Are Solid State Hard Drives Good for Laptops?

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Filed under: DAILY Dose of PC News 

169132-westerndigital-1tb-drive_180You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of solid state (SS) hard drives – they’re much faster, very quiet since there are no spinning parts to the solid state HD and use less energy than the original hard drive. In fact, more experts believe hard drives (HD) as we know them will be replaced with SS hard drives very soon. The problem? They’re quite expensive.

When your purchasing a top of the line hard drive ($1000 to $2000 range), you may be asked, “would you like to upgrade and get a solid state hard drive with more space, faster speeds, etc.” Well before saying yes, and adding another $400 to the price of you already expensive laptop, you may want to think about the newest hard drives (non-solid state) that have come out in droves and have much more space and are much cheaper.

According to PC World, it’s a debate that you, the consumer, must make. Typically, SS (Solid State) hard drives may be faster to boot, faster to access your files on, they have no movable parts (thus the name “solid”) and are very durable – less likely to break down than the typical hard drive we’ve accustomed ourselves. That said, Western Digital just came out with a 1TB (tera-byte) hard drive for only $250. “The latest notebook drives, like Western Digital’s Scorpio Blue 1-terabyte model, are astonishingly huge and relatively cheap. Priced at $250, the 1TB Scorpio Blue has more storage than most consumer laptop users will ever need. Amateur filmmakers shooting HD video may want a 1TB drive, but the rest of us could get by with a lot less space. Even the 750GB Scorpio Blue, which sells for a very reasonable $190, is probably overkill for the average user.”

To compare, you could have bought the same laptop between $1,000 to $1,500 and gone with the solid state option and would more than likely have to pay double that for less space. “But despite SSD’s advantages, today’s premium laptop buyer would likely choose a hard drive. Because even with recent price drops, solid state drives are still too expensive for mainstream, consumer use. Example: Intel recently touted the affordability of its new series of X25-M SSDs. The 160GB model costs $440. Compare that to Western Digital’s 1TB Scorpio Blue at $250,” states PC World. As you can see, solid state hard drives may be the way of the future, but in this economy, they just don’t make much sense when you can buy triple the space for less the price.

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