The humble solid state drive has been with us for sometime now and for the life of me I cannot understand why manufacturers still insist on putting hard disk drives (HDDs) into notebooks.
Okay so that’s a lie. HDDs still offer the best value for money when it comes to capacity but the technology has a number of problems that are just no longer viable for a person such as me.
As such I find myself turning to solid state drives (SSDs) more often for my storage needs. Granted, I’m not dealing with massive files thanks to cloud storage.
A few weeks ago Seagate dropped off the awkwardly named BarraCuda ZA250CM10002 250GB 2.5 inch SSD for review which we will sadly have to send back.The drive gave us a sequential read speed of 556.7Mb/s and a sequential write speed of 498.1MB/s which is great and a vast improvement on HDD speeds.
The thing is that at the end of the day this is still an SSD that uses 3D TLC NAND like most SSDs on the market today. That having been said Seagate was kind enough to lend us the drive to test and we thought we’d use it to argue for why you should ditch the HDD in your notebook and switch to an SSD.
SSDs can take a knock
HDDs are fragile pieces of tech. Drop it and you could lose everything on that drive. It’s something I’ve learned the hard way many times.
SSDs are a lot more hardy because they aren’t using spinning platters to write data like HDDs. Instead they make use of circuits which store data persistently. As we’ve mentioned the BarraCuda makes use of 3D TLC NAND which allows for a denser chip that can retain data without a power source. Bear in mind that if left unattended for a few years SSDs will eventually lose any data they house.
The advantage of using chips rather than spinning disks is that you can accidentally drop the drive without causing too much damage. That having been said if you do manage to drop the drive hard enough you can still damage it.
Loading times are drastically shorter
Loading Windows should be a short and simple affair especially for a work computer.
Time waiting for Windows to boot or apps to load is time lost and SSDs deal with that effectively.
Because there is no need for a physical arm to move across a disk to read or write data, read and write speeds are dramatically shortened.
With the Seagate installed my time to boot to Windows is a mere 6 seconds and once logged in my PC is ready to use in under a minute.
For gamers the BarraCuda offers up improved loading times for games including Fallout 4, The Witcher 3 and Civilization VI.
Small enough for your notebook
In the case of the Seagate the 2.5inch form factor and standard SATA connectors mean that this drive is suitable for notebooks or a desktop.
With that having been said it’s important to know what sort of SSD you are looking for and making sure that your system can support that particular form factor. For instance there are M.2 SSDs, PCIe SSDs and the regular SATA SSDs like the Barracuda.
While M.2 and PCIe drives are faster than the SATA counterparts not all systems support the form factor particularly older notebooks or motherboards.
Quiet and power friendly.
For those looking for a silent system there is nothing worse than the whir of an HDD working. Thanks to a lack of moving parts, SSDs are silent.
That lack of moving parts also means that SSDs don’t require nearly as much power as a HDD.
The Seagate BarraCuda drive we’ve been fawning over was sent to us for review and if you’re looking to upgrade your storage drives this is a really good option.
The 250GB drive we were sent carries a recommended retail price of R1030 which is around the same price as 250GB SSDs from other brands.
That having been said, at time of writing we spotted a great deal on this drive over at Wootware where you can pick it up for R908.
We highly recommend considering this SSD for those looking to upgrade their notebook storage or add some speedy storage to your desktop.[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]