Solid State Drives (SSD) v Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

When choosing a new Epos system for your retail operations you may be faced with the decision between a SSD drive and HDD drive.  But what is the difference? And which one is best for you? At RMS we want to make you aware of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a particular type of drive.

SSD stands for solid state drive and is a drive that has no moving parts whereas a hard disk drive (HDD) uses a mechanical arm to move around and read the information on the drive. A SSD instead uses an embedded processor to perform the reading and writing operations.  The non-moving design of an SSD makes them more durable and shock resistant up to 1500g/0.5ms. While a HDD’s moving parts make them susceptible to shock and damage.

The primary reason for choosing an SSD is for fast boot up and high performance, something that can’t be taken for granted in retail where customer satisfaction is key.  SSDs can have up to 100 times superior performance to HHDs.  This means almost instant data access, faster boot ups, speedier file transferring and overall improved computing experience.  A hard drive is required to only open data that the read/write mechanical arm is close to but SSDs can access all parts of the drive instantly. With this increase in speed files can be opened up to 30% faster whilst the system boots up 30 to 40 seconds quicker on average. This time that is saved is time that a customer is not being forced to wait – whether it’s for a transaction going through or checking the availability of stock.

SSD speed v HDD speed

 

Additional benefits of using an SSD include significantly reduced power consumption. This lower power consumption can result in a 30+ minute battery boost when compared to a HDD. Increasing energy efficiency can deliver longer battery life, less power strain on the system and a cooler retail computing environment. Furthermore, even though a HDD is cheaper at the time of purchase in terms of price per gigabyte a SSD offers long term cost efficiency through lower energy usage and greater productivity with one SSD delivering the performance of 100 hard drives.

Other advantages of using a SSD include a cooler and quieter operation.  A SSD ensures a cooler environment through lower power consumption which creates a reduced heat output. And the near silent operation of SSDs is guaranteed through no moving parts, which make for a more ambient retail experience, as opposed to the noise of hard drives that is associated with the moving mechanical arm.

However there are still advantages of a HDD if the key aspects mentioned are not your primary objective. If budget and capacity are your main focuses then it may be worth looking at HDD options. For instance, even though prices for an SSD have been falling significantly the price per gigabyte is still strongly in favour of a HDD. Based on buying a 1TB drive today the price works out roughly at £0.20+ per gigabyte for an SSD and only £0.04 per gigabyte for a 4TB HDD. In terms of capacity a SSD for a desktop holds a maximum of 1TB in comparison to a HDD that can store up to 6TB for a desktop device. Therefore the main advantage of selecting a HDD is that they are capable of storing a large amount of data cheaply. If you don’t feel that the additional advantages of the SSD are necessary, a cheap storage option using a standard hard drive is probably the best option.

SSD v HDD

 Overall SSDs provide several key advantages for Epos systems such as further ensuring low power consumption. Additional benefits of this include greatly reducing the time taken to find data, improving durability and resistance to physical shock. With the SSD an Epos system boots faster, launches apps faster, and has a higher overall performance with long term cost efficiency.

Broadly speaking an SSD holds the majority of advantages over HDDs; nonetheless it is important to consider the individual needs of a customer. If you have a limited budget and having a high storage capacity is important to you but it isn’t too important to you how quickly the system boots, how fast files can be opened or how the system performs overall then a HDD is likely to be your best option.

Conversely if buying on budget isn’t of the highest priority but speed, performance, durability and long term cost effectiveness are what you have in mind for your epos system then the SSD is most likely to be the option that suits you and your retail business.

For more information about which type of drive is best for you when choosing an Epos system for your retail operation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with RMS.

 

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