You have been on a laptop or personal computer hunt recently and have asked this question many times, “why is there such a big difference? They both look same to me” and the seller had flashed you his most charming one heck of a nerdish smile and said “SSD” and it left you wondering whatever that is. Well here is good entry answering some frequently asked question about the newest SSDs which are a big thing with the MAC users. Sympathizing with all your qualms and taking into consideration all the features that mark a conventional HDD from a SSD, below is a list tailored according to your needs. Keep Calm and Carry On!
A HDD or Hard Disk Drive uses rapidly rotating discs (platters) coated with magnetic material for storing and retrieving data which makes it weigh much more than a SSD or Solid State Drive that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently . HDD also contains rigid rotating platters with magnetic heads attached to a motor or an actuator arm which read or writes the data from the disk. Unlike a Hard Disk Drive, SSD uses an electronic interface which is fully compatible with the block input/output HDDs and weigh much less. While a 500 GB HDD will weigh down your chassis with 100 gm. a SSD will only weigh 54 gm. When it comes to weight SSD gains an upper hand
9) Boot up
Trust me no one ever likes waiting for a Personal Computer or Laptop to take forever to boot up. That’s why a MAC is appealing with a boot up time of 6 seconds from hibernation and 20 for a normal start-up while the conventional system or sans- SSD systems can take anywhere around 15 to 20 seconds for waking up and 30 to 55 seconds for start-up, what causes the delay? The hard drive! If I had to put it down simply then a HDD wastes too much time looking into its sectors to find the boot-up files and then load ‘em for you while a SSD will remember where they are once you have installed the OS and will take absolutely no time to load. Yet again SSD gets a remarkable edge
If you are a gaming enthusiast and just like mine your desktop is cluttered with shortcuts from NFS, COD to Assassin Creeds shortcut then you might have faced the problem of temperature as well. You can’t focus when you have a machine making awful noises and blowing up hot air right into your face. The key is to keep the system cool. The most troublesome components of a computer, read heat generating, are the Processor, RAMs, Graphic Cards, Storage Drive, PSU and the motherboard itself. You could definitely go ahead for high end technology like liquid cooling or radiators but then you will end up cooling the component from outside. When it comes to SSD, the lack of any rotating parts keeps it quite calm let’s say no heat at all. While an HDD might give away due to the external and internal heat emanating from the rotators. Your SSD will stand by you
7) Shelf Life
While a SSD has 1500000 hours between failures, a HDD has 600000 load/unload cycles. It adds up to a very meager difference between the two but that’s when the power draw comes into effect. A HDD quite logically requires more power than a SSD because of its rotating components. A HDD requires on average a 6-7 watt of power draw to keep it going a SDD just require 2-3 watt of power draw to run. More power draw mean a reduced battery life. Also the drawing less power gives SSD a 30 minute power boost. Read that your laptop will run for extra half an hour without you having to rush around like a maniac to find a power source.
If you have ever started your computer and then stood their literally telling it to be quite for it is going to be over soon then it’s your hard drive to be blamed. The rotating parts make a horrible clicking noise of their own and the heat produced throttle the cooling capacity of those fancy LED fans. But the SSD have no such parts and hence they are quite as a breeze. Though one con of a noisy HDD is that if it stops working you will know immediately, most common noises with the HDD are the three click noise which suggests that either the HDD is broken or one click means the sad demise of your HDD and all the data. That’s why when it comes to your data take no chances always back them up. That trip to a Data Recovery Centre can cost you a mini-fortune say 300$ or around 40000INR
5) Transfer and program opening speed
These tests had to be done on different configurations at home. Personal satisfaction and proof at a close quarter is guaranteed when you try something yourself. I took a conventional configuration i.3 core and 8 GB RAM, OS- Windows 7 and a HDD. A normal file transfer of 2 GB i.e., 300 JPEG files took 15 seconds. To monitor the data rate I used Blackmagic software which recorded a read rate of 380 MB/sec and a write rate of 241MB/sec. Now swapping the HDD with SDD the read rate jumped remarkably to 460MB/sec and the write rate to 380 MB/ sec.
For the next transfer I ran CS5 in the background which took up staggering 6 seconds to open on a SSD rather than 20 seconds on a HDD. The read write rate dropped by 70 MB/sec on a HDD while SSD seems to have taken it very well with just a drop rate of 25 MB/sec. In context of speed SSD once again takes down HDD and continues to be clear winner.
4) Magnetic Resistance
There is no way one can restrain oneself from mentioning the Breaking Bad genius. Those of you who don’t follow the series, the proof against a big drug trade was on a laptop and to destroy it whilst it was kept in a secure police vault they used industrial electromagnets to wipe it. You surely don’t want this to happen to your data anyway irrespective of the fact, whether you have a meth lab of your own or not. Magnetic resistance is something which SSD inherits naturally because of its lack of magnetic parts. (Don’t try this at home) if you are using a HDD and bring a small magnet close to it your screen will flicker and if you hold it there long enough it can easily corrupt your data and leave with a number of bad sectors. A SSD, on the other hand, will not stop working under such circumstances. A little advice for newbies, keep your speakers away from your HDD because they have magnets and it reduces the shelf life of your storage device.
A HDD is around 69.85 x 6.8 x 100.2 mm while a SDD is 100 x 69.85 x 6.8 mm naturally it takes less space in your already cluttered chassis, count the fans, graphic card, RAM etc. It also gives room for ventilation as the area around the storage gets heated up because generally RAMs are mounted just above the drive stack. It also means lesser load on the cooling system and less power draw. Since it is easy to carry you could throw in a recycled adapter from one of your old external drive and make your-self a brand new external hard drive DIY
SSD is something people are afraid to choose because they have been loyal to HDD for the last 60 years. Yes, you read that right, HDD has been in the market for almost 6 decades. Subsequently the options available in the SSD market are very few and they do not go beyond 1 TB while HDD of 16 TB are slated to be released by 2016
Cost is one condition where HDD beats SSD hands down. While a 500 GB HDD comes at 3279 INR a 500 GB SSD can cost 27,950 INR and thus, being costly is the only drawback of SSD. Keeping the value terms aside I would gladly give the winner’s award to SSD but when it comes to buy one. My advice will be to wait for the prices to come down or use a SSD for booting purposes solely