One of the biggest changes in computer technology in recent years has been in the area of hard drive storage, particularly with the increased use of SSD (solid-state drives). SSD drives are hard drives that use NAND (nonvolatile flash memory) technology instead of traditional magnetic platter based hard drives. These drives are becoming more and more popular and are beginning to replace traditional hard drives in both laptop and desktop systems.
One of the biggest reasons for using an SSD drive over a traditional hard drive is the increased speed at which it can read and write data. Because SSD drives use flash memory, this memory can be accessed at very fast speeds, providing nearly instant read/write times. This increases the overall speed of the system significantly and provides a great improvement in system startup and shutdown times. These drives are also lightweight and use less power than traditional hard drives, which makes them ideal for laptops and other portable systems.
The other major factor when considering whether or not to use an SSD drive is the price. Up until recently, SSD drives were expensive when compared to magnetic platter based drives. As the cost has come down, the size of the drives have increased, making SSD drives more affordable. SSD drives are even becoming more widespread in the enterprise IT environment as well, being found in everything from servers to firewall devices and other IT security appliances.
Another reason for using SSD drives over traditional hard drives is their lack of disk defragmentation. With magnetic platter based hard drives, the data is written as the disk spins around in circles, which leads to files being written on different parts of the hard drive. Disk defragmentation allows those pieces to be consolidated together and speeds up the access time needed to read those files. But with SSD drives, there is no defragmentation, as the files are written to flash memory, and the data is always stored in its proper sequence.
As prices continue to drop and the size of SSD drives increases, SSD adoption will continue to improve. The investment in SSD drives is worth the cost, and their use will continue to become more mainstream as technology improves.