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Why are SSDs expensive? What is the difference between an SSD and an HDD?

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Why are SSDs expensive? What is the difference between an SSD and an HDD?

Why are SSDs expensive? What is the difference between an SSD and an HDD? – This statement has been more true in the past, since SSDs are now much cheaper compared to what we could find on the shelves 2 or 3 years ago, namely the slower models (SATA III -> 550 MB / s) . That said, SSD drives are based on NAND Flash memory, which is still quite recent, especially when you consider the years in which mechanical disks (HDD) dominated the market.

But to explain the reason for the price difference, we have to mention that just like any other ‘Solid State’ (SSD -> Solid State Drive) devices, there is a percentage of failure in the production lines. That is, some memory chips will be defective, which will cause these drives to be sold in lower segments. (Example: A 512GB drive, can have several types of production failures, eventually being sold as a 256GB drive)

It is basically the same thing that Intel does in the production of its processors! (Chips with less capacities or defective areas, take deactivated parts, in order to be sold in the Celeron, i3, i5 ranges, etc …)

Why are SSDs more expensive? What is the difference between an SSD and an HDD?

SSD vs HDD

So, in less than two decades, the technology that brings SSDs to life evolves strong and ugly! Just to be aware of the prices, a 16GB SSD cost 10x more at the time of its launch than what a 256GB drive now costs. All thanks to increased levels of production and demand from the user. In fact, the price will continue to fall, as speed increases and users' need for more and better also increases. (The new PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles will dramatically increase demand for this type of storage)

Why are SSDs more expensive? Despite the evolution and low price, SSDs are still more expensive than the old HDD! Which turns out to be strange, because the production of mechanical discs has dropped considerably in recent years, yet the price has also continued to fall.

However, it is easy to come to the conclusion that the technology that gives life to HDDs is now very mature, due to the fact that it has dominated the domestic market for almost 50 years. In addition, it has received several improvements over the years, without great development cost. After all, the basic mechanism has always been the same. This is basically why its price has been falling, even with the big drop in demand.

SSD vs HDD – What is the difference after all for the average user?

For the most common user, there is no super mega hyper significant difference. As a matter of fact, I have been through cases where even the boot time of an old PC has not significantly decreased, after changing the HDD disk to a new SSD.

Example -> Let's imagine a person with little experience in PCs, who will only use his computer to go to the Internet or write simple texts. Having an SSD is not going to be such a significant advantage compared to a user who needs to work seriously, or want to play without waiting for data to be loaded into memory.

Even so, although there are cases where the difference is not super significant, installing an SSD remains one of the recommended steps if you happen to complain about your machine being slow. See more tips below:

However, when we start talking about PCs that do real work, SSDs have a brutal advantage, especially when we start talking about NVMe SSDs (3.5 GB / s), especially new ones that already use the PCIe 4.0 standard (4 ~ 5.5 GB / s).

But why does this happen? Why is HDD much slower?

Well, unlike an SSD, the basic mechanism of an HDD (Mechanical Disk) consists of using a read head that has to be moved to a specific 'track', and then you have to wait for the controller to find the sector on the spinning disk to read the information and finally take it to the PC's memory. Thus, if a file happens to be divided into several sectors on the disk, this process must be repeated until the read operation is complete.

In short, the advantage of the SSD is that there are no moving parts! That is, the reading can be done almost instantly. However, writing is not as fast as reading, because it is necessary to check which spaces are available, and whether it is necessary to delete information marked as not necessary in the memory controller.

In addition, there are also other notable differences, especially in the durability of both products … HDD is even more reliable!

Despite everything that has been said about SSD storage, a good HDD drive remains immensely more reliable, especially when the time of your death approaches. It's just that if you don't know, an SSD can 'die' from one moment to the next! Taking with you all the information you had stored.

However, an HDD will offer some subtle failure tips, such as having trouble starting when turning on the PC, producing some strange sounds, etc … It is basically a warning that it may be a good idea to pass your information on to another disc.

As if this were not enough, an SSD also has a physical limit on the number of times it can write and delete information. Interestingly, something quite similar to the batteries of modern mobile phones. An SSD has a fixed number of ‘cycles’, as soon as you write the information in a given ‘site’, a given number of times, it’s over… He died!

I talk more about this here:

Why are SSDs expensive? What is the difference between an SSD and an HDD? – Besides, what do you think about all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

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