SSD Vs Hard Drives

Solid-state drives (SSDs) puts hard disk drives (HDD) out of the competition picture when performance is much more critical than the price. In reality, there is no much difference between a 2.5 inches hard drive and a SSD as they hold similar form factor to a certain extent. The connection interface with the motherboard is almost the same. The power connectors are same and the mounting case used in a PC case or a laptop hard drive bay is usually the same. The major difference between a SSD and a hard drive is how these drives store and retrieve information.

Currently, the situation has turned as such, that the user needs to make the decision between getting either a SSD or HDD in their storage environments. Moreover, all major data storage appliance vendors are also offering SSD enriched devices for performance oriented storage applications.

Subsequently, there is no straight answer to the question, which is best to get, a SSD or a HDD?   The only thing one has to go with is to select the storage media based on the needs, budget and preferences.  Here is an article which will throw some light on the features of an SSD and a hard drive and will help the reader to bring some contrast in between an SSD and Hard drive.

Solid State Drives (SSD) – Solid-state drives use NAND flash memory which is non- volatile. A non- volatile memory doesn’t need consistent power supply in order to retain information. Now the other fact is that SSDs doesn’t have any mechanical arm to read/write data, as they rely on an embedded processor called a controller. This controller keeps a track and control of all the operations related to read and writing of data. It has an important role to play as it needs to decide on how to store, retrieve, cache and clean up data.

  • On an average, SSDs just consume 2-3 watts of power.
  • The functional cost of a SSD comes to $1.50/GB which has even more reduced in recent times.
  • SSDs with 2TB storage capacity will take on the market in 2014
  • On an average note, 22 seconds of bootup time is observed in SSDs.
  • SSD MTBF is 2.0 million hours

Hard disk drives- Hard disks are considered to be the cheapest storage media forms (apart from tapes) as they are available in high capacities and that to at a less price when compared to SSDs. A hard disk consists of two electric motors where one spindle motor spins the disk and the other positions the R/W head assembly across the spinning disks. Hard disks consists platters coated with magnetic material on which data is written and stored.  Data transfer depends on the rotational speed of platters which can range in between 4,200RPM – 15,000RPM.

  • Since, moving parts generate heat, hard disks emit heat into the surroundings and can cause temperature rise.
  • Given that, moving parts need power to function; hard disks consume more energy than SSDs.
  • On an average 6-7 watts of power are consumed by hard disks.
  • But their cost of operating is just $0.10 GB and so is economical when compared to SSDs.
  • Nowadays, Hard disks are available in up to 4TB storage capacity and in future 10TB storage capacity drives can be expected.
  • The average boot up time of hard disk is just 40 seconds.
  • Due to moving parts and spinning of platters and vibration, Hard disks do generate some noise in the storage environment.
  • On average hard disks MTBF (Mean Time between Failures) rate is 1.5 million hours.
  • Hard disk can offer file read and write speeds ranging from 50- 150MB/sec.

Finally, on a conclusion note, the truth is that SSD invasion doesn’t mean end of hard disk drives in storage field. The fact is that hard drives will surely exist like how tape is making its living. The only point is that depending upon the needs, hard disks and SSD deployment will be applicable. Sometimes the need for more sophisticated variety in the form of a Hybrid HDD may also become a hot trend.

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