Solid State Drives (SSD) are a great way to speed up a computer. It is a frequent repair we make to computers that are slow or having hard drive issues. However, some clients prefer the standard magnetic drive. In today’s post, we compare the two options and discuss the pros and cons of both.
Durability, Speed & Size
We lumped these two categories because for magnetic drives, as they age, they traditionally slow down. The speed of the drive comes from how fast the drive will read and write data. As a magnetic drive fills up with data and information, fragmentation occurs. This is where a file or program is saved to different areas of the drive. Before it is accessible, all the parts must be assembled, like a puzzle, resulting in slowdowns.
SSDs do not suffer from fragmentation. The design allows files and programs to be written to different cells of the drive with little impact on read/ write times. This gives the SSD the speed that traditional drives lack. However, with speed comes a price. Because the SSD functions with electrical impulses, over time, the cells wear down. This results in decreased performance until the SSD eventually wears out. For the everyday user, it will take a very long time for this process to happen.
Mechanical hard drives are more susceptible to physical damage than SSDs. This is due to the mechanical components. For example, if a laptop is dropped, the components inside a mechanical drive may collide with one another. This could lead to data corruption or full-on hard drive failure. We see this all the time in our shops. SSDs, by design, will take far more physical abuse than mechanical drives.
Lastly, consider the size of the drives. Mechanical hard drives come in a 2.5in size and a 3.5in size. SSDs come in a 2.5in form factor or an M.2 stick that connects directly to the computer’s motherboard. Overall, SSDs take up less space and can open up the free space inside desktops.
Mechanical hard drives range in storage size, starting at 250GB to several terabytes of storage capacity. Most mechanical drives available are in the 1-2TB (1,000-2,000GB) range, but the capacity can grow with little increase in cost. For example, a 2TB drive from Seagate costs $54.99, whereas an 8TB drive from Seagate costs $154.99. SSDs also come in a variety of sizes ranging from 250GB to 4TB.
As mentioned earlier, mechanical drives come in a variety of sizes with subtle increases in cost as you increase in storage capacity. Conversely, SSDs are much more expensive than mechanical drives. For example, a 4TB (4,000GB) SSD costs $534.99. The dramatic cost in price comes from the increased speed and reliability.
If you are considering replacing your computer’s hard drive, feel free to bring it into our shop. Our technicians will advise you on the best solution for your situation and can make sure the replacement process as smooth as possible. If you found this article interesting or helpful, check out our other posts!