Stands for "Solid State Drive." An SSD is a type of mass storage device similar to a Hard Disk Drive. It supports reading and writing data and maintains stored data in a permanent state even without power. Internal SSD's connect to a computer like a Hard Drive, using standard IDE or SATA connections.


While SSD's serve the same function as a HDD's(Hard Disk Drives), their internal components are much different. Unlike Hard Drives, SSD's do not have any moving parts (which is why they are called solid state drives). Instead of storing data on magnetic platters, SSD's store data using flash memory. Since SSD's have no moving parts, they don't have to "spin up" while in a sleep state and they don't need to move a drive head to different parts of the drive to access data. Therefore, SSD's can access data faster than HHD's. They also appear different in appearance as a conventional Computer Hard Drive is 3.5" (or 2.5" in a Laptop) SSD's are only 2.5" in size. In the photo below you will be able to see the Internal difference between the two drives.

SSD's have several other advantages over Hard Drives as well. For example, the read performance of a Hard Drive declines when data gets fragmented, or split up into multiple locations on the disk. The read performance of an SSD does not diminish based on where data is stored on the drive. Therefore defragmenting an SSD is not necessary. Since SSD's do not store data magnetically, they are not susceptible to data loss due to strong magnetic fields in close proximity to the drive. Additionally, since SSD's have no moving parts, there is far less chance of a mechanical breakdown. SSD's are also lighter, quieter, and use less power than hard drives. This is why SSD's have become a popular choice for laptop computers.

While SSD's have many advantages over HDD's, they also have some drawbacks. Since the SSD technology is much newer than traditional HDD technology, the price of SSD's is slightly higher. As of early 2011, SSD's cost about 10 times as much per GB(Gigabyte) as a HDD. Therefore, most SSD drives sold today have much smaller capacities than comparable HDD's. They also have a limited number or write cycles, which may cause their performance to degrade over time. Fortunately, newer SSD's have improved reliability and should last several years before any reduction in performance is noticeable. As the SSD technology improves and the prices continue to fall, it is likely that SSD's will begin to replace HDD's for most purposes.


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