SSD vs HDD: Which One Should You Get? 5 Aspects Compared. How much does an ssd cost

A multi-level cell is a memory cell that stores 2 bits per cell. This reduces the number of MOSFETs compared to single-level cells, but results in a slight drop in efficiency.

SSDs will crush hard drives in the enterprise, bearing down the full weight of Wright’s Law

According to Wikibon Research analyst David Floyer, the purported limitation of manufacturing flash storage capacity compared to hard drive manufacturing is “a myth.

A larger capacity of the flash memory has already been achieved than that of the hard disk. This mass-production advantage is driving flash memory prices faster than hard drives, and as the night passes, SSDs are replacing hard drives in data centers.

Using “Wright’s Law” as a benchmark – more on later – Floyer predicts that manufacturing efficiency will make SSDs cheaper than hard drives per terabyte dollar by 2026 dominated by nearline hard drives.

After 2025, Floyer writes, “Wikibon predicts HDD shipments will decline by approximately 27 percent per year. The main reason is that flash memory will be the dominant technology in almost all large-scale storage. The production of hard drives will primarily be used to replace and expand the existing hard drive installations.”

SSDs are cheaper to run than hard drives, require less energy and cooling, and are much faster to access. But they cost more to make. Floyer’s predictions for replacing mass drives are based on the assumption that SSDs will become cheaper per USD / TB due to Wright’s Law and thus become cheaper than hard drives. But when?

Crossover timing

Wells Fargo senior analyst Aaron Rakers predicted in August 2019 that buyers of enterprise storage would start preferring SSDs as prices dropped to five times or less than hard drives. It saw an 18x premium in 2017 for enterprise SSDs over nearline storage capacity. That dropped to the 9x bonus in 2019. He didn’t predict when the 5x bonus turning point would be reached.

Intel believes that this will happen in less than two years. SSDs will reach the total cost of ownership of the crossover with hard drives in 2022. This is because 3D NAND memory at the penta (5 bits / cell) level will lower the cost of SSDs. Rob Crook, Intel’s general manager of the non-volatile storage group, said at an Intel conference last December, “We are well on our way to replacing hard drives,” and Intel has solid plans to move to PLC in the future.

Floyer disagrees with such a moment, citing Wright’s law as evidence.

Another reason why media should not be stored on SSDs is because the more you write (or transfer files) to the disk, the shorter the SSD’s lifespan. However, heavy stress testing on SSDs by manufacturers showed that 10 GB of writing each day would still take 10 years to insert an SSD.

So, What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?

A solid-state drive or SSD is a newer storage technology that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data (music, video, files, documents, etc.). It also uses flash memory and generally comes with a laptop as additional storage. Almost every modern laptop these days comes with an SSD.

The first SSD was introduced by SanDisk decades ago as a faster alternative to hard drives. Unlike hard drives, they do not contain rotating discs or moving read / write heads. They are resistant to physical shocks and do not generate any noise during use.

In addition, SSDs depend on the number of NAND chips used in the device, which determine the overall performance of the device.

There are many types of SSDs depending on the number of bits stored in each semiconductor cell. A single-level cell, or SLC, is probably the most reliable and fast compared to the cheaper multi-level cell (MLC) and triple-level cell (TLC). TLC is typically used in low performance applications while MLC is considered a consumer grade technology.

  • Shockproof and durable
  • Uses less power than traditional hard drives
  • Increases system boot time
  • It provides blazing speed and overall performance
  • Faster read / write speed
  • No noise or vibration
  • SSD is expensive
  • Limited memory capacity
  • Data recovery is expensive and difficult
  • life expectancy is shorter

What is a Hard Disk Drive or HDD?

A hard disk drive or HDD is a traditional disk storage device that uses magnetic memory to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid, rapidly rotating disks. Since they are based on circular disks, performance depends a lot on the speed at which the disk is spinning. In addition, hard drives are non-volatile storage devices. This means that the user can retain data even when the device is turned off.

Hard drives have a much greater capacity than any other storage device in the current age of computing. Currently, the highest data unit for any HDD store is 16 TB. Even though companies are replacing hard drives with SSDs due to performance issues, the dollar value of hard drives compared to SSDs is still much higher than before.

