SSDs are faster than HDDs, So why not settle with a machine that comes with it? After all, who doesn’t like to own a computer that boots in a 4-5 seconds and can handle multi-tasking without lagging?
Well, two very basic hard disks that every laptop has been using over the years are the SSD and HDD drives. But, users have been going bonkers in deciding which one is better than the other. So, here we are with the SSD vs HDD guide, to help you choose which one is good for you! [The Inner us: Of course, SSD.]
Do not worry If you are new to computers or don’t have about both of these storage technologies. We have made sure that all your queries are resolved through this guide and by the end you know everything and more about both SSD and HDD. Not only that, you’ll also be able to choose the one that’s highly suitable for your computing needs! (Well, it’ll be a SSD & I know it.)
- So, What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?
- What is a Hard Disk Drive or HDD?
- SSD vs HDD: Which one is better for your system? [5 Aspects Compared]
So, What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?
A solid state drive or an SSD is a newer piece of storage technology that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data (music, video, files, documents, etc.) It also uses flash memory and generally been equipped in a laptop as secondary storage. Almost every modern laptop these days comes with a SSD.
The first SSD was introduced by SanDisk decades ago as a faster alternative to HDDs. Unlike hard disk drives, they do not contain any spinning disks and the movable read-write heads. In fact, they are resistant to physical shocks and produces zero noise when in use.
Furthermore, SSD drives depend on the number of NAND chips used in the device that determines the overall performance of the device.
There are multiple types of SSD depending on them according to the number of bits stored in each semiconductor cell. The single-level cell or SLC is probably the most reliable and fast compared with the less expensive Multi-Level Cell (MLC) and Triple Level Cell (TLC). The TLC is generally used for applications that have low performance while MLC is assumed as a Consumer-grade technology.
- Shock Proof and Durable
- Uses less power than the traditional Hard Drives
- Increases Boot time of the system
- Provides incredible speed and overall performance
- Greater Read/Write speed
- No noise or Vibration
- SSD is expensive
- Limited Storage Capacity
- Data recovery is costly and difficult
- Life expectancy is shorter
What is a Hard Disk Drive or HDD?
A Hard Disk Drive or HDD is a traditional data storage disk device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid rapidly rotating disks. Since they are based out of circular disks the performance depends largely on how fast the disk rotates. Moreover, HDDs are non-volatile storage devices. This means that a user can retain data even when the device is switched off.
Hard Disk Drives have much more capacity than any other storage devices in the current era of computer technology. As of now the highest unit of data any HDD stores is 16TB. Even though companies are replacing HDD with SSD due to performance issues, the value per dollar that HDDs offer over SSDs are still much more as earlier.
Even though the HDD’s capacity is made available to the user, it is yet fully unknown. The computer uses the disk space for the file system and the computer operating system along with data recovery and back up files. Still, enough storage is provided even keeping aside a small percentage.
- Easily available in the market
- Price is affordable and varied
- Storage Capacity is enormous
- Much more durable than SSD
- Life expectancy is higher
- Data Recovery is easier and simpler
- Consumer more power than the SSD device
- Makes noise and vibrates due to rotation
- Speed and performance is much lower
- Boot time speed is slow
SSD vs HDD: Which one is better for your system? [5 Aspects Compared]
Now, after understanding the basic idea behind both the storage devices, it is better to take each aspect one by one to understand which one stands above each other. There are multiple such aspects such as in terms of Price, speed, latency, capacity, life span, etc.
1. Storage Capacity: Higher Capacity SSDs are Costly.
There is no doubt in the fact that every user looks for a storage device that can carry much more capacity than the latter. Well, in such a case it is very clear that the HDD is the one to go for. Since HDD has always been way ahead in terms of storage capacity than SSD can ever carry.
HDD’s have capacities that range from several hundred MB to 16TB of storage space. If you have a PC, you might have been using an HDD with a capacity not less than 128GB or as high as 1TB capacity. For enterprise use, you can get even higher capacity HDDs. Well, we already know that the data in a hard drive is non-volatile but many a time you may lose data altogether if it gets corrupted.
This is why make sure you do not purchase a hard drive with the highest capacity and store all the data in that single unit. Speaking of the Solid State Drive or SSD, they too have large capacities to store data but not as much compared to the hard drives. It can go up to a few Terabytes of space but are very costly. For example, Macbooks have been equipped with SSD storage that contains up to 4TB of space and excellent speed.
It is always recommended to purchase a laptop that has a combination of both SSD and HDD. You can store all the massive applications that need a good amount of space on the SSD drive and all your other files such as photos, videos, etc on the HDD storage space.
