What is SSD?

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What is SSD?

The abbreviation “SSD” is a flash storage technology that will replace conventional hard drives in the long term. SSD means “Solid State Disk” or “Solid State Drive”, which in General could be translated as “Solid State Drive” or “Semiconductor Drive”. An SSD drive can be built into the computer and addressed like a conventional magnetic hard drive. However, an SSD uses semiconductor memory components and thus dispenses with the moving parts that are used in conventional hard drives. In the case of an SSD, the information is stored on flash modules. This is a non-volatile mass storage medium, as we already know it from memory cards, USB sticks, or MP3 players. Non-volatile means that the memory does not have to be permanently supplied with power to be able to retain the stored data. This allows computers that use an SSD, as well as a computer with a hard drive, to be switched off easily without losing any information. At the next start, all data will be available again. The main memory (RAM) of the computer, on the other hand, is volatile. If you switch off the computer, all information in the main memory is lost. The main memory (RAM) of the computer, on the other hand, is volatile. If you switch off the computer, all information in the main memory is lost. The main memory (RAM) of the computer, on the other hand, is volatile. If you switch off the computer, all information in the main memory is lost.

SSDs are currently an important topic in the global IT industry. Because after the introduction of the hard disk by IBM in 1956, there is now a legitimate successor in the form of the SSD. However, if you are toying with the new storage technology and the purchase of such a drive, you can easily get caught up in the thicket of countless offers, formats, connections, and technical terms such as TRIM, MLC, HSDL, or IOPS. How do you even find the right SSD and what should you pay attention to when buying? Read the answers here. The SSD expert of the OCZ Technology Group, Nico Stamp, explains the new technology in detail and gives tips on how to find the right SSD for every application.

What are the advantages of an SSD over an HDD?

Unlike magnetic hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts. In an SSD, the storage process is purely electronic. Technically speaking, you could think of an SSD as an oversized USB stick. The elimination of the sensitive motor bearings and read-write mechanics of hard disk drives (HDDs) results in significantly improved shock resistance and qualifies SSDs, especially for mobile use. The flash drives withstand drops and shocks with forces of up to 1500G. The advantages of an SSD compared to conventional hard disks are essentially mechanical robustness, very short access times, silent operation, lower weight, lower energy consumption, and therefore less waste heat.

What connections and formats do SSDs have?

Similar to HDDs, SSDs also have a wide range of different connections and formats. The manufacturers offer an SSD solution for every interface, regardless of whether IDE, SATA / II / III, SAS, eSATA, USB 2.0 / 3.0, LIF, ZIF, ExpressCard, PCI-Express, mini-PCI-Express, or even HSDL are required become. The number of different formats for all common areas of application is just as diverse. Most SSDs are produced in the 2.5-inch form factor – the common size for most notebook models. In addition, SSDs are built-in 1.0 inch, 1.8 inch, and 3.5-inch factors. In addition, the manufacturers offer PCI Express cards and external storage solutions. Because of this diversity, there is hardly an HDD that cannot be replaced by an SSD.

What transfer rates do SSDs achieve?

Since current SSDs easily exhaust the bandwidth of 300 MB / s of the widely used SATA-II interface, some manufacturers circumvent this bottleneck with PCI-Express-based RAID solutions. Here the components of several SSDs are installed together with a RAID controller on a PCI-E-x4 or -x8 card. Transfer rates of up to 1.4GB / s are possible. Furthermore, in September 2010, an open interface was presented with HSDL, which transports up to 2GB / s via PCI-Express and thus sets new standards, especially in the high-end area. At the beginning of January this year at CES 2011, some manufacturers presented new SSD models that rely on new controllers from Micron and Sandforce. The trend here is towards SATA-3, with which the SSDs presented there achieve transfer rates of up to 550 MB / s. With the study. “

What does RAID stand for?

