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Intel SSD

Intel SSD

Ann Mahdy is a Communicatons and Public Relations Manager for Lenovo

A few years ago, Solid State Drives started appearing in laptops. Costs were high and capacity was low, and most of the industry stuck with good old-fashioned Hard Disk Drives. Now that it’s 2012, it’s time to rethink the drives you and your customers are using. After all, HDD has been around for a long time (since 1956) so it is not surprising that there is a new drive on the block.

So what is the difference between the two drives?

To assist in sorting this out we posed a number of questions to Annabelle Thuan, Lenovo SMB Marketing Manager.

AM: What is the difference between SSD and HDD?

AT: The main difference in the technology is that solid state is a flash-based storage and has no moving parts, while hard disk drives are electromechanical and have a moving component called a spinning platter. As you might expect, with no moving pieces, SDD is more reliable and durable because it can better absorb shock from laptops’ bumps and drops.

The other big difference is speed. SSD is much faster because it is NAND memory. This means that data can be located instantaneously by address. HDD, on the other hand, has a two-step process to access the information. The first is that it needs to “seek” the right track on the disk, and the second is that it needs to spin to the right part of the track. This causes a slight delay compared to solid states.

Side by Side Comparison Chart

Hard Disk drives Solid-State Drives

Rotating platters and mechanical arms = comparatively fragile construction

No moving parts = more rugged construction

High energy consumption = reduced battery life

Low energy consumption = prolonged battery life and cooler system

Increased file fragmentation = decreased performance

Fragmentation not an issue;
result is consistent performance

Greater risk of data loss and hard drive failure when transported

Little or no risk of data loss; resistant to mobile users’ expected bumps and drops

Drive spin-up time and mechanical arm movement = comparatively slow responsiveness and performance

No drive spin-up time, no mechanical arm movement, minimal latency = fast responsiveness and performance

AM: What are the advantages of SSD and why would a customer prefer it over HDD?

AT: Customers are probably more familiar with SSD technology when they think of digital cameras or mobile phones, but they’ve been gaining market in laptops for a few reasons. The four major advantages of SSD over HDD are:

1) increased reliability and durability- as described above, no moving parts = less wear and tear

2) better performance- faster response times for data retrieval and improved user efficiency

3) smaller form factor- provides the opportunity to build a laptop with a sleeker look and lighter weight

4) longer battery life- SSDs use 20% less power than HDDs, providing a cooler system, lower expense from electricity consumption for charging and a longer battery life overall.

AM: What market sector would benefit the most in having SSD in their PC's?

AT: SMBs can definitely benefit from solid state drive technology, but there are other market factors per sector that will make sales more prevalent in some over others. With healthcare switching over to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR), solid states could play really well in that sector due to the reliability and durability of SSD. There could be a boom in SSD sales in this sector in 2012 because Obama’s Hi-Tech Act incentives are set to diminish at the end of this year and the industry is trying to determine the best solution for data storage.

AM: Will there come a point when all computers have SSD? In other words will HDD become obsolete?

AT: As the industry stands now, there is a proven market for both SSD and HDD. Ultimately this will become a question of capacity versus cost, and the consideration of customer needs. SSD costs have declined significantly since they launched, but there is still a pricing gap over HDD. As long as that gap stays in place, HDD’s won’t become obsolete.

AM: So is SSD available in all your laptops?

AT: We are offering our customers the opportunity to upgrade to a 160GB SSD on specific T420 and T520 laptops for free (Stay tuned for Xseries updates…). This upgrade to solid state drive on ThinkPad Tseries will increase your laptop’s reliability, performance capabilities and battery life. In addition there is also the added value that it will come in a smaller form factor and will generally require less than 1/2 or 1/3 the power of its hard disk drive counterpart. To find out more about this offer and the benefits of SSD, partners can check out our partner portal at www.lenovopartnernetwork.com

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