What is SSD

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a nonvolatile storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.  Solid-state drives actually aren’t hard drives in the traditional sense of the term, as there are no moving parts involved.

A traditional hard disk drive (HDD) consists of a spinning disk with a read/write head on a mechanical arm called an actuator. An SSD, on the other hand, has an array of semiconductor memory organized as a disk drive, using integrated circuits (ICs) rather than magnetic or optical storage media.



SSD vs. HDD pros and cons

SSD performance is considered to be much faster than the highest performance electromechanical disk drives. Seek time and latency are also substantially reduced, and end users typically enjoy much faster boot times. In general, SSDs are more durable and much quieter than HDDs, with no moving parts to break or spin up or down. SSDs employ wear leveling to increase drive lifespan. Wear leveling is typically managed by the flash controller, which uses an algorithm to arrange data so write/erase cycles are distributed evenly among all the blocks in the device.

Attribute SSD (Solid State Drive) HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
Power Draw / Battery Life Less power draw, averages 2 – 3 watts, resulting in 30+ minute battery boost More power draw, averages 6 – 7 watts and therefore uses more battery
Cost Expensive, roughly $0.20 per gigabyte (based on buying a 1TB drive) Only around $0.03 per gigabyte, very cheap (buying a 4TB model)
Capacity Typically not larger than 1TB for notebook size drives; 4TB max for desktops Typically around 500GB and 2TB maximum for notebook size drives; 10TB max for desktops
Operating System Boot Time Around 10-13 seconds average bootup time Around 30-40 seconds average bootup time
Noise There are no moving parts and as such no sound Audible clicks and spinning can be heard
Vibration No vibration as there are no moving parts The spinning of the platters can sometimes result in vibration
Heat Produced Lower power draw and no moving parts so little heat is produced HDD doesn’t produce much heat, but it will have a measurable amount more heat than an SSD due to moving parts and higher power draw
Failure Rate Mean time between failure rate of 2.0 million hours Mean time between failure rate of 1.5 million hours
File Copy / Write Speed Generally above 200 MB/s and up to 550 MB/s for cutting edge drives The range can be anywhere from 50 – 120MB / s
Encryption Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Supported on some models Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Supported on some models
File Opening Speed Up to 30% faster than HDD Slower than SSD
Magnetism Affected? An SSD is safe from any effects of magnetism Magnets can erase data

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