Solid State Drive
vs. A Hard Drive


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Hard Drive Or SSD?

SSD - memory over mechanics? What are the advantages?

Hard drives have been around for a long time, the SSD or Solid State Drive is fairly new.

Both concepts and actual devices have also been around for a long time.

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OCZ 120 GB SSD (Solid State Drive) ... cost about $1.00 a GB...

The mechanical drive conceived way back in the 1960's for main frame application that was realized in the mid 1960's although the composition of the platters had a ways to go, the actual concept was working, it will take a decade to get the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) to a point where the mechanical hard drive is reliable.

Same goes for the Solid State Drive, the idea of retaining an electrical charge (the on bit) with out refreshing the transistor has been used in electronics since the early 1990's we call them 'Flash' IC (Integrated Circuit) chips. The first use of the flash IC or chip in computers commercially (can't talk about the military or space applications - sekret stuff...) is the BIOS where the BIOS program (not the settings you can change) is changeable by an electrical circuit.

Later on the circuit will be part of the chip but originally it was a separate set of IC's (or chip set).

Today both are becoming so reliable that we may see that manufactures raising the price because of demand. There will be a shortage of demand thus the supply will be very large, so to compensate for the lack of demand the manufactures will allow the supply to dwindle then increase the price of each unit.

The major factor in the price will not be the value of your currency (although it will play a part) but in the quality of the device and how long it will last. The longer your storage device lasts you are less likely to purchase a new device, lack of demand means the manufacture will produce less of the devices, lower production means higher cost for materials, higher cost for materials means higher cost for the end product.

Over the last four decades the cost of storage has gone down per byte by a factor of 1000 per increment in storage, KB ( Kilo Byte) to MB (Mega Byte) to GB (Giga Byte)  to TB (Tetra Byte). That is the original commercially available hard drives were 5 Mega Byte, they cost approximately 500 USD, so it was about 0.02 USD per byte for storage ( a 160 KB - not bit - floppy cost 1.50 USD) but a stack of floppies were inconvenient compared to the amount of storage that a hard drive could provide. So demand drove supply and the more demand means lower prices.

To go along with the increase in capacity of the storage the life cycle of the device increased from just over 50,000 hours MTBF to over 300,000 hours MTBF for a mechanical hard drive and 1.5+ Million hours for a SSD.

Today a 1 TB mechanical drive costs less than 100 USD and that is less than approximately 0.000000001 USD per byte, a long ways from 0.02 USD per byte of the original hard drives.

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On the other hand the Solid State Drive is still expensive when compared to a mechanical hard drive at just over 0.01 USD per byte but the trade off is how long the SSD will last - almost 5000 times as long! But there is "a fly in the ointment" and that is the capacity and cost, the largest Solid State Drive to date is 4 TB and it costs just over 1200 USD, to get to 8 TB of storage you would need two Solid State Drives and that would set you back about 2400 1200 USD!

Where as a 2 TB mechanical hard drive will cost you less than 120 USD but will only last 35 years where as a Solid State Drive will last over 171 years!

It used to be "more bang for yer buck" now it is "more time for yer buck!".

Now that is long term storage!

Note: Numbers and dates are approximate, do not take them as gospel.

If you are considering upgrading to a SSD from a mechanical hard drive check this page, if you have an Solid State Drive that is having problems troubleshoot it with this Troubleshooting a SSD.

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This has me wondering if the companies that design and manufacture hard drives and SSD's are shooting themselves in the wallet and eventually stop making these drives altogether?

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