2. The Price: SSD is Expensive Compared to HDDs
The second factor to be considered is the price of these storage devices. It plays a huge factor when choosing in between two devices as it will depend on your budget and also the better offer.
If you have noticed carefully, SSDs are much costlier per GB as compared to the HDD device. As you move over to the higher capacity of the SSD device, the costlier it will be. It even varies when it comes to the type of SSD there is in the market.
Similarly. HDD’s, on the other hand, are slightly lower in the price range and very much affordable. SSD’s are a huge reason that the cost of a laptop increase overall as compared to one which only contains an HDD device. But then it completely depends on the user and the budget. If the price is a big factor in purchasing a device well HDD is the one to go for. Or you can simply create a balance and purchase both.
3. Speed: SSD vs HDD
In general, the very first factor to determine the speed of these devices depends on the read/write speed of the disk.
- Average SSD Speed: 550 megabytes per second (MBps) and writes it at 520 MBps.
- Average HDD speed is only 125MBps for both read and write.
The difference lies here. Price and capacity are the very basics of comparing these two devices, but the real factor depends on the speed and the performance of these devices. The only reason users and companies prefer to go SSD devices has been an incredible speed it provides to the system and increases its performance overall. There are certain points that need special attention.
SSD’s have been designed for the sole purpose to replace the HDD and to increase the performance of the system overall. Looking over at the R/W speed it can be surely determined. You can take an example of data transfer or copying data from a Hard drive as compared to SSD. An SSD will copy or transfer data three times faster than that of a standard HDD.
The biggest reason that Hard drives are slower than SSD is because of the seek time and latency. One can increase the speed of a Hard Drive only by reducing the latency that can be only done by increasing the rotation rate of the platters. Considering the practicality, it is not impossible but very difficult to achieve.
So, if you are looking for better performance and speed from the device, SSD is always the right choice as compared to HDD.
4. LifeSpan: SSD vs HDD
One of the very important aspects that you cannot ignore and have been put up by multiple users is the lifespan of these devices. The question arises here is which one lasts longer?
SSD’s have many more benefits than just speed and performance. It uses less power and saves tons of energy and battery life of the system. Whereas Hard drives work on moving parts and certainly wears out sooner than the SSD. If by any chance you drop your laptop it may damage the HDD easily.
Even though the SSD storage device is physically shockproof and does not suffer any damage, still there is an equal chance of data loss in some other circumstances. It is a pure myth that SSD devices are completely durable and cannot be harmed. It all depends on how you use it.
Since a hard drive is naturally working on the principle of spinning disks which may wear out in the process over the years. But for SSD, the more data you write on it, the more it will wear off in the span of time. Many companies already provide a warranty to these devices of about 5-6 years to be on the safe side.
5. Data Loss and Recovery: SSD vs HDD
If you have faced a very critical issue of data loss multiple times due to corrupted Hard Drives you may have an idea about this particular issue.
In HDD, Data loss is a very common issue faced by users all over the world. It can happen due to multiple reasons including physical damage, corrupted disk, or any other circumstances. Since the HDD is a non-volatile storage device, Data recovery is much simpler and easier as compared to SSD devices. The process is very simple and you can recover data even if the power is off.
Similarly in an SSD storage device, people tend to believe that they do not suffer data loss as there are no moving parts involved. Instead, there are other mechanical factors such as firmware corruption, electrical damage or controller failure that lead to data loss in an SSD. Here the process of Data recovery is quite complicated and costly. If the device is broken there is no turning back and your data is lost forever.
Flash memory wears out faster the more you write data on it. So, it isn’t invincible and due to the complications of the algorithms used in the architecture of SSD, it makes it a bit difficult overall to carry out the process of Data recovery.
Well, it is pretty clear that for good performance and better speed, you must choose SSD over HDD. Otherwise in terms of capacity and price the better option is always Hard Drives. If the motive is to compromise quality with the cost then there is no question any further.
Also, as we had recommended, you can use a better combination of both SSD and HDD storage devices in your system to maintain a balance. In terms of capacity, you can opt for a good Hard Drive and for speed a small SSD would work as well. As technology is advancing, so does the need for better storage devices with a good capacity to store tons of data.
There is no doubt that data has become a companies major asset and to store such data a more secure and durable technology is needed which can be found in the SSD and HDD devices. Enterprises have been using multiple HDDs with a huge load of capacity. They seem to wear down within a short span considering the data load on them.
In the near future, SSD will be having a much greater capacity as compared to what we have known and would worth way more than the traditional HDD.