We all are familiar with the term Hard Disk, one of the most important pieces of technology ever created. Being a storage device, its importance is not recognized by a majority of people, who feel that it is just a piece of hardware which stores data for them. But, apart from storing data, it keeps your data safe and secure, and as a matter of fact, without the Hard Disk Drive we actually cannot operate our computers. Wondering why? It is because there would be no device on which our operating system would be installed.
But lately, there has been a new development in the storage department of computers that has gained a lot of attention from the tech-nerds as well as from computer manufactures. Solid State Drive, better known as SSD, is being used by quite a lot of nerds and leading computer manufactures like Apple, HP, Dell, Microsoft, etc. to store data and install operating system on it.
But what is a SSD? How does it work? Why most of the computers manufactures are now prefer a SSD over a Hard Disk? Would Hard disk become obsolete now?
In order to get the answers of these questions let us all explore the differences between SSD and HDD:
- Physical Appearance: SSD (Solid State Drive) can be simply imagined as an oversized and much more sophisticated form of a USB pen drive or a USB memory stick, while on the other hand a HDD (Hard Disk Drive), can be in simple terms said to be an advanced and complicated version of a CD (Compact Disk).
- Working Mechanisms: SSD works on the same type of microchips and stores data on these microchips like a pen-drive or memory stick but in a more advance way. It does not have any arm or rotating disk inside to store data but yes, microchips are present to store data which are actually much faster than a hard disk while on the other hand, a Hard Disk uses an arm and a rotating platter to store data, which is quite slow when compared to microchips.
- Data Storage in Memory: The way a SSD stores data is using NAND-Based flash memory, which is a non-volatile memory. It implies that the data is never being ‘forget’ by the drive when the disk is powered off, while on the other hand, a Hard Disk uses magnetism to store data on a rotating platter disk with a read/write head floating above it while the platter is spinning.
- Wear and Tear: Since SSD is NAND-Based flash memory there is approx zero wear and tear of any parts of an SSD which actually makes its life much more with the same high speeds of data transfer, startup of Operating System and opening any application. If we talk of a Hard Disk, its life is not that long since a platter is spinning with a head on top there is some wear and tear of mechanical parts inside a Hard Disk, which decreases the life span of a Hard Disk and make it slow over time as the wear and tear is going on.
- Durability: While taking into consideration the durability of a SSD, exposing it to air or dust won’t affect it because there are no moving parts and only microchips exist inside a SSD. But, in a Hard Disk, there are moving parts. So, exposing it to air or dust or just touching the platter by naked hands can destroy the whole driver. In comparison, SSD is more durable and long-lasting than a Hard Disk.
- Cost: Since SSD is still on development mode it costs a lot for few GBs. In India it’s cost is approximately Rs.4500 for just 160GB and in US approx $60 for 120 GB. So, it’s really too expensive for the same price or unless we can get a 1TB (terabyte) Hard Disk Drive, which actually makes Hard Disk a better buy for bucks.
Analyzing the above points we can conclude that a Solid State Drive is definitely the future of a Hard Disk, but that future is too far away to come. There are ongoing developments in the storage industry and there will be one day when Hard Disk will become obsolete, but death of Hard Disk is too far away.
The first Hard Disk was introduced in 1956 by IBM and it is still being used. It has came a long way and the era of Hard Disk will be going until SSDs are so developed that we can get a SSD at $60 with a storage of 1TB and that will be the end of Hard Disk era. There is no approximate date when this shall be effective, yet future is definitely going to be brighter, faster and improved!