Home Blog


Hard Drives

Pictures, videos, games, and more. All things that people use their computer for, but where does the computer keep those when they aren’t being used? In non-volatile memory of course. Whether that is in an SSD or a Hard Drive (more on the difference between those to follow shortly) the data has to be stored somewhere. Let's look at what differentiates the major players in the market:

SSD: SSD or Solid State Drives are, as the name implies, Solid. They have no “moving” parts (As long as you consider the movement of electrons to be non-moving) The big benefit of an SSD is the speed, they use flash memory, similar to a usb, so no searching the disk needed (foreshadowing much?) The big issue with SSDs (which is slowly being rectified) is their price per bit ratio. (A ratio that I just termed now, as I don’t know what else you would call it) For the same price as a 4 TB SSD, you’d be able to buy 40 TB of Hard drive storage (current price as of writing is 80$ for a 4 TB HD and 800$ for a 4 TB NVMe SSD)

This brings up another point, there are more than 1 type of SSD. The classic version uses the same plug as a magnetic disk hard drive, plugging into your SATA port on your motherboard. Newer ones, termed NVMe SSDs, use the NVMe slot found on newer motherboards, like those found in the Playstation 5, which exclusively uses NVMe SSDs, as the games need to load fast. The main difference between NVMe and original SSDs is once again speed. NVMe can reach speeds of 3.5 GB/s, while sata based SSDs cap out at around 600 MB/s.

With all this being said, most enterprise computers won’t be using SSD, let alone NVMe (mainly due to the aforementioned price disparity) So what will be installed in company computers that you might come across? Well, more than likely, they will be the run of the mill Mag Disk HDD that have been in use since we switched from tape back in the days of yore. Like SSDs, they come in more flavors too, the main ones of note being 1.8 inch and 2.5 inch. The only real difference there is shape, the 1.8 inch being both smaller in width, depth, and height (most of the time) These you are most likely to see in laptops, due to their small form factor. Conversely, 2.5 inch disks are most likely to be found in desktops, since size is of little concern for them. Aside from that, the disks are nearly identical, having the same speed limitations and connection methods. The read write speed of a HDD depends on the Rotations Per Minute (or RPM) that the drive is rated for, with a higher RPM leading to a faster read, due to the fact that the reading head literally gets there faster.

The final thing I will touch on here is using a hybrid set up, similar to a hybrid car. In a hybrid car, you use electricity when it makes sense, and gas when it does. The same is true for a hybrid disk set up, you use an SSD for things you need done fast (Booting up OS, launching games, etc) and a Hard Drive when the speed is irrelevant, but the size might not be (Large video files, storing tons of files, etc) this hybrid system does require a bit more set up, having to use 2 drives and 2 cables, but it has the benefits of both while mitigating the issues. You don’t need to worry about SSDs being super expensive if you are only buying a small one to store your OS and a few things, and you don’t need to worry about a Hard Drive being slow when you are keeping all the things that need to be fast on the SSD.

In the end, you have to look at the needs of the specific computer and determine what is best for the user, and what is best for your checkbook.