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Buying a hard drive

Hard Disk Drive vs. Solid State Drive

The absolute first decision to make as far as data storage is concerned is whether or not you want a solid state drive (SSD). While an SSD fulfills the same function as a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), it has its own set of pros and cons.

For those who don’t know, an SSD is a type of drive that uses something called flash memory for storing data instead the spinning metal disks you’d find in a traditional HDD. Think of it like a massive USB thumb drive.

What difference does it make, anyway?

  1. SSDs are faster at reading and writing data.
  2. SSDs require less power draw which conserves energy and extends laptop battery life.
  3. SSDs have no moving parts so they make no noise and have longer lifespans.

The downside is that SSDs are more expensive and have smaller data capacities than HDDs.

What’s the bottom line? If price is a big concern, go with a traditional HDD. If you’re buying the drive mainly as a backup or external drive, go with a traditional HDD. If the drive is going to run an operating system or hold a lot of frequently-accessed files and programs, go with an SSD.

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