Solid State Drives VS. Hard Disk Drives. Who Wins?

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Solid State Drives VS. Hard Disk Drives. Who Wins?

solid state drive vs hard disk drive

Solid State Drives (SSD’s) are a new type of drive used for storage of files, programs, pictures. Similar in what it does to a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) however very different in the mechanics of it as there are no moving or mechanical compoenets (HDD’s and floppy drives have spinning disks and movable read/write heads). SSD’s are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, and have lower access time. Which is the time it takes between requests to open a program and when the request is completed. They are much faster than hard drives and provide better stability. See below for a chart comparing some of the differences between the types of drives. 

ACCESS TIME 35-100 microseconds. 5,000-10,000 microseconds.
RELIABILITY No moving parts so you will receive better performance and reliability. Moving parts such as the arm and read/write head, and magnetic platters so you get less performance and reliability gains.
POWER SSD’s use less power so you may have lower energy bills over time and if you are using a laptop you will have longer battery life. Hard Drives have a lot of moving components including the read/write head, the spinning platters (which spin at thousands of rotations per minute!) so they require a lot more power to keep them going.
NOISE  SSD’s access data from flash storage and as a result there are no moving components and virutally no noise generated from these devices. One of the loudest components in the computer is often times the hard drive due to (you guessed it!) all of the moving components in the drive.
HEAT They generate less heat as a result of not having any mechanical componenets. More heat generated due to the mechanical nature, and even requires a hole for proper ventilation.
MAGNETISM  Not affected by strong magnets. The drive reads and writes data using magnets and as a result can be affected with data loss as a direct result of strong magnets.

What makes one SSD better than the others?

To make a good SSD all of the components must be made in house. There are a few components that make up an SSD, the NAND, the Controller, and the firmware. It is better for one SSD brand to control all of these because you don’t have several different components from several different manufacturers in use. They tend to be more robust, better performing and less likely to fail. There are 3 brands that meet this requirement – Intel, Samsung, and Crucial.

Data Loss and SSDs

Data loss is more of a threat for Solid State Drives as they are purely electronic in nature (no moving parts as mentioned above.) so it’s important to keep a backup in place such as the cloud solutions we offer (ask one of our technicians about it) or an external drive that you backup your information to as often as possible. 


SSD’s don’t have to worry about mechanical components wearing down over time. However, as with all computer components, they do have to worry about electronic components going bad. Capacitors can blow, the power supply can die, or the controller chip could give in. When electronic components die there is often no sign that they are beginning to fail. They either work – or they don’t. Gillware, our data recovery expert of choice, has published a report stating “solid state technology represents an entirely new set of engineering problems to research teams at data recovery organizations” as a result the average data recovery on an SSD is about $2,500 where as the average HDD recovery cost is about $649. That’s a huge jump in costs for organizations with important data and another reason it’s crucial for both companies and individuals to keep regular backups of their computers. 

Stay tuned next week for our video detailing how to create an image backup of your computer in case of failure. 

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