What is a Solid State Hybrid Drive?

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What is a Hybrid Drive?Solid State Hybrid Hard Drives

If electronics aren¿t your forte, the realm of hard drives, solid state drives and solid state hybrid drives may leave your brain cogs in freefall. Thankfully, you have found the definitive guide to hybrid drives. ¿What is a solid state hybrid drive?¿ you ask; well take a deep breath and keep reading.

The Traditional Hard Disk Drive

In order to comprehend what a hybrid drive is, first you need to grasp the concepts behind both hard disk drives and solid state drives. A hard disk drive literally contains quickly rotating magnetic disks which are complemented by read and write heads which travel over the disks in much the same way as a CD or DVD player would in order to read a disk.

Hard disk drives have become increasingly affordable which has allowed us to squirrel away heaps of old photos, music and series, because winter is coming. The problem however is that this technology is also dating rather rapidly. The HDD is slow when compared to a hybrid disk drive or a solid state drive, but it is still fine for those who predominantly use email, browse the web and Microsoft word.

Solid State Gold

Solid state drives deliver data at speeds upward of 550MBps, while the fastest hard disk drives can only offer a maximum of about 200MBps. Solid state drives employ NAND flash memory rather than the read and write heads of hard disk drives. NAND flash is ideal for devices which store large amounts of technology which is frequently uploaded and deleted or replaced. The technology is far less volatile because there are no moving parts which makes it far less susceptible to damage in the event of an accident. Solid state drives also provide faster boot times, file transfers and program launches.

The problem with SSD¿s is they are much more expensive than the ordinary hard disk drives and their performance may also vary depending on how full the drive is with data and files.

Cue the Solid State Hybrid Drive

Solid state hybrid drives blend the magnetic disks of hard disk drives and the NAND flash memory of solid state drives to produce a drive that is both fast and affordable. The premise of this drive is that while it stores the bulk of its data on the hard disk drive compartment, the more frequently accessed data is stored on the high speed NAND flash memory section of the drive. This more frequently accessed data is pinpointed with the help of a caching algorithm. The result is a noticeable improvement in the speed of your computer and the hybrid hard drive only costs a bit more than the normal hard disk drive.

While hybrid drives are slow to begin with, as the cache is filled while you continue to access certain data in favour of other data, the drive becomes faster.

Of course it is possible to set up a DIY solid state hybrid drive, but this is easier on computers which already have two or more separate hard drives. In addition, it¿s not quite as simple as installing a hybrid drive which already has the caching software installed on the drive.

When You Decide to Indulge in an Upgrade:

Make sure that you have selected the right size SSHD for your computer. Sizes vary for laptops, desktops and portable drives.
Select the correct capacity, the capacity is split between the SSD and the HDD.
Compare the spindle speeds of different units (RPM).
Ensure the interface is correct and compatible with your computer.
Pay attention to the speed at which the data is processed (MBps or GBps).

The best brands in hybrid hard drives are Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital, simply because they have the lowest failure rates.

And no longer do you need to ponder, ¿What is a solid state hybrid drive¿. All in favour of solid state hybrid drives, say ¿I!¿¿

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