A few years ago, the only type of storage on computers was a hard drive or better known as HDD. Over the years, the technology stayed the same, but the capacity has been increasing constantly. Nowadays, we have HDDs with a capacity of 4TB. Then we were able to see SSD (solid-state drive) available in some, premium ultra-books and laptops. Now, however, each user has the ability to choose between SSD and HDD or both. The first question you may ask is what is HDD and SSD.
Understanding the HDD and SSD
Basically, both of them are developed and used to store files and data. They are used for long-term memory, meaning that they are completely different than RAM memory. But, there are a lot of differences in the way how HDD and SSD operate. HDD has a metal platter and magnetic coating, alongside read/write head. A combination of all this allows you to store data and then access it when needed.
An SSD is based on the interconnected flash memory. It means that the drive has memory chips which can be implemented in the motherboard or can be purchased separately, which is a more common case. They are small, thin and they can be added to any computer and a laptop. Most of you believe that SSD is the same as USB flash memory, but it isn’t. Yes, the technology is similar, but SSD is far more reliable and faster, which means that it will speed up a computer and make data safer.
Both of these are internal drives, meaning that they are implemented in the case of a computer or in the laptop. There are external drives as well, but they are usually used as backup storage or as additional safety drives.
Good and bad of HDD and SSD
Both of the storage drives have pros and cons, or better-said advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you which type you will choose, but before that, it is mandatory to know about their good and bad sides.
Cost: HDD is better
When it comes to the price of HDD and SSD, hard drives are more than just affordable. For example, an HDD with a capacity of 1TB will cost you $50, while the equivalent SSD will cost you $250. As you can see, they are far more expensive. In addition, it is known that HDD will stay more affordable in the future, due to the fact this type of storage is older.
Maximum capacity: HDD is better
As we have explained, SSD is far more expensive. It means that you will find a decent HDD with a capacity of 1TB which is still affordable and treated as a sufficient amount of storage space you need today easily and without investing too much of money. On the other side, an equivalent SSD will have 128GB of capacity. The bare minimums are 64GB for SSD and 500GB for HDD. Most users have up to 4TB of space. Yes, it is possible to use online storage features, but they are not as great as they sound and the price may be an issue. Also, you will have to purchase the internal storage only once.
Speed: SSD is much better
This is the main advantage of SSD. They are almost 10 times faster than HDD. For example, a computer with HDD will need a minute to boot, start the system and become operational, while the same computer with SSD will require 20-30 seconds. As soon as a computer starts, in a case of SSD, it will be ready to be used, which isn’t the case with HDD. SSD is faster in any other way as well, regardless of the facts are you a gamer, you must transfer data or simple computer using. Interesting: Most users with older computers purchase SSD of 128GB in order to speed up their machine. This actually works and the results are fantastic.
Fragmentation: SSD is better
An HDD will use its read/write head to store files on the surface. This method is known for better performances with larger files, simply because the entire proves will be completed in a single motion of the head. But, once a drive becomes full, the larger files will be saved on different blocks on the HDD, meaning that drive gets slower. The same situation comes when you must move or copy a high number of mall files. The HDD is much slower in this situation. SSD stores data on all parts of the memory inside, so there are no fragmentation issues like those we have just explained. This is one of the reasons why you get the speed advantage we have mentioned.
Durable: SSD is better
It isn’t difficult to understand why SSD is much better in this case. HDD has a moving part inside, meaning that it is more likely to get damaged over a period of time. When a computer, especially a laptop is moved, the write/read head will move as well, which isn’t great and it can damage the HDD. That’s why it is recommended to completely turn off a computer while carrying it. SSD doesn’t have moving parts, so it is more than just durable. That’s why they are common on all devices which have been developed for rough use.
Easy to find: HDD is better
Keep in mind that this advantage goes to the favor of HDD, but only for a short period of time. At the moment, it is much easier to find HDD, regardless of its capacity than equivalent SSD. But, SSD is coming fast, so soon, it is going to be much easier and more affordable to get a solid-state drive. In addition, HDD won’t go away completely, but in the recent years, they would be less and less used. We can say that SSD is the future, obviously.
Size of a drive: SSD is better
This factor refers to the size of a drive, not on its capacity. It was difficult to produce an HDD of 1.8 inches and its capacity was only 350GB. On the other hand, we have SSD which are not limited by size. This is one of the main reasons why we see them in ultrathin laptops, notebooks and etc. In the near future, SSD will become smaller and smaller, while HDD is almost limited at the moment.
Level of noise: SSD is better
All HDDs are loud while operating. Faster ones are even louder than slower hard drives. This issue cannot be solved, simply because all HDD have moving parts inside. SSD doesn’t, so they are perfectly quiet. Important: When you notice that an HDD is louder, it is one of the first signs of the potential malfunction. It is time to backup data and replace it.
Power consumption: SSD is better
Obviously, HDD has moving parts which use more electricity than SSD which doesn’t have a single moving element. It means that SSD uses far less electricity. When it comes to desktop computers you can expect a bit lower energy bill, but it is a minimal difference. What matters is in the case with laptops. Those with SSD have a much better battery life, simply because they use less energy.
Ideally, you would have one massive SSD or two, but this is an expensive configuration, obviously. But, there is a smart alternative. Some users have hybrid configurations, meaning that they use both, SSD and HDD. The operating system and software and games will be installed on SSD, allowing you the speed and a full benefit of SSD. All other data and files will be stored on HDD, like photos, movies and etc.
Hybrid configurations are great. You will get a combination of the best advantages these two types of drives have to offer and you will still get them for a fraction of the money you would need to get one massive SSD. Of course, 128GB may be too low for some users, so they would need 256GB SSD which is a bit expensive. Keep in mind that operating system will require 20-30GB of space only and a few games can double that. Also, don’t forget that all installations must be stored on SSD. In a case a game or a software is installed on HDD, you won’t get the advantages you want.
In addition, SSD has newer connectors than old computers, meaning that if you have an old machine, you will need additional cable in order to connect it. On newer computers, they fit perfectly, without any additions.
HDD is better when it comes to the price, availability and the capacity for the money. SSD is better with any other factor. They are smaller, much faster, can be smaller, use less energy and don’t produce any noise. As such we must say that SSD is the ultimate winner of the comparison here. After all, the speed advantage is impressive and the reliability of SSD is more than just great.