What is a Solid State Drive?

What is a solid state drive, you ask? The hard disk drives that are commonly used in computers read and write to a spinning disk, or magnetic platter. On the other hand, a solid state drive is “solid state” because it lacks moving parts.  Information is stored in microchips instead of on a disk.


The technology for solid state drives vs traditional hard drives has been around for more than 30 years, having been developed in the late 1980s. However, its high cost has kept it from becoming popular for the consumer market until recently.

What is the solid state drive

Today, products like the Apple iPad and the iPhone have encouraged manufacturers to produce less expensive microchips, making solid state drives more affordable.

Solid state drives, or SSDs, are commonly used now in smart phones and digital cameras. Data can be read from the drive nearly instantly. SSDs do not have as large a storage capacity as the hard disk drive, HDD.  But, quick boot-up time and fast data retrieval make SSDs look attractive to those who don’t need a terabyte of storage, but like their devices to run fast.

What is solid state drive

Mostly because they are not as fragile as HDDs, which can be damaged by jarring movements.

Those concerned that SSDs will not last as long as HDDs, due to “memory fade” of the data that is stored there, should know that SSDs today come with a firmware controller that moves the data around so that chip burn-out or data fade does not become a problem.

Higher Cost per GB for SSDs

The main deterrent to adapting SSDs is the high cost per GB of storage compared to HDDs. Some propose combining the best of both types of storage by using a SSD as a boot drive for your computer and an HDD, with its high storage capacity, as a data drive. This could work well in a desktop computer which normally has space for more than one drive.

What does the solid state drive do?

In summary, SSDs are beneficial for reliability, quick boot-up and fast retrieval of data, but still expensive compared to an HDD with a high storage capacity. A solid state drive could be the answer to improving the functionality and durability of your data storage. We hope this has answered your question regarding what is a solid state hard drive.

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