Solid State Drive (SSD) Data Storage Media

What is SSD?

SSD stands for (Solid State Drive) , is a data storage device that uses a series of ICs as memory that is used to store data or information. SSD devices embed a silicon-based memory chip as a storage medium for writing and reading persistent data. An SSD, also known as a flash drive or flash card, is inserted into a slot in a server computer – referred to as server-side flash storage – or as part of various enterprise flash storage systems. As an analogy, we may be familiar with USB Flash Drive or USB Thumb Drive or USB memory stick. An electronic device that we use to store data, which we often carry with us everywhere, which is plugged into a computer’s USB terminal when we want to retrieve or store data. SSD can be considered as an advanced version of a USB Flash drive with a much larger capacity and serves as a replacement for hard drives that have been used in computer devices. So SSD is an electronic device that functions to store data such as a hard disk (HDD: Hard Disk Drive) but its construction is like a USB Flash Drive, which is composed of several ICs as memory.

Like USB Flash Drives, SSDs don’t have moving parts inside. Data or information is only stored in microchips. Unlike the hard disk, which has a mechanical arm that moves to and fro to write and read data on a magnetic disk. This difference makes SSDs work much faster than hard drives. Hard drives (HDD) move mechanically to retrieve and store data or information, while SSDs move electrically to store and retrieve data or information. Of course SSDs work faster than HDDs.

SSD Components

Generally SSDs use so-called NAND-based flash memory. This is a type of Non-Volatile memory. Simply put, Non-Volatile means that the memory can still store data even if the supply voltage is turned off. This is the basic principle of a permanent memory as well as a USB Flash drive. At first, many doubted the durability of the data stored in this type of memory. They think data can only be stored for a few years. The data will be lost if it is stored any longer. But the reality is not so especially with the latest technology. Even data can be stored safely for up to 200 years. So far, the hard disk or often abbreviated as HDD has become the standard storage media for desktop PCs and laptops. Along with the development of technology, storage media also develops. Currently what is being discussed is SSD, which is a development of HDD technology. Basically, SSD is the same as HDD. It’s just not stored on magnetic layers like HDD. SSD stores all data on flash memory chips that are connected to each other. Flash memory on SSD is clearly different from that used on Flashdisk in terms of type and speed. The flash memory chip on the SSD has a higher speed than the Flashdisk. With the same capacity, SSD prices are much more expensive than Flashdisks.


 1. Components and Working Principle

HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive, while SSD stands for Solid State Drive. HDD is composed of mechanical and electronic components. The mechanical part of an HDD consists of a platter, a motor and an arm that is connected to the platter. The process of writing and reading data is carried out through a mechanical process where the disc is rotated by a motor and the end of the arm is connected to an electronic component that processes (reads and writes) data, attaches to a rotating disc and performs data writing and reading activities. In general, HDD data processing is carried out or occurs because of the synergy between mechanical and electrical activities. SSD in processing data, writing and reading data is not supported by mechanical processes, in SSD there are no mechanical components such as motors and rotating arms and disks. On the SSD there are only electronic components such as Integrated Circuits or ICs, micro chips and other supporting electronic components such as capacitors. All processes of reading and writing data are carried out electrically the same as the processes that occur on Flashdisk and RAM memory.

 2. Size and Weight

The components or materials contained in the HDD, such as platters, heads, etc. greatly affect the size or dimensions and weight of the HDD itself. Since HDD technology relies heavily on disk rotation, this puts a limit on how small HDDs can be produced. While SSDs are free from these limitations, so SSD sizes can be reduced along with the times. The SSD available now is 2.5 inches, that means this SSD is only intended for laptop use. As laptops get smaller and more tablet PC users surf the web, you’ll see the ability of SSDs to adapt easily to laptop/tablet sizes. With no moving parts, SSD products are the thinnest storage options available. Moving parts are especially good for thin and light PCs and complex, industrial designs. For standard notebooks, SSDs are available in 5mm and 7mm heights. By comparison, hard drives are available in standard 7mm and 9.5mm designs.

 3. Effects

HDD applies mechanical elements, resulting in bad side effects, including:

Excessive heat

SSD heat or temperature is not as high as HDD

Electric power consumption is very small, SDD only needs less than 1 watt of power, while HDD requires more than 10 watts of power.

There is no rotating motor and platters make the SSD completely quiet.

 4. Data Read and Write Speed

SSD provide peak performance for booting and high read/write performance to support compute requiring greater multitasking capabilities. This is where the SSD shows a very significant difference. SSD read and write speed is even 8 times faster than HDD. An SSD installed PC can go through the boot process in seconds, definitely not more than 1 minute. Meanwhile, the HDD takes longer depending on the specifications, and is definitely not faster when compared to SSD. One of the contributing factors is that SSDs do not use rotating disks or mechanical factors greatly limit the electronic capabilities of HDD.

  5. Fragmentation

Due to its spiral shape, HDDs are excellent for storing large files located in adjacent blocks. And when the HDD capacity is full, the files that have been stored can be scattered, this is known as fragmentation. The effect of fragmentation is a decrease in the performance of the HDD itself. In this situation, to restore the performance of the HDD, we usually do a defrag to restore it. While on SSD, we don’t have to worry about the problem of fragmentation because the data is stored on the flash chip.

 6. Durability

SSD looks more durable only because of its solid state design. With no moving parts, SSDs can withstand impacts, drops, and higher temperature extremes.

7. Price 

SSD is sold at a price that is still expensive per GB. The high price of SSDs can reach 9 times when compared to HDDs. At the system level, low capacity SSDs can be reached in the 32GB to 64GB range. However, high-capacity SSDs are very expensive, especially when measured on a cost-per-gigabyte basis. Hard disks provide the lowest cost per gigabyte.
For simplicity, the following conclusions can be drawn:
Choose the one using HDD if:
  • Requires more capacity, up to 6 TB
  • Don’t want to spend more
  • Don’t really care about booting speed and file opening issues.

Choose one that uses an SSD if:

  • You are willing to pay for faster performance
  • Don’t really care about capacity.



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