If you’ve explored the possibility of buying or upgrading your home computer or laptop in recent times, you must have come across SSDs or Solid-State Drives. A relatively new storage technology, SSDs offer a great number of advantages over traditional hard disk drives. Before understanding those benefits, you need to understand what an SSD is.

What is an SSD?

Simply put, SSD storage does not have any moving parts in its build. In comparison, traditional storage usually consists of a moving disc which is accessed by a read-write arm – all within the hard drive.

Instead, an SSD uses something known as flash storage which allows it to have no moving components. There are several positive effects of this on its performance and usage, which we’ve explained below.

SSD vs HDD: Speed

One of the first differences between the two storage technologies is data access speed. SSDs are, on an average, from five to twenty times faster than an HDD. Even when comparing the slowest SSD to the fastest HDD today, the SSD will be at least twice as fast as the HDD.

SSD vs HDD: Price

On average, SSDs are more expensive per gigabyte. In fact, when looking at maximum storage capacity, most high-end SSDs are not affordable for the regular consumer, whereas traditional HDDs come in multi-TB configurations at quite affordable price points.

SSD vs HDD: Noise, Vibration & Heat

Since an SSD has no moving parts, it generates nearly no noise or vibration. In comparison, the spinning and read/write operations on HDDs can lead to both vibration & noise, as well as heat over longer durations – something that SSDs rarely go through.

Other factors

  • Due to the lack of moving parts, an SSD is more robust as compared to an HDD, which makes it a better choice for portable devices like a laptop. They’re also unaffected by magnetism.
  • Another factor that makes SSDs better for laptops is their lower power consumption.

Types of SSDs

Solid State Drives mainly have four types depending on the connection type:
  • SATA III – Supports both HDD and SSD.
  • PCI Express (PCIe) – Direct connection to the motherboard with the fastest data transfer speeds.
  • M.2 – Variable form factor, suitable for portability.
  • NVMe – Versatile PCIe that is faster and easier to upgrade.

Which one should you get?

While SSDs are better than HDDs at almost every task, one cannot ignore the vast storage which traditional HDDs can offer at a budget. The best idea is to go with an SSD for speed-sensitive applications like your operating system and using a traditional HDD in combination for large files.

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock