Hard Disk Drives and SSD Compared.
SSD’s and hard disk drives use different technologies to achieve the same ends i.e. they store your computer operating system, applications and/or files.
Correctly provisioned SSD’s operate noticeably faster than an equivalent hard disk drive. A PC with a SSD as primary will boot in just a few seconds whereas a PC with a hard disk drive may take 20 or so seconds at best to boot up. A hard disk drive requires a discernible length of time to initialize, establish optimum operating conditions, read, verify and load data applications into electronic memory and will be slower in operation than an SSD in all conditions.
Hard Disk Drives operate more efficiently with larger files that are recorded in contiguous blocks however when the recording media is approaching capacity or exhibits bad sectors large files can become 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. SSD’s however can move data directly into store without complex procedures and are therefore inherently faster.
SSD’s have no moving parts and are therefore resilient to rough handling. In operation a hard disks read/write heads “fly” over the disk platter at a distance of a few nano-meters and are vulnerable to knocks that can disturb these precision settings that will render stored data inaccessible. If you are on the move or have a rugged working environment then a SSD is absolutely recommended.
Hard disk drives are assembled from relatively low cost components and as a consequence can be produced as budget priced products. SSD manufacture involves rare earth materials and are therefore inherently more expensive and involve more demanding manufacturing processes. SSD’s have to be the boot and application product of choice.
Hard disk drives rely on precision mechanical assembly and operation and as such there is a practical limit on product dimensions and interconnections.
SSD operation are noise free, efficient low power and ideal for mobile, computing on the move applications such as laptops, tablets and “phablets”.
In current market conditions hard disk drives win on price, capacity and durability. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise are considerations.
SSD flash operation is not sustainable over an extended usage life, each cell having a limited number of cycles before it will fail, however clever TRIM technology serves to dynamically manage the available capacity. It is good practice to use S.M.A.R.T. in association with SSD’s particularly when a drive is approaching its natural limitations and end of life.
So there’s the rub so to speak in Shakesperean terms, hard disk drives retain their recorded media magnetic properties for time immemorial whereas SSD flash memory retention times are measurable and component failure can result in catastrophic data loss. Datlabs successfully recover data from both hard drive technology types.