Laptop speed boost: Blazing-fast SSDs are expected to overtake hard drives by 2018

Prepare for ludicrous speed

Everybody figures that SSD drives are the future for internal PC storage, but that future might be coming faster than you realize.

The TrendForce-owned market research firm DRAMeXchange says SSD adoption by laptop makers is set to surpass 33 percent—a full third of the market—by the end of the year. The firm also predicts that SSDs in new notebook models could reach 50 percent or higher in 2018.


That’s a big jump considering SSDs only accounted for 25 percent of the global notebook market in 2015. DRAMeXchange credits better sales in the second quarter of 2016 for the increase in SSD notebook market adoption.

Why this mattters: Predicting the future is always a difficult business. DRAMeXchange acknowledges that with its forecast, which only says SSDs “may” reach 50 percent of the notebook market in 2018. Nevertheless, the trend is clear. Spinning hard drives are an aging technology with several downsides in the modern era of PCs.

Apples and oranges

For one thing, hard drives are noticeably slower than SSD drives. SSDs are also lighter and thinner than hard drives—especially in M.2 form factors.

Hard drives still have their place, however. Spinning drives can offer more storage at a dramatically cheaper price. That’s a great advantage for anyone who needs a lot of storage space, from major data centers to home users with a NAS drive.

There’s also an argument that hard drives are more resilient than SSDs, but informal tests in recent years suggest there is more myth than reality to that claim. Plus, as any longtime PC user will tell you, all drives fail—including hard drives.

That’s not to say SSDs don’t have their problems. We’ve talked about a variety of them, including TLC’s write performance, quirky environmental issues, and the reality of SSD and data retention.

Even with its various problems, SSDs are still the best way to breathe new life into an aging PC, and should be at the top of the must-have list for anyone buying a new laptop.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?