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Friday, 05 May 2017 08:00

Hard Drive Comparison

Written by Eugene Foygelman, Production Coordinator

Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are the most common storage drives out there. They’re more than likely in your computer right now and in any external drives you may have. They’re made up of a disk, some magnetic film, some magnets, and a motor. They store data by creating changes in the direction of magnetization on the thin film and are able to recall the information based on that direction. So basically they write in their own language with magnets. HDDs typically spin at 5400 Rotations Per Minute (RPM) and 7200 RPMs, depending on the size of storage. These guys can get damaged fairly easily if moved or dropped, especially if they are writing data.

Solid State Drives (SDD) are the fastest storage drives out there. They have no moving parts and use electric signals as their method of storage. Because electricity moves at nearly the speed of light, storage recall is insanely fast which in turn drastically improves read-write speeds. SSDs are harder to damage because they have no moving parts, so if you have a laptop you can carry it around or drop it without worrying about scratching your drive. However, software glitches and power supply issues can render them useless and recovery is nearly impossible.

Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD) are the wonderful combination of the two types of storage drives. They utilize both SSD and HDD technology to give you solid performance. In a typical SSHD you will have a few gigabytes dedicated for the SSD style of storage, and the majority will be the HDD storage. The software utilizes the SSD storage by saving your most-used programs to it to speed up your day-to-day computing needs. The rest of your programs and data get saved to the HDD part for regular recall when needed. SSHDs have the pleasure of having the pitfalls of both the HDDs and the SSDs!

So, which one is right for you? In my opinion, if you can afford it, always go for the SSDs. Unfortunately, the key word is “afford”. For now, SSDs are way more expensive per-gigabyte than regular HDDs and even SSHDs. If you need a terabyte (1000 Gigabytes) an HDD will cost you around $50-$60, an SSHD will cost you about $80-$90, and an SSD will cost you at least $250.

If you’re building an editing computer I would recommend getting a small-capacity SSD, around 200 GBs or so, and installing the Operating System and your editing programs on it. If your projects are small in size you can even store the footage on the SSD. Then, get a cheap high-capacity HDD, 2TB or so, and store everything else there. The speeds will compliment each other and you didn’t break the bank with your new computer! Of course, you can always go all out and buy three 1 Terabyte SSDs, but that’ll cost a pretty penny. A man can dream though.

Note:

If you have an old computer with a dying HDD you can replace it with an SSD and it’ll be like new. SSDs are perfect for laptops because they can’t really get scratched in any way. SSHDs are useful if you want to speed up your day-to-day, but you don’t really copy/move a lot of files around.

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