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Tuesday, 01 May 2018 13:04

Crucial crucially reveals 'why hard drives fail when SSDs do not'

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Memory and SSD storage maker Crucial has crucially revealed detail on why hard disk drives fail when SSDs don't, and if you thought its because there's no moving parts in an SSD, you'd be right

Crucial is a maker of quality memory and storage devices for PCs and Macs, and are very worthy competitors to Samsung, WD and other memory and storage makers out there.

Now, with so many people having upgraded from traditional spinning hard drives out there to SSDs, and yet so many still to make the upgrade, Crucial has shared some reasons why old fashioned hard drives can cark it spectacularly, while SSDs are so much more solid, reliable and FAST.

Crucial starts off by paining a picture, telling us that "wherever you are right now, it’s a safe bet that something nearby is under construction".

"Exactly what’s being built will vary widely — from skyscrapers and subdivisions, all the way down to blanket forts and building blocks — but those that are safe will have been built according to industry standards and codes. Ignoring these codes wouldn’t just be bad, but to use a term embraced by the insurance industry, it would be a 'risk'."

Crucial continues with its superlative storage tale, noting that "Whether we’re talking about a building, walking across the street, or reaching retirement, it’s our everyday decisions to avoid risk which can determine our rates of success. At home and at work, much of what we do today lives on a computer.

"Every computer contains lots of moving parts, with either a hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD) and that’s where all the information is stored - spreadsheets, emails, photos, games, films, and more - so it doesn’t get much worse than having your hard drive die. Where you choose to store your files and data — on traditional hard drives, or on the newer SSDs — is one of those decisions that can help you bypass an expensive loss by avoiding unnecessary risk, based on how they’re built."

In comes Crucial's SSD senior product line manager, Jonathan Weech, who explained, “If you have many terabytes of data and money is extremely limited, hard drives (HDDs) can be a decent option. Hard drives used to be cutting-edge technology. In a nanometre-thin space, they use tiny moving arms to read and write data magnetically from platters spinning at 7200 RPM.

"However, these intricate moving parts are also why there’s more risk that they fail. Unlike hard drives, SSDs do not use mechanical moving parts to read or write data. Instead, they use flash memory technology, which uses electrons to read, write, and store data. As a result, they’re faster, more durable, and more likely to last longer.

"No moving parts means less friction, less energy consumption, and smarter technology that makes it easier to extend the life of the drive – and all the photos, videos, and files on it.”

He also tells us that "One of the ways that storage drive durability can be measured is the amount of shock in gravitational forces (Gs) it can survive, and still function. ‘Shock’ is essentially the acceleration or deceleration of an object, and it’s higher when it happens very quickly – as in a drop, crash, or impact".

Weech concluded, “Here’s a bit of context. When someone slaps you on the back, you’re experiencing about 4.1 Gs of shock. Kicking a football will yield roughly 300 Gs. A traditional hard drive when parked, or completely powered off, is rated to survive up to 250 Gs worth of shock over two milliseconds.

"In use however, hard drives are rated to endure 30 Gs of shock when saving information and 60 Gs when retrieving information. Since hard drives operate using recording arms, each only nanometres above spinning platters, there’s less room for error if a drive is put through shock – perhaps by getting dropped or hit.

"If the arm in a hard drive gets bumped and moves only a few nanometres, it could scratch the platter and ruin the drive. This is why it matters that SSDs don’t use moving parts – there’s less risk of something going wrong.”

Here are two images that give further detail, but now you know more on why SSD is the way to go!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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