Solid State Hard Drives are Good Choice

Maribeth WardTech Tips0 Comments

One of the best things about technology is that it is always evolving. Until recently, PC buyers didn’t get much choice about what drive they got when purchasing a new computer. Most computers whether laptops, desktops or ultrabooks contain a conventional hard disk drive (HDD). Because they have moving parts, you can hear them click and whir when you boot up, save a document or open a file.

Now there is a better solution for data storage and access–the solid state drive (SSD).  These new drives are quicker, quieter, cooler and lighter.  They contain no moving parts or physical disks.  They can quickly access and move data.  This means faster and quieter performance, speedier boot times and improved shock resistance.  

If you bought an ultrabook you most likely have a SSD as the primary drive but most other computers generally have  a HDD. Since SSDs have come along you can configure your system with either a HDD, SSD or even both.

The HDD is a metal platter with a magnetic coating.  It is this coating that stores your data.  A read/write head on an arm accesses the data while the platters are spinning in their enclosure.

An SSD does pretty much the same things your HDD does. But, instead of using a magnetic coating on top of platters, the data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain information even when there is no power on.  They can be permanently installed on the system’s motherboard (like on a small laptop or ultrabook), on a PCI/PCIe card (used in some high-end workstations) or in a box that is shaped and wired to fit your laptop or desktop’s hard drive.

Both of these drives do the same job.  They boot the system, store applications and personal files.

SSDs are definitely more expensive than HDDs.  For example you will pay about $60 to $75 for a HDD 1TB internal 2.5-inch drive.  A SSD of the same TB capacity will cost about double that amount.  Remember the more storage space you have the more stuff like photos, music, videos and files you can hold on your PC.

When it comes to speed the SSD is clearly the winner. An SSD-equipped PC will boot in seconds, and certainly in under a minute. A hard drive takes time to speed up to operating specs and is slower than the SSD. There are no moving parts with the SSD so it is inherently faster.  Because of this it is also more likely to keep your data safe should you drop your laptop.  

HDDs are just plain more plentiful than SSDs right not. While the SSD numbers are growing, you won’t see HDDs going away any time soon.  They are still the main storage device found in PCs. Their issue will eventually be in their physical size.  There is a limit to how small they can be manufactured.  SSDs don’t have this problem.  They can continue to shrink as necessary.  As laptops become slimmer and tablets take over as the primary web-surfing platforms, you will see more of them.

SSDs may not totally replace the traditional spinning hard drives especially because of cloud storage, but with the price coming down serious techies are going to gravitate toward speed, quiet, and physical size.

Overall HDDs are better on price, capacity and availability.  SSDs are best when speed, ruggedness, size and noise are important to you.

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