SanDisk creates some of the fastest Solid State Drives(SSD) in the world. Their new Extreme Pro series is amazingly fast, and has up to 1TB storage capacity. As time passes and the world becomes more and more complex, so increases the importance of understanding how things work. New technologies are being released at an ever-increasing rate. These advancements, like SanDisk’s Extreme Pro SSD, are becoming a large part of how everyday devices are being made, and used for that matter.
SSDs are an electronic storage device that stores data, similar to Hard Disk Drives(HDD), but without any moving parts. A normal HDD uses a spinning disk and magnetic media to store data. Solid State Drives, on the other hand, use semiconductor parts. The computers that most people use all come with chips inside. It is the chips on the motherboard of the computer however, that house the most important parts, like RAM (Random Access Memory) for example. RAM is used by the computer to store data needed by the system as it runs different programs. Technocrats refer to RAM as “volatile memory,” because once the computer is powered down it loses all the data stored on it. The type of memory used by SSDs is non-volatile as it does not get erased when powered down, it is also sometimes referred to as NAND memory. NAND memory is used in MP3 players and flash drives, as well as other devices.
Probably the most important reason to know what an SSD can do, is because of the speeds that it can reach when reading and writing data to memory. Usually a normal HDD read/write speed is measured in RPM, and most of the time 5,400-7,200 RPM is standard, but server speeds can be reached of up 15,000 RPM. At the standard RPM however, results produce roughly 20-120 MB/s data transfer speeds, whereas cutting edge commercial SSD tech, like SanDisk’s Extreme Pro, can reach speeds of up to 550MB/s. Understand that this is nearly five times as fast as the standard 7,200 RPM HDD. While currently a 1TB SSD is about as big as it gets, up to 4TB HDDs are available and pretty cheap by comparison. SanDisk’s 1TB Extreme Pro is currently going for a steep $700 USD, while a Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB 10,000 RPM HDD runs around $180 USD on Newegg. This Western Digital is a faster drive with a data transfer speed of about 200MB/s.
These two different types of drives are not the only ones that are currently available however. There is a third option called a Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). These drives are most often used for mass storage of media and on the HDD side, while the SSD portion is used to boot and handle the operating system. These however to tend to have a much smaller amount of SSD space, in order to maintain a reasonable price for consumers. There is a 1TB version currently available through Dell at around $130 USD. This particular SSHD boasts speeds five times faster than a standard 5,400 RPM HDD. As the technology improves, SSDs like SanDisk’s Extreme Pro will continue to drop in price, and allow for more people to enjoy this amazing technology. Until then HDD and SSHD technologies will continue to be a mainstay for most consumers.
By Phillip Schmidt