Formerly, the people had a very little choice about the type of storage devices they needed to buy. But now there are many. It is true that most of didn't hear the name Solid State Drive or SSD as it was not very popular and was available only some of the notebooks or ultra portables. However, all of us, are very familiar with the name hard disk drive or HDD. Nowadays, it is possible to configure your system with either an SSD or HDD or even both. So, we need to know what these terms mean to us and what are their advantages and disadvantages before we take a buying decision.
Hard Disk Drive or HDD
The basic nonvolatile storage on our computers is the traditional spinning drive which we call hard disk drive. The data memory is written on these drives and remains there even when we switch off the computer. These comprise of metal platters with a magnetic coating. The coating stores the data. There is a read / write head on an arm that accesses the data, while the platters are spinning.
Solid State Drive or SSD
The Solid State Drive or SSD also performs similar functions like saving the data, booting the system etc. The difference is that the data is not stored on magnetic coating as in the case of HDD. In stead, the SSD stores the data on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data even when there's no current. These chips can be installed on the motherboard as in the case of small laptops and notebooks. They can be on a PCI / PCIe card as in the case of high-end work stations. These can also be installed in a box, which can be sized, shaped and wired to a slot for a laptop's a desktop's hard drive. There is difference between these flash memory chips and the flash memory of USB thumb drives with regard to the type and speed of the memory. Flash memory in SSD is faster and more reliable than the flash memory of USB thumb drives. Quite obviously, the SSD flash memory chips are more expensive than the USB thumb drives.
Advantages and disadvantages of SSDs and HDDs
Price: The SSDs are many times more expensive than HDDs.
Capacity: SSDs come with a very large capacity like 1 TB, but the HDDs are available with less capacity like 128 GB, 250 GB and 500 GB. These days the data can be stored on the cloud through internet. There is no need to spend a lot of money on expensive SSDs.
Fragmentation: HDDs work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks because of the rotary function of the HDDs. of course, this causes fragmentation of the files. SSDs on the other hand don't care where the data is stored on the disk, since there is no physical read / write head. So, SSDs are faster.
Durability:SSDs are more durable since there are no moving parts as in the case of HDDs in which the platters move at a very high speed and thus cause wear and tear. SSDs are recommended if you are rough on your equipment.
Availability HDDs are abundantly available. SSDs availability is limited, though it is growing now.
Form: SSDs are available in small sizes and are the future of small sized devices, whereas the HDDs are bigger in size.
Noise: You can hear noise even from the quieter of the HDDs due to the spinning action of the drive. There is no noise problem in SSDs as no mechanical action is involved.
Overall comparison:HDDs are winners when talk of price, capacity and availability. But when we look into the features like speed, ruggedness, form, noise and fragmentation, the SSDs are quite advantageous than the former. If the price of the SSDs can be brought down, the people will go for SSDs rather than the HDDs.
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