My Apple IIe purchased in late 1983 did not come with a hard drive. It shipped with two 5.25″ external floppy drives. Hard drive was a luxury storage device at the time. A 40MB 5.25″ half high IDE hard drive for IBM compatible PC cost around $500, and a 340MB washing machine size Control Data hard drive for GEAC system 9000 cost around $15,000 in 1988. When Microsoft released Window 3, it required 80MB of hard drive storage. Hard drive storage capacity started to reach 1GB in early 1990.
Hard drive has been the primary storage for PC and server over the past 30 years. Hard drive storage capacity has increased to the recent 6Terabyte, and the performance has increased, but not a lot due to several technical l issues. After all, hard drive is a mechanical device. That is why system builders turned to SSD for better performance.
Current SSD is based on flash memory ship. As ultrabooks, and 2-in-1 tablets became more capable, the SSD capacities and performance increased, and eventually standardized on the 2.5-inch mobile form factor. This way, you could pop a 2.5-inch hard drive out of your laptop or desktop and replace it easily with an SSD. Other form factors emerged, like the mSATA miniPCIe SSD card, M.2 SSD, but many SSDs are still built into the 2.5-inch form factor. The 2.5-inch SSD capacity currently tops out at 4TB, but will undoubtedly grow as time goes by.
Why should you consider SSD over HDD?
- Speed is where SSDs shine. An SSD-equipped UltraBook or laptop will boot up to the OS within seconds. A laptop with an SSD does not just boots faster, but also launches application (including 3D game and video-editing application) faster, transfer data faster, and has faster overall performance. It means you can get more works done in less time. That is very help for business professional frequently on the road.
- Durability and reliability of SSDs makes it a perfect storage choice for the increasing mobile device such as tablet, UltraBook, and ultra portable laptop. Users enjoy slimmer and lighter UltraBook.
- SSDs consume less power and produce less heat than HDD. It means your UltraBook can run longer without having to find an AC outlet for charging. It means your data center needs less cooling, fewer downtime, and fewer real estates are required.
- Fragmentation is a problem for hard drive. When hard drives start to fill up, even small files can become scattered around the disk platter, which slows down your system overtime. This is not the case for system equip with SSD. SSDs don’t care where the data is stored on its chips, since there’s no physical read/write head. Thus, SSDs does not just win in speed, but disk related problem caused by fragmentation is eliminate.
- Unlike HDD, SSD produce no noise. SSD can make a big difference for a computer class or training lab with just 30 desktop PC. System cooling fan does not have to work when the system is not hot enough. That mean more quiet learning and work environment.
System performance for any computing operations that require accessing the storage will be affected by the hard drive, and so replacing HDD with SSD makes sense.
It just does not make sense to buy a fast Core i7-based laptop that is equipped with a regular hard drive, because the hard drive will bottleneck the machine’s performance. Most of the time this gap is very large: according to cnet lab test, a fast Core i 7 processor will have a subscore of 7.9, whereas the fastest hard drive will have a subscore of 5.9 in the Windows Experience Index. The best way to get the most out of a computer is to have its components offer similar levels of performance. This way you know that you don’t overspend on expensive parts just to have them bogged down by other slower ones.
In other words, it’s better to upgrade the HDD of an existing computer to an SSD than getting a new computer that supports the latest Intel CPU. Replacing the computer would likely cost at least $500 more, not to mention the time you have to spend setting up the new computer, moving data over, and so on. It is much easier to clone the hard drive to an SSD for the same system.
In a real-world usage, replacing your current computer’s main hard drive with an SSD will surely make the computer’s overall performance better. The upgrade process is actually very fast, using disk-cloning software such as Acronis Backup, or O&O DiskImage. The current trend is SSD pricing has continued too fall, and performance continued to increased.