In desktop, laptop and workstations, mechanical hard disks are largely being replaced by solid state drives. When comparing SSD vs HDD, should you also make this move with your servers? We look at the pros and cons of each type of storage so that you can make your decision.
SSD vs HDD – Performance
The main advantage of SSDs is their performance. Traditional hard disks have throughputs of up to 200MB/s (depending on the model and spin speed), but SSDs are far quicker, and the fastest modern drives can read data at up to 3,500MB/s and write at up to 2,100MB/s.
For high-performance servers and applications, solid state storage is by far the best choice.
SSD vs HDD – Power consumption
In use, a typical hard disk uses up to 10W of power, while an SSD will use only around 5W; when idle an SSD will use around 40mW, while a hard disk will use around 1W. This power difference adds up when considering large RAID configurations of drives, meaning that SSDs can give you considerable cost savings on your energy bills for large installations.
Using less power means that SSDs generate less heat, and the cooling requirements can be lower. In turn, cooler computers are generally quieter to run.
SSD vs HDD – Cost
The downside of SSDs is the price. While storage capacities have dramatically increased over the years, hard disks are still far better value and most cost around 3p per gigabyte. Solid state drives may have come down in price a lot, but they’re still expensive, and you can expect to pay around 20p to 40p plus per gigabyte.
Where vast amounts of storage are required, hard disks still have a massive advantage and will be the storage format of choice.