RAID is the abbreviation for “Redundant Array of Independent Disks”. A RAID system organizes several physical drives on a computer into one logical drive. This allows a higher data availability in the event of failure of individual hard drives as well as a higher data throughput than a single drive. While most of the techniques and applications used in computers aim to avoid the occurrence of duplicate data (redundancies), redundant information is specifically generated in RAID systems. Thus, the RAID as a whole should retain its integrity and functionality in the event of the failure of individual components. However, this must not be equated with a data backup.

 In general, RAID was developed

The operation of a RAID system requires at least two SSDs. These are operated together in a network that is more powerful than individual SSDs from at least one aspect. Advantages would include:

  • Increase in reliability (redundancy, for example, RAID 1 or RAID 5).
  • Increase in transfer rates (performance, e.g. RAID 0).
  • Building large logical drives.
  • Replacing hard drives and increasing storage capacity while the system is running.
  • Cost reduction through the use of several inexpensive SSDs.

The exact way in which the SSDs interact is specified by the RAID level. The most common are RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5.

How do I find the right SSD?

Choosing the right SSD for your own needs depends largely on the areas of application. An enthusiastic gamer should be primarily interested in fast loading times. For example, one of the mentioned PCI Express solutions is recommended here, which in addition to rapid access times also provides more than sufficient bandwidth. These products are also of interest to professional users, for example in graphics and video processing, where large files are often transported. The range of modern PCI Express SSD solutions ensures smoother work with considerable time savings at this point.

For office and office applications, fast access times are more relevant than a large transfer bandwidth, so a good mid-range SSD based on MLC is suitable for this purpose.

For workstations or servers that run mission-critical applications, an enterprise SSD should be chosen, ideally a model with SLC NAND and Supercap. Above all, Supercap as a “mini-UPS” is a feature that should not be omitted in this application example.

The following recommendations can therefore be made:

  • Beginners: Inexpensive MLC SSD.
  • Office: mid-range MLC SSD.
  • Workstation with large data volumes: high-performance MLC SSD, preferably PCIe.
  • Gamer / Enthusiast: High-Performance MLC SSD.
  • Enterprise / Server: high-performance SLC SSD, preferably with a supercar.

What should users pay particular attention to when buying?
The main criterion when choosing a product should be the controller. The quality of the SSD stands or falls with the quality of the built-in controller. Current Indilinx and Sandforce controllers are particularly recommended, older controllers from other manufacturers sometimes had to struggle with performance drops. In addition to the quality of the hardware, the quality of the software is also crucial, in this case, the firmware of the SSD. Product support should also be a factor in the purchase decision. Regular firmware updates are a sign that the manufacturer is maintaining and improving its product.

Conclusion: SSD will replace hard drives

Finally, the time has come. Probably the oldest relic in computer history, the magnetic hard drive, can slowly look forward to a well-deserved retirement. The conventional hard drive will certainly remain with us as an inexpensive mass storage device for a few years. However, the hard drive was never more than a data warehouse. Hard drive development has been slow since it was born in 1956. In its latest evolution, it usually comes with 7200 RPM and a transfer rate of around 125MB / s. In the last few decades not much has changed due to technology – only capacities have increased continuously. In contrast, there was progress in the computing power of processors and graphics cards, here one superlative chased the next.

In the past two years, the SSD has matured into a mainstream product. The SSD has grown up, small teething problems have been cured and prices have dropped significantly. An inexpensive entry-level model is already available for around 50 Dollars.

In addition, the flash-based data carriers particularly impress with their performance data. High-end solutions achieve transfer rates of up to 1.4GB / s. In addition, SSDs promise a significant performance boost due to their fast access times. An SSD needs an average of 0.1 milliseconds (ms) to access a file. A conventional hard drive takes about 13 ms for this. Everyone knows what seems like an eternity that a hard drive takes to open a file or program. Accompanied by the rattling of the read head, the search begins on the platter, depending on the program, it may take a few seconds until the loading process is complete. This process in particular is extremely accelerated by SSDs. Simple programs such as browser or Word are ready for use almost immediately. The start of the operating system, loading a game, or opening a project file is much faster. Every user benefits from this quantum leap in terms of access times, regardless of whether they are an ambitious gamer, a system administrator, or a graphic designer. Shortened loading times meantime saved in any case.

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