Posted on


The pros and cons of SSDs (Solid State Drives)

Deciding if my company should migrate wholesale to SSDs.


Speed – both transfer and access are a separate league from HDDs, even if we were considering RAID. Newer M.2 / PCIe based controllers offer transfers speeds about 10x faster than the best available HDDs, SATA based solutions are 4-5 times faster in transfer while either solution has about 100 times lower access times to data.

Reliability – less things to go wrong. Many things are said about SSDs having a set life expectancy, but this apples to write operations. Even if the controller decided that a memory cell reached its life expectancy, it won’t let you write on it, but you will be able to retrieve the data. Real life stress tests showed that the rated time to failure stated by most SSD manufacturers, is much shorter than what drives can achieve. The average consumer won’t come even close to depleting the average life of a SSD drive over a decade or more. HDDs that make that are a rare exception.

Cost of deployment – the great speed advantages allow spanning RAID arrays, installing programs and OS much shorter than doing the same with large HDDs. Even if you are unlucky and a SSD fails, you can replace it and re-deploy it much faster than you would a HDD of similar capacity (or any capacity).

Consumption – lower consumption than HDDs

Noise – no noise.


    Price per GB is considerably higher than that of HDDs.
    Available capacities: even the high-capacity SSDs cannot compete with HDDs when you need large quantities of data being stored in consumer PCs.
    Some early models were not very reliable from a controller / firmware perspective, but last 2-3 years most issues appear to have been ironed out.

I clearly don’t understand why people think that a failed HDD can have data recovered from it that easily…I am guessing they never tried or are referring to an anecdotal personal experience they got lucky with. Something being possible in some cases, is massively different from the norm for HDDs, or warranting optimism for being “easy”. It is not.

If you have lots of critical data – and that could be as simple as family photos you don’t want to lose – cloud based backup and regular external HDD or RAID 1 based backups should be on the top of your list. If you bet on recovering data from a dead HDD, you will be disappointed sooner or later.

Advantages of SSD over HDD

SSDThe standard hard drive (HDD) has been the predominant storage device for computers, both desktops and laptops, for a long time. The main draw is the storage size and low cost. Computer manufacturers can include large hard drives at a small cost, so they’ve continued to use HDDs in their computers. The solid state drive (SSD) is available and can replace an HDD relatively easily. As you’ll find by reading the below pros and cons, the SSD is a clear winner, but because of the price it still doesn’t make sense to use SSDs for all uses. For most computer users, we suggest using SSD as the primary drive for your operating system and most important programs. We then recommend using one or more HDD inside the same computer, or an external HDD, to store documents, pictures and music, which don’t need the fast access times of SSD.

Access time An SSD has access speeds of 35 to 100 micro-seconds, which is nearly 100 times faster. This faster access speed means programs can run more quickly, which is very significant, especially for programs that access large amounts of data often like your operating system. A typical HDD takes about 5,000 to 10,000 micro-seconds to access data.
Price The price of a solid state drive is much more than an HDD, which is why most computers with an SSD only have a few hundred gigabytes of storage. Desktop computers with an SSD may also have one or more HDDs for additional storage. HDD is much cheaper than SSD, especially for drives over 500GB.
Reliability The SSD drive has no moving parts. It uses flash memory to store data, which provides better performance and reliability over an HDD. The HDD has moving parts and magnetic platters, meaning the more use they get, the faster they wear down and fail.
Capacity Although there are large SSDs realistically for most people’s budgets anything over 512GB SSD is beyond their price range. Several terabyte hard disk drives are available for very reasonable prices.
Power The SSD uses less power than a standard HDD, which means a lower energy bill over time and for laptops an increase of battery life. With all the parts and requirements to spin the platters the HDD uses more power than an SSD.
Noise With no moving parts SSD generates no noise. With the spinning platters and moving read/write heads an HDD can sometimes be one of the loudest components in your computer.
Size SSD is available in 2.5″, 1.8″, and 1.0″, increasing the available space available in a computer, especially a desktop or server. HDDs are usually 3.5″ and 2.5″ in size, for desktop and laptops respectively with no options for anything smaller.
Heat Because there are no moving parts and due to the nature of flash memory, the SSD generates less heat, helping to increase its lifespan and reliability. With moving parts comes added heat, which is why the HDD generates more heat. Heat can slowly damage electronics over time, so the higher the heat, the greater the potential of damage being done.
Magnetism SSD is not affected by magnetism. Because a hard drive relies off magnetism to write information to the platter information could be erased from an HDD using strong magnets.

Leave a Reply