SSD’s are becoming extremely popular, Apple uses them in most of the new MacBook Pro and Mac book Air.
Dell XPS laptops also use them to give speed and performance advantage.
Gamers and designers, even bloggers and professionals are using them in the Desktop PC to make them boot faster and run complex software with speed and ease. Below we will explore various aspects of Solid State Drives and why they are necessary for your PC/Laptop.
In this article, we will look at 4 major points which you must consider before buying an SSD.
- What is an SSD?
- What is the difference Between SSD and HDD? What Size of SSD should you buy?
- Different Types of SSD?
- 3 Best SSD to Buy for PC or Laptop (128 GB or 240 GB) for Home Usage?
What is an SSD?
SSD stand for Solid State drive, or also known as the Solid State Disk. It is actually a misnomer as it does not have any disk or drive. The SSD unlike the HDD stores data on integrated circuits, the current generation of SSD’s store data on NAND based flash memory, which retains all information without power. SSD can be viewed as a larger Flash drive or pen drive which use a similar NAND storage to store data permanently.
The SSD uses the traditional SATA interface to transfer data like the traditional HDD.
“In 1991, San Disk created a 20MB Solid State drive which was sold at $1000. (Rs. 60000).”
What is the difference Between SSD and HDD? What Size of SSD should you buy?
The fundamental difference in terms of Hardware between SSD and HDD is that while Hard Drive uses actual disk and spindle to store data, SSD stores the data on NAND based memory chips and has a I/ O controller to manage the read/write operation.
In terms of performance SSD’s are much faster compared to a typical 5200 RPM or 7200 RPM Hard Drives.
The Price for SSD is much higher for same capacity say a 1TB hard Drive will cost you Rs. 3800 , while a 1 TB SSD will cost of 30,000, roughly ten times the cost of HDD.
Here is Table Comparing Some of The Major Differences between SSD and HDD
|Parameter||Hard Disk Drive(HDD)||Solid State Drive (SSD)||Remark|
|Cost for 1 TB||Rs. 3800||Rs. 30,000||Approx. 10 Times the Cost of HDD|
|Storage Capacity||Upto 6TB or more||Maximum 1TB or 2TB||Much Larger for HDD|
|Popular Sizes||1 TB and 2 TB||128 GB and 256 GB||Much Larger for HDD|
|Read Write Speed||30 MBPS-100 MBPS||200 MBPS to 550 MBPS||Estimated Speed Vary with System Specs|
|Failure Rate||2.0 Million Hours||1.3-15 Million Hours||Longer Life Span for SSD|
|Noise||Higher Noise||Lower Noise||HDD has higher noise due to moving parts, SSD has no moving parts|
|File Opening Speed||Slower on HDD||35% faster for SSD||Files or Browser windows, large PDF excel word docs|
|Windows Boot Time||10-14 Seconds||25-45 Seconds||Again Some dependency on other hardware, SSD is faster|
|Vibrations||Vibrates due to spindle||No Vibrations||You can feel more while heavy data transfer or gaming|
|Heat Produced||High Due to friction in moving parts||Very Low||SSD scores above HDD|
|Power Consumption||higher||Lower||SSD scores above HDD|
|Magnetic Effect Impact||Can Destroy data from strong Magnetic Effect||Can’t destroy Data on SSD||SSD is safer|
Best Uses of SSD
- You can use SSD to speed up your old Laptop.
- SSD can be used in a desktop Gaming PC to speed game load time.
- For Designers and Software users for 3D designing – Photoshop, Maya and Video editing SSD is a blessing.
What Size of SSD Should You Buy for Laptop or PC?
It is more of a personal preference and budget is a major criteria for deciding how much space you want on your SSD.
Ideally, I would prefer a 128 GB or 256 GB for a home/gaming PC since I also have 1 TB hard disk as well for keeping larger files like movies, games etc. What I generally have on my SSD is programs like Photoshop, gimp, paint, Microsoft Office, Windows and other basic software which I for day to day tasks. Also, outlook PST and downloads are on SSD.
Rest of the stuff like games, movies, music and other data is stored on the 7200 RPM drive.
For Laptop’s I would prefer a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD, 128 will be low for a laptop as you don’t have any other HDD which you can store files for quick access. Better to go for a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD. You can use a USB 3.0 expansion drive with the laptop, but again you will have to carry it all the time.
Adding SSD to PC or Laptop?
In most laptops, you will have to take out your normal Hard drive which is usually 2.5 inch in size and can replace the Drive with SSD. You can buy a laptop USB cover and connector to use it as a backup drive.
For Gaming PC it is fairly easy to add an SSD, you can either clone your windows on the SSD drive and remove the windows from HDD. I will suggest copying everything on your boot partition say C drive to D drive. Then install the Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 OS on the SSD fresh. SSD for laptop or PC are the same size, you can use it in either PC or Laptop or even swap between your devices. Some Laptops like Apple mac Book Pro and Air and DELL XPS may use a different sized SSD, better check at the manufacturer website before buying an SSD. For Gaming PC you can always buy the standard 2.5 inch SSD.
I have had problems in cloning from HDD and SSD, while some people say it just worked fine for them. In my opinion, to be safe and avoid any issues, you can do it once.
I will share in the next article – How to Add an SSD to a Gaming PC and do a Fresh Install of Windows. The second article we will share is a 7200 RPM Drive VS SSD speed performance Test. (likely in next week).
Now we are done with the basics, lets see which is the Best SSD you can buy for your PC or Laptop.
3 Best SSD to Buy for PC or Laptop
We are referring and comparing the 128 GB versions of SSD here, you can also opt for the same brands in 256 or 512 GB sizes as well.
Do different brands have a speed/performance difference in SSD? Yes different brands and internal hardware, NAND chips and controller makes a difference in the speed of SSD. Also note the higher capacity SSD are slightly faster compared to low storage capacity SSD.
Number 3 on our list is one of the cheapest SSD which is available in India for 128 GB size.
SSD – Kingston SV300S37A – Priced @ Rs. 3,700
Key Specifications: Kingston SV 300 S37 A 120 GB SSD
- Model – SV300S37A
- Brand – Kingston
- Drive Capacity – 120 GB
- Form factor – 2.5 inch SSD
- Reliability – 1,000,000
- Interface – SATA 6 GBPS
The Solid state drive from Kingston is one of the lowest priced 2.5 inch SSD which can be used for a gaming pc or laptop. It comes with a warranty of 3 years and offers a good upgrade from the traditional hard drive. Will do speed comparison with other drives later.
SSD – Transcend – Priced @ Rs. 4200
Number 2 on our list is the transcend SSD with a 2.5 inch size and 128 GB capacity.
Key Specifications: Transcent SSD370 128 GB SSD
- Model – SSD370
- Brand Transcend
- Drive Storage Capacity – 128 GB
- Form factor – 2.5 inch SSD
- Reliability 1,000,000
- Interface SATA 6 GBPS
Transcend SSD is priced slightly higher compared to the Kingston and also offers slightly better performance compared to the Kingston SSD. The Transcend SSD comes with a 3 years warranty.