Every computer, MAC, or laptop needs a storage device. Thus the results of SSD vs HDD battle cam be helpful for any computer user. A storage could be an external device or an internal drive – you can have both, and you can have multiple storage devices too. It is not uncommon for powerful computers like gaming computers to have several hard drives for storing games, and for system storage.
Currently, there are two main types of hard disk drive you can buy – HDD, and SSD drive. These are similar devices, but they have key differences in terms of price and performance. It is important to know the difference, and understand which one is the better choice. This is especially true if you want to build a powerful computer for gaming, or for graphic design, for example.
To help, we have created this simple guide and comparison. We look at both types of hard disk drive and look at how their different features compare. As a result, you will have a clear understanding of both drive types and which could be suitable for your computer rig.
A Brief Intro – HDD or SSD Drives
First, let’s look at both types of drive and see what their basic definition is, and their features. In the sections below, we have given a brief description of both HDD and SSD for your benefit:
HDD – Hard Disk Drive
An HDD is a Hard Disk Drive. It is an electro-mechanical storage device that works on the principle of magnetic storage. In this type of drive, one or more rigid rapidly rotating platters is coated with magnetic material. These are paired with magnetic heads which complete the data read and write functions. This process is done in a random-access motion which means individual data can be stored, and access in any order.
Hard Disk Drives have been around for decades and have been the main form of storage device used in computers, laptops, and Macs.
SSD – Solid State Drive
An SSD is a Solid State Drive. This type of device uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data. This type of data storage is persistent, and it uses flash memory. Compared to traditional HDD’s, SSD’s do not have a physical spinning disk and movable write-heads.
In terms of functionality, SS drives are considered to be more durable, have quicker access times, and also run much quieter than HDDs.
How do These two Types of Storage Drive Compare?
So what are the main differences between these two types of storage device and how do they compare? Both are viable types of storage, but there are differences that make SSD a better choice in certain circumstances:
SSD vs HDD: Lifespan and Durability
No storage device is infallible and over time, they will wear out and need replacing. HDDs are relatively durable and have a great lifespan. The main issues you can face with an HDD are disk failure i.e. when the mechanical disk and write-head fails and stops working.
SSDs face a similar issue in which the data cells eventually wear out. Typically, a modern SSD drive cell will survive for approximately 3000 write cycles. The wear levelling technology, however, inside SS drives means that write operations are spread evenly over all the cells. As a result, unless you are continually using your SSD for large write operations, it should not wear out. You can always turn to the best data recovery software is something goes wrong with your hard drive.
HDD vs SSD: Storage Capacity
Another important factor is the storage capacity of these devices. What level of storage your require depends on how you use your computer and what you store on it. For example, if you just have a computer for general office work, you probably wouldn’t benefit from a large HDD or SSD and the extra expense wouldn’t be worth it. You can opt for the best WinZip free alternatives to zip your files and free up some disk space on your computer.
Alternatively, if you were a gamer, or a professional photographer, for example, a large capacity SSD or HDD would be hugely beneficial. Luckily, there is no real difference in storage capacity between SSD and HDD. Both types of storage device have both large and small storage variants. For example, you can get a 2TB HDD, or a 2TB SSD.
SSD vs HDD: Price
One of the major differences between HDD and SSD is the price. The prices for SSD can still vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and market. It is a volatile product that has fluctuating prices due to its relatively recent emergence as a dominating technology.
Comparatively, HDDs are relatively cheap and their prices are stable. For example, you can purchase a 500GB HDD for between $25 to $50 – even for a high-end model with great write speeds. In contrast, a 500GB SSD would cost a minimum of $60 but could cost as high as $150 for a higher spec device.
Generally, for a like-for-like product in terms of storage and rough features, SSDs will always be more expensive. Also, in most instances, the price increase is considerable.
HDD vs SSD: Speed
The main benefit of SSD storage devices is their vastly improved speed. Whilst HDDs are by no means slow, SSDs outperform in virtually every process. Also, they particularly excel at specific tasks like sequential read/write operations, and small 4K operations.
So for tasks like copying large movies, writing standard data, and performing basic system tasks you should notice a large difference when using an SSD drive. Simple tasks like opening a web browser, or opening a program will be instantaneous, whereas using an HDD, there could be a few second delay. This might not seem like a huge difference, but for regular computer users, it is a blessing and definitely worth the extra cost. Don’t forget to clear cache in your browser to work on your browser’s speed and performance.
So Which is the Better Choice – HDD or SSD?
If you do not use your computer or Mac regularly, the extra cost of an SSD may not be worth it. For occasional use, you may not notice a difference, and a high-quality HDD would be more than adequate.
Alternatively, if you are a hardcore gamer, work from home on your computer, or are in a digital profession like photography, or graphic design, an SSD is definitely worth it. The incredibly faster processing speeds will make a huge difference and allow you to do various tasks much quicker.