Do Hard Drives Have Any Future?

Hard drives will be a good alternative to solid-state drives for quite some time

Hard drive (HDD) is a simple, universal, easy to use and pretty cheap device for keeping your information. We use them both at home and at work, for keeping all kinds of files. But will they manage to stand up to the invasion of SSD (solid-state drives)?

Just a couple of years ago SSD were known only to computer geeks and were very rare in use. In addition to that, their capacity was close to that of a usual flash drive while the price could have been compared to the price of a good graphic card.

Those times are over but people still ask the same questions: are the advantages of SSD worth of extra money you need to pay for them? Usually, users divide into two categories. Users from the first category despise HDDs after trying SSD, while users from the second group don’t see any significant difference between the two types and wonder why other users spend more money on SSDs. Truth is, as always, somewhere in between. But the fact that year after year more and more users prefer SSD remains.

Little by little SSDs enlarge their capacity while the price for 1 GB goes down. Thus the difference in price between SSD and HDD slowly disappears. Does it mean that in future we will use SSD instead of HDD? Personally I think that no. Here’s my argumentation.

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Even in case SSDs become cheaper and will the same have high speed of work, HDDs have some advantages, one of which is reliability during constant disk array accesses. SSD developers state that these drives are more reliable than hard drives, and they’re right to some extent. Solid-state drives don’t have any movable parts and they can bear, for example, a fall from some height. Nevertheless, the limited life of NAND Flash memory makes you to consider the duration of working life of SSDs. If hard drive doesn’t break down, then it’ll work for a long time. And if we speak about an SSD, then the moment it fails is just a matter of time. Some people may say that this problem is farfetched. However, you should bear in mind that if initially SSDs were able to beat 5000-7000 cycles of overwriting, then today this figure is around 3000 cycles.

So in my opinion, hard drives will be a good alternative to solid-state drives for quite some time, until new standards of nonvolatile memory will be developed (and integrated into technological processes), which will combine high speed of work, capacity, simplicity of production and long operating time.

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