When it comes to deciding what storage device you want inside your computer you will find that you are presented with two different options: a solid state drive (SSD) or a hard disk drive (HDD). There’s no correct choice for which one you pick, since it’ll depend on factors such as how much space you need and what your budget is.
A solid state drive is recent technology compared to a hard disk drive (which has been around since 1954). The latter operates by storing data on a rotating platter, with a read-and-write head floating above the platter in order to access the data. This is different to a solid state drive which uses a memory chip and no moving parts, similar to what makes up a common USB stick. So, instead of having to wait for the platters to spin up in order to access your data on a HDD, a SSD is 30% faster in opening files as everything is available instantly. This also means that there is a reduced chance of failure. Commonly a standard hard disk drive will suffer from problems when the delicate platters become damaged. This can be caused by something as simple as strong vibrations; this will cause the head to collide into the platter and scratch it, damaging the data stored therein. More modern drives have better protection when it comes to this, but it still remains a common cause of hard drive failure. Yet another advantage to SSDs is that there is less power draw, meaning that you can get a battery boost of 30 plus minutes. This is certainly a benefit when it comes to laptop users who are always on the go.
However, a SSD isn’t the best in every aspect. The biggest advantages a HDD has is that you can get much more storage and at a reduced price. It costs around $1.50 per gigabyte for a SSD and about $0.10 for a HDD. Also, if you’re on a laptop then you usually can’t get more than 256 GB for a SSD, whereas a HDD can exceed 1TB. If you’re someone who needs a lot of storage space, whether that is for videos, games or music and your budget is slim then you will probably be better going with a hard disk drive. The money you’ll save on the storage space could be put towards improving other components of your computer, like the CPU, where you might see a more noticeable improvement.
If you’re a computer enthusiast with the cash to spare then a SSD is definitely recommended. It’s faster, quieter and less prone to problems than a HDD. However, a lot of people don’t have the money to spare for that. A good halfway solution is to use a HDD to store your operating system on and then using a HDD for your day to day file storage. This will mean that your computer will boot up faster. Over time a SSD will become the industry standard and the price will decrease, but at the moment the decision isn’t so clear cut.
Solid State Drive vs. Hard Disk Drive
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