Solid‑state drives

When buying a computer there’s an important choice to make when it comes to storage. A few years ago, this wasn’t necessary because all computers had hard drives. And, in a few years from now, it is likely they will all have solid‑state drives (SSDs). But during this period of transition it’s worth understanding why solid-state drives are generally superior, along with one reason you may in some circumstances opt for a traditional hard drive.

Solid‑state drives are:

So why would anyone not want one? SSDs are currently more expensive when comparing similar capacities. So, computers with hard drives can typically store many times more information than similarly priced computers with SSDs.

But how much capacity do you actually need? System software, apps and temporary files like downloads may add up to 15–30 GB or more. On the other hand, documents and spreadsheets are negligible in size. Taking these things into account, then, we may approximate storage based on photos and music:

Based on 5 MB photos and 10 MB songs, with 30 GB for operating system and apps, and 25% free for future growth.