First, lets talk about what is a solid state drive: Solid state drives or SSD’s for short are storage devices designed around flash memory in a bridged array. This means that rather than having one part that does all the work there are, in fact, many smaller parts that share the work load. In its most basic level a SSD is essentially between 8 and 16 usb flash drives all linked together to perform much faster.
Some of the benefits of this type of storage is the amazing speed. A normal hard drive works off a mechanical disc with a seeking needle that needs to rotate and seek the location on the disc where the correct information is stored. This process takes time: on average between 7 and 21ms for the data to begin being processed. On the other hand SSD’s contain no moving parts so to access information is closer to 0.01ms which is very important for small files that need to be accessed often. This is because you are spending a fraction of your time finding the information you require.
There is another huge benefit of SSDs. They create much less heat and power draw. This means that when used in laptops not only will your computer weigh slightly less but you will also get improved battery life and a massive boost to the systems responsiveness.
Now we must flip the coin and review the cons of SSDs.
Firstly the extra cost over a standard hard drive on a space comparison. Hard drives are many times cheaper. However, that price gap has been closing rapidly in the last three years since the technology has been in the mainstream markets.
Another key weakness of SSDs is when they break they are finished! You won’t be recovering any data from them, whereas with a hard drive there are many warning signs and ways to manually recover most, if not all, of the data stored on the drive. SSDs are not like this, they will work flawlessly right up to the moment they fail which is why I would recommend only ever storing temp data or often changing data on an SSD. It is just like an operating system, something that if you lost it you’re not going to lose too much. I for one wouldn’t want to store my important data on an SSD. At the end of the day, from my point of view, having now owned many drives I would recommend SSDs for your operating drive. They vastly increase the performance and responsiveness of your machine which is a good thing!