While SSDs have been around for a while, now, their use has largely been confined to notebooks, thanks largely to their relatively small size. Compared to traditional rotating magnetic media, SSDs simply have been able to offer enough storage to make their high cost worth it. That’s finally starting to change.
Samsung announced last week, and Micron announced today, that their respective companies were beginning production of a 256GB solid state disk drive. Now desktop owners can buy an SSD an enjoy the lower power usage and essentially silent operation. The new Micron drive will bring a read speed of 250MBps and write speed of 100MBps to the table, which compares very favorably to standard hard drives. Until you look more closely at the Samsung drive, that is. Samsung is promising that their new 256GB drive can read read speeds of 220MBps but write speeds of a whopping 200MBps. Intel is promising a 160GB version this quarter of their 80GB drive that has been getting rave reviews all over the internet. No pricing has yet been released for any of these drives.
While desktop owners have always been able to put a couple of these flash drives together in a RAID 0 configuration or use one SSD and a massive storage drive, it always adds unwanted complexity to a build. As SSDs start doubling ever over in capacity, we’ll start to see them being used more and more in the desktop segment. Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC, mentions on his blog that he uses two of the Intel 80GB drives in his desktop. The high read and write speeds of these drives offer significant performance improvements for desktop owners, as when waking up from hibernation or first booting up. It wouldn’t surprise me to see, before too long, major manufacturers offering systems with dual storage technology, such as 256GB (or even 512, soon enough) solid state drive for the OS and scratch access and a 1 or 1.5TB rotating magnetic drive used for mass storage.