Now that the new Samsung Series 9 laptop has been packaged and put in the mail via Ground shipping across the United States, all of you get to hear me talk about all of the pieces inside of it that make it so awesome. The first topic of discussion is the mSATA SSD Hard Drive.
mSATA SSD’s are the wave of the future as this world takes computers and electronics to a new miniature level. mSATA stands for Mini-SATA, which was announced on September 21, 2009 by the Serial ATA International Organization. Basically, this Mini-SATA connection takes an extremely tiny Solid State Drive (basically a Flash drive chip soldered to a green board) and serves as your primary hard drive for mostly all of the Ultrabooks out there today.
While older hard drives operate on spinning cylinders and disks, Solid State Drive’s have NAND flash memory that allows persistent data storage that is non-volatile. Basically, an SSD is very similar to what you find in your Memory chips (RAM), the difference is the non-volatile nature of SSD’s that allows data to persist in the case of power outages or spikes.
With these new drives, boot times can be taken to less than 10 seconds, Read and Write times are significantly reduced, and you don’t have to worry about read/write heads crashing into your disk and scraping your drives up, essentially wiping all of your data. And did I mention? Power consumption has dropped dramatically as the robotic mechanisms to spin and move arms is no longer required.
Do you remember the portable CD players and how it was important to get them with buffer time built in. A bump on the back of the bus or in a car would knock out your favorite Limp Bizkit song. You could barely take a portable CD player running because of all the movement. It’s literally the same concept with cylindrical hard disks. SSD’s were used heavily by the Army in the mid-90’s for the pure fact that they didn’t have to worry about that problem. And as our Laptops get smaller and lighter, we can move them around easier, we no longer have to worry about damaging our data either.
There’s a lot of good coming out of SSD’s. They are still pricey and standard hard disks can still pack much more data than an SSD for the price. But the equilibrium of price to space has dropped to such a level, that most of us can afford to use SSD’s in many of our basic computer applications / uses.