Solid State Drives Are The Future
Solid state drives are one of the few bright spots in the PC marketplace these days. Even though sales of PCs are trending downward, consumers are getting excited about SSDs, due to the benefits they offer over traditional magnetic hard drives. Here's what you need to know…
Should You Upgrade to SSD?
While PC shipments plummeted more than 6% in the first quarter of 2016, sales of SSDs mushroomed by 29%, amounting to nearly 31 million units sold. Solid-state hard drives offer increased speed, reliability and can save energy as well.
The price of NAND memory used in SSDs is falling steadily. Today, you can buy a 120 GB SSD for about $40 at Amazon. That makes an SSD’s blazing speed, quiet operation, and energy efficiency very affordable. Many consumers are buying SSDs as system drives, and storing their data on traditional magnetic media.
Samsung thoroughly dominates the SSD market with over 40% market share, and in second place is Sandisk, with 12.8% of Q1 shipments. Lite-On, which sells under the names Lite-On and Plextor, came in third with 11.4%. Kingston Technologies, the well-known DRAM maker, finished fourth in SSD shipments with 10.8% of the market.
And now, here comes another formidable competitor: Western Digital, a company whose name is synonymous with hard drives. WD acquired Sandisk in May, 2016, and has been busy integrating the two firms’ tech and operations. The first fruit of this mating is just coming to market.
The WD Blue SATA SSD for PCs comes in three capacities and list prices: 250 GB for $87; 500 GB for $150; and 1 TB for $300. (Prices are significantly lower at Amazon.) The Blue reads data at up to 545 MB/sec. and writes at up to 525 MB/sec. The Blue SSDs also promise much longer lifespans than most competitors. The 1 TB Blue has an endurance rating of 400 TB written; in comparison, Samsung’s 1 TB EVO 850 SSD is rated up to 150 TBW. The Blue SSDs also claim a mean time between failures of 1.75 million hours -- almost 200 years!
Green and Growing
The WD Green SSDs are engineered to save energy. The Green SSD will be released by the end of 2016, according to Western Digital. It will come in 120 GB and 240 GB capacities. Pricing has not yet been determined.
SSDs are predicted to continue their torrid growth. Prices will decline even further as sales volume increases, and as technological innovations such as 3D TLC (triple-level cell) enable more data in the same space. All mobile devices employ SSDs, and users have become accustomed to instant-on and rapidly responding apps. They want that speed on their desktops, too.
When I bought a new desktop computer back in May, the first thing I did was order an SSD drive to replace the 500GB hard drive that shipped with my Dell Optiplex. I opted for a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO. It came with software called Samsung Data Migration, which made it super-easy to transfer everything from my existing hard drive, and make the new SSD my primary C: drive.
The result was pretty dramatic. Startup time was reduced by more than half, programs open quicker, and everything just works faster. That's especially true when I have multiple programs and/or many browser tabs open at once. At current prices and capacities, I would recommend a solid-state drive as an excellent investment for any PC or Mac owner.
I could have used my old magnetic hard drive as a place to store music or photos, but there's plenty of room on the SSD, so that wasn't necessary. I also thought about removing it and getting an enclosure kit that would turn it into an external drive for backups. But I already have two external drives. So the old drive is relegated to the task of storing nightly clone backups. If the SSD should ever fail, I would simply unplug it and boot up with the other drive, with little or no data loss.
Of course, I also do weekly image and nightly incremental backups to an external hard drive. See my ebook Everything You Need to Know About Backups http://data-disaster.com/ to learn why I keep multiple redundant backups, and how to implement a backup strategy of your own.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 31 Oct 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Solid State Drives Are The Future (Posted: 31 Oct 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved