A solid state drive (SSD) is a new type of hard drive that is becoming popular nowadays. These are different from normal hard disk drives, as they don’t have any moving physical parts. SSDs use microchips that retain data in non-volatile memory chips and contain no moving parts. Many people have questions like can they install SSD along with a HDD, is it wise to use SSD as a boot drive, or would there be any performance improvement by doing this. Read on to know about the answers in detail.
Can I use SSD along with a HDD?
Yes, definitely. A normal hard disk drive (HDD) and solid state drive (SSD) can be installed in the same computer. This is mostly possible only for Desktop computers, because laptops usually don’t have any other place to install a second hard drive. However, the installed SSD should be used as a boot drive, to improve boot performance and startup time. A boot drive is that drive that loads and run the operating system and startup files.
Advantages/Benefits of using SSD as boot drive
- SSDs offer significantly faster read times compared to traditional hard disk drives.
- SSDs are quieter to operate, as they don’t have any movable parts.
- Because there are no moving parts, it is very rare that any mechanical failure can occur.
- SSD can withstand a great deal of vibration and movement – far more than standard hard drive
- Less weight and can fit in smaller areas as they are 2.5inch drives, compared to standard hard drives which are 3.5inch.
- SSDs improve boot up time.
- Applications load faster.
- Reduced power consumption.
- Less heat generation.
- Transfer/copy files faster
- Faster multitasking and video editing
Despite all these advantages of SSD, we cannot ignore the fact that SSDs are quite expensive. For e.g. Crucial M4 64GB SSD costs $110. Now compare this cost to a traditional HDD like Hitachi Desktar which costs $120 for a whopping 1TB storage capacity.
Looking at the above case, one would say that 64 GB capacity is too less to store data. If you want the best of both worlds, then you can use SSD as boot drive and also store all your startup programs in this drive. For other type of data like music, movies, etc you can use traditional HDD. This means that the computer will have two hard drives:
- SSD: As boot drive, which contains operating system and startup items
- HDD: As additional or primary storage device which can contain games, music, videos, movies, etc stuff
SSD really shines when booting an OS and starting up application programs. Those building an ultimate gaming PC, a monster of a video or photo editing workstation, and computer enthusiasts who always want their computer to run fast, should definitely try out SSD. Its time to crave for more speed.
Also read: How to Install a SSD in Desktop Computer