SSD or Solid-State Drive has some advantages and as well as disadvantages compared to conventional HDD. We’ll cover them in this article.
A quick history on SSD
SSD was announced long time ago in 1978 by StorageTek and since then the popularity of SSD as a media storage hasn’t improve so much. This is due to the expensive production cost of SSD.
If we compare SSD with a conventional Hard Drive, SSD is way behind HDD in term of popularity. Conventional Hard Drive is much cheaper and they are now available in much bigger capacity than SSD. However, with the development of new technology, SSD has now are getting more attention as this device has many advantages.
If conventional hard drive uses a disc as the media storage, SSD uses non-volatile flash memory for it. Non-volatile means that data is still stored even if the power or battery is cut off, an example of non-volatile memory is our USB thumb drive.
If there is a non-volatile, there must be the volatile one. A volatile is a temporary storage where data are loss once the power or battery is cut, an example of this model is our DDR RAM computer memory.
Since SSD uses flash memory, there are no moving parts from it so there is no mechanical wear like in conventional HDD. However, each block of the memory has a life time on the write and rewrite cycle although the controller is design to anticipate it by allocating less or unused-before block.
Advantages of SSD over conventional Hard Drive:
- SSD has a much better start-up time, random access time and read latency time compared to Hard Disc Drive. The later needs more time to mechanically spin the disc to read or write data.
- SSD has a more constant data transfer rate.
- SSD doesn’t need to undergo the fragmentation process as data are saved in different memory blocks. Doing so may have a disadvantage on the memory cells, especially the NAND type, as they have limited cycle life.
- SSD creates less noise as they have no moving parts.
- SSD doesn’t need special cooling fan and can normally tolerate more heat than conventional HDD.
- SSD is more resistant to shock and vibration as they don’t have any mechanical components.
- SSD is not susceptible to magnetic field.
- SSD are smaller and lighter than HDD physically, making it great for portable device.
- SSD consume less power than HDD by half or even a third, depending on the quality.
On the other hand, here is the disadvantage of SSD over HDD:
- With the same capacity, SSD is currently more expensive than HDD.
- With current technology, SSD max capacity is still below HDD. On 2011, SSD were available in sizes up to 2 TB compare to HDD which were available up to 4 TB.
- When a SSD fails, the failure is likely to be catastrophic, with total data loss. HDDs can fail in this way too, but often give warning that they are failing, allowing much or all of their data to be recovered
- SSD has a limited write and rewrite lifetime cycle.
Those are the advantages and disadvantages of SDD compared to a conventional Hard Disc Drive. In years to come, I’m pretty sure that SSD will replace HDD as a storage media. However, it will take some time for it to have a more competitive price and a better solution for the disadvantages.
If you are interested to find how many SSD are available today and how much is their price range, find it here.