What’s the Difference Between a Solid State Drive and a Hard Disk Drive?

We have talked a lot about how to improve computer speeds on the blog and one point that we have repeatedly made is the difference that installing a Solid State Drive (SSD) can make. So what is an SSD anyway? How does it work and what makes it so much more efficient than Hard Disk Drives (HDD)? Learn the answers to these questions and more in today’s blog, below.

solid state drive

Tired of your computer running slowly? A solid state drive can make a world of difference.

How do SSD and HDD work?

In years past, a spinning HDD has been the storage method of choice on computers. This means that the information that is stored on it doesn’t disappear when your computer turns off like system memory would. Instead, an HDD is essentially a spinning disk that has been treated with a special magnetic coating that stores information. When the spinning disks meet the read/write head on the arm of the hard drive enclosure, the information is read and processed by the computer.  With an SSD, the same job is accomplished using interconnected flash memory chips instead of the spinning disks and arm. Because SSDs have no moving parts (unlike spinning HDDs), SSDs are virtually silent, shock-resistant, and have lower access and latency time.

Benefits of SSD

  • Speed. If you want your computer to boot up in a matter of seconds then you’ll need an SSD. A computer outfitted with a solid state drive will launch applications in the blink of an eye, be capable of navigating between multiple tabs and applications seamlessly, and have an overall much faster feel than a computer with an HDD.
  • Durability. Because SSDs do not contain any moving parts, they are far less likely to break due to normal wear and tear. If you drop your laptop accidentally, an SSD will be much more resilient to data loss than an HDD.
  • Fragmentation. Because of the way that they read data, HDDs often experience difficulty reading files that are not laid out contiguously and are at risk of fragmentation. Thanks to the use of interconnected flash chips, SSDs never become fragmented.

One downside SSD’s used to have was the prohibitively high price point. Over the years however, the gap in price between these two technologies makes the choice easy for consumers.   Don’t think twice; purchase an SSD over a traditional HDD every time.

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