Hard drives are constantly getting larger and cheaper as the technology improves, but their speed increases only marginally each year because they are limited by their inherent mechanical nature. No matter how efficient an algorithm or the overall design might be, the rotational speed of the platters is not going to increase much further.
On the other hand, the explosive growth of the flash memory market allowed solid state drives (SSD’s) to slowly find their way onto the market. SSD’s are not actually a new design, they have been around for nearly two decades but their use was limited to special applications such as military or space projects, due to their immense cost. The first commercial SSDs used MLC NAND flash which could rival a mechanical drive but weren’t that fast.
Today however we will put to the test a second generation SSD drive from Crucial which is more expensive but should in theory be dramatically faster than the first generation of SSD drives.