Solid-state drives are leagues ahead of their HDD ancestors, which is why more and more people are asking about them. This creates conversations between you and your customers, and hopefully means that they’ll see you as an authority on SSDs by the end of the process — that is, if you’ve got all of the answers…
We’ll start with the basics, so feel free to skip this paragraph if you want to get straight to the main course. SSDs are just another form of storage component, yet they’re leagues ahead of the traditional hard disk drives. For starters they’re extremely fast, with write-speeds of over 500MB/s for typical units, compared to around 100MB/s with HDDs. Part of this is down to the fact that SSDs have no moving parts, which also means that there’s no noise, minimal heat, and lower failure rates. This is something that all SSDs have in common, so how is someone meant to choose one unit over another? This is where things get a bit technical.
A standard SSD is made up of a controller, DRAM memory and NAND flash memory. The controller is the link between the NAND memory and the computer, and DRAM is volatile memory that requires power to function. It’s worth pointing out at this point that you can get SSDs without DRAM, and these are generally cheaper and more suited to customers on a budget. The key components in the SSD package are the NAND flash chips. As well as contributing to the overall performance of a computer, NAND flash is non-volatile, so it can still retain data without having power.
SSDs come with one of a few types of NAND flash, and each variation has a particular customer in mind. Single Level Cell (SLC) is the fastest, and it also has the longest lifespan as evidenced by the colossal 50,000 P/E cycles. Because SLC is cutting edge it’s the most expensive option, as well as being only available in smaller capacities. Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND is less expensive and has an endurance rating of 3,000 P/E cycles which serves the everyday user or gamer. Finally there’s Triple Level Cell (TLC) NAND, which is acceptable for standard consumer applications and has a rating of less than 1,500 P/E cycles. If you’re selling to standard users, chances are that they’ll be wanting to go with MLC or TLC, and this is where some exciting developments are currently taking place.
With flash memory it’s always a race to utilise as much space on the chip as possible, and NAND has almost been pushed to its absolute limitations in its current form. This is where 3D NAND comes in. This unlocks exceptional performance and ever-greater capacities, and it looks to be one of the big technology innovations of the year. Customers can purchase 3D NAND in TLC and MLC devices currently, and Transcend are working to have the technology included in its SSD line-up, including the 2.5” and M.2 models. The beauty of purchasing a Transcend model is that the company is known for putting its products through meticulous tests at every stage of production, covering vibration, temperature and humidity, speed and functionality. So when your customer is asking about SSDs, keep in mind the vendor that’s got a track record for reliability.
To find out more information on Transcend’s extensive range of SSDs please get in touch with Westcoast or click here to view all available SKUs.