Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Solid State Drive

This is the SSD that will be fitted into the netbook.

As you can probably see it is a Corsair S128: 128GB 2.5" SATA-II MLC SSD.

What those things mean in real life are:

  • Corsair S128 = model number of this drive
  • 128GB =  storage capacity
  • 2.5" = physical size of the drive. This is the size needed for the EeePC 1005HA as the 160GB HDD that it comes with is this size and therefore the hole when it is removed is this size.
  • SATA-II = Serial ATA = the interface for the SSD (or indeed HDD) to communicate with the motherboard. The II indicates that it is a 2nd generation SATA which allows faster transfer speeds. The 1005HA can take either SATA-I or II (as it can take SATA-II and it is backwards compatible)
  • MLC = multi level cell = I think this means that data is recorded on both sides of each cell inside the SSD rather than SLC (single level cell) where it is only recorded on 1 side.

I hope all of that makes sense!

The main reason for choosing a SSD is speed - the access time for a SSD is (apparently) ~0.1ms where as for a HDD you are looking at more like 12ms. This makes the SSD 120x faster than the HDD and supposedly they are as fast as RAM, which is very quick.

Other reasons for choosing an SSD are that there are no moving parts which means that you can shake one for example as much as you want and nothing will happen whereas if you do that with a HDD you will scratch the disk and make a mess. Also no moving parts means it is silent which is nice!

I was very surprised by how light the SSD was when I first picked it up but actually it is effectively like a load of USB memory sticks bolted together inside or like a piece of RAM. This SSD only weighs 72g whereas HDDs are over 100g.

As the SSD is essentially like RAM it uses very little battery - the average read/write consumption is 0.47W whereas a HDD is ~1.4W. This means that the EeePCs battery will last longer which is probably half the reason people are buying the 1005HA in the first place.

I think I have covered eveything and I hope that it all makes sense.

This SSD was bought for a very good price given the current prices for SSDs at the moment. It was bought from novatech.co.uk for £166.74 (inc. VAT) with free delivery which arrived in 2 days. All in all it was a very good service which I would definitely recommend.

I am really looking forward to installing this SSD into the netbook and seeing the advantages for myself! AJ

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