We created 2.5 quintillion data bytes daily in 2020. – techjury
It’s unimaginable. By 2025, we the people will be generating 463 exabytes of data every day.
Mobile technology changed the playing field substantially. Smartphones and tablets connecting to Wi-Fi are generating and consuming data at a rate no one – even Al Gore, the creator of the internet – could have predicted.
We have hardware and software choices galore. But the primary storage options we have for all that data are HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid data drive).
What Are HDD and SSD, Really?
HDDs and SSDs do the same job: They boot up your device and store software apps and your data-stuff.
HDDs are hardware and they are the most inexpensive and widely used storage method. They can hold lots and lots of data, but before you choose cheap, you need to understand there are compromises.
HDDs operate using several magnetic-coated spinning platters with a read/write head. While they’re cost-efficient, the more data you add and encode, the slower the HDD becomes. And anything with moving parts has a fail factor. With minimal wear and tear, HDDs last about 6 years.
Many desktop computers and cheaper laptops will continue to use HDDs for many years, but some techies believe they will eventually become obsolete. Enter the cloud, which is the ultimate storage solution. Cloud-based storage costs more than local, but…it’s the cloud. It may very well keep HDDs alive and well.
SSDs, meanwhile, are like flash drives. They don’t have any moving parts which is why they are “solid-state.” SSDs operate faster, have better battery longevity and boot faster. They’re often used in midrange and high-end laptops. They offer fast performance, but cost-wise, have less storage bang for your buck. When SSD shopping, one factor to consider are terabytes written (TBW). More is better. A greater number of terabytes gives you more storage capacity and longer life.
The Differences: Money and More
SSDs cost more. Where an internal, 1 TB, 2.5″ hard drive might cost around $50 on average, the same SSD-capacity device starts at $100. That equates to:
- HDD – 5 cents/gigabyte
- SSD – 10 cents/gigabyte
Consumer needs vs. business needs continue to define the SSD market. More businesses prefer SSDs. Consumer SSD capacities for the typical laptop will average between 128 GB and 256 GB, with capacities rarely exceeding 256 GB — but they are expensive. Meanwhile, a laptop hard drive capacity between 250 GB and 500 GB is fairly standard.
Speed is where SSDs are rockstars. SSDs boot up, open and run apps in seconds. And it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing; when your time is valuable, SSDs are the way to go. A laptop using Windows 10 has Word™ open and ready for you to begin typing in about 4 minutes. An SSD is Word-ready in approximately 30-40 seconds.
Fragmentation is another consideration. When hard drives begin filling up, pieces of files get scattered around. This was more of a problem in “the old days,” but fragmentation can still slow you down even more. This won’t occur with SSDs. SSDs are also sturdier. If your hard-drive-driven laptop takes a tumble, anything can go wrong because you have so many breakables (the moving parts). If you’re the kind of person who is hard on electronics – and we know who we are – then that’s a big pro for considering an SSD device.
On the other hand, data recovery can be more difficult to perform on SSDs compared to HDDs. For one thing, solid-state data locales are constantly changing to reduce wear and tear making data recovery more difficult. On top of that, SSDs have unstable physical drives and many potential failure points: there are no platters, no schematics, no mechanical hardware and fully electronic circuitry.
The first step in recovering data from any SSD is to read the raw data and create a raw copy of it. Then you’ll want to use software to scan the whole image file. Creating the copy is necessary because of the instability of the physical drive. Data recovery from an HDD involves the same steps but is easier because the failures are often due to mechanical wear and tear; normally you can just replace whatever is broken and get it working again. Note, however, special care must be taken to perform repairs in a clean, dust-free room to prevent contamination.
For some people, size matters. Hard drives with adequate storage can only be built so small. For example, your cellphone has a flash memory. SSDs’ size, on the other hand, may only be limited by the size of our fingers.
Non-mechanical SSDs are noiseless. Hard drive platters spin and the read/write heads move, so there’s a bit of sound generated.
And that’s another thing. SSDs use less energy. They don’t need the power to support moving mechanisms so the battery life is longer and, depending on your device, you may use noticeably less electricity.
How to Decide Which Is for You
It’s annoying when you ask a question and the answer is, “It depends.” But choosing between SSD or HDD can depend on a variety of factors, namely the ones outlined above. Here is a guide to make the decision a little easier.
Go for an SSD if you are:
- Audio professional/musician
- Engineering professional, construction project manager, graphic artist and other positions who regularly need to hit important deadlines (or just a normal person who is always in a hurry)
- Gamer and/or streamer (not a collector)
- Road-tripper or frequent flier
HDD is better if you are:
- In need of high capacity for less cost (AKA poor)
- Multimedia hoarder (you download and keep everything)
If you would like to learn more about SSDs, HDDs, data recovery or if you have specific electronics repair questions, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Our quotes are free and we guarantee you’ll get the best price we have to offer. We’re invested in our company, our quality of work, and our business partnerships. (And we partner with every customer to attain the best possible outcome.) Contact us today!