the bat­tery and the PC,” adds Ra­jesh Gupta.

There are plenty of other rea­sons for choos­ing a SSD over a HDD. These in­clude the war­ranty, cost, ef­fi­ciency, etc. “Choos­ing a SSD can save you the cost of buy­ing a new PC by re­viv­ing the sys­tem you al­ready own,” adds Parekh.

A few op­tions to choose from

Many com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Kingston, ADATA and Sandisk, have launched their SSDs and it is quite a task try­ing to choose the best among them. Kingston has al­ways stood out in terms of de­liv­er­ing good prod­ucts to not just the In­dian mar­ket but world­wide. Ashu Mehro­tra, mar­ket­ing man­ager, ADATA, speaks about his firm’s SSDs: “ADATA has been putting a lot of re­sources into R&D for SSDs, be­cause of which its prod­ucts pro­vide unique ad­van­tages to cus­tomers.” Gupta says, “Sandisk is a com­pletely ver­ti­cally in­te­grated so­lu­tions provider and is also a key man­u­fac­turer of flash-based stor­age sys­tems, which are re­quired for SSDs. Be­cause of this, we are very con­scious about the cat­e­gories to be used in the SSD. We also make our own con­trollers and do our own in­te­gra­tion.”

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