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July 6th, 2010

About the slowest thing your computer has to contend with is the hard drive. While CPUs are in the nanosecond range, hard drive access is measured in thousandths of a second, quite slow in the world of light-speed processors. On top of that, most computers crash because of hard drive problems, as they are extremely complicated eletromechanical beasts. Want to work faster? Want to say goodbye to hard drive crashes? You will, with Solid State Drives (SSDs), which represent the next step in storage evolution.

The future has already started, and CRE is on the leading edge once again with MacBook Pro rentals equipped with this superfast memory. It will take some time for the prices to come down to “old-fashioned” hard drive levels, but now that SSDs are being mass-manufactured it is happening just like it did before. More and more computer makers are offering them as options. But the really astonishing thing is this: SSDs address just about every weakness of standard hard drives, and will completely replace them in the future. SSDs really are amazing, which is why they are taking over, and soon!

How Solid State Drives work

Solid State Drive (SSD)As opposed to those older hard drives, SSDs are simply gargantuan versions of NAND flash memory like the SecureDigital card that goes in your camera, the USB thumb drive you use for your sneakernet, and the memory in cell phones and iPod nanos. When enough chips are packed together you get enough storage volume for today’s use, from 8 to 64GB for iPhones and iPads, 32-64GB and up for netbooks, laptops and desktops. For computers, the SSDs are even built to existing form factors (2.5-inch laptop and 3.5-inch desktop sizes) so they are easily installed into existing devices. They use the same SATA connectors as most current hard drives, too.

Their advantages are many and dramatic – no moving parts, no noise, less heat and zero vibration. Because there are no spinning platters and moving read/write heads, there are no crashes due to hardware malfunctions. They draw less power, as well. All of this means tremendous reliability, over a million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) and incredible speed. A fast 7200rpm hard drive has an access time of between 5 and 10ms, while the SSD clocks in at a staggering 0.1ms. Yes, one-tenth of a millisecond. Clearly, this is the future of data storage, at least for work in progress. It may or may not be the best long-term archiving solution, which is why other media (hard drives, optical media, tape) will remain in use.

Benefits of  SSDs

As previously noted, CRE now has MacBook Pro rentals with superfast SSDs. You may not notice that the laptop is a bit lighter, but you will definitely notice that it is quieter, cooler and faster. SSDs can also withstand drops and impacts that would send read/write heads scraping across your regular hard drive’s disc platters, obliterating data on their way. You would have to physically crush or smash an SSD with a crowbar to experience that kind of data loss.

Whether you need the swift SSD-equipped MacBook Pros, the potent Mac Pro rentals, other computer rentals, or A/V and convention-related technology, CRE is your one-stop shop for all of it. We have the expertise, the equipment and the experienced Account Executives to help you find the right solution for your particular challenge. Give us a call, send an e-mail or fill out the Quick Rental Quote form. We will put together a quote right away so that you get the laptop rental with SSD or other rental equipment when you need it – guaranteed!

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