View Full Version : Solid State Hard Drive vs. 7200 rpm drive - difference?

06 June 2007, 02:11 AM
I'm thinking of getting a new laptop in the next few months and was contemplating if I should still use my 7200 rpm laptop drive or should I go to a solid state drive. I was thinking 8GB should be fine as I will only be using the drive as an OS drive - everything else will go onto my file server.

But when I was looking at the spec on this one website, it said transfer was 15 to 20MB a sec.... that doesn't look right - does it? That makes no sense comparing to a ATA100 drive throughput.... ideas?

06 June 2007, 05:28 AM
SSD's can be slow or fast. I've seen some that are up around the 40 to 50MB/s range.

There are 2 primary advantages you will see with solid state drives.

1) Higher MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) than traditional spinning platter storage due to no moving parts
2) Much lower data access latency

Where latency becomes an issue is with multiple random I/O operations. On a standard hard disk, you might have an average latency of 5ms because of the time it takes for the reading arm to reach the relevant sector on the disk to retreive data.

On SSD's, the latency is measured in nanoseconds. In other words, if the operating system is loading at boot, you hear the hard drive crunching a lot, wasting valuble transfer speed due to seek time latencies. With SSD, an operating system can boot in a fraction of the time, even if the transfer rate were slower, simply because it can retrieve additional data instantly.

06 June 2007, 06:32 AM
So comparing a 7200rpm drive with a SSD drive, the OS would launch faster and all but would my overall computing experience also benefit from the drive? The only thing I would be doing is office related stuff: word processing, email, internet, music, and occasional videos. Nothing CG, but I probably will do a lot of photoshop but no large files .... website stuff mostly.

06 June 2007, 11:54 AM
pretty interesting topic!

06 June 2007, 12:13 PM
I'll say one things. Lower Power Consumption. All that drive spinning uses a lot of juice.

06 June 2007, 12:55 PM
As mentioned already, solid state drivers offer a few things.

1) Seek time in the nano second rather than miliseconds.
2) No moving parts, so it is possible that it will last longer
3) immune to common drops or shocks (the hitting variety not electrical :P, Naturally it will get damaged if the force is great enough, but its much higher for solid state drives than traditional hard disks)
4) Battery time. The only energy needed to store or retrieve data is to flip the bit or read from it. There is no power needed in spinning a mechanical platter, and then have a drive head rapidly go back and forth. The HD is one of the biggest power suckers in today's laptops.

If you wanna see how fast that read head goes check this video out :)

5) When nand memory evolves a bit more (or is replaced by something else) it should begin to speed up. Keep in mind that traditional hard drives are marketed as their PEAK performance. Day to day average usage general hits around the numbers you speak of 20-60MB/s depending on the drive (excluding high performance drives :P) I'm not sure about SSDs, but I would imagine that their peak performance is much easier to maintain, as it envolves no moving parts

06 June 2007, 05:22 PM
That was a pretty interesting video ... My eyeball got glued to the monitor... then those "magic messages popped up.." lol.

But yeah, that's true that these traditional drives are marketed at their peak performance. I'm very tempted to purchase one of these SSD's when I upgrade my laptop. I definitely like the benefits of low power consumption, noise, and so on. I'm just having a hard time picturing the performance difference in terms of data throughput rates while running apps and loading files.

So since I'm on the subject of laptops and drives, this is what I'm planning on getting:

LifeBook P7230 Notebook
•Intel® Core Solo U1400 Ultra Low Voltage Processor (1.20 GHz, 2 MB L2 cache, 533 MHz FSB)•Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Basic with
Microsoft® Works 8.5•10.6" Crystal View wide XGA display•1 GB (1 GBx1); DDR2 667 MHz SO-DIMM (one DIMM slot) memory•40 GB P-ATA 100, 4200 rpm, shock-mounted1 hard drive•Multinational2 56K3 V.90 modem and Gigabit Ethernet LAN•Atheros Super AG® Wireless LAN (Tri-mode 802.11a/b/g)•Modular DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive •Embedded TPM and Fingerprint Sensor•Dual digital microphone array with noise cancellation•Main battery: Lithium ion (6-cell, 10.8V, 5700 mAh, rated up to 6 hours4)•Leather White color•One-year International Limited Warranty •M-Code: FPCM21122

I will actually be getting the modular battery too, to replace the CD ROM drive, giving me double battery capacity. And with the SSD flash drive ... wow, long battery. But again, throughput?

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06 June 2007, 05:22 PM
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