Different Drive Types and Why It Matters

There are currently three main types of consumer digital storage devices: Standard hard drives, hybrid hard drives, and solid state hard drives. Here, we can help give some basic information about the differences between the three and why it matters to you.

Standard Hard Drives

These are the hard drives most people are probably familiar with. They are mechanical, with the information stored on a small metal disk that spins within the casing, where information is recorded by a small laser inside. These are pretty blocky looking and can be a bit heavy. They are generally available with large storage capacities, with the upper range for consumer drives being around 4TB. They can fail over time, mainly from wear in the moving parts, but they generally have a lifespan of several years. They are generally less expensive at higher capacities than solid state drives but are much slower. This will eventually be irrelevant as solid-state technology becomes gradually cheaper.

Solid State Hard Drives

Solid state drives use a system of storing information that has no moving parts and, as such, generally have a lower failure rate than standard hard drives. They can be much smaller and are much, much faster. Currently, they are a little more expensive than standard hard drives, but often the speed increase is worth a lower capacity at the same price, especially when most people are never able to fill all of the capacity of larger drives.

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