You may have heard the terms solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD) when in the market for a new computer (or parts). We are referring to your computer’s storage capacity or more simply how much space you have for photos, documents, videos… To get right down to business it is highly recommended that your computer should be running on a solid drive.
Now for the why: Speed and Reliability.
A traditional hard disk drive (HDD) is essentially a metal disk with a magnetic coating and a read/write arm like a classic record player encased in a protective covering. Because of it’s moving parts it can also be referred to as a mechanical drive. Like everything mechanical, overtime this will wear down with use. Often it’s the read/write arm malfunctioning or the magnetic disk stuttering. Over time you will feel your computer performing slower and slower. This is especially important for laptops as external movement given by the mobility of a laptop increases wear and tear ten-fold on a mechanical hard drive.
Now a solid state drive or SSD for short does everything the traditional mechanical drive does but data is instead stored on interconnected flash memory chips. These chips are non-volatile meaning your data won’t disappear when you turn off your computer. The drives have no mechanical movement (hence the term “solid-state”). Write data, delete data, write again and delete some more and your solid drive functions with the same consistent performance as the day you bought it. For the road warriors out there this offers the greatest reliability, security and stability for your data. Run a marathon while holding on to your laptop and your solid drive won’t know the difference.
The chipset construction also provides the solid drive it’s more obvious and distinct advantage: Speed! Here is quick comparison between a modern mechanical drive and solid drive. The mechanical drive has an average write/read speed of 156MB/sec (megabytes per second). Now in comparison to a solid drive has a write/read speed of 520 MB/sec and you can see that this is a race between a Pinto and a Ferrari. Everything from booting up your computer to installing applications, playing games, opening programs will all be measured within seconds. The mechanical drive unfortunately gets left in the dust.
Now the solid drive mentioned previously is in a 2.5 inch format (roughly the length and width of a credit card) but if your motherboard supports it there is an even more faster and reliable type of solid drive called an M2. These look like a stick of chewing gum and pack an even harder punch. The Intel M2 reads at 3230MB/sec and writes at 1625MB/sec. For comparison this makes the standard solid drive look like the pinto and the M2 more than just a Ferrari but the starship Enterprise at maximum warp.
In conclusion if you plan on upgrading your storage to accumulate more videos and photos then by all means an mechanical hard drive is cost-effective and offers higher capacity but for a new computer or bringing an old one back to life then a solid drive is what we recommend.