Team Group 16GB 2.5-inch IDE Solid State Drive (SSD) Tested
If you have ever experienced data loss on your computer, please put your hand up in the air now. Keep your hand raised, if the data you lost were so critical, that it almost made you pull the hair out of your scalp. Most of us who have been using computers for an extended amount of time have probably more than likely experienced hard drive failures or complete death, at least one time before.
But why does it keep happening and why does it seem to happen so often? We cannot really blame it on the hard drive companies, as they are restricted by certain technological constraints. At the same time though, consumer demand for storage capacity and speed is increasing and that adds extra pressure and stress, on current mechanical drive technology, as spindle speeds increase and transfer speeds get faster and faster. You are not likely to experience hard drive death if you go out and buy a drive today, but after long periods of use or without adequate cooling, you should probably start preparing for disaster.
As hard drives become bigger and bigger (Hitachi has a 1TB drive on the market now), they also become heavier. Add four 750GB Seagate drives to your case and you are talking over 3kg (or about 7 pounds) of extra weight. With more platters being squeezed inside regular 3.5-inch hard drives to increase capacity and provide faster transfer speeds, the drives are operating at higher temperatures - and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out heat is the worst enemy of any electrical component. We do not need to mention (crap, too late!) IBM's previous and quite shocking "Deathstar" range of drives several years ago, of which almost all died consistently after only about 2,000 hours when used without active cooling.
Several years ago companies started releasing USB pen drives which have reinvented the way stored data could be transported. USB pen drives (and other flash products, such as memory cards used in your digital camera) use NAND non-volatile flash memory, which is able to store and retain data even without power, making this type of memory very versatile. Pen drives were expensive at first release but now you can pick up a 1GB drive for just a few dollars, and flash memory prices are constantly decreasing. Not too long ago, some smart chap had the idea of replacing the aging hard disk drive bound with problems such as heat, size, weight, noise and mechanical failure with solid state technology. Instead of using a hard drive with moving parts, why not create a new type of drive, which is solid state and more reliable, using flash memory chips?
It has been said that, within the next ten years, SSD (Solid State Drives) will replace the aging hard drive, and in the interim HDD / SSD hybrids are likely to increase in popularity as the storage technology of choice. Today we get our first look at SSD technology as we check out Team Group's 16GB 2.5-inch notebook solid state disk. At 16GB the drive is not a monster when it comes to total storage capacity, but as we take a look at this pre-production product it should give us a good introduction to the potential of SSD technology.