What Is An SSD And How Does It Work?
One of the most significant advancements of the new console generation, specifically the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, is the addition of solid-state drives (SSDs.) The near-instant transfer of stored information by these drives is an immense leap forward, opening up an ocean of possibilities.
But what exactly is an SSD, why is it important, and why is it perhaps the biggest leap forward in technology in the past decade?
For the longest time optical drives, also referred to as magnetic drives or hard disk drives, were the accepted standard for data storage. These drives rely on a spinning disk, plus a head, to read permanently stored information. Compact disks and DVDs work in a very similar way, although are a modified version.
The problem is that such devices are significantly hindered by the fact that they utilise mechanical parts. The device is limited by the speed at which the disk can spin, and the efficiency with which a reading head can transfer information. The only way to increase speed and efficiency is to remove the mechanical parts and replace them with something significantly more versatile. Namely; microchips.
Internet browsing doesn’t require fast transfer rates, so you can check out horse racing betting online regardless if you have an SSD or not.
No Moving Parts
As opposed to hard drives, solid-state drives store information via microchips. Interestingly enough, and against common misconception, such technology was used decades ago. It can be seen in the cartridge-based consoles decades ago, as well as in PCs even prior to that, in the form of RAM. The problem has always been the severely limited storage space of SSDs, given the cumbersome size of the chips used.
As technology has advanced, however, it has become possible to store more and more information on smaller microchips. Now it is possible for SSDs to hold terabytes of information, while still retaining incredibly fast transfer rates. Since no mechanic disk must be spun, the drives can transfer information at near instantiations rates.
It doesn’t take much to understand the benefits of instantaneous data transfer. Waiting for load screens is done away with almost entirely, which is especially beneficial for gamers. Selecting a game, and jumping right into the action within seconds is not only possible but the standard. Load times between levels are also reduced to the point of being non-existent. Or, if a game is designed well, there will be no load times during gameplay at all.
Similar benefits apply to those who use their PCs for work. Overall work performance is improved dramatically, given that little time is wasted waiting for files to load, or even for the workstation to load the operating system.
The only drawback is that, presently, solid-state drives are not particularly cheap. But as they become more widely adopted, prices will inevitably drop. So it is only a matter of time before these faster drives become the inevitable new standard.