New Solid-State Hard Drives for Notebooks
Solid-state hard drives have always been faster than their disk-based counterparts. With no heads to move or platters to spin, solid-state hard drives offer the fastest storage space money can buy. Solid-state hard drives also use less power than traditional drives, making them ideal for mobile use. SanDisk’s G3 2.5-inch solid-state hard drives are intended for use in notebook computers.
Solid-state drives have been available for quite a few years, and have always been more expensive per gigabyte than disk-based drives. They used to cost thousands of dollars, and capacity was measured in megabytes rather than gigabytes. But today you can buy solid-state storage for just a few hundred dollars.
SanDisk’s G3 2.5-inch solid-state hard drives are available in capacities of 60GB (B&H #SASDS7CB60) and 120GB (B&H #SASDS7CB120). The G3 drives are twice as fast as 7200 rpm hard drives, a lot more rugged, and backed by a 10-year warranty. With read speeds up to 220MBps and write speeds up to 120MBps, your computer will boot faster and run faster, especially when you’re running disk-intensive applications. Having no moving parts also means that they are quieter than standard hard drives. With no heads to crash, solid-state hard drives are also more resistant to shock and vibration than standard disks.
I came across an interesting specification while researching these SanDisk hard drives that, at first, made it seem as though they wouldn’t last very long. The fact is that solid-state memory has a limited lifespan—the number of writes that can be made to each memory cell is finite.
According to SanDisk, the 120GB G3 drive can withstand at least 80 terabytes of data written to it over its lifetime. Also according to SanDisk, the average computer user writes about 4GB of data to disk per day. I’m not even sure it’s that much. Anyway, with an 80TB estimated lifespan, it would take 20,000 days, or about 55 years, at 4GB per day to “wear out” one of these solid-state drives. So there doesn’t seem to be much to worry about regarding the lifespan of these drives. I guess that’s why SanDisk backs them with a 10-year warranty.
SanDisk’s G3 solid-state drives feature 3Gbps SATA interfaces, so they can be dropped into notebook computers in the place of standard hard drives. If you’re interested in better performance from your notebook computer, these drives are a good place to start.