Solid State Drives
In the past when PC users in the general Nashua area needed computer repair, it was often because of hard drive failure. With modern Solid State Drives, that's becoming much less common of an issue. Of course, there are still plenty of reasons why you may need computer service in the future, and we're here for you, whatever your PC service needs may be.
It wasn't long ago when a PC owner's choice of storage devices was almost limited to only Hard Disk Drives. Nowadays, when you go out and get yourself a neat ultrabook you'll probably get a Solid State Drive within it, by factory configuration.
It wasn't long ago when Solid State Drives were introduced and changed a lot. PC owners are now able to choose from either getting a HDD or an SSD, one takes care of your finances, and the other likes speed better. There is a third option as well, some users choose to purchase a small-capacity SSD and install the OS on it, while using 1TB of HDD space to store all other files such as movies, photos, games and so on. Lets look at some of the differences that divide the two options, besides only concentrating on cash value.
SSD - History
The flash memory chips we and use today pretty much inherited the technology which was first though of back in the 1970s. Back then, similar technology existed and it was called bubble memory but the idea died off within a few years. In the case of primary drives in a form of Solid State Drives first showed itself during the late 2000s. These early devices had memory capacities of e.g. 1GB, the OLPC XO-1 and the Asus Eee PC 700 systems were mounted with such SSDs. Later, other similar devices started popping out, such as the mSATA miniPCIe SSD cards, DIMM-like SSDs in Apple computers.
HDD And SSD - Basic differences
Even though we have already talked about Hard Disk Drives in a different article, lets cover some basics for the purpose of comparing these two storage devices. Basically, hard drives are metal platters along with a magnetic coating. Your data is stored within the coating and a read/write head can access the data (only) when the platters are moving within the hard drive casing. You can read more about hard disk drives here.
Now, a Solid State Drive pretty much does the same job, only much more effectively. Differently from metal platters with the coating, your data on a SSD is stored within interconnected flash memory chips, and these chips hold on to the data (even) when the system is off. Remember when I said laptops and ultrabooks often come with pre-installed SSDs? This type of install means the those chips were permanently installed on to the motherboard. On the other hand, if you have a HDD now and want to upgrade to a SSD - you will get the drive in its casing and will have to connect it to your motherboard manually (or have the PC shop do it).
Many users start to think of USB thumb drives when someone mentions these flash memory chips, and even though this is similar technology - Solid State Drives are wired to function MUCH MORE faster, and to have more memory.
Advantages and Disadvantages, Prices and Capacity
Now, you may we still wondering which one of these storage options you should get, and more importantly - why? Well, of course both of these have the same job description, first to boot up your OS, then to hold on to your apps, personal files and so on.
Price-wise, Solid State Drives will cost you more. When thinking about cost per 1GB of storage space, SSDs will almost double the price of a HDD of the same capacity. Of course there are different manufacturers and the storage size isn't the only factor which dictates the end price, but on average, you will pay about 6-9 cents per GB for a HDD, and 12-15 cents per GB on a SSD. This pricing information has been researched at the time of writing.
Lets talk about storage capacity. Currently, if you really want to cash out and be "one of those" owners, you are able to get your hands on a SSD with up to 4TB of storage space available! Now, talking about common and standard purchases and usages, buyers are more likely to get a 500GB HDD or slim that down to 128GB of storage and get an SSD.
Suppose you get the 128GB of SSD option, why did you sacrifice all that storage, compared to the 500GB of HDD? Let me tell you why: SPEED! Yes, speed is where SSDs really come to light and show who they are. Most operating systems installed on a Solid State Drive will only take about 5-10 seconds to boot! Boot time can be longer too, depends of course on the type of the product you have installed. SSD-powered systems will be faster overall. From boot-time to playing games, storing data, opening your Internet browser and to shutting down your PC. Installing Windows for example on a HDD can take up to an hour, while an average SSD will complete this installation within 5-15 minutes!
Durability And Availability
The main case and argument when it comes to discussing SSDs versus HDDs in the terms of durability is that Solid State Drives have no moving parts. On the other hand, hard drives contain those read/write parts which are only operating when the system is running, and they are not only moving, but they're moving fast! What this tells us is that if you happen to drop your laptop or hit your PC case, you're much better of having a SSD.
When it comes to availability, it is pretty much common sense. HDDs have been around for a longer time and are much more easier to find and purchase. There are much more manufacturers making HDDs, such as Toshiba, Seagate, Samsung, and others. This is specifically true for PC builds, which mostly come in configurations containing hard drives.
It depends on what are the primary factors you want to take in when deciding which storage device to use. For example, hard drives are cheaper, therefore offer more storage, and are more available. Solid State Drives however, are faster! They give you the performance (speed) boost you need, they're more quiet when running and are more durable.
Talking about longevity of these two really doesn't make much sense. Chances are, most of us will change up systems before running into read/write errors with any of these storage devices. My point? Get the SSD.