Are flash based hard drives any good yet?

Today I’ll try to answer a few questions about flash or solid state based hard drives. First and foremost, what is a flash based hard drive?

If you’ve ever messed with a digital camera and saved your pictures to an SD card or a Sony memory stick or any other type of flash based memory including thumb drives, then you know what flash is. It is a non-volatile type of storage.

Why would anyone want one as a hard drive?

Well for starters, the hard drives that we use now have moving parts in them which in turn create a lot of heat and often time’s failure. With flash or solid state drives, there are no moving parts therefore the heat that the drive produces is significantly reduced and the possibility for failure goes down significantly [since there are no moving parts]. On top of that, solid state drives are much faster than their predecessors, the platter based hard drives.

How fast are solid state drives?

The SSD drives are much faster during startup. There are no moving parts in the drive therefore when the drive does its seeking for the information, it doesn’t have to go through the entire disk from the outer platter to the inner platter and instead seeks it through the solid state media.

You should also see a significant increase in speed while opening applications.

What are the downsides of having a solid state drive?

Price, first and foremost, size and reliability down the line.

SSD drives are certainly going to be the future. How much longer until it catches on is unknown. With Seagate reporting that they’re going to discontinue making any more IDE drives, it looks like it’s coming sooner than later.