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solid state


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#1 Murrar

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 05:58 PM

I am planning to buy a new computer. Solid state computers have no motor and no fan. Are these computers reliable? Thank you.

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#2 stealthchicken75

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:59 PM

What are you looking at? Solid State generally refers to anything with no moving parts. The biggest buzz around solid state right now is in reference to Solid State Drives, hard drives based on Flash Memory. You could build a "Solid State" computer that had no fans, but you'd have to have some method of cooling your components (or use components that don't generate enough heat to necessitate cooling). If you did have parts that didn't require much cooling, they're not likely to put out much in terms of performance.

The real question is what would you really gain by building such a PC and even more important, what would you have to give up?

If you're actually referring to SSDs, then they CAN be a lot faster than conventional drives. Although any good SSD is going to be A LOT more expensive than a standard one.

Edited by stealthchicken75, 10 August 2009 - 07:42 PM.


#3 Vaerli

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 07:40 PM

Solid state computers? I know of no such thing, and if they do exist, they're extremely expensive, and not on the general marketplace.

In the terms of Solid State Hard drives, then they are a major plus, but very expensive. If you're willing to dish out the money for them, then you're going to get a nice hard drive that won't mess up even if you drop the laptop. Even laptops with these SSDs have fans to cool down the processor.

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#4 rigacci

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 03:45 PM

SSDs (Solid State Drives) can be neat but you need to see how many times they can be written to. For now, they are still developing and the write rate is not very good. I believe it is a few million times but a computer can do that in just a short while.

I would wait until they are fully developed instead of being one of their guinea pigs.

Good luck.

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#5 Dennis the Menace

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:21 PM

I believe that many years ago DEC designed a kind of hardened laptop for the Military known as a GRID. It featured 'bubble memory' for a fixed disk and if I remember correctly it could be dropped out of an aircraft and still usable by the troops on the ground. I don't know what ever happened to the project. Perhaps what we are calling 'flash' today is what was called 'bubble' years ago. I believe this was in the 1970's or early 80's. Been a while, sorry I cannot recall much more. I moved out of that division to chase even wilder technology.

#6 garmanma

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:28 PM

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#7 aocvirek

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:13 PM

Solid state drives are sort of becoming a question in my mind. A few months ago, I started looking into purchasing a new computer (Mine is pushing 8 years now, and I can't upgrade anymore with an obsolete motherboard.) and based on the performance and touted data security improvements, I wasn't even considering rotary drives anymore.

Then I started finding a bunch of articles that raised a lot of doubts in my mind. First, the sales pitch...

Solid State Drive: (PROS)

1.) Vastly higher access rates than Conventional HD's (CHD's from here on).
- Single SSD's match or exceed CHD's at 7,200 - 10,000 rpm HD's with RAID 0 configurations.
- RAID 0 configured SSD's see performance increases of as much as 30-40% over 10,000 rpm RAID 0 CHD's.

2.) Better heat tolerance. With no moving parts, flash drives generate less heat, and can run at higher temperatures then CHD's.

3.) Less susceptible to damage, given the lack of moving parts and heat tolerance, as mentioned above.

4.) No performance degradation as the drive is filled. It operates just as efficiently at 100% as 50% full.

5.) Lack of moving parts or loud spin-up means a quieter machine.

6.) SSD's are highly reliable and do not have the failure and data-loss issues of CHD's. They virtually last forever, and coupled with RAID 1 mirroring, are the ultimate protection against data-loss. (NOTE: This is the claim being called into question below.)

Solid State Drive: (CONS)

1.) More expensive than CHD's.

2.) Less storage space, and less space per dollar, than CHD's.

The issues I have been hearing about:

I have recently been reading articles from several hardware experts who claim that SSD's have some serious flaws in their design. According to some, there have been alarmingly high numbers of SSD's "locking up", so that the drive is not accessible. The data is intact, but cannot be extracted from the drive. And based on the review of one author (from CNET I think) this has been happening with alarming frequency.

Based on this, I am somewhat wary of SSD's, and am holding off on buying anything for a while longer. Hopefully, the issue will either be addressed, or more information will become available on it.

If you can't wait, then I would decide based on your needs.

- If you are looking for high performance (Gaming) and you don't plan on keeping any files on the system that you can't afford to lose (or you have an external/additional drive you can back your important stuff up on.) than I would probably recommend SSD for it. But make sure to get a solid warranty that will cover HD failure.

- If it is a business machine, or if you keep a lot of stuff you can't afford to lose (or you don't have an external drive) I would recommend a CHD instead, with RAID 1 if you can afford it.

That's my take on it.

#8 Moby Purple

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:19 PM

I tend to agree with aocvirek. If you had asked me a year or two ago, I would have said SSD's are the future and would eventually replace CHD's totally and forever. Now, I'm not so sure. They still look promising, maybe they are the future, but as of now, they are still too expensive and unreliable for my taste.

#9 aocvirek

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 01:19 AM

On Moby Purple's point, I would agree with the likely future for SSD's. I can gurantee that Solid State Technology is going to be the future of computing. The concept of a hard drive that has no moving parts and the advantages associated with it are just too compelling to abandon.

The issue is not the concept of Solid State technology, but it's implementation. To that, most experts seem to agree that the problems with SSD's are mostly due to the limitations and issues inherant in Flash Memory as a medium for SSD construction. When the possibility of constructing Solid State storage devices using better mediums than giant chunks of Flash Memory become avaliable to the public, that will become the future of data storage.

However, you probably don't want to wait until holographic matrix solid state storage, heat impervious diamond based chip technology, and tactile-optic integration VR interfaces are perfected and released to the mainstream market before you purchase your next computer.

So, you have my, Moby, and Rigacci's opinions on the issue so far. In the words of a really old Knight from Indiana Jones, "choose wisely."




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