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Difference Between SSD and Hard Drive

harddrive_ssdSSD vs Hard Drive

Hard drives have been the storage medium of choice for a very long time due to its very high capacity and endurance. Data on a hard drive is stored on metal discs called platters which are spun around in order for the moving arm to read the magnetic data on the disc. The current emerging technology that has begun to compete with hard drives are Solid State Drives or SSDs. These store data in flash memory modules giving them a lot of advantages over hard drives.

The spinning platters and moving arms in a hard drive create a lot of unwanted problems that are not present in SSDs. The first of which is the power consumption. Converting electrical energy into mechanical energy always consumes a lot of power and creates heat as a byproduct. The moving parts also make hard drives susceptible to impact damage. SSDs do not suffer from these problems because it doesn’t have moving parts making it ideal for laptops and other mobile devices.

The speed at which data is read and written from the drive is a very significant factor for drives. In this aspect, the SSD also wins by a large margin since it acts just like the RAM in your computer. Data is readily written and read from an SSD unlike in a hard drive where the arm needs to be positioned to the right spot then wait for the platter to turn enough so that the arm can read the data.

The limiting factor in the general proliferation of SSDs at the moment is its price. SSDs are a lot more expensive compared to hard drives per gigabyte of storage, though the advantages are outweighing the cost in mobile devices like laptops. SSDs also suffer from a limited number of writes before a certain memory element fails. This is a trait shared by all flash based memory, although the specific number of writes before failure can vary from one device to another. Manufacturers combat this by a method called wear leveling, where they find the least often used portion of memory to write new data to. This allows the drive to survive a lot longer and the individual memory elements to fail at roughly the same time.

1. SSDs have no mechanical parts like hard drives do.
2. SSDs can achieve much faster speeds compared to a hard drive.
3. SSDs can sustain a lot more force from impact compared to hard drives.
4. SSDs consume less power than hard drives.
5. SSDs have a very limited number of writes before it fails.
6. SSDs are more expensive than hard drives.

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  1. What does “SSDs have a very limited number of writes before it fails.” mean?

    • How Data drives work, in a nutshell, is they “write” data to the “paper” or in the case of hard drives, disks and solid state drives, modules. When something is erased off of the drive the same physical spot where that data was can be reused. That quote refers to the fact that this process can only be performed a limited number of times before the SSD fails and becomes useless.

  2. Is it a good alternative to save documents in the cloud


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