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Solid State Drives Vs. Traditional Hard Drives

Posted By Tim On July 27, 2012 @ 3:00 PM In I've Always Wanted To Know... | 1 Comment

I’ve Always Wanted To Know:
Why solid state over traditional hard drives?



Are you in the market for a new hard drive or backup storage device and notice they come in two different types: solid state memory/hard drives and mechanical/traditional drives. So why would you want one over the other? Let’s talk about the Pro’s and Con’s:

Solid State Memory/Hard Drive


  • Faster speeds in both random access time (the time it takes to seek a random file out on the drive) and sustained transfer rate (the speed the file transfers to your machine at)
  • Far more durable as it doesn’t have any mechanical moving parts which can wear down .
  • Very low power usage saves energy and prolongs battery life.
  • Light weight keeps the device as light as possible.


  • Less reliable. Solid state memory has a limited number of read/write cycles it can go through and though many manufacturers offer 3 year warranties the drives do not have the long life of mechanical drives.
  • Expensive for the size of the drive you get.

Traditional Hard Drive:


  • Large capacities up to 4 TB (4 trillion bytes of information)
  • Long lifespan with some drives warrantied for up to one million MTBF (mean time between failure)
  • Lower cost per gigabyte of storage.


  • Significantly slower random access and sustained transfer rates then solid state.
  • Very prone to shock damage (such as dropping or impact).
  • Much heavier then solid state devices.
  • Failure of mechanical components usually renders all information accessible instead of just information loss.

So which is better? If size is your thing then you can’t beat a mechanical hard drive. If you want speed and low power usage? Solid state is the way to go!


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