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SSDs have no moving mechanical components, which distinguish them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads. Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, much quieter, have lower access time, and less latency. However, while the price of SSDs has continued to decline in 2012, SSDs are still about 7 to 8 times more expensive per unit of storage than HDDs.
Many SSDs use I/O interfaces developed for hard disk drives, thus permitting simple replacement in common applications.
As of 2010, most SSDs use NAND-based flash memory, which retains data without power. For applications requiring fast access, but not necessarily data persistence after power loss, SSDs may be constructed from random-access memory (RAM). Such devices may employ separate power sources, such as batteries, to maintain data after power loss.