We have all grown up knowing that a hard disk is a storehouse of data and information for a computer.
Up until the very recent past, a hard disk was by default the medium of storage in any computer or laptop.
However, the development of SSD (Solid State Drive) has brought about a choice for the average user when opting for a storage device.
In this post, I highlight to you the various features that help you choose in an SSD vs HDD conundrum.
We will take a look at the basic operations, functions and techniques of both hard disk drives and solid state drives, and then compare their features to establish their usages.
The Development of Storage Devices
In any SSD vs. HDD argument, you should how these things came to be.
Hard drives have been around in some shape or form for about 60 years now, starting with gigantic IBM 350 RAMAC hard drives from the late 1950s, which took up the space of two average rooms, and could store somewhere around 3 MB of data.
Current 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch HDD models were standardized in the 1980s. Today, they can hold information up to 4TB for a 2.5 inch version.
The history of SSD is far shorter. The first SSD models came into being in the early 2000s, with makers starting to opt for their commercial use during 2007-08.
Eventually, SSDs standardized in the same 2.5 inch notebook models that hard drives had, facilitating easy replacement.
The 2.5 inch model can hold 4TB worth of data, but there have been special releases of SDDs with up to 60TB capacities.
The function of a hard drive is to store data locally. It is essentially a stack of magnetic discs with a read-write arm to access the data as the disc spins about its axis.
HDD is a nonvolatile platform for storage, which means the data remains even when there is no power to the system.
It is difficult to point out a glaring difference in SSD vs HDD when it comes to functionalities, because an SSD does everything that an HDD does, but it stores the data on interconnected memory chips which retain the data even without power.
This means that there is no moving part in an SSD, since there is no disc to spin around for operations.
The flash chips can be permanently installed in the system, or externally added as per requirement.
Hard drives have been around for decades, and their performance has constantly improved.
However, in modern technology, people increasingly prefer the SSDs. It is because they deliver more than the average hard disk can.
SSDs offer better speed. Their performance is not affected by fragmentation since there is no read-write head involved.
This helps because files are almost never stored in a contiguous location.
Other factors like noise reduction also come into play when choosing between SSD vs HDD.
SSDs are far more expensive compared to hard drives. In fact, the cost of an average 1TB SSD could be four or five times the cost of a 1TB HDD.
Common public hesitate on a larger scale to use SSD because of the cost factor.
Hard drives rely on more traditional, established technologies as compared to SSDs, which is why they are likely to remain cheaper in the near future as well.
However, the best brains are involved in bringing about economy SSD models. So we can hope to see SSDs become commonplace in some time.
As of now, however, people who look for a budget system prefer hard drives.
Hybrid Drives and Dual Drives
Why spend time worrying about SSD vs HDD comparisons when you can have the best of both worlds?
During the developmental stages of SDDs, leading hard drive manufacturers theorized a hybrid drive.
They combined flash memory chips with the metallic disc with the read-write head that constitutes a traditional HDD.
This would be priced only slightly higher than a normal hard drive, while providing better capabilities inducted by the memory chips.
Dual drive systems comprise of a smaller SSD primary drive in conjunction with a larger hard drive for storing files.
This allows the operating system to be booted faster with the SSD and the external files to be stored in the regular HDD.
The problem with this sort of setting is that manufacturers can go too small with the SDD to make the system affordable. Practically, too small an SSD is as good as no SSD at all.
In addition, this calls for more space inside the CPU chassis to accommodate two (or more) separate drives.
What is Right for You?
Hard disk drives as well as solid state drives have their unique advantages and disadvantages.
Hard drives take precedence if the main concern is price or availability.
SSDs, on the other hand, are better in terms of performance, fragmentation and noise reduction.
An SSD vs. HDD comparison would not be complete without telling you what is best for you. Opt for an HDD if your work involves heavy load in terms of file sizes.
Therefore, video editors, multimedia personnel, graphic designers, heavy downloaders, etc. should go for hard drives.
Anybody with a stringent budget is better off opting for HDD because of its low cost.
SSDs work much better in rough usage conditions.
The perfect candidates for opting SSDs over HDDs would be people who travel a lot with their laptops in their backpacks.
In addition, anybody who prioritizes the speed of processing is someone who would love the feel of a solid state drive. If cost is no bar and there is no huge demand for data storage, SSDs take the cake.
So there you have it, a comprehensive look at the features and facilities provided by SSDs and HDDs.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose a hard disk or an SSD taking into account the points noted here.
When it comes to SSD vs HDD, what matters most is the sort of work you will be doing using the storage device.