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post #54 of Old 01-15-2012
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Originally Posted by utchuckd View Post
Would the new solid state hard drives make a computer better in a marine environment? No moving parts and all...?
Probly belongs on a different thread now but I'm not sure which. In any case, there are two elements of the marine environment that are relevant. No, three: Power, motion, salt. Water, of course, will damage any piece of electronics, so that's a wash.

Power: SSDs will draw less power than HDs which will be a slight plus when operating off battery, though I wouldn't call that compelling.

Motion: Ordinary movement of a boat will not present a problem for the conventional HD. Operation of the drive at sea in a F6, or dropping your computer on the deck, would present quite a bit higher likelihood of damage.

Salt: You might think that the conventional HD with all its moving parts would be more likely to be damaged by the salt air, but you would be wrong. All those moving parts are sealed in a vacuum, so they never get near the air. The electronics are essentially made of the same stuff as in your radios and nav gear, and are the same in either case, so there's no clear advantage to solid state or spinning platters either way.

I would say that if you are planning to use your computers underway, there is a small advantage to the SSD, but if you are planning to use them while docked or moored, you might as well just stick with the conventional drives.

In either case, make regular backups either to a medium that is waterproof or over the internet to some disk farm in the midwest.
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