By now almost everyone who uses a computer is aware of the benefits of upgrading to a solid state disk (SSD) drive for their desktop or laptop computer. An SSD upgrade can singlehandedly make a shocking improvement in terms of system boot times and overall computer responsiveness. This is due to the lightning-fast data access speeds that solid state disk drives offer over traditional mechanical hard drives.
The term “solid state disk” refers to the lack of moving pieces in the drive. Mechanical hard drives rely on a system of spinning platters, spindles and read/write heads to seek out and access data. SSD drives can instantly seek and access data because it is stored in blocks that are much more accessible. The process of accessing and transferring data is a lot more direct and efficient overall. This results in significant time improvements in terms of:
- Loading an operating system
- Starting up and playing games
- Opening programs
- Saving files
Of course the benefits are only obtained for the programs and files that are actually stored on the SSD drive. The increased cost-per-gigabyte for SSD drives has led many users to purchase the lower capacity SSD drives and use them only for storing the operating system and other important files. Mechanical drives are much cheaper and offer higher storage capacities to accommodate other types of files such as media and video files.
SSD drives offer excellent reliability due to the elimination of moving parts. These drives are much less prone to failures than mechanical drives as a result.
The Fastest SSD Drives
Avid gamers and other power users may prefer drive performance above what a normal SSD drive will provide. The major manufacturers of SSD drives such as Crucial, Samsung, Kingston, SanDisk and others all have taken the latest solid state disk and controller technologies to create models that push the limits of possible read and write speeds.
These drives use the SATA 3 6GB/s interface as well as a number of other subtle tweaks to deliver the best possible performance for users. This translates to blistering fast game speeds and super-responsive HD video editing capabilities. The fastest SSD drives are almost always the higher-capacity drives and generally carry the largest price tags. There are also affordable SSD drives available that offer excellent transfer speeds for users on a budget.
Evaluating the Fastest SSD Drives
Online retailers are one of the best resources for finding and evaluating the fastest SSD drives available today. The best online computer component retailers will allow users that have purchased products to post extensive reviews and rate how the product performs. This can be essential for consumers who are looking to see how these drives live up to listed specifications under real-world use. Shoppers have access to a large selection of drives and a number of consumer reviews in order to make the best purchase possible. Online retailers also typically offer the best sale prices and provide the convenience of having the product shipped right to your door.