Oh yeah, You heard about SSD’s insanely fast speed compared to traditional hard drives that we are using now and confused what actually is it and should you upgrade to SSD? You are on right place, Today i will clear all your questions about SSD in simple language without going too deep into its nand flash chips, DRAM chips and bla bla that normal home user does not care or want to understand. We will also compare it with hard drive.
Complete name of SSD stands for Solid State Drive. SSD uses number of storage chips interconnected for greater capacity. SSD have no movable parts unlike traditional HDD which have spinning magnetic platters and movable read/write head that moves on fast spinning magnetic platters at distance of nano meters. Not having any moving parts makes SSD more resistant against physical damages like shocks and falls. Most of the SSD’s are based on nand flash chips .
Hard drives usually have problem of fragmentation.Hard drives uses movable head to read and write data on spinning platters. Data is stored in blocks on platters. Over long periods of usage makes data scattered around platters in different places, this makes read/write head’s need to move continuously to different positions in order to read files. This causes HDD to become slow. Newer Hard Drives have much advanced read/write algorithms that reduce the disk fragmentation problem. But SSD’s have no movable parts ,so it does not face dist fragmentation problem. It makes SSD’s blazing fast compared to Hard drives.
Form Factors of SSD’s
SSD’s comes in many form factors like 2.5 inch box sized similar to current notebook computers that makes it easy to take out old Hard drive and replace it with SSD without any trouble and another form factors includes PCI express slot or mini PCIe slot or even permanently soldered SSD chips comes with some laptops from company.
Advantages of SSD’s over HDD’s
- Biggest benifit of SSD is definitely it’s speed. No matter which high end hard drive you compare with, SSD beats any hard drive by huge margin anyday. My windows 7 PC used to boot in more than 25 seconds with HDD. Whereas it takes only less than 12 seconds with SSD to make it boot. Of course it is fresh installed windows.
- Lack of physical read/write head makes SSD get away from frequent falls and shocks unlike hard drives which are extremely sensitive to shocks and falls.
- As SSD’s does not have physical moving read/write head and spinning motors, it makes SSD’s very power efficient compared to HDD’s. It will surely improve battery backup of your laptop.
Disadvantages of SSD’s against HDD’s
- While this is true that SSD’s are very reliable ,but it is also true that SSD’s wear out over time. It’s nand chips have limited number of read and write cycles. For normal users this should not be thing to worry. But for advanced users like Video Editors who read and write files continuously this can be problem. This makes it unsuitable for video editors or power users. But SSD’s are improving day by day. TRIM command have already increased life of SSD’s.
- Biggest drawback of SSD’s is it’s price, which SSD’s are also available in sizes like 2Tb or 4TB. But it’s price makes it suitable only for enterprises users. But prices of SSD’s reducing by big margin now, as 4tb samsung SSD last year was priced at $2500, now one can get it for around $1500.But it is still much higher than HDD which one can get for less than $200 for 4TB. $2500 can easily make your computer build over budget.
So final quetion, should you upgrade? If you are speed monsters who love everything crazy fast,then SSD is for you,easy solution is to buy smaller capacity SSD like 120GB or 250GB and install your OS and games on it. And use HDD as storage device for your games collection and songs collection in your desktop computer .Samsung evo series SSD’s are great choice for consumers. And if you are very careless user with your laptop. SSD is definitely for you as it is less prone to damage from shocks. But for normal home users and power users like video editors ,SSD’s does not makes much sense as of now. We will see more price drop in near future.