Solid State Drives (SSDs) starting to come of age in mobile workstations

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Dell Precision M6600: the first mobile workstation to feature 512GB SSDs

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are now seriously rivalling mechanical drives in the mobile workstation space. Dell reckons it’s the first mobile workstation manufacturer to offer 512GB (SATA3) Mobility SSDs. And with its Precision M6600 supporting up to two of these little beauties, plus a mini-card slot with up to 128GB, that’s over a terabyte of solid-state storage.

With such big capacity I feel hardcore CAD/CAM/CAE users can finally start to think about ditching mechanical drives in favour of faster SSDs. But while read/write performance is important, I think durability is key here. I’m sure I’m not the only clumsy fool who gets paranoid about losing hours, sometimes days of work with a single drop (no, I don’t back up every night). And while mobile workstations have drop protection built into their mechanical hard drives I still don’t feel as safe as I do with an SSD.
Of course, there are downsides to SSDs. They’re seriously expensive (The Dell website doesn’t yet show a price for its 500GB SSD drive, but a 256GB SSD costs almost £500). And there are also concerns of performance degradation when they are more than half full. However, once prices come down, I believe SSDs will be the perfect partner for mobile workstations. Then it’s only the screen I’ll need to worry about as my laptop flies through the air having tripped over the power cord for the umpteenth time.