If your laptop or PC uses a hard disk, you'll be amazed at the difference an SSD can make to it. We take a look at 9 great benefits of an SSD and why your computer should have one.
Computers have come a long way since the first Altair 8800's and Apple I's, and are increasingly customizable according to our demands.
Not only do you have a selection of operating systems to choose from, but now you have options for how much memory and storage space you want on your computer.
If you're buying a new computer or upgrading an old one, one of the most important decisions you'll make is deciding on storage space. The two main options for storage are hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD).
We'll tell you all the benefits of an SSD over an HDD and why you might want to consider investing in one for your computer.
SSD and HDD
Before we get into the solid-state drive advantages, we need to make clear the distinction between solid-state drives and hard disk drives.
Both types of drives are used to boot the system and permanently store all of the files, documents, and programs.
Your favorite photos from your honeymoon or prom? Safely kept in either the SSD or HDD.
Now, SSDs and HDDs store all the information on your computer in two distinct ways.
An HDD stores all of the information on your computer on magnetic plates, which are read by a needle. Whenever you access a specific document, the HDD will spin the magnetic plate to the spot it has stored that document and open it.
An SSD stores information on interconnected flash memory chips. Since there are no magnetic plates that need to spin to access the information, the SSD simply reads the document you want to open.
Benefits of an SSD
Thanks to the difference in how an SSD stores information, it has several advantages over an HDD.
1. Faster Speed
SSDs can access information stored on them within 35 to 100 microseconds as compared to HDDs with speeds of 5,000 to 10,000 microseconds. The difference in speed means your computer will boot up faster, open documents faster, and transfer files faster than HDDs.
2. Reliable and Durable
Since there are no moving parts in an SSD, it performs better and is more reliable overall.
On the off-chance that you ever accidentally drop a laptop with an SSD in it, the SSD will come out undamaged and the all the data safe. This is also true if your desktop or laptop is ever badly shaken while in use.
3. No Fragmentation
A common problem with HDDs is disk fragmentation. Fragmentation means that several files have been separated into pieces and scattered all over the magnetic plates of an HDD. Fragmentation will eventually happen as it occurs the more you create, delete, or modify files.
However, an advantage of an SSD is that it doesn't cause fragmentation. This goes back to the fact that SSDs don't have moving magnetic plates like HDDs.
4. Lower Power Consumption
Another great benefit thanks to an SSD not having moving parts is the fact that it consumes much less power while in use.
The moving parts of an HDD mean that it needs to draw on more power to make everything move.
This means that your laptop will last longer when not plugged in, and a lower energy bill if you constantly or almost always have your computer on.
5. No Noise
Solid-state drives generate virtually no noise because they have no moving parts.
If you ever hear a whirring noise coming from your laptop or computer, chances are it is either the fan or the HDD. The faster the magnetic plates in the HDD spin, the more noise you will hear.
6. Compact Designs
SSDs are a perfect fit for laptops as they come in 1", 1.8", and 2.5" sizes, which makes your laptop lighter to carry around. The lighter size is great for college students or business people who often need to drag their laptops with them everywhere they go.
The smaller size also affords more space in desktops for other components that can be much larger and require more space, such as a motherboard or higher-quality fans for cooling.
7. No Heat
Because an SSD has no moving parts, it will generate less heat than an HDD. This helps lower the overall heat generated by your laptop or desktop while also extending the lifespan of the SSD.
8. Not Affected by Magnetism
A drawback that HDDs suffer from is the magnetic plates they use to store information. HDDs need magnetism to write the information on the plates. With this in mind, a strong magnet can erase the data saved to an HDD.
Fortunately, everyday refrigerator magnets your 5-year-old stuck to your laptop or desktop isn't anywhere near strong enough to do that kind of damage.
Of course, if you do work around strong magnets, then you'll be happy to know an SSD isn't affected by magnetism at all since it has no magnetic parts.
9. Easy to Install and Use
SSDs are incredibly easy to install and use because of their small size. They can also fit into existing HDD bays and don't require any special changes or modifications.
Simply plug in the SSD into an available drive bay with brackets if necessary, attach an unused power cable and a SATA cable to the SSD. Afterward, it's merely a matter of turning the computer on and installing the operating system onto the SSD.
Of course, you can always hire a professional to replace your hard drive for you if you don't want to risk your data.
Disadvantages of an SSD
Just as HDDs have their own set of disadvantages, SSDs also have a couple of disadvantages to keep in mind when looking for a storage system.
For one, SSDs are a lot more expensive than HDDs.
While there are SSDs with capacities of 4TB and more, those higher capacity drives are incredibly expensive. A 4TB SSD will cost you $1,000 and up depending on the retailer.
Comparatively, a quality 4TB HDD won't cost you more than $200, and that's only if you need a 4TB storage system.
Realistically, if you are considering an SSD then keep in mind that a 256GB SSD will cost about $100.
HDD or SSD?
Now that you know the benefits of an SSD, you're better equipped to figure out what your computer needs.
Of course, if you like the advantages of an SSD but also want to have an HDD, that's possible too!
There's no need to limit yourself, dual-drive systems are available.
If you have any questions or woud like to learn more, then check out our blog for more info!
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