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[Discussion] Laptop storage, what should be best SSD, eMMC or HDD?

2019-02-04 22:50:45
589 7

Do you sometimes questions why does your laptop becomes very slow even with a powerful CPU and RAM? Have you recently encounter data loss just by accidental drop of your laptop? This thread might help you understand one important hardware of your laptop, this is the storage. You might ask, is it really important? Should I care about it by knowing the type of storage in my laptop? The answer is yes! So in this thread I will try to differentiate commonly use storage for laptop but this thread does not promote any brand or manufacturer of storage.
Basically there are only two generic type of storage, flash storage and non-flash storage. Examples and most commonly use flash storage for laptop is SSD and eMMC while non-flash storage is HDD. Let me diffentiate below these three storage:

SSD, stands for Solid State Drive. You’re probably familiar with USB memory sticks - SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of the humble USB memory stick. Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD while information is stored in microchips. Conversely, a hard disk drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter. This difference is what makes SSD so much faster.
A typical SSD uses what is called NAND-based flash memory. This is a non-volatile type of memory. What does non-volatile mean you ask? The simple answer is that you can turn off the disk and it won’t “forget” what was stored on it. This is of course an essential characteristic of any type of permanent memory. During the early days of SSD, rumors floated around saying stored data would wear off and be lost after only a few years. Regardless, that rumor is certainly not true with today’s technology, as you can read and write to an SSD all day long and the data storage integrity will be maintained for well over 200 years. In other words, the data storage life of an SSD can outlive you!
An SSD does not have a mechanical arm to read and write data, it instead relies on an embedded processor called a controller to perform a bunch of operations related to reading and writing data. The controller is a very important factor in determining the speed of the SSD. An example of a fast controller today is the SATA 3.0 6GB/s SSD controller that supports burst speeds up to 550MB/s read and write speeds.
Finally, you may be wondering what an SSD looks like and how easy it is to replace a hard drive with an after-market device. If you look at the images below, you’ll see the top and undersides of a typically-sized 2.5” SSD. The technology is encased inside either a plastic or metal case and looks like nothing more than what a battery might:

Image 1.0 M.2 type SSD

eMMC stands for Embedded MultiMediaCard which uses integrated circuits leading them to be not easily damaged by regular bumps and falls. They are also usually faster than HDDs, however that depends on the models.
Like SSD, eMMCs also uses integrated circuits, leading them to be not easily damaged by regular bumps and falls. However, unlike HDD and SSD, eMMC also incorporates a flash memory controller in addition to the flash memory, both of which are integrated together on the same silicon die. This silicon die is then soldered directly to the motherboard, similar to a CPU of a computer. Whereas, HDD and SSD use SATA interface to connect to the CPU then the CPU is responsible for reading and writing to and from memory.
In eMMC, the integrated flash memory controller free up the CPU to handle other tasks. This puts less strain on the CPU, thus making the system faster. This is also the reason that low end budget laptops and 2-in-1 computers prefers eMMC to pair with their budget CPUs. This is also the reason why eMMC are generally slightly faster in transferring data than HDD of the same capacity. The standard data transfer speed of HDD is 300 MB/s, while the top speed of eMMC is 400 MB/s. eMMCs are commonly available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64 GB, and maximum in 128GB variant.

Image 2.0 eMMC

HDD  stands for Hard Disk Drives has been around relative to the technology world. HDD were first introduced by IBM in 1956 - nearly 60 year old technology. HDD uses magnetism to store data on a rotating platter. A read/write head floats above the spinning platter reading and writing data. The faster the platter spins, the faster an HDD can perform. Typical laptop drives today spin at either 5400 RPM (Revolutions per Minute) or 7200RPM. Since, the drive is magnetic in nature and works on the rapidly rotating disks which are read by a reading arm, even a mild fall can damage the disk leading to data loss. This is especially a concern for devices such as laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, 2-in-1 computers, etc. which are meant to be carried around.
The major advantage of an HDD is that it is capable of storing lots of data cheaply. These days, 1 TeraByte (1,024 gigabytes) of storage is not unusual for a laptop hard drive, and the density continues to grow. However, the cost per gigabyte is hard to calculate now-a-days since there are so many classes to consider, though it is safe to say that all HDDs are substantially cheaper than SSDs.
When it comes to appearance, HDDs essentially look the same from the outside as SSDs. HDDs predominantly use SATA interface. The most common size for laptop hard drives is the 2.5” form factor while a larger 3.5” form factor is used in desktop computers. The larger size allows for more platters inside and thus more storage capacity. Some desktop hard drives can store up to 6TB of data. Below is an example of what an HDD looks like:

Image 3.0 HDD

There are still several innovation for storage to this date to make it even faster and better option. SSD has even different variation depending to its manufacturer, likewise eMMC and HDD. You can search for them in the internet. So what do you think the best storage for you? Do you know some devices that uses SSD and eMMC? Tell us, leave your comment below and share your knowledge, Mi community is very welcome to embrace your ideas.
2019-02-04 22:50:45
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Super moderator

Zayyir Cornelio | from Redmi Note 5


IMO, SSD's and their fast read and writes will always be better for applications that need fast responses, i.e. the OS, and some mission critical programs. HDD's on the other hand have advantage of being the better choice for bulk storage since SSD's use a part of their storage for caching, the more you fill up the SSD, the lesser its performance. Not to mention the peso per gigabyte ratios.
2019-02-04 23:16:06

Intern Moderator

Litolindo Author | from MI 8 Lite


Zayyir Cornelio
IMO, SSD's and their fast read and writes will always be better for applications that need fast res ...

exactly, that's why some laptop manufacturer  has hybrid storage design commonly a combination of HDD and SSD
2019-02-04 23:28:04

Super moderator

Czedie | from app


Awesome share bro. Very informative.
2019-02-05 03:19:10

Intern Moderator

Litolindo Author | from MI 8 Lite


Awesome share bro. Very informative.

Thank you for the compliment bro
2019-02-05 03:20:14

Advanced Bunny

Lloyd Solon | from Redmi Note 5A


Solid-State Drive SSD
2019-04-11 12:11:12
In its simplest form, an SSD is flash storage and has no moving parts whatsoever. ... SSD storage is much fasterthan its HDD equivalent. HDD storage is made up of magnetic tape and has mechanical parts inside. They're larger than SSDs and much slower to read and write.

It is generally thought that mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDD), is more reliable in the long run with reads/writes, as a SSD has a maximum number of writes that it can handle. However, SSDs are more reliable with shock damage because they contain no moving parts.
2019-04-20 02:43:22

Intern Moderator

Litolindo Author | from MI 8 Lite


riveraus (6158727737)
In its simplest form, an SSD is flash storage and has no moving parts whatsoever. ... SSD storag ...

To add, flash storage is useful in portable devices while HDD is for fix or rarely move devices
2019-04-20 02:58:04
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