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What is a solid state drive?

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April 14, 2013 6:02:13 AM

what is a ssd? Do you really need it for your custom pc? How important is it in your pc? what does it do?

More about : solid state drive

April 14, 2013 6:12:46 AM

A SSD is like a HDD with no moving parts. It is based off of flash memory, like USB thumb drives and therefore is very, very fast compared to a standard hard drive. You do not HAVE to have one but having your OS on an SSD will massively increase boot speeds. Its common for a modern gaming PC to have a small (128-256gb) SSD with the OS and essential programs installed on it, with a large traditional hard drive for raw storage space.
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a b G Storage
April 14, 2013 6:13:36 AM

A solid state drive is a storage drive like a Hard drive but it does not have any moving parts, making it much faster in every respect to an HDD. It improves boot up and loading times of all files and game loading times. It does not however typically improve gaming performance.

An SSD is not a must on any system but it improves responsiveness and general use. I usually suggest not getting one if you are planning to game, the money is better spent on a faster graphics card.

Here is a longer explanation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive
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a c 797 G Storage
April 14, 2013 6:13:55 AM

gabatienza said:
what is a ssd? Do you really need it for your custom pc? How important is it in your pc? what does it do?


It is a new style of 'hard drive'. Somewhat similar to a USB stick, but larger and faster. No moving parts.
Far more expensive per GB than traditional spinning disk hard drives, but the performance increase is phenomenal.

It is not 'required', but if you're building a new PC from scratch, it would be a shame not to include one.
Wiki article here
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April 14, 2013 6:28:36 AM

Solid state technology generically means, you're restricting electrons from being held in vacuum tubes or gas chambers, but has been extended to include not using magnetic storage medium.

Thus, a solid state drive uses memory cells instead of magnetic storage. The most common form of this is in electrically erasable and programmable NAND gate flash memory arrays.

While they have their own shortcomings such as limited rewrite counts due to electron tunneling, the avoid the need to have moving parts, a requirement in magnetic storage due to it's great data density and the size and cost of read/write heads.

Processor and memory performance has unfortunately progressed at a rate leaps and bounds beyond magnetic storage when it comes to input/output performance, so if you were to stick with a conventional storage device with moving parts, your processor will remain idle waiting for data from it when it otherwise could have achieved its solution quicker.

Today's commodity SSDs have data transfer rates several times higher than the fastest magnetic storage devices and can locate data in a specific location several thousand times faster.

Depending on how you use your PC, it may be extremely important, or may be almost negligible. Some operations that easily show a difference is, booting the computer, installing programs, or scanning for viruses/malware. Also, working with large amounts of data on the same drive - not copying between different drives) will also show an enormous speed up.

Additionally, if your low on memory and your virtual memory is on your SSD, the system won't slow down as drastically.

However, if you just use your computer for web surfing and checking email, you'll hardly notice a difference for the majority of your use, just slightly faster boot times and launching the web browser.
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April 14, 2013 6:41:04 AM

Although a pc will work without an ssd, I would personally consider it essential. Nothing will transform your pc from a convenience and ease of use perspective, quite like an ssd.

PCs used to be a real pain to use, even with the fastest components, because they just felt slow. Since ssds became mainstream, a good PC is now a pleasure to use. It really makes that much difference.
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a c 797 G Storage
April 14, 2013 7:00:28 AM

bwrlane said:
Although a pc will work without an ssd, I would personally consider it essential. Nothing will transform your pc from a convenience and ease of use perspective, quite like an ssd.

PCs used to be a real pain to use, even with the fastest components, because they just felt slow. Since ssds became mainstream, a good PC is now a pleasure to use. It really makes that much difference.


Indeed. For instance...opening a moderately complex Excel spreadsheet. OS on one SSD, MS Office and the file on another.
To open the Excel worksheet is approx 1/3 second from click to ready. Previously, this would have been 5-10 seconds.
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