A Guide to Your SSD Options

New guide busts SSD myths and discusses how to get the best performance from your flash-based mass storage unit

February 10, 2009

2 Min Read
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Now that all of the hoopla has basically died down perhaps we can have an honest discussion about the state of solid state disks (SSDs).

In theory, you should already be aware that SSDs are not the next best thing to sliced bread. (Peanut butter is, except if you're allergic.) However, they do provide interesting -- and worthwhile -- transitional points for our current crop of netbooks and notebooks. Let's dive in and examine the genre, and bust a couple of myths while we're at it.

Myth 1: A Solid State Disk will boot faster than a mechanical hard drive.

This is true but it's partially smoke and mirrors as well. When SSDs first appeared, they were rather pathetic 8GB and 16GB devices. Not much fits in that size. Even at 32GB you'll still be somewhat cramped if you have hardware drivers and applications.

In fact, that's where SSDs got their initial reputation for fast boots. With no drivers or background software to load, most of what you had to wait through was your portable's BIOS, which probably took about 20 seconds, and then maybe another 35 seconds or so for the operating system.But when you get to 64GB or 80GB or 128GB -- and you have some room to feel confident about carrying the additional software you need around with you --you start to add time to the boot process. Depending on just how much you're loading, you'll probably be waiting at least an extra 15 seconds. To be fair, a similarly stocked mechanical drive can carry on for an additional 20 - 30 seconds and that's what you're paying to avoid with an SSD.

To read the rest of the myths, and other information on getting the most out of your SSD, see the full story

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