SSD vs. HDD: Which is faster and better?

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Both SSDs and hard drives do the same job: They boot your system, and store your applications and personal files. But each type of storage has its own unique feature set. How do they differ, and why would you want to get one over the other?

Price: SSDs are more expensive than hard drives in terms of dollar per gigabyte. A 1TB internal 2.5-inch hard drive costs between $40 and $50, but as of this writing, an SSD of the same capacity and form factor starts at $250. That translates into 4 to 5 cents per gigabyte for the hard drive and 25 cents per gigabyte for the SSD. Since hard drives use older, more established technology, they will remain less expensive for the near future. Those extra hundreds for the SSD may push your system price over budget.

Maximum and Common Capacity: Although consumer-based SSD units top out at 4TB, those are still rare and expensive. You’re more likely to find 500GB to 1TB units as primary drives in systems. While 500GB is considered a “base” hard drive in 2017, pricing concerns can push that down to 128GB for lower-priced SSD-based systems. Multimedia users will require even more, with 1TB to 4TB drives common in high-end systems. Basically, the more storage capacity, the more stuff you can keep on your PC. Cloud-based (Internet) storage may be good for housing files you plan to share among your phone, tablet, and PC, but local storage is less expensive, and you only have to buy it once.

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