Solid State Drives are storage devices of many computer systems these days. They are build into netbooks for example, are offered by web hosts to run in dedicated servers, or purchased by tech enthusiasts. SSD are basically a new generation of hard drives which will eventually replace the existing ones that are build into the majority of computer right now.
Note: The article was written when Solid State Drives were in their infancy. Performance was not all that good back then, but things have changed significantly in the past couple of years. Many of the solutions of this article are no longer needed if you run newer generation SSDs.
This will take some time as SSDs are currently more expensive even though they provide less storage than conventional hard drives. Positive features are faster speeds, silence while running, and better shock resistance.
Their biggest downfall besides the price is the write speed which can be low. So low that it will slow down the computer system when data is written on that drive. Many programs, including web browsers, email programs, editors but also the operating system itself cache data on the hard drive or use the hard drive to store temporary data. That's a problem if the cache folder of that application is located on the Solid State.
What can be done to speed up the overall computer system?
Most of these tips center around moving the cache to a new hard drive and disabling features that slow down the computer system. If you cannot install a second hard drive to the computer system you might consider adding a fast external device that can be used for caching. The downside of this method is that you need to have it near the computer system all the time which can be annoying if the system is mostly used on the road.
Another option that you have is to use a RAMDisk, provided that you have enough RAM to use one efficiently for caching for instance.
Newer Solid State Drives (check the OCZ Vertex review for instance) are slowly introduced that beat conventional hard drives fair and square both in write and read performance. They come at a price though but this is going to change in the future. Prices will drop, capacities increase and the slower SSD will slowly cease to exist.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.