A computer system requires a storage device for saving all the necessary information. Unlike memory that saves the data on a temporary basis, storage is required for permanent or long-term storage. Even if you shut down the computer, the data is still safe and intact in the storage. By using an SSD as your main hard drive, you can boost the overall performance. A hard disk drive or HDD was the most common form of storage since the past. It is still used in computer systems for storing bulk data at larger capacity. For example, an HDD of 500GB or 1TB is quite common that can allow you to store many larger files with adequate room for additional storage if necessary.
With the advent of flash memory technology, SSDs or solid state drives are being used in computers today. Due to faster processing speed and higher productivity, SSDs are preferred by users.
SSDs have much faster access times as compared to HDDs. If you use HDD as your main hard drive, you may often come across slower processing. If you run multiple applications on a regular basis, you would notice that it takes time while loading the applications. SSDs can eliminate this trouble due to faster access speed.
Functioning of SSD and HDD
In order to understand the advantage of using an SSD as your main hard drive, it is beneficial to understand the basic functioning. HDDs use magnetic energy for storing and retrieving data. It consists of rotating platters that contain magnetic materials. When the processor requires any information, a moving arm moves over the platter and retrieves the necessary data. The mechanical movement between the platter and arm ensures the processing of an HDD. Due to moving mechanical parts, it can experience an unexpected mechanical issue. It is not resistant to physical damage that can lead to loss of data. You cannot expect durability, data security, and reliability while handling important information.
SSDs function on the principle of flash memory technology. They contain integrated circuit assemblies or flash memory chips that store data on a permanent basis. As they lack any spinning disk and movable read/write heads, SSDs are faster, durable, and resistant as compared to HDDs. You can save your operating system, sensitive files, media, applications, and much more without running into risk of mechanical failure. By using an SSD as your main hard drive, you can easily improve the computer performance.
Pros of using SSD as your main hard drive
If you use an SSD as your main hard drive, you would notice a difference in the processing capability.
Faster speed is one of the primary benefits of using an SSD as your main hard drive. Usually, SSDs have access time of around 35-100 microseconds. Since HDDs contain mechanical parts, the access time increases to 25-100 milliseconds. This represents a major difference between both the SSD and HDD. The access time translates to the amount of time needed to load applications and run programs. With a processing speed that is almost 100 times faster than an HDD, you can expect exceptional performance from an HDD.
You would also notice faster file transfers when you use an SSD as your main hard drive. The read/write functions are performed inside the flash memory chips that can increase the speed to a great extent. The faster processing speed is particularly useful when you perform multi-tasking. Running multiple applications at the same time can lead to slower access times with HDD. SSDs can easily load intensive applications and other computing tasks. In order to take advantage of faster processing, you can replace your used HDD with a new SSD.
2. Durability of using SSD as your main hard drive
SSDs are durable and hence you can use them as your main hard drive without worrying about data loss. It is tough and resists any physical damage. HDDs contain moving parts that can break if dropped. From the standpoint of durability, you can stay assured that SSDs can store your sensitive files for a long time.
3. Compact size
In terms of size, SSDs are lightweight, sleek, and thinner as compared to HDD. Due to the compact structure, SSDs are portable. You can carry them and use them as external SSD. HDDs have moving parts that can increase the size.
4. Efficient power consumption
SSDs are power-efficient as compared to HDDs. Due to lack of moving parts, there is no rotational movement of the arm and platter. It can consume less power and also ensure energy efficient performance.
5. Less noise
When the arm moves over the spinning platter for retrieving data, it produces a background noise. Hence HDDs can produce significant noise as compared to SSDs. SSDs are quiet and do not generate any heat due to the presence of flash memory chips. There is no issue with respect to overheating and it can cool down easily while handling multiple tasks.
Cons of using SSD as your main hard drive
While faster processing speed can make your work much easier, it is also essential to understand the cons of using an SSD as your main hard drive.
1. Cost of using SSD as main hard drive
If you intend to use an SSD as your main hard drive, you must consider the cost. Usually SSDs are expensive as compared to an HDD. The cost of an SSD may be twice that of an HDD of similar capacity. By trading your used hard drive for an SSD, you can earn a cash value and use it to buy the SSD.
2. Storage space of SSD
While it is easy to find HDDs with large capacities ranging up to 1,2 or 4TB at a lower cost, it is difficult to find SSDs at the same cost. Usually, affordable SSDs have extremely lower storage space of around 128GB.
You can only use SSDs for a certain number of write cycles. After the data is stored on the flash memory chips, you cannot add more data without erasing the previous information. If you perform this process multiple times, it can lead to cell decaying. This can lower the lifespan of an SSD.
4. Limited availability
Due to the increasing demand and faster processing of SSDs, it may be difficult to find SSDs. Limited availability can lower your choices if you are considering using an SSD as your main hard drive.
5. Data recovery
If there is deletion of data from the SSD, you may find it difficult to recover it back.
After careful consideration of the pros and cons of using an SSD as your main hard drive, you can make the right decisions.