SSD or Graphics card: Which is more useful for a laptop?

So, Here is a detailed answer to the most trending and confusing question - SSD or Graphics card: Which is useful for a laptop? - for beginners who are thinking of buying a brand-new laptop. A solid-state drive and a hard drive - both are storage devices, but both have their pros and cons that make them different.

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The low-budget laptops don't have an SSD, come with the slow-speed HDD. The mid to high-budget laptops have an SSD, a graphics card, or both. But, The question is still not resolved.

Do I need a Laptop with SSD or Graphics or both?

Well, SSD and Graphics are two different technologies, the first one is for storing the data, the second one is for computing the graphical mathematics - In simple words, To accelerate the graphics performance.

So, the requirements of either or both of them are only to improve our computer's performance on day-to-day tasks. For some people, the daily tasks involve the normal-uses, while for the same, It may be heavy-uses. So, let's understand the normal and heavy-uses of the laptop in a better way.


What do I want to say in short?

For normal-uses, a solid-state drive must be the first choice since the file Input-Output speed depends on it where Graphics chip doesn't require. For the heavy-uses like Gaming, 3D-rendering, video, and photo editing, buy a laptop that comes with both SSD and graphics chip.

The normal-uses and heavy-uses of the laptop

The normal-uses of the laptop involve dealing with MS Office, web browsing, videos and songs play, PDF rendering, web development, and anything that doesn't consist of Gaming, 3D-rendering, or use of the heavy-software for programming, modeling, simulation, and many more.

The heavy uses of the laptop involve dealing with heavy tasks such as Gaming - The most popular, running the Programming software, 3D-rendering, modeling, simulation, and many more. In simple words, any activity that makes you feel that your machine is slow and needs an upgrade for personal use.

What is an SSD, and how it's going to affect your computer's performance?

Samsung's Portable SSD storage - How it's going to affect you

The SSD is an abbreviated form of the solid-state drive. It's a storage device and the most integral part of the upcoming laptops nowadays. The main task of an SSD device is to store the data into and retrieve the same from it.

It looks like a small piece of an almost half-centimeter thick plate. It's shorter than the HDD in physical-size. It's performance, looks, and prices are very different than HDD.

How is it going to affect the laptop's performance?

As I have said, It's a storage device, not a computer chip that makes decisions. It's not going to make any decision, mathematical, or graphical computations - In simple words, It's not going to decide that 2 + 2 = 4 not something-else. So, It has overall no-control or influence in making the computations better.

But, It will impact the speed of storing and retrieving the data into and from it. Let's understand it in a batter way.

Why are the hard disk drives slow?

Consider the Windows OS here. In Windows, The C drive is the system drive, But, it's not a different part of an HDD. Hence, whenever you open the software, The software files will be called from the HDD. So, due to the slow speed of a hard disk of your computer, The software will be late ready for you, because the HDD is consist of the moving parts, not static parts.

SSD involves a NAND-based flash memory. And It's a non-volatile - means not going to erase when you turn it off. SSD has an embedded processor called a controller to handle the data inside it. The controller is a component that decides its read/write speed. The hard disk storage (HDD) has the moving parts that access the data inside it that makes it slow, more power consumptive, and can damage quickly due to its moving parts.

So, concluding this section, SSD is faster at reading and write speed, So it loads the files way faster than HDD, and its performance is independent of the Graphics chip of the laptop.

What is a Graphics chip, and how is it going to affect your computer's performance?

GeForce GTX Graphics card: How it's going to affect the laptop's performance?

A graphics chip is known as the GPU of the computer. It is placed on the laptop to accelerate the graphical performance.

How is it going to affect your computer's performance?

For the normal-uses, It is not affecting the computer's performance much. And, for the heavy uses, It's affecting considerably. Now, the question that arises here is,

Does it accelerate the read/write speed of storage drive?

Well, the answer is No. The read/write speed of a particular storage device has no direct relationship with the laptop's GPU or CPU. For hard disk drive, the read/write speed depends on how faster it rotates. And, for the solid-state drive, It depends on the embedded controller inside it.

Hence, If you have a laptop with a 4GB of Graphics card and 1TB or 500GB of HDD, then I would worry that for the normal-uses even for the heavy uses, the read/write speed will be low as GPU doesn't influence the RW speed of the storage devices anyway.

If you have a laptop with Intel Core-i3, Normal graphics, and a minimum of 128GB of SSD, I would appreciate it since its performance on boot, loading of files will be better. And, In another case, consider a laptop with SSD + Graphics chip, What it can do? It can do way more effectively and efficiently than a normal-specs laptop.

The SSD read the files at 550 MB/s and writes at 520 MB/s approx whereas the HDD read the same at 70 MB/s and writes at just 50-55 MB/s, tested on the Dell Inspiron 3542 Laptop - Intel Core-i3, Intel Integrated Graphics.

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