We take you through the differences and the pros and cons of each in this handy article. Here is our SSD vs HDD you need to check out right now.
What’s The Difference?
A HDD (Hard disc drive) is a storage device that has been around for many many years. It works by using mechanical platters and a moving head that accesses data by reading and writing it. They work in a way that could be likened to an old fashioned record player, with a fast moving arm that reads and writes by moving across the drive. It is composed totally of mechanical parts, which means it is the slowest and the most delicate part of your computer.
A SDD (Solid-state drive) is a more modern, faster type of storage device that is able to access data instantly that is stored on its memory chips. The way it does this is referred to as ‘flash memory’.
Both of these types of storage have their advantages and drawbacks. Both store your pictures, documents, videos and more.
SSD vs HDD For Laptops
The use of HDD’s in a laptop means the manufacturer is able to keep their costs down and therefore you are able to get a cheaper, lower-end laptop. In a laptop that comes with an SSD, you will find that the price is often much higher. They will mainly be found in mid to high-end laptops.
SSD’s are good to have in a laptop because they do not rely on mechanical moving parts. This means less power is used when the machine is running, therefore your battery will last longer before having to be charged.
Another advantage of having a laptop that has an SSD is that they are a little more durable (although we don’t advise you drop it to test this theory!). If you have an HDD and drop it or knock it off the table, there’s a very high chance that the mechanical data arm will be moving (as it almost always is) and it will be damaged in the subsequent impact. Although the damage may not be immediately obvious, it will likely have led to a loss of data when the read/write process was interrupted.
How Fast Is A SSD Compared To A HDD?
There is little room for argument when it comes to the speed of an SSD. They are incredibly fast all-round. Some of the tasks in which they especially excel are when performing sequential read/write operations and during small 4K read/write operations. We will now go into this in a little more detail.
Sequential read/write operations: If you’ve ever tried to copy a large file on a HDD device then you will know how slow it can be, with the copying process taking approximately 30-150 MB per second. In comparison, if you were to copy the same file on a device with an SSD, it would copy at a rate of 500MB per second (that’s not to mention with the newer NVME SSD’s you can achieve speeds of 3000MB per second to 3500MB per second).
Smaller read/write operations: When you use your computer for anything from browsing the web, to running programs, thousands of small files are being opened and closed behind the scenes. These files are stored in blocks on 4K data (usually). The faster your storage device is able to read these files, the better your entire system will run. If you have a HDD, it will be running at a speed of 0.1 to 1.7 MB per second. If you have a SSD it will be running at the faster rate of 50-250 MB per second.
When it comes to actual storage space, you will find that you can find the same sizes in both SSDs and HDDs, so you won’t be forced to choose between one or another. They usually start at around 128 GB (gigabyte) of storage, all the way up to 2 TB (terabyte).
Gaming is an important subject to briefly touch on if you’re thinking of purchasing a SSD or a HDD. Modern games require huge amounts of data to be moved around in order to deliver a smooth performance and keep loading times down.
For this reason, you would likely need to get a SSD if you want to do any gaming. A HDD may also be capable, but you would suffer from stuttering problems and extended loading times.
For reference, GTA V takes roughly twenty-five seconds to load into your saved game when using an SSD. When using a HDD, it takes up to two minutes. You will find your whole gaming experience is much slower with a HDD.
SSD vs HDD Price
As you may have already guessed by now, HDDs are much more affordable than SSDs. For example, a 500 GB SSD will cost $25 – $50. A 500 GB HDD will cost $60 – $150.
It is worth noting that the price of a HDD of any size is likely to fluctuate with market demand, whereas the prices of SSDs tend to stay even. The difference between the two prices is down to the reasons mentioned earlier in the article:
- Market demand
SSD vs HDD: Which One Is Right For You?
Deciding which one of these storage types is for you comes down to your budget and what you are going to be primarily using it for.
If you’re looking for a device just to store your files, then you could not go wrong with an HDD. They are affordable for everyone and offer a lot of storage space for a low price.
If the storage device is going to be used as your ‘main’ drive for your computer/laptop, you should choose a SSD. They offer much faster speeds when performing all operations, but they do come with a higher price tag.
Hopefully this article has helped you decide which of these storage devices is right for you.