Although the capacity of the hard disk is made available to the user, it is not yet completely unknown. The computer uses disk space for the computer’s file system and operating system along with data recovery and backup files. Still, enough space is provided, even with a small percentage.

  • easily available on the market
  • The price is affordable and varied
  • The memory capacity is huge
  • Much more durable than SSD
  • life expectancy is higher
  • Data recovery is easier and simpler
  • Consume more energy than SSD device
  • It makes noise and vibrates due to rotation
  • Speed ​​and performance are much slower
  • The startup speed is slow

Floyer writes: “The amount of consumer hard drives shipped was very large at first. This volume lowered the cost of hard drives (Wright’s law), which resulted in an increase in the number of hard drive volumes purchased. Rapid sales growth allowed for intensive research and development to implement new HDD storage technologies with increased storage density.

How Do You Upgrade to an SSD?

Does your PC use a plain Serial ATA (SATA) off-the-shelf hard drive? If so, you can upgrade with an SSD. SSD drives are compatible with both Mac and PC computers. All current Mac laptops come with SSDs. Both iMacs and Mac Pro computers also come with SSDs. IMacs are available with hard drives and SSDs, although older iMacs may have an Apple Fusion Drive that connects the SSD to the hard drive. To determine the disk type on your systems:

  1. Select Apple (in the upper left corner of the screen).
  2. Select “About This Mac.”
  3. Select “Memory” to see information about the type of memory used by the computer.


  1. Open the Task Manager (if necessary, use the More Details option for a full view).
  2. Select the Performance tab to view information about the disk, including the type.

Even if your computer already has an SSD, you can upgrade it with a larger, faster SSD model. In addition to SATA-based hard drive replacements, some newer PC models can be upgraded with M.2 SSDs, which look more like RAM chips than hard drives. Some pre-2016 Apple laptops that already shipped with SSDs can be upgraded to larger ones. However, you will need to upgrade to a Mac SSD. Check out Other World Computing and Transcend for the ones designed to work. Apple laptop models manufactured after 2016 have SSDs soldered to the motherboard, so you’re stuck with what you’ve got.


Convenient disassembly of the computer into parts? Updating it with an SSD is a fairly common do-it-yourself operation. Many companies now manufacture plug-and-play SSDs for hard drives. Check out Amazon or Newegg and you’ll have a wealth embarrassment. The choice is yours: Samsung, SanDisk, Crucial, and Toshiba are popular SSD manufacturers. There are many others as well.

That said, if you don’t know what you are doing, it may not make sense to learn it. SSD upgrades are such a common aftermarket upgrade that most independent PC repair and service specialists will take the job if you’re willing to pay them. Some people throw in data transfer if you are lucky or have a trained negotiator. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. You can also use services like Angi to find someone.

If you feel like DIY, YouTube has tons of manuals, such as the one for desktops, the one for laptops, and the one aimed at Mac users.

SSD adapter

HDD / SSD adapter for 3.5 drive bay.

Many SSDs replace 2.5 inch hard drives. These are the same drives found in laptops and even small desktop models. Got a desktop computer with a 3.5 inch hard drive? You may need to use a 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch mounting adapter.

A Word on SSD Compatibility

Besides the size of the drive, it’s a good idea to check that the SSD you want to buy is compatible with your laptop or desktop, especially if your system is more than a few years old. Here are articles from ShareUs and Tom’s Hardware to help you with this.

How to Migrate to an SSD

Purchasing a replacement SSD is the first step. Transferring data to an SSD drive is the next step. To do this, you need two things: cloning software and an external drive or sled case, or a drive case that allows you to connect the SSD to your computer via a USB port or other data transfer interface.

The cloning software creates a bit-by-bit copy of the data from the internal hard drive. Once the data has been transferred to the SSD drive, transplant the new drive into the computer and you should be ready. I prefer to clone my hard drive to SSD whenever possible. If done right, the cloned SSD is bootable, so it’s literally a plug-and-play experience. Simply copying files between two disks may not copy all the data needed to start the computer with the new disk.

