Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hardware Compression vs. Software Compression

Software compression is more well-known among people when compared with hardware compression. The reason is that the majority of people do not have need to apply hardware compression in their daily life. In contrast, software compression does meet their requirements in many aspects. Generally speaking, software compression is cheaper and more easily accessible solution compared with hardware compression. On the other hand, hardware compression demands specialized equipment which is designed to deal with specific workload. Even though hardware compression costs users more, it does have its own advantages over software compression. First of all, the specialized hardware enables hardware compression to be faster than software compression to a great degree. Software compression just requires a general purpose processor in order to perform its job. Secondly, hardware compression will not cause any extra burden to the host processor because its calculations take place within its own hardware. Software compression cannot make it. Under most circumstances, software compression is likely to degrade the performance of the host during heavy use and other operations. If you are compressing a large amount of data while using your computer at the same time, then this may pose a great threat.

There is no doubt that software compression has advantages as well. First, it costs less. Second, software compression offers users a lot of options to choose from. Users are allowed to control the process of how the data is archived, compressed and formatted. In comparison, users are given very few, or no options at all with hardware compression. Users have no say in the process of how the data is compressed before being stored into the media. Everything has been pre-programmed into the hardware by the manufacturer.

In conclusion, software compression is better if you are going to store compressed data for a long time. Hardware compression is usually device specific, which may cause great problems when your device fails without anything can replace it.