Storage forum: Is there a solid-state drive (SSD) in your future computer?

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) July 20, 2012 4:26 PM PDT

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Is there a solid-state drive (SSD) in your future computer?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 7/20/12 4:26 PM

Question:
Is there a solid-state drive (SSD) in your future computer?


Hello everyone. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are rapidly becoming the
main drive in PCs (not just a boot drive for the OS) as a factory
install or DIY upgrade. They are lighter, noiseless, don't generate
heat, consume less energy (extending battery life), are incredibly fast,
and seemly indestructible versus their spinning HD cousins.

Granted, most factory-installed SSDs top out at 256GB (ultrabooks and
MacBook Airs) with a few at 512GB. Aftermarket prices range from
$0.82 to $1.36 per GB. That translates into $104 for a 128GB SSD to
$696 for a 512GB SSD (depending upon the manufacturer). A Crucial M4
series 512GB SSD (highly rated) can be had for about $400. As you can
see, a little careful shopping can net you a pretty good deal on some
state-of-the-art technology.

Laptops are outselling towers as most people want mobility. However,
that mobility comes at a price. A factory-installed SSD can increase
the price of an $800 - $1,000 laptop by about $400 (regardless of Gb
capacity). Because of cost, most buyers forego the SSD option.
However, with technology changing so rapidly that $800 - $1,000 laptop
is yesterday's news in six months. But it's still cutting-edge
technology!

One way to make that one-year-old laptop seem like new is to
install a SSD. As a matter of full disclosure, in the beginning SSDs
had a reputation for not handling data storage efficiently. Put
simply they weren't able to properly recapture/reallocate space
wherein something had been deleted. TRIM and Garbage Collection
technologies (plus any other manufacturer proprietary schemes
introduced into the SSD controller) have greatly minimized those
concerns. By comparison, the old-fashioned (well, may be not old-fashioned)
spinning HD is prone to developing "Bad Sectors," which makes that
portion of the drive unreadable/unwriteable. SSDs today have
similar MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) ratings as spinning HD's.

Now, the questions to you are (in any order you choose to answer):

1. Do you see an SSD in your future or do you have one already?

2. Was your SSD part of a new PC purchase or DIY upgrade?

3. If you made the switch, what's your satisfaction level on a scale of
1 to 5 (5 being the highest)?

4. If the switch was a DIY upgrade, what brand and size (GB) did you
choose and why?

5. Do you feel the SSD technology is ready for "primetime?" Why it is
or why not?

In case you're wondering, I upgraded my early 2011 MBP 17-inch with a 750
GB spinning HD to an OCZ Vertex 4 SATA III- 512Gb 2.5-inch SSD and I'm
loving it!

Remember, your answers may help fellow members make up their minds to
take the SSD plunge, or not. So, be as accurate/honest as possible and
try to keep the techno-babble to a minimum for the sake of the
uninitiated. Thanks in advance!

-Submitted by: Aaron J.

UPDATED on 7/27/2012: Please read Aaron's thank you note, feedback, and well summed up analysis of members contributions to this topic:
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7588_102-5340608.html

Note from Lee: A big thank you Aaron for this follow up response from you. It is just spectacular! I appreciate it and I think all of members here will too! Thanks again Aaron!

-Lee

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