Centrend, Inc.

Solid State vs Traditional Hard Drives – which should you choose?

No doubt, solid-state drives are fast, energy-efficient, and long-lasting. Unfortunately for users on a budget, solid-state drives can be too expensive to justify the cost. Here’s some advice on how and when to use solid-state drives (SSD) and how to stretch your budget on this crucial technology.

Because SSDs are significantly faster and longer-lasting than traditional hard drives (HDD), I recommend their use whenever the budget allows.  The downside to SSD is the cost. SSD can cost 2x to 10x the cost of traditional hard drives with the premium increasing significantly as the total size of the SSD increases. 

A good solution may be to use an SSD for the operating system and program files but use an HDD for your data files. By putting the operating system on the SSD technology, you will be able to boot up much faster and load or change programs at a higher speed.  Your data can reside on the slower HDD drive, and you probably won’t notice a speed difference.  Your IT provider can set program defaults so that your data automatically ends up on the HDD and you don’t fill up the primary, premium booting SSD.

It’s worth mentioning that Hybrid drives also exist, but in our experience, they are not a good value. While less expensive than SSD, they don’t provide nearly the same benefit because you are very limited in the solid-state part. The drive logic decides what data goes on the SSD, taking control away from you.

My advice is to buy the largest SSD you can practically afford. If you can have your operating system, programs, and when possible, the data all on the SSD, the speed and reliability of the technology will justify the expense. 

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