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What is a Solid State Hard Drive

When looking at the specifications of particularly high-end desktop and laptop computers, you'll often see solid state hard drives being referred to. They are frequently called "SSDs" for short. A solid state hard drive is a special type of hard disk which contains no moving parts. USB pen drives and flash memory card are an example of solid state devices. SSDs are much faster than standard hard drives of the type which are used in most computers, including laptops. They're also a lot more expensive and capacities are considerably lower.

Mostly favoured by performance enthusiasts, SSDs are certainly not without their disadvantages. The most obvious one is the enormous price difference. Per megabyte, SSDs cost around five to eight times more than their far more common counterparts. SSDs are also only available in smaller capacities, often making them unsuitable for storing large amounts of data such as extensive movie collection. In such cases, it's best to have a large regular hard drive for everyday storage in addition to an SSD. SSDs have a relatively low life-span as well, since they can only be written to a certain number of times, though this limit is normally high enough for it not to be a significant issue for most consumers.

The two main advantages of solid state drives are the speed and reliability. Because solid state drives (hence why they are referred to as "solid state") contain no moving parts, there is less that can go wrong with them. Having no moving parts also means that these drives are completely silent. By contrast, traditional hard drives contain spinning disks inside their metal enclosures and these can be somewhat noisy when the drive is in use. The other clear advantage of SSDs is the far greater speed. It's good to have your operating system, programs and games stored on the SSD and your personal data and multimedia collections stored on a regular hard drive. This will make your computer boot up much faster and games and applications will load far quicker than they will if they were loading up from a traditional hard disk.


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