Solid-state drives (or SSD) have become the storage medium of choice for laptops and desktops over the past few years. In fact, SSDs have now also started to replace traditional platter hard drives (HDD) in server applications! It’s certainly the choice for our IT consulting firm in Toronto.
It is estimated that by 2021, shipments of SSDs will exceed those of HDDs.
Choosing an SSD in its early days was fraught with compromise. The technology was expensive, not as long-lasting as HDDs and capacities were much lower. Today, almost all of these concerns have been completely addressed. In fact, if you buy a PC (or a Mac) without an SSD now, you are investing in old technology that is no longer “future-proof”. Software developers are actively designing software to take advantage of the capabilities of an SSD, not an HDD.
As an IT consulting firm in Toronto that works with so many businesses, we know first-hand how an SSD can improve user satisfaction.
Why New PCs in 2020 Must Have an SSD
Speed – The most compelling reason for having an SSD is speed. Even the slowest SSD will be about four times faster than the fastest HDD! It has a profound impact on the perceived speed of your PC too. Things like switching it on and off, launching applications, searching for information are much faster on an SSD. Our IT support in Toronto reports users are much happier with the snappy performance too.
Fragmentation – Disk fragmentation and (de-fragmenting) is a major concern with HDDs. So much so that Microsoft includes a tool dedicated just for that purpose in every version of Windows. Fragmenting means a piece of data – like a file or application – has had to be saved at different places on a hard drive platter. This is called fragmentation and reduces the speed of data retrieval even more. With SSDs, fragmentation makes no difference to the speed of the drive.
Shock tolerance – HDDs can easily get damaged when the computer experiences shock. Not a big deal for a desktop (unless it is being moved), but laptops must bear a lot of movement and shocks on a daily basis. With all their moving parts, HDDs are prone to breaking. SSDs have no moving parts which is why they are almost immune to falls and tumbles. Our IT solutions in Toronto have had to replace many a laptop because the HDD was damaged after a trip through the airport.
Size – SSDs in consumer electronics initially were less than a quarter the size of hard drives. This meant PCs could be made much less bulky. Today, M2 drives are no larger than a credit card. They are so compact that you may confuse them for just another chip on the motherboard. Try putting a HDD in a modern laptop case – it’ll be thicker than the entire laptop!
Power consumption – Spinning up drive platters and moving the arm in a HDD consumes a lot of energy. SSDs, without their moving parts, reduce energy consumption dramatically. Also, SSDs can be rapidly toggled into a sleep and active state to preserve battery life.
Noise and vibration – Since SSDs have no moving parts or fans they are completely silent. HDDs will click on and off, and they will vibrate when the platter and arm are moving. The sound is very noticeable in a silent space, and especially so if you are working on a laptop.
Longevity – In the early days of SSDs the number of read-write cycles the drive could perform before becoming unreliable was touted as a major concern. That problem has been alleviated as SSD longevity now matches that of HDDs. Our IT support in Toronto has found even early SSDs have lasted far longer than they were predicted to have.
Cost – Another old misconception that carries to today is cost. As new technology, SSDs were expensive compared to HDDs that had been around for decades. Today, that difference has been slashed dramatically. The price of storage is often looked at as ‘dollars per gigabyte’, and SSD prices have reduced dramatically. Today, SSDs can cost 13 to 15 cents per gigabyte for an ordinary SSD, not much more than an HDD. Once factored into the total cost of the laptop, the difference is at best tens of dollars compared to an HDD.
Speak to an IT Consulting Firm in Toronto
Choosing an SSD for personal PCs, mobile workstations and those requiring rapid read and write speeds has become a no-brainer. Looking to upgrade PCs in your office? Speak to our IT solutions team in Toronto. We help businesses find cost-effective and durable PCs. The team at NUMENTIS can find competitive deals for larger orders.