The first SSD was introduced by SanDisk decades ago as a faster alternative to hard drives. Unlike hard drives, they do not contain rotating discs or moving read / write heads. They are resistant to physical shocks and do not generate any noise during use.

Best budget SSD

SK Hynix Gold S31 SATA SSD

SK Hynix Gold S31 SATA SSD

The best inexpensive SSD is also the best SSD for most people as the previously discussed SK Hynix Gold S31 delivers fantastic performance at extremely affordable prices. However, if for some reason you’re not interested in this drive, you have more options.

Now that the prices of traditional multi-level cell (MLC) and triple-level cell (TLC) solid state drives have plummeted, manufacturers have introduced new four-level cell (QLC) drives that drive down SSD prices. The new technology allows drive makers to fill SSDs with a capacity similar to hard drives while getting closer to the juicy speeds of SSDs that we all love so much – most of the time. In the first round of QLC drives, including the still excellent Samsung 860 QVO, write speeds dropped to the level of hard drives when you transfer tens of gigabytes of data at once.

Mentioned in this article

Samsung SSD 870 QVO (2TB)

Samsung SSD 870 QVO (2 TB)

The Samsung 870 QVO – Samsung’s second-generation QLC offering – does not meet the same fate. Unless you plan to move massive amounts of data simultaneously and need more space, this is a great option if you need more capacity than SK Hynix offers. Samsung’s drive is available at $ 113 for 1TB, $ 190 for 2TB, $ 353 for 4TB, or $ 700 for 8TB (oof) on Amazon. The older Samsung 860 QVO also remains a good option, but the newer 870 QVO outperforms it in every way.

If you want to add more memory to your PC at an even lower price, also consider the Crucial BX500, a fantastic SSD available in several versions: tested capacity of 2 TB (currently $ 195 on Amazon), 1 TB ($ 100 on Amazon), 480 GB ($ 55 on Amazon) and 240 GB ($ 35 on Amazon). “The BX500 is subjectively as fast as anything else until it runs out of cache,” we said in our review. “This will likely be a rare phenomenon for the average user. Advanced users should skip it, but for everyone else, it’s a good opportunity.”

But what if you have a newer motherboard that supports the faster, newfangled NVMe M.2 drives? Read on!

Floyer chart showing actual numbers of HDD units by 2020 and projections up to 2030. Consumer and enterprise HDDs (data centers) are indicated separately. He says the numbers of consumer hard drives have contributed to cost savings related to manufacturing efficiency

When an SSD is worth it

Here are a few examples when replacing a mechanical hard drive with an SSD makes sense.

  • Laptops: In most cases, laptops don’t require a huge amount of memory. Therefore, it makes sense to use an SSD.
  • Desktops: It has come to the stage where any new computer I build for someone will have an SSD as the operating system drive (or C drive). If additional storage is needed, you can add as much as you see fit so your storage space won’t be a problem.
  • Low Capacity External Drives: If you need an external drive to store your files and don’t need a large drive, this is the perfect time to use an SSD. It will make it reliable and solid, not to mention the transfer rates you want.

When NOT to replace a mechanical hard drive with an SSD

Is SSD worth it? All the reasons why you need one 4

If you’re using your collection of hard drives as a RAID array and are relying on massive storage capacity, it’s probably not a good idea to replace your hard drives with SSDs.

The reason for this would be cost. Add costs to get the equivalent storage capacity from the total number of disks in the array.

It won’t be cheap. However, if someone has a large enough bank balance to do so, the performance will be phenomenal and the power consumption will be significantly reduced.

And this situation will not last forever. The price gap is closing and we predict mechanical drives will eventually be phased out over the next decade.

Hard drives have a much greater capacity than any other storage device in the current age of computing. Currently, the highest data unit for any HDD store is 16 TB. Even though companies are replacing hard drives with SSDs due to performance issues, the dollar value of hard drives compared to SSDs is still much higher than before.

Solid-state drives and hard disk drives

In recent years, companies have started to invest in solid-state drives to meet their data storage needs. Solid state drives, also known as SSDs, work in a completely different way to hard drives (HDD). Where hard drives have physically moving parts such as an actuator arm and a spinning drive, SSDs are – as their name suggests – completely solid. They do not contain any moving parts and therefore use completely different methods of recording and storing data.

