These days when it comes to long term data storage for your computer systems it comes down to two type of drives. For the average consumer this information is foreign to them, but for the everyday geek choosing between solid state drives and the long time hard disk drive is necessary. So if your deciding to upgrade your hard drive any time in the near future you ill need to consider all of the pros and cons and compare this to the relatively high cost of using the newer technology.
Hard Disk Drives
IDE and EIDE hard disc drives have been around for the longest. They are an established technology and as such they are able to provide a large amount of storage for a relatively cheap purchase price. They also have relatively good longevity, with many running for years without failure or data loss, so long as they aren’t subjected to a knock or drop.
However they are vulnerable to physical damage, such as happens when a laptop is dropped, and also to damage when the power to a computer is suddenly cut off. The fact that a platter inside of them has to spin in order to access the data limits the speed that they can run at, because even with a powerful motor there will be a limit as to how fast the platter can be safely spun.
Solid State Drives
One of the benefits of the solid state drive by comparison is the lack of moving parts. This means that when used in laptop or netbook computers they make a good, robust alternative to hard disc drives in that they are less likely to suffer from damage in knocks and minor drops. Possibly the biggest advantage for most users of solid state drives is the speed-data access times are incredibly fast compared to hard disc drives and this means that the computer’s entire operation may be sped up if it uses a lot of disc reads.
Solid State Drawbacks
There are two major drawbacks to using a solid state drive. Firstly is the cost. Though the technology is no longer brand new, instead having been in use for a while, it is still incredibly expensive compared to the older style drives and more so because solid state drives are generally far smaller in size than hard disc drives. This means that you also need a second solution if you need to store a lot of data, or will need several drives.
The major drawback when using a solid state drive is one of reliability. Some studies have suggest a mean failure time of less than a year, meaning that in reality your big investment will need a reinvestment fairly frequently. Worse, it means that you will need to have perfect backup practices in order to ensure that you don’t lose any of your valuable data when your solid state drive inevitably fails you.
For the average home user, the increased cost of a solid state drive, when combined with the frequently high failure rate may simply not be worth it. But for the business user, who has good backup practices in place and who needs the faster access speeds, the solid state drive may be the perfect answer.