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Do Hybrid Drives Have A Future?

As SSDs become more common on the market, are there still users looking for an all in one go between? And will there be for the foreseeable future? This article looks to address these questions.

Hybrid drives are typically a choice for those looking to maximise space while having the use of a dedicated higher speed section of their drive for more important applications. They save the hassle of having to manage two separate drives and allow the convenience of managing file priority in one.

With the advent of cheaper, larger SSD capacity and economies of scale, the SSD market is becoming much more affordable for PC owners. As always, the price of a decent hard drive is also becoming cheaper. Many users know exactly what they want and if it is faster boot speeds, it is becoming easier to just simply order a large capacity SSD. For the same price of a 64GB SSD three years ago you can now get a 256GB, the market is growing and becoming more accessible.

Because of this, the hybrid is set to fade in to irrelevance. If people opt for speed, they may as well just opt for it entirely, rather than it split in half and having to micromanage files. Messing around with where documents pictures and music can be stored , especially when it is used in other programs which expect it to be in the default location of the operating system. Unfortunately, a lot of this hassle is required with hybrid drives because the flash memory is always a small portion of the actual device. All it really saves is having two separate drives, it is only narrowly different in terms of complexity and knowledge prerequisites.

For a long time, the hybrid drives main advantage has been its competitive price, which is a lead that is fast fading. SSDs also consume less power than hybrids, making them a better long term investment. In the case of laptop computing, this can result in longer battery life and a longer laptop life span in general. This is because laptop batteries can dictate how much power the system can draw, and the more demand made on them, the shorter their lives and quicker they deplete (thus slowing the system down).

The common problems associated with traditional hard drives are also included with hybrid drives, many problems that the advent of solid state drives have since fixed and made obsolete. It is commonly thought that as time goes on, these problems will become less and less normal, thus being more undesirable.

The combination of lowering price of SSDs and undesirable qualities in the hybrid drive are likely to push it out of use. However, it may yet be a while, and as long as hard drives are cheaper and solid state drives are more expensive, hybrids will be there for users struggling to make a choice. For those with a lower budget they will always be the better option, all be it a less desirable investment.


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