Top reasons you should switch your HDD to an SSD

Top reasons you should switch your HDD to an SSD 1

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In 2020 almost all computers has a SSD inside, but why?

There are a lot of reasons you should change your HDD with an SSD.

Especially if you are using Windows 10 or programs like Adobe Photoshop.

In this article, I’m going to break down why should you switch to an SSD, and what are the benefits to have one.

According to Wikipedia, a solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory, and functioning as secondary storage in the hierarchy of computer storage.

It is also sometimes called a solid-state device or a solid-state disk.

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Benefits of using an SSD over HDD

There are a lot of benefits using an SSD.

Here is a table with the advantages of SSD over HDD.

What's the Difference Between an HDD and an SSD?

The traditional spinning hard drive is the basic non-volatile storage on a computer.

That is, information on it doesn’t “go away” when you turn off the system, unlike data stored in RAM.

A hard drive is essentially a metal platter with a magnetic coating that stores your data, whether weather reports from the last century, a high-definition copy of the original Star Wars trilogy, or your digital music collection.

A read/write head on an arm accesses the data while the platters are spinning.

An SSD does functionally everything a hard drive does, but data is instead stored on interconnected flash-memory chips that retain the data even when there’s no power present.

These flash chips are of a different type than the kind used in USB thumb drives, and are typically faster and more reliable.

SSDs are consequently more expensive than USB thumb drives of the same capacities.

Like thumb drives, though, they’re often much smaller than HDDs and therefore offer manufacturers more flexibility in designing a PC.

While they can take the place of traditional 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard drive bays, they can also be installed in a PCI Express expansion slot or even be mounted directly on the motherboard, a configuration that’s now common in high-end laptops and all-in-ones.

Speed

This is where SSDs shine. An SSD-equipped PC will boot in less than a minute, and often in just seconds.

A hard drive requires time to speed up to operating specs, and it will continue to be slower than an SSD during normal use.

A PC or Mac with an SSD boots faster, launches and runs apps faster, and transfers files faster.

Whether you’re using your computer for fun, school, or business, the extra speed may be the difference between finishing on time and failing.

Fragmentation

Because of their rotary recording surfaces, hard drives work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks.

That way, the drive head can start and end its read in one continuous motion.

When hard drives start to fill up, bits of large files end up scattered around the disk platter, causing the drive to suffer from what’s called fragmentation.

While read/write algorithms have improved to the point that the effect is minimized, hard drives can still become fragmented to the point of affecting performance.

SSDs can’t, however, because the lack of a physical read head means data can be stored anywhere without penalty. Thus, SSDs are inherently faster.

Durability

An SSD has no moving parts, so it is more likely to keep your data safe in the event you drop your laptop bag or your system gets shaken while it’s operating.

Most hard drives park their read/write heads when the system is off, but they are flying over the drive platter at a distance of a few nanometers when they are in operation.

Besides, even parking brakes have limits.

If you’re rough on your equipment, an SSD is recommended.

Availability

Hard drives are more plentiful in budget and older systems, but SSDs are becoming the rule in high-end laptops like the Apple MacBook Pro, which does not offer a hard drive even as a configurable option.

Desktops and cheaper laptops, on the other hand, will continue to offer HDDs, at least for the next few years.

Form Factors

Because hard drives rely on spinning platters, there is a limit to how small they can be manufactured.

There was an initiative to make smaller 1.8-inch spinning hard drives, but that stalled at about 320GB, and smartphone manufacturers have settled on flash memory for their primary storage.

SSDs have no such limitation, so they can continue to shrink as time goes on. SSDs are available in 2.5-inch laptop-drive-size boxes, but that’s only for convenience in fitting within established drive bays.

Noise

Even the quietest hard drive will emit a bit of noise when it is in use.

The drive platters spin and the read arm ticks back and forth.

Faster hard drives will tend to make more noise than those that are slower.

SSDs make no noise at all; they’re non-mechanical.

Power

An SSD doesn’t have to expend electricity spinning up a platter from a standstill.

Consequently, none of the energy consumed by the SSD is wasted as friction or noise, rendering them more efficient.

On a desktop or in a server, that will lead to a lower energy bill.

On a laptop or tablet, you’ll be able to eke out more minutes (or hours) of battery life.

Longevity

While it is true that SSDs wear out over time (each cell in a flash-memory bank can be written to and erased a limited number of times), thanks to TRIM command technology that dynamically optimizes these read/write cycles, you’re more likely to discard the system for obsolescence (after six years or so) before you start running into read/write errors with an SSD.

