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world's first SSDs for use in Intel PCs
In 1982 - SemiDisk Systems (based in Beaverton Oregon) became the first company to ship SSD accelerators for the Intel microprocessor based PC market.

SemiDisk's first disk emulator cards were S-100 form factor RAM SSDs with 512 kilobytes capacity which cost $1,995 price at launch - which was equivalent to 2 months average wages at that time.

Internally they used 64Kb DRAM, worked via a proprietary interface - and were designed to work with S-100 computers (which had Z80 8 bit CPUs inside with a 64 kilobytes addressible bus).
SemiDisk 1
Soon after, SemiDisk built similar cards for TRS-80 Model II computers, and IBM PC's, and Epson QX-10 computers, and increased the capacity to 2 megabytes when 256Kb DRAM became available.

SemiDisk's founder - Jim Bell - told me (in 2014) "the R/W throughput of these SSDs was limited by the Z-80 block transfer function speed. (INIR, OTIR) So it was about 500 kilobytes/second speed. But that was considered VERY fast in the early 1980's... Speed was always the main benefit (and reason for buying)... It was mostly consumers and businesses who bought it."

Jim also said "One notable feature of these cards is that they 'carpeted' the card with memory sockets that were literally as close together as it was possible to push them! They used 'dipguard' type decoupling capacitors, too."

Jim said he designed the prototype of the SemiDisk in "about October 1980" - when he was working for Intel in Aloha Oregon. He went on to say - "I built a device on a wirewrap, prototype card, using 2118 5-volt 16kbit DRAMs. It had 32 sockets, and I installed the chips 8-high. (Looked like a brick!; heavy, too, because the chips were ceramic, specifically 'cerdip' devices.)"

SSD Market History
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SSD ad - click for more info
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the consumer SSDs guide

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor, StorageSearch.com

If you want to learn more about SSDs for your own personal use or because you run your own small business - then this page is for you.

It lists consumer SSD related articles and directories - both here on StorageSearch.com and external sites which readers have recommended to me (in the tables on the right of this page). And just as important - these links will steer you clear away from the complex mission critical SSD content on StorageSearch.com which is intended for people who need to know more about SSDs as part of how they make their living.

When did the consumer SSD market begin?

Throughout most of SSD market history SSDs cost more than the average person's car or home. That's why the consumer SSD market started long after the industrial, military and enterprise SSD markets.

If I had to pick a year from which to date the start of the consumer SSD market (as we know it today) - it would be 2006.

That's when awareness of true SSDs (as opposed to USB flash memory sticks) flared into the notebook market and the first notebook PCs with genuine SSDs instead of hard drives became generally available (to those who could afford them).

Obviously SSD market analysts like me were writing about the (then) "future" consumer SSD market a year or so before that time - and enterprising individuals were setting up SSD business units and founding companies to design products for the consumer SSD market from around 2004 / 5.

How good are consumer SSDs?

You won't find anyone more enthusiastic about solid state storage than me. But - here's an important sanity check.

Even the very best consumer SSDs available today are vastly inferior in performance and reliability to the best SSDs in the enterprise and industrial markets.

I'm not trying to put you off. I'm just stating a fact.

In that case - you may well ask - what's so great about consumer SSDs?

Well - if SSDs cost the same as hard drives then nobody would buy the hard drives unless they were going to rip them apart to use as artwork (I have seen it done and encourage you to destroy your old HDDs too as a cheap form of disk sanitization) or unless they intended to use the HDDs in a nostalgic computer restoration project, or as a working exhibit in a computer museum.

The reasons for using SSDs in the consumer world today are the same as they've always begin - and were part of the value propositions which gave birth to the entire market concept.

Consumer SSDs can provide a superior user experience or enable the product designer to do things which were previously technically impossible. Here are some examples of what you can do with the best consumer SSDs compared to the best HDDs.
  • SSDs are much faster - when booting and in complex operations like games and creating video or presentations
  • SSDs use less power - longer battery life, less heat on your lap and less need for noisy fans
  • SSDs can fit into smaller physical spaces
  • SSDs are more rugged
  • SSDs weigh less
That's it for now. I hope you find the links on this page useful.
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How do you explain the significance of the SSD market to someone with no technical background?
historic perspectives - on the SSD market
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Clarifying SSD Prices - article on StorageSearch.com . Megabyte's internationally famous reputation for making cool calm rational judgments was momentarily at risk of being blown away
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click to read the article
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consumer SSDs - other publications

AnandTech

CRN

MaximumPC

OverClockers

PCWorld

SSD Review

StorageReview

techPowerUp/SSD reviews

Tom's Hardware

TopTenREVIEWS

The Tech Report

TweakTown

UserBenchmark.com

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consumer SSDs - articles on StorageSearch.com
What's an SSD?

2.5" SSDs guide

SATA SSDs guide

Notebook SSDs guide

Data recovery for flash SSDs?

SSDs vs HDDs? - it's not so simple

the fastest flash SSDs list - or is it really lists?

Endurance in SSDs - when to worry - when not to

Videos re SSDs which are worth your precious time

Pricing - where does all the money go? - inside SSD costs

Recalls and crashes - why are some consumer SSDs so flaky?

What's the best / cheapest PC SSD? - beware simplistic answers

Education - why do I need a PhD in phsyics to safely buy an SSD?
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Samsung serves up sucky ad for SSD
Editor:- Here's an entertaining article on JAYFK!.com - which dissects an intelligence insultingly bad video ad from Samsung about their 840 EVO SSDs aimed at the consumer market. The article was posted August 25, 2013 - but is timeless. ...read the article
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