Every once in a while I treat myself to a new toy. This time it was a Solid State Drive, SSD, or a computer disk with no moving parts based on flash memory technology. I replaced the existing 120 GB regular drive in my 5-year-old Toshiba laptop with the SSD, created a partition on it, and cloned the old drive to it. One thing I forgot to do was to time the startup before and after (and you call yourself an engineer. ed.), but the improvement is spectacular. WORD loads in the blink of an eye, literally as do most other applications.
This laptop had my navigation program on it and I use it as a chartplotter on my sailboat. I have attempted to isolate the laptop from vibration, and think I might have lost a hard drive to vibration in 2004, but the new setup should
Defragmentation is a thing of the past since the device is random access. No arms to move over the disk surface. No rotational latency. I’m in love.
The only caveat that I can see is that flash technology has a limited number of write cycles per bit, but from what I’ve read about the devices is that they have some smarts inside that moves the changes around, so, for example, your paging file or your System registry file is not always in the same spot.
Another new technology that bears looking into is the hybrid drive. Instead of having the whole drive be flash memory only 4 or 8 GB are flash which acts as a cache for a regular disk. The disk drive copies to the flash memory those things that are used often like operating system files and your main applications. Hybrid drives can be as big as you want. These are very price competitive with the high speed 10,000 rpm and 15,000 rpm drives.