If you’re really worried, several tools can let you know if you’re approaching the drive’s rated end of life.

Eventually, hard drives will wear out from constant use, as well, since they use physical recording methods.

Longevity is a wash when it’s separated from travel and ruggedness concerns.

Overall

Hard drives win on price and capacity. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise, or fragmentation (technically, a subset of speed) are important factors to you.

If it weren’t for the price and capacity issues, SSDs would be the hands-down winner.

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Best SSD

SATA Drives

Samsung 860 EVO

Features

Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

Form Factor: 2.5” 7mm / M.2 2280 Double-sided

Transfer Interface/Protocol: SATA 3 / AHCI

Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 550 MBps / 520 MBps

Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 2,400 TBW

Overview

When it comes to SATA, Samsung’s got the best drives going.

Their 860 EVO drives take the win in almost every benchmark we have thrown at them and pricing is usually very competitive.

The 860 EVOs don’t offer as much endurance as the PRO models, but they come in capacities up to 4TB just the same.

If you are looking for a new SATA SSD to hold your games library or just about anything, you can’t go wrong with this mainstream leader.

Pros
  • Strong Performance
  • SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
  • Class-Leading Endurance
  • TCG Opal, eDrive encryption support
Cons
  • At the SATA performance ceiling
  • Write performance after TurboWrite exhausts
Where to buy

Crucial MX500

Top reasons you should switch your HDD to an SSD 13
Features

Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Form Factor: 2.5” 7mm

Transfer Interface/Protocol: SATA 3 / AHCI

Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 560 MBps / 510 MBps

Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 700 TBW

Overview

If you don’t want to dish out big bucks on something in the NVMe flavor, but still want strong performance from SATA, the MX500 is a great choice.

As an alternative to the Samsung 860 EVO, it offers similar performance and has a strong history of reliability.

Usually priced to sell, the MX500 is a top value at any capacity you need.

Pros
  • Mainstream performance
  • Competitive pricing
  • SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
  • Host power failure protection• Hardware AES-256 Encryption
  • TCG Opal 2.0 SED Support
Cons
  • Smaller capacities slightly slower than larger
  • The design could use a makeover
Where to buy

NVMe

Adata XPG SX8200 Pro

Features

Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB

Form Factor: M.2 2280 Double-sided

Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3

Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 3,000 MBps

Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 640 TBW

Overview

Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro is the best 1TB class SSD for the money.

With high-performance that rivals Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus and PRO SSDs, it is a Pro class drive through and through.

It boasts best-in-class power efficiency with very respectable endurance and has a price that won’t break the bank.

Not only that, but Adata also includes a DIY black, metal heat spreader to make your XPG SX8200 Pro even “cooler” when you install it.

Pros
  • Class-leading performance
  • Class-leading power efficiency
  • Black PCB w/ stylish DIY heat spreader
  • SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
Cons
  • Same endurance as the non-Pro model
Where to buy

Intel Optane SSD 905P

Top reasons you should switch your HDD to an SSD 17
Features

Capacities: 380GB, 480GB, 960TB, 1.5TB

Form Factor: Half-Height, Half Length / U.2 15mm / M.2 22110

Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3

Sequential Reads/Writes: 2,600 MBps / 2,200 MBps

Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 27.37 TBW

Overview

When looking for the best SSD, and we mean the absolute best and money is no object, look no further than to Intel’s Optane SSD 905P.

This SSD features Intel’s latest 3D XPoint memory, it breaks free from many of the drawbacks of NAND and offers the best responsiveness out of any storage device we have tested to date.

And, those needing a plethora of endurance will find the 905P to be a device sent from the gods.

With its endurance rating of over 17 petabytes at the 960GB capacity, or over 27PBW at the 1.5TB capacity, you’ll be sure to upgrade it years before it ever exhausts. Need the best?

Don’t look at the rest, get the Intel Optane SSD 905P.

Pros
  • Leading random read performance
  • Exceptional mixed workload performance
  • Endurance up to 27.37 PBW
  • AES 256bit encryption support
  • LEDs to light up your PC
  • SSD Toolbox included
Cons
  • Won’t work in laptops
  • No GUI LED control
  • Extremely high cost per GB
  • Lower sequential performance than NAND based SSDs
  • High power consumption
Where to buy

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed this article.

If you have any questions comment below!

Thanks for reading.

Cheers!

Source: PCMag, Tom’s Hardware, Computer Hope

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Jonathan Terreo
Writing for me is not only a necessity, but a passion. As a child I remember always reading and writing, always with a curiosity that seemed to have no limit. I also remember when my first computer fell into my hands. I still retain the same fascination for technology, the same curiosity.
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