Examining the lifespan of Solid State Drives. It really is safe to say that Solid State Drives are gradually clearing out hard disk drives from the market, really there are two major reasons why HDDs still exist, they are cheaper and they have been around for a long so people feel they are more reliable.
How long do SSDs last?
This is obviously dependent on usage as using it carelessly will result in a shorter lifespan. Beyond placing a number on its lifespan, we also need to understand that every SSD has a terabytes written capacity allocated to it and once you have used it, you will need to purchase a new one.
SSDs have no moving parts, unlike the HDDs that have moving parts i.e., a spinning disk. SSDs write and store data faster than HDDs, so they have better performance and are more durable. SSDs are also not affected by magnetic fields; they can absorb more shocks and vibrations in comparison to HDDs.
Weighing Other Benefits of SSDs
The SSD is designed to ensure that writing and storing data does not require movement as everything in done using a flash mechanism, this design makes the hardware durable to withstand drops, severe temperatures and other things that are usually catastrophic for HDDs. There is also a reduction power consumption and heat production, making it appealing for people who use portable devices.
Understanding how SSDs work
SSDs use the NAND flash memory so there is a program-erase cycle. This means that there is usually a cycle of writing, erasing, and overwriting and every SSD can undergo. Usually referred to as cycles of P/E, an SSD can complete this cycle successfully between 500 -100,000 before it needs to be replaced. These cycles exist because no new information can be programmed into an SSD without removing an old one.
Types of SSDs
Still on the NAND cell technology of SSDs, there are four types:
- One bit per cell known as the Single Level Cell. This SSDs store only one bit so it is not necessary to keep track of electrons and all you have to look out for is level of voltage flow. In simple English, these types of SSDs are not suitable for heavy workload.
- Multi-level Cell which stores 2 bits per cell.
- Triple Level Cell, this stores 3 bits per cell.
- Quad Level Cell stores four bits cell.
What is the point of these categories? The higher the capacity to store bits, the higher the capacity to read data without producing so much heat.
3 Tips for maximising your SSD
Knowing the lifespan is not enough, you can take measures to ensure that it lasts, here are a few tips for maximising your SSD.
Reducing the amount of test runs: benchmarking the performance of one SSD to another is common for people who do tech reviews and sometimes regular users just want to know how fast the SSD really is by transferring data. As stated earlier, every SSD has a finite P/E cycle and for every use the cycle counts.
Understand that hibernation comes with a price: putting your system in hibernation, a file is created to ensure that your system stays the same way you left it, this file will cost your entire RAM and your SSD will be running to ensure your data stays. A better option is to put your PC to sleep.
Updating your Operating System makes a difference: the newer versions of operating systems are designed to accommodate SSDs making them perform better, so updating regularly is important.
Who should use an SSD?
SSDs just like HDDs have two categories: internal and external. For internal SSDs, when you purchase a new model of a PC especially Ultrabook, they almost always come with an SSD. There you have it, the first types of people that need SSDs are those that value portability and people who love advanced tech or new tech i.e., the technophiles.
Another set of people are those that love to enjoy the best performance a device has to offer. There are gamers that use desktops and because SSDs are not just for portable devices, these gamers love to use SSDs to ensure smoother game play and experience. Asides games, the video creators need high quality content, we are talking 4k and sometimes 8k and this is not really feasible on HDD.
SSD ensures an overall great performance and anyone with this need with the pockets to match should get one.
Sometimes just SSD is not enough
Well, considering the better portion of this article has been highlighting reason why SSD is amazing, the subtitle might be a bit confusing but let us explain. Now storage has two categories: offline and online, the former is a one time cost while the latter requires a subscription. The both have their advantage and disadvantage but that is not the focus of this article.
The point is SSDs with a storage capacity of 256GB is more expensive than HDD with 1TB and an SSD 8TB is expensive. So, for people with a lot of files that cannot afford a subscription but want to use a fast computing system, the solution is to have an SSD PC and also HDD external hard drive to store files.
Is there a huge price margin between SSD and HDDs?
Remember how this article pointed out how one of the few reasons that SSDs have not completely wiped out HDDs from the market is because of price? Well, this will become a non-issues overtime as more manufacturers keep producing SSDs, competition will cause a price reduction. However, currently an SSD costs at least $30 more than HDD.
How much does an SSD cost?
Prices vary according to needs but with $150, you can get a good SSD.
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