Solid-state disk (SSD) drives are all the rage among techies. The drives use non-volatile NAND flash memory, meaning there are no moving parts. Because there is no actuator arm and read/write head that must seek out data on a platter like on a hard disk drive (HDD), they are faster in reading and, in most cases, writing data.
But SSDs are also much more expensive than their hard-disk drive (HDD) counterparts, which offer 300GB of capacity or more for less than $100.
Most consumer-grade SSDs from leading vendors now cost around $3 per gigabyte, while traditional hard drives cost about 20 to 30 cents per gigabyte for 2.5-in. laptop drives and 10 to 20 cents per gigabyte for 3.5-in. desktop drives, according storage market research firm Coughlin Associates Inc. In other words, even the cheapest 120GB SSDs are going to be around $300, though some are available on sale for less. So should you buy a high-capacity HDD for little cash or plunk down hundreds of dollars more for a fast, but lower-capacity, SSD? Or, should you wait?