Newer, Faster SSDs Go Mainstream for Intel IT Laptops
How the first major change in hard drive technology in two decades impacts you
Hard drive technology has been evolving at a rapid pace over the last decade—more capacity, higher speeds and smaller sizes. But in the last couple of years, a whole new approach to storage technology has landed: the Intel® Solid-State Drive (Intel® SSD). These new SSDs are faster, lower power, and more reliable than the traditional magnetic media drives (a.k.a. hard disk drives or HDDs) that have been the standard for more than 20 years at Intel.
Here’s a high-level education about SSD technology to improve your “geek IQ, ” a look into why Intel IT is putting them in every new laptop PC at Intel (and retrofitting existing PCs), and a few other things you probably want to know about SSDs.
The nuts and bolts of hard drive and SSDs
First, some background on the hard drive. The classic hard drive has a motor that spins a set of platters that contain magnetic recording layers. Mechanical arms float just above the surface of the platters and read and write data (see Figure 1). Because of the moving parts, hard drives are sensitive to movement and vibration, and are especially vulnerable when they are powered on, which is why you can do a lot of damage by walking with your laptop powered on. Any heavy jolt to a running hard drive can cause the heads to strike the platters, which usually destroys the data stored there.
By comparison, an SSD uses solid-state memory chips to store data, similar to a portable flash drive or memory card. Because there are no moving parts, solid-state memory is more reliable, not susceptible o movement issues and can result in faster, smoother data exchange.
With no moving parts, the battery power required to run the drive is considerably less. In fact, research shows that in the same system, with the same user, doing the same tasks, you can get up to 60 minutes more battery life in a laptop with an SSD. But it’s not just the moving parts issue; an SSD also goes into a low-power state immediately once read/write activity is done, which is where a lot of the power savings comes from.
Read the full Newer, Faster SSDs Go Mainstream for Intel IT Laptops Technology Tips.