Lately, you may have heard a term when people talk about computer hard drives, SSD or Solid State Drive. Think of these drives as bigger models of your existing flash drives, you know those things you plug into your USB ports. Basically, because they have no physical moving parts, SSDs can access any data on the drive instantly with no seek lag or to put it another way, a SSD doesn’t have to move the platters in the hard drive under the reader head to access data. Now, to the casual user, this won’t even be noticed. But to an advanced or power user, speed is everything. Take a look at the photo below and see the difference of the two.

Pros of HDDs

  • Far cheaper than SSDs (though this will change with time)
  • Far larger than SSDs (though this will change with time)
  • Support older forms of interface (which are being phased out)

 

Cons of HDDs

  • Will fail eventually (it is a mechanical device after all
  • Seek time
  • Needs to be defragged

 

Pros of SSDs

  • Speed. Can access any data on the drive instantly
  • Smaller in physical size
  • Less power usage

 

Cons of SSDs

  • Smaller in storage size
  • Far more expensive per GB (though this will change with time)
  • Limited number of rewrites (though this numbers in the billions)

 

 

So, should you get a SSD or a HDD, well that depends. HDDs, at least for now, are still a good and viable option if you take the proper precautions such as regular backups. They are quite cheap for the storage you get and work quite well. SSDs by comparison while fast are quite expensive and just not worth the speed gain for the casual user. But for the power user, you’ll love it. In the end, my recommendation is a hybrid design. Get a SSD and use that as your main Operating system drive. Then put standard HDDs for the remainder of the drives and either raid them together or setup a backup.

2 Responses to “HDDs versus SSDs”

  1. hdd

    Besides pros for SSD there is one con – even there are no moving parts, still there are limit of write cycles. Somebody has counted on heavy database usage this limit comes in 5 years.

    Reply
    • Jacob

      Indeed, though it is doubtful a casual user will hit it, a power user might, especially with a SQL database or the like.

      Reply

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