Book an appointment with Deckard Tech Computer Solutions using Setmore Do I need a Solid State Drive (SSD) or a Hard Drive Disk (HDD) in my Laptop?

Do I need a Solid State Drive (SSD) or a Hard Drive Disk (HDD) in my Laptop?

March 16, 2021 | By Ryan Deckard

This has been an age old question asked over and over throughout the last few years as SSDs have become more common in devices other than gaming computers. Previously a HDD or platter drive as it's also called has been plenty for the average user, however as time goes on things change and so does the tech required to power the highly advanced apps we have at our fingertips. The short answer is yes, an SSD is absolutely required for day to day computer use, but read on to understand why they this is still allowed to happen and how to make an informed decision when purchasing your next personal computer.

What is a Hard Drive Disk (HDD)?

Record Player by Adrian Korte on Unsplash

To start off, Hard Drives have been around for a very long time and still to this day serve a very important purpose in the computing world and tech industry. They were previously the primary means for running massive servers and providing the main operating capacity. A standard hard drive has a close relation to the record player of yesteryear, just amplified. Instead of one disk rotating on an axis you have 3 disks rotating at incredible speeds being written and read from 3 separate very tiny needles all stacked on top of one another in a compact form. This design has been revised to improve over many years.

The size of the disks themselves have improved dramatically to make them more compact and provide higher storage capacities. You'll no longer see previously avaiable 5.5" disks available to the consumer as they were simply too large and antiquated. The standard offerings now are 3.5" disks for desktop computers and 2.5" disks for laptop computers. We've also seen improvements to the connector types or Input/Output interface moving away from delicate and bulky ribbon cables to the new and improved SATA connectors which offer much higher data transfer speeds.

Unfortunatley even with all of these improvements you can only spin a disk so fast and read at certain speeds from a needle. At a certain point there's too much heat being generated and the moving parts wear out much faster than preferable. This is where the Solid State Drive comes into play. If you'd like to read more on the history of the Hard Drive check out this article for an interesting recount.

What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?

An SSD is more of a blanket category these days for all current drives without moving parts. Any SSD off the shelf will automatically be about 10x faster than it's predecessor. That's why here at Deckard Tech in Summerville we offer a wide range of hard drive upgrade options to meet all of your needs. SSDs are able to acheive these speeds, because they're based off flash-memory instead of spinning disks. If you know anything about Random Access Memory (RAM) you know why that's such a big deal. RAM allows a computer to "load in" the necessary components into the Operating System so things like moving your mouse or clicking through an app isn't based off the speed of your hard drive.

RAM has always been based off flash-memory and it leverages that speed to provide a better experience to the user. With these much faster speeds and improved performance SSDs come in a little bit more expensive, but only about $15-$20 more these days. You'll generally see them used as the "OS drive" and be around 128GB or 256GB in size just to support Windows 10 and a couple pieces of software. Below are a couple different SSD options you might have available for upgrades on your computer:

As you can see, the tech has come a long way and improvements are always being made. This is by no means an all inclusive list. If you'd like to read further into the history and technical features of the Solid State Drive start here.

How do I know if I have a Hard Drive or an SSD?

The easiet way I've found to determine if a user has an SSD at a glance is by pulling up the File Explorer or little yellow folder and clicking My PC. From here you can see the size of your Windows drive. If your computer was made in the last 15 years and that drive is smaller than 500GB you most likely already have an SSD installed. If that drive is larger than 500GB it's highly likel you have a regular hard drive. The most commom size is 1TB.

A more technical way of gathering this information is by clicking the start menu and searching "System Information". In that screen on the left side menu, expand Components > Storage > click Disks. The main screen should change at this point and it will mention the SSD type in the model and tell you it's Fixed Media.

Why are outdated drives still being used in computers?

There are a lot of different sides to this question, and I'd like to address them all individually:


To recap what we've gone over here Solid State Drives (SSD) are the newer higher performance drive on the market place compared to outdated Hard Drive Disks (HDD). Hard drives definitely have their place for storage solutions and backups, but are not a good option for personal computers even if you don't plan on doing much on the computer. The number one issue I deal with when users bring their computer in for poor performance is swapping out their old drive with a new SSD. We can generally save all of the users data and make an exact copy of the computer, but that's not always guaranteed.

Have you started noticing poor perfomance on your computer? Does it take more than 30 seconds for your computer to turn on? Do you read the news while your emails opens? A simple hard drive upgrade might be all you need. Give as a call or text at 843-900-4690, view our services and pricing, or email at