Solid State Drives (SSD) vs Traditional Platters Hard Drives

Solid state drives offer a number of advantages over traditional platter-based hard disks. SSDs are smaller, faster lighter, and less prone to failure because they lack moving parts. But the big reason we aren't all using them is that they cost far more than a traditional hard disk drive. A quick check of tigerdirect.com shows several models of 160 GB SATA hard drives for under $40, or about 62 cents per gig. The least expensive 120 GB SSD is $155, or $1.29 per gig.  The largest SSDs at this time are around 360 gigs at over $1200. You can buy 8 or more 5 TB drives for that.

But is there a place for SSDs? SSDs are great for loading lots of small files very very quickly, like booting an operating system (like Windows or Linux) or running a program (like Microsoft Office or Open Office). There is much debate concerning SSDs effectiveness at reading large sequential files like videos, data files, and large pictures. In addition, modern CPUs easily handle data accessed from multiple drives and the internet. The CPU is not the bottleneck; it’s the hard drive.

Therefore, the best solution may be a hybrid solution. Use a 120 gig SSD for your operating system and programs, then use a large traditional hard drive for data storage. In this way, you get very fast access times whilst holding on to your precious dollars.