One product category that has grown rapidly in popularity recently is the Solid State Drive or SSD. By using an array of flash memory chips grouped together in a standard-sized enclosure, the SSD offers several benefits over a traditional hard disk drive. For one, they have no moving parts, so they operate completely free of noise. They also produce very little heat, which should make them ideal for use in tight spaces where cooling is a concern, like laptops and other portables. Their greater tolerance for vibration and shock are also a boon for notebook use, as is their lighter weight. However some models may actually draw more current than a traditional disk drive, depending on the power settings and idle control of the manufacturer.
The price of an SSD is its downside, costing upwards of four or five times as much for the same capacity attainable in a conventional hard drive. And not all SSD drives are created equal. There are two primary types, Single-Level Cell and Multi-Level Cell. MLC chips have a higher density but slower access speeds, and have been around for years in flash media, cell phones, MP3 players and USB drives. SLC chips cost more and have about half the capacity of MLCs, but with faster performance.
Can SSDs really take the place of conventional hard drives in today's computers? Join me as I take the Transcend TS32GSSD25S-M 32GB 2.5" SATA SSD for a spin to find out.