SSD are small, fast and expensive (120gb SSD run for about $30). HDD are big, slow, and cheap (500gb for $25 to $50). What are your experiences, pros and cons, with either? Is it better to use only one, the other, or a combination of both? Other storage options (cloud, hybrid, external, etc)?
That sounds pretty reasonable to have the OS on its own SSD. An HDD is an economical choice for archiving.
My guess is SSD don't heat up as much as an HDD so it's best for anything that is used frequently or needs working on. So ideally, SSD's for boot swap and /home, and an HDD for extra storage :D
As you already know, there are two versions and subversions of the SSDs. There is standard SSD with Sata 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface with maximum R/W speeds of about 500Mb/s and there is also M.2 format that can allow use of PCIe bus and allow speeds up to 31.5 Gb/s , which is much faster than SSD on SATA 3.0.
So for new PC, idealy is to use one M.2 for OS and put huge HDD for regular data and maybe one standard SSD with 512GB for often used applications or games.
So far I have only been using HDD and are quite happy with them except for the rare failure every now and then.
Some things that I've read about SSD makes me a little vary of starting to use them. Things like only a limited number of writes, and losing data if being out of power for too long. I don't know how much of a problem this really is, or if only some SSD are really affected.
Something that I would like to know is if anyone has experience with SSD failure and how it differs from HDD failure. In my experience with HDD is that I first start noticing that my system is unstable, because my system files get corrupted I guess, but most files are usually fine so I buy a new HDD and start using that one and then I put the old half-broken HDD somewhere in case I realize there was some files that I forgot to transfer. Does SSD usually fail in the same way or it tends to go dead with no of recovering the files?
I've mostly used HDD and maybe I've just been lucky, but so far only one external hard disk failed at work and that was a complete disaster as we could not read the content - I probably could have taken it to a specialist and get them to extract the data - but on my level I was unable to do so. I haven't experienced failure with SSD that I know off - but apparently SSD is not as good with power surges than HDD and one doesn't really notice when SSD problems happen with a power surge as the drive may still be working. Data can get corrupted on SSH that one doesn't know about. Also SSD has limited read/write cycles - particularly with flash memory so quality does make a difference - usually the cycles are created to last for years, but there may be low quality SSD that is cheap - and that may have less read/write cycles and may last shorter.
Both have their pros and cons - SSD seems to be new technology and works better and faster depending on how well they have been manufactured - but maybe I'm just old fashioned as I keep with HDD. Wonder whether HDD will be phased out one day?