A Solid Start

hdd_vs_ssd

The purpose of this blog is simple: to evangelize and encourage the use of solid state (flash-based) storage in computers in. The benefits of solid state drives (SSDs) are substantial vs. traditional spinning hard disk drives (HDDs), but the specifics of those benefits and the experience of using SSDs is difficult to explain to the uninitiated. But because of the significance of those benefits on the use of computers, it’s worth the effort to communicate and make the case for SSDs.

There are wide array of SSDs available today, and the challenge today is to make the right decision among those choices. But it wasn’t always this way. SSDs have evolved from a niche technology with little mainstream appeal to one of the most important technological innovations that can change the way we use computers. Granted, that may sound a bit hyperbolic, but it’s a justified statement: even back in 2009, an SSD was perhaps one of the best upgrades you could get for your computer:

“Drives will get better and although we’re still looking at SSDs in their infancy, as a boot/application drive I still believe it’s the single best upgrade you can do to your machine today. I’ve moved all of my testbeds to SSDs as well as my personal desktop.”                      – Anand Shimpi

That quote is from the “SSD Anthology” on AnandTech.com, posted in 2009. The AnandTech.com site has been a veritable goldmine of SSD information and one from which this blog will draw considerably. But although the choices have become more nuanced and complex over the 4 years since Anand Shimpi composed that epic SSD Anthology, it is still a relatively young technology and market. There may be more “good” SSD choices out there, but making the right choice hasn’t necessarily become much easier (although in fairness the number of “good enough” drives out there has greatly increased).

It’s also an incredibly exciting time to bear witness to the technological innovations that leapfrog one another from generation to generation. In only two years, SSDs exceeded the capabilities of the SATA II interface. And within only about one year, it again reached the limits of the SATA III interface. We’re now getting to the point where entirely new direct PCI Express interfaces are being forged to handle the tremendous growth of SSD performance.

So, to make the most of an investment in an SSD (should you so choose to buy one), this blog aims to help you navigate those choices by providing both a general understanding of the benefits of SSDs and also specific recommendations of certain SSD models available. It’s a very exciting technology to learn about and evangelize, so I hope you’ll join me in this endeavor.

– Curtis Bunner

 

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