Flash, or solid state NAND memory hard drives, are cool - in more ways than one.
One source of overheating in notebook computers has been the traditional electromechanical hard drive. Both the moving physical parts and the electronic controller can add heat in the confined spaces of your notebook computer.
Solid state hard drives have no moving parts, and put off less heat. In the past, solid state drives were too small for serious notebook use.
Today, that's changed. Intel has just announced a 120 gigabyte solid state hard drive, which brings flash drive size up to a level normally associated with notebook configurations. Toshiba reportedly has a 512 gig model nearly ready for launch - which would pack a massive half terabyte of storage in a notebook in flash form.
The problem with these drives is the cost. The Intel drive lists at $945 in quantities of 1,000, which translates into hundreds of extra dollars for any laptop equipped with one. The Toshiba drive is sure to cost much more.
All the same, the handwriting is on the wall. Given the power, operational and "coolness" of the solid state flash drives, over time more and more laptops will be going solid state. As that happens, one potent source of laptop overheating will be reduced.
The original MacBook Air had a terrible reputation for overheating. Anything that put stress on the video card - and we're talking watching three or four YouTube videos in a row - could cause the Rev. A MacBook Air to heat up and die.
We're not going to suggest that the MacBook Air now makes sense as a video editing or gaming machine, but it's a step in the right direction.
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