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SSDs have garnered quite the following over the years because of their faster boot times and loading times as well. But this all comes at the expense of storage capacity since high-capacity SSDs come at higher prices than HDDs.
And whether an SSD is truly worth depends on the person thinking of buying it and also whether they wish to trade storage capacity for speed. Marc Enzor, owner of Geeks 2 You Computer Repair says to go with what works best for you in the end.
The only way to determine if SSDs are worth your investment is to compare it with conventional favorite HDDs. We’ll look into the pros and cons of both and see which of them you should vie for the most.
Advantages And Disadvantages of HDDs and SSDs
When considering their functions, both HDDs and SSDs do the same thing; boot your system, store your applications, as well as store your personal files.
However, each of them has their own unique feature set. So what exactly is or better yet, are the differences? Let’s break them down:
When it comes to price, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs in terms of dollar per GB. For the same form factor 1TB internal 2.5-inch drive and capacity, you’ll only pay about $60 to $75 for an HDD, but an SSD, as of this writing, doubles that to about $130 to $150. This means 7 cents per gigabyte for the HDD and 14 cents for the SSD. However, since HDDs are older, made under more established brands, and will continue to be less expensive as we head into the future. The extra cost may push your system price over budget.
Speed is the main highlight of SSDs. With them, a computer can boot in seconds, most definitely under a minute. A hard drive, on the other hand, needs time to speed up to operating specs and is slower than an SSD during normal use. Whether you have a PC or a Mac, your SSD-powered system boosts and launches apps faster and provides faster overall performance. You will be able to witness higher PCMark benchmark scores on desktops and laptops with SSDs, also much higher scores and transfer times for external SSDs versus HDDs. Whether you’re using it for business, school or fun, the extra speed is what’ll make the difference between finishing your work on time or failing.
Maximum and Common Capacity
SSD units can top out at 4TB, but these are quite rare and expensive. Compared to that, you’ll more likely find 500GB to 1TB units as primary drives in systems. Even though 500GB is considered to be the “base drive” these days, the pricing concerns can reduce that down to 128GB for lower-priced SSD-based systems. Multimedia users require much more capacity, with 1TB to 4TB drives as common in high-end systems.
Obviously, with more storage capacity, the more your PC will be able to hold videos, pictures, music, movies and so on. Although the digital cloud is a great place to store and share files among your PC, phone, and tablet, local storage is a less expensive option, as you only need to buy it once.
Since an SSD has no moving part to it, it will more likely keep your data safe than an HDD, especially in cases if your system crashes due to being shaken by an earthquake or if you drop your laptop by accident. Many hard drives rest their read/write heads when the system is off and when they’re active, they usually drive at hundreds of miles an hour. But that all has a limit and if you’re going to be rough on your system, then an SSD is recommended.
Due to their rotary recording surfaces, HDD surfaces usually work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks. This way, the drive head can start and stop their read in a single continuous motion. Though when the hard drives start filling up, the larger files get scattered around the disk platter, which is also known as fragmentation. But even though the read/write algorithms have improved to where those issues have been minimized, HDDs can still become fragmented. SSDs on the other hand, don’t care how much data is stored onto their chips since there aren’t any read heads. So by default, SSDs are faster.
Even if you were to get your hands on the world’s most quietest HDD, you’ll still hear a bit of noise coming from the drive spinning, or the read arm going back and forth, especially if it’s in a system has gone quite the distance, or in an all-metal system where it has been shoddily installed. To make matters worse, faster HDDs can make more noise than their silent counterparts. Since SSDs are non-mechanical, they virtually no sound whatsoever.
HDDs may have the edge in price and capacity, but if you’re looking for speed, durability lack of noise and fragmentation, then SSDs might as well be worth the extensive cost. Still, were it not for the factors of price and capacity, SSDs would have been the clear winners.