Pros and Cons of a Solid State Drive (SSD)

What is a Solid State Drive?

A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a type of hard drive that works by storing information (e.g., your OS, personal data, programs, etc.) on flash memory which retains data whether power is on or not. It works in a similar way that a USB flash drive works just at a higher rate of speed and more reliable.

Advantages of having an SSD over a Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

An SSD hard drive has many advantages over a HDD but the most common and useful advantage is the speed at which data is accessed and written. SSD allows your PC to boot in a few seconds as opposed to a minute or more. Not only does your system start fast, it stays fast throughout your use.

Another great advantage of an SSD is no more file fragmentation. Fragmentation occurs when a hard drive begins to fill up and large files start to become scattered throughout the drive. This doesn’t happen with an SSD simply because there is no physical disk to write information to. SSD splits data between multiple chips to speed up access similar to drives configured in a RAID setup.

Disadvantages of having an SSD vs a HDD

The first thing that typically comes to mind when purchasing computer products is price. This is the largest downfall of the SSD when in direct comparison to a traditional HDD. The average cost per gigabyte can be upwards of 3 to 5 times greater in an SSD than that of a HDD. The difference in cost can be minor on the lower end of capacity, with drives in the 120GB-240GB range being about 2 to 3 times more than a comparable HDD on average. As the capacity rises, the cost difference gets exponentially greater. SSD drives in the 1TB range can easily be 5 times or higher than the cost of an HDD.

Disaster Recovery Plans for SSD and HDD

It is a fact that all SSD and HDD drives will fail at some point. The typical life span of a HDD or SSD may vary but either case a disaster recovery plan should be in place. Particularly in SSD failure scenario, it is usually a total loss while HDD failure recoveries are more available. In an SSD case, there are usually no indicators before complete failure.