Understanding Internal Solid State Drives
An internal solid state drive is your computer's primary data storage unit. It saves and retrieves all the processes that make the computer work. Because solid state drives (SSD) are based on flash technology rather than the spinning platters used in hard disk drives (HDDs), they access information more efficiently, and make your computer run faster.
While SSDs haven't caught up with traditional hard drives in storage capacity, 1TB SSDs are available, as are even larger sizes. If you need a significant amount of storage, such as in a disk array, an SSD can provide that, too. There are solid state arrays that work on their own or in combination with hard drive arrays.
What Is the Difference Between SSDs and HDDs
An SSD is one unit of memory chips, while a traditional internal hard disc drive features a platter that spins, and an arm with a read/write head. SSDs are usually physically smaller than internal hard drives and have a variety of form factors. You've experienced them as convenient thumb drives and in your cell phone.
Advantages of SSDs
Because SSDs aren't mechanical, they have no moving parts, giving them several advantages over HDDs.
- Less wear and more reliability
- More energy efficient
- Faster data processing
- Less easily damaged
- Less noise
With an SSD, your computer will boot and load programs faster. If your computer is a laptop, the energy efficiency of this type of drive means a longer battery life.
Can I Have an SSD and an HDD in One Computer?
If you enjoy the speed advantage of an SSD, but also need the economy or size of an HDD, you really can have it all. Hybrid drives combine an SSD and HDD in one unit. The SSD has less capacity than the HDD, but works with it to improve performance. If you want more control over the size of your SSD, and your computer has extra drive bays, you can add one or more solid state drives, such as 500GB SSDs. Another option would be portable solid state drives, which are external drives with plug-and-play capability.
Choosing an SSD
What type of drive you choose depends on your budget, how you use your computer, and if you're considering a new one or merely upgrading. If you don't need blazing speed, models at the bottom of the capacity range could work for you. If you're working with large graphics files or spreadsheets, 1TB SSDs or larger are appropriate. Also, opt for the higher end of the range if you need storage for games, movies, or photos. If you're doing an upgrade yourself, be sure you have the right slot and connection for the drive of your choice. Most major brands, such as Intel SSDs and Sandisk SDDs, will be available, so you should be able to go with a favorite.
SSDs combine speed and reliability in one compact unit. Whether you want to upgrade one component, or you need an entire system improvement, head to B&H Photo and Video to see the latest in SSD technology.