The State of Solid-State Drives

We Weigh In The Pros and Cons

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Looking for a new laptop? Perhaps a notably cool "netbook" may be on your list. You may have also started to notice a new hard drive option called, "solid-state drive" (or SSD for short) when you're custom building your new laptop and probably were wondering if they're right for you. Well, we've rounded up for a list of benefits in going the SSD route, as well as named a few minor drawbacks if you're looking to invest within the next few months. Let's take a look, shall we?

Benefits:

  • Quick start-up times
  • Faster reading and writing
  • Really low read latency (quicker application launching)
  • No noise whatsoever (no moving parts!)
  • Lower power consumption (longer battery life)
  • Lower risk of mechanical failure (again, because no moving parts)

Drawbacks:

  • Cost, for now
  • Limited write (erase) cycles (flash-memory cells will often wear out after 1,000-10,000 write cycles for MLC types, 100,000 for SLC types, and up to 1-5 million for higher-end business SSDs)
  • Slower writing speeds (installation of programs will probably get a big hit)

From the look of things, the numerous benefits do make them an appealing option when selecting a hard drive for your new computer. We imagine they'd make the best fit for home media center computers and "netbooks" due to their low power consumption and noiseless operation. Though, as far as pricing goes, it will be dependent on your own personal preference if the 10-15 seconds saved during boot-time, necessity of silent operation, and speedier application handling are worth the $70-$120 premium over standard spinning hard drives.

[via Wikipedia]