SSD vs. HDD: Which is right for you?

Sep 27, 2013

SSD vs. HDD: Which is right for you?

The solid state drive (SSD) is the latest innovation in data storage. The technology has raised the bar over previous devices with its improved performance, lower energy consumption, and increased reliability, but it also brings a higher price tag. Are the features—and cost—of an SSD the right fit for your needs?

The so-called “legacy” hard disk drive (HDD), with its familiar spinning and whirring noise, has long been the standard in data storage. But with the development of the SSD, users now have more options. So, whether you’re looking for an external drive to back up data or an internal drive to boost performance, ask the right questions to make sure that you choose the device that meets your needs and your budget.

Installing an internal drive sounds complicated and time-consuming. Will I have to wipe my computer completely clean and start over?

The Samsung 830 Series’ full upgrade package ensures a safe and easy upgrade process. Norton Ghost software eliminates the need to reinstall applications, manually move data, or reconfigure user settings, which can reduce upgrade time by up to 75 percent. The package includes a bracket for installing the 2.5-inch drive in a 3.5-inch bay, all required cables (including a USB-to-SATA adapter for notebooks), and detailed instructions.

Will I really notice an increase in speed once I install an internal SSD? I’ve made upgrades in the past to my RAM and hard disk, and didn’t see a noticeable improvement.

While upgrades to your RAM and/or hard disk can boost performance under certain circumstances, one of the easiest changes you can make to increase your system’s speed is to add an SSD. A Samsung SSD can be eight times faster than a legacy HDD, speeding up everything you do: boot-up, file searches, file transfers, application start-up, file compilations, virus scans, and more.

I typically run several programs at once, while at the same time doing other memory-intensive processes like downloading music or movies. Can an SSD keep up?

With Samsung’s proprietary SSD technologies, you can download videos, edit pictures, and work on large-capacity files like PowerPoint and Excel, all at the same time, without any noticeable change in speed.

I stay on the go, and I’m pretty rough on my gear. I’ve already had to replace my laptop’s hard drive twice—should I consider an internal SSD?

With no moving parts, an SSD is much more resistant to shock and vibration than a HDD. The non-volatile NAND flash memory of the SSD takes the place of the HDD’s spinning platters, moving read-write heads, and fragile magnetic media, to provide reliable data storage with far fewer potential points of mechanical failure.

In my research, I found a hard drive with close to 10 times the data storage capacity of a similarly priced SSD! Shouldn’t I go for more storage space, since they cost the same?

If the devices shared apples-to-apples specifications, you should go for the better price. But HDD and SSD storage devices are built on different technology and offer different advantages. The comparatively low price of an HDD device may come at the cost of a feature that’s important to you (such as durability, energy consumption, or performance), so be sure to weigh each feature carefully when making your decision. Keep in mind that a low price doesn’t necessarily indicate a good value.

SSD is an exciting new technology, offering increased performance in a smaller and quieter package than ever before. But as with all technology purchases, only you can decide what is the perfect data storage solution to fit your particular needs.