To compare the two technologies and the methods they use, first consider hard drives. Hard drives use magnetic sensitive drives, an actuator arm with a read / write function, and a motor that spins the drives and moves the arm. As computers store data, hard drives save this information by encoding it with magnetic signals between the actuator arm, the disks, and circular tracks. By comparison, SSDs use flash memory chips – usually NAND flash memory chips. Semiconductors change the electric charges on these arrays, storing the code in the process.

Compared to traditional hard drives, SSDs offer businesses a litany of benefits, from increased performance to greater endurance. However, because SSD technology is so new, many stakeholders have questions about the durability and reliability of SSDs. Whether you want to invest in SSDs for ISPs or customers, you need to know the ins and outs of SSDs to be able to make the most informed decisions.

How long does a SSD last?

SSDs are fairly new to the market which means manufacturers are still trying to figure out how long they’ll last. Currently, manufacturers use three different factors to estimate the lifespan of an SSD: SSD age, total terabytes written per time (TBW), and disk writes per day (DWPD). Based on the metric used, the answer to the question “How long do SSDs last?” It will be different.

For example, the age of an SSD has proven to be a valuable determinant of its performance and durability. Current estimates put the age limit for SSDs to be around 10 years, although the average lifespan of an SSD is shorter. In fact, a joint study by Google and the University of Toronto has been testing SSDs for many years. During this study, they found that the age of the SSD was a major determinant of when it stopped working. The researchers working on the study also found that SSDs were replaced approximately 25% less frequently than HDDs.

Another way to measure SSD endurance is the Total Terabyte Written Time (TBW). TBW estimates how many successful writes can be expected from a drive over its lifetime. If a manufacturer claims its SSD has a TBW 150, it means the drive can store 150 terabytes of data. Once your drive reaches this threshold, you’ll likely need to replace it.

The last of three metrics manufacturers can use to predict the life of their drives is the number of disk writes per day (DWPD). DWPD measures how many times users can overwrite the amount of available memory on a drive each day of its lifespan. For example, if an SSD has a capacity of 200 GB and is covered by a five-year warranty, users can write to the 200 GB disk every day for the warranty period before it fails. When in doubt, you can use the online SSD Life Calculator to estimate SSD Life.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated since it was last published in January 2019 for the latest information to help you take advantage of SSDs.

Storage Limitations

Ideally, 128 GB (and in some situations 64 GB) is enough for the operating system, programs and some games. You should not store your media (such as music, movies, or photos) on the SSD as the fuller the SSD, the slower it will run.

You won’t feel a significant change when booting your computer or running programs, but file transfer speeds can slow down a bit, so SSD should only be used for operating system and application installations.

Laptop hard drive compartment

Another reason why media should not be stored on SSDs is because the more you write (or transfer files) to the disk, the shorter the SSD’s lifespan. However, heavy stress testing on SSDs by manufacturers showed that 10 GB of writing each day would still take 10 years to insert an SSD.

Laptop users who are concerned about storage space can look for a compatible laptop case to replace the CD drive in their laptop. This allows the user to install an existing drive, giving him two hard drives where the formatted existing drive is mainly used for storage. Alternatively, you can use cloud storage to save space on your system.

Installation & Warranty

If you know how to install a hard drive on a desktop computer, installing an SSD should not be a problem; it is practically the same. However, there are a few things you should pay attention to when installing an SSD on a laptop.

Laptops are built differently and some may require a lot of unscrewing to install the SSD. This is where it gets a little technical. It is also very important to access the BIOS and change or configure the SATA settings from IDE to AHCI.

It is sometimes referred to as SATA mode selection or SATA mode. Each system will give it a different name, but you can easily find it by doing a little research on the BIOS. This ensures the maximum performance of the SSD.


If possible, please check with your local store to see if they can install it for you. Asking them to do it for you also ensures that you won’t void your laptop’s warranty.

Most SSDs also come with a multi-year warranty. Of course, no one wants to go through the warranty process, so it is advised to follow these few tips from Microsoft to ensure long life and fast performance of your SSD.

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