Good computers today need to have specific features which best match the requirements of the user. One important feature is that concerning Memory. Computer Memory storage technology has come a long way compared to the days when Floppy Disks ruled the storage industry. Next came the Hard Disk Drive Technology which changed the way we look at Computer Memory devices. The technology is still going strong and will continue to do so. As of today, the latest innovation in the world of Storage Memory is Solid State Drive Technology which involves no moving parts in his hardware setup.
Tips & Thought: Difference between ssd and hdd
So, What’s the subtle difference between SSD and HDD Technology? Its rather simple, Hard Disk Drives can store large amounts of Data and can also be easily accessed. They provide cheap storage solutions but have a magnate disk incorporated into the system which makes it susceptible to failure.
In contrast, Solid State Drives have no moving parts and are also known to be faster than HDDs. So, when its SSD vs HDD, SSD is the clear winner in terms of fast and failure-proof data transfer. However, they are new and do not have high storage capacities which is one of the primary most difference between SSD and HDD.
Short Answer: HDD and SSD Explained
The working of a traditional HDD drive is rather simple which involves a rotating magmatic disk. The data is stored permanently even if you switch off the computer system. The SSD also functions the same way, but data is stored in a system of flash memory chips which stores data even if there is no power supply to it.
Hence, they are very fast and reliable but do not come by the cheap. They are very small in size compared to the HDD which gives computer manufacturers the benefit of design flexibility.
SSD vs HDD: Five Rounds
To make a comparison between HDD vs SSD technology, we must further understand what’s incorporated in the technology.
Round One: Let’s get to Know SSD and HDD Technology
What is an SSD?
SSD stands for Solid State Drive Technology which can be thought of an amplified version of a USB drive. Just like that, on a USB flash drive, there are no moving parts involved and in this technology, information or data is stored in miniature sized microchips. Unlike the HDD drive which has moving parts in it, the losses in an SSD are less and hence the data transfer is faster in comparison to the HDD. HDDs take a lot of time to read and write Data with the help of a mechanical moving arm. SSDs make use of a technology called NAND flash memory which is a type of nonvolatile memory which does not erase data even if the power to the system is cut off. This is the basis on which SSD technology functions.
How SSD Drives Work
As stated earlier, an SSD has no mechanical arm instilled in it but rather has a computing brain called as an embedded processor. It controls all the basic read and write functions and can also store cache and clean up unrequired data. The processor forms the heart and soul of the entire SSD system and a good processor is what separates a good SSD drive from the rest. In modern day SSD drives, processors are so fast that a certain SanDisk SSD drive has the capability to reach read and write speeds of almost 1800 MBPS. SSD drives are smaller and faster and certainly are miles ahead when we do a comparison of SSD and HDD technology.
What is an HDD?
Hard Disk Drive technology has been around since forever. The veteran form of storage technology was first introduced to the world in 1956 by IBM. When it comes to SSD vs HDD, the major advantage of HDD technology is that it has the capacity to store vast amounts of data. In today’s scenario, even 1 TB is not enough to satisfy our memory demands and it’s ever growing. Overall another advantage is that HDDs cost a fraction of what an SSD drive costs. This is one of the major difference between SSD and HDD which is the cost per gigabyte. In common practices, an SSD drive costs roughly 5 times that of an HDD drive. Hence, if it is cheap storage solutions you are looking for, then a standard Hard Disk Drive is your answer. Even when it comes to looks, HDD looks the same as an exterior of an SSD drive. While most laptops are available in a 2.5” form factor, and a typical desktop is available in 3.5” form factor, the more space allows laptops and computers to house larger HDDs with higher capacities. In some cases, HDD drives can reach storage capacities of more than 6TB!
How hard drives work
HDDs make use of magnetism to store data. A magnate which basically performs the read and write function floats above a spinning plate to perform the reading and writing operations. Faster the spinning action of the floating plate, faster is the overall performance of the HDD. In most commonly used HDDs, the floating plate can rotate at a speed of 5,400 RPM while some can even reach speeds of up to 15,000 RPM.
Round Two: HDD vs SSD Advantages and Disadvantages
When it comes to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of HDD vs SSD, the results are mixed. Let us find out.
SSD vs HDD: Pricing
It’s rather simple, due to the sophisticated technology incorporated in SSD technology, it is much more expensive to traditional HDD drives when it comes to cost per gigabyte of memory. A traditional 1TB HDD is available in the market for about USD 45 while, an SSD drive for the same capacity will cost you a mind-boggling USD 250. When roughly calculated, it cost 4 cents per gigabyte of HDD memory and almost 25 cents per gigabyte of SSD memory. HDD will continue to be more economical whereas SSDs must evolve further to be available at cheaper rates.
Hence, in the pricing category of our SSD vs HDD battle, HDD clearly beats SSD technology fair and square.
HDD vs SSD: Read and Write Speeds
Here is one category where SSD is head and shoulders above HDD technology. A typical computer with an SSD drive incorporated into it will usually boot in less than a minute and in most cases, within seconds. This is not the case with an HDD drive-equipped PC or laptop. It will require a few minutes to do so. The HDD drive requires those extra minutes to speed up the operating system of the computer which makes it very slow as compared to an SSD powered PC. Hence, a Windows or MAC computer with SSD technology will start faster, load applications faster and most important of all, transfer files at speeds not possible by an HDD powered computer. Such accelerated speeds are something which the modern-day generation requires.
Hence, in the speed category of our SSD vs HDD battle, SSD technology is the clear winner.
SSD vs HDD: Durability
A typical HDD drive has moving elements in its system, hence the wear and tear of the drive is higher. This poses a risk for data to get lost or the entire HDD drive to completely fail.
When it comes to SSDs, there are no moving parts, hence even if there is a major earthquake and your computer is destroyed, the data on your SSD drive is very safe. Most rotating heads in an HHD drive completely halt when the PC is turned off, but operate at crazy RPMs when the system is running. Even the slightest of touches between the parts means that the entire drive could basically get destroyed. Hence, if you are one of the users who are rough on their computer, we recommend you use an SSD drive.
Hence, in the Durability category of our HDD vs SSD battle, SSD technology is more Durable.
HDD vs SSD: Maximum and Common Capacity
In most commercially available SSD drives, the maximum rated capacity is close to about 4 TB which is again very rare to find and come at very high costs. However, the most common capacities are somewhere between 500 GB to 1 TB. Due to pricing concerns, we get 128 GB SSD drives as well for more economical SSD storage solutions.
As we know that HDD has more storage capacity in comparison to SSD technology. HDD drives are available in storage capacities which can go up to 6TB as well. HDD technology hence will provide more value for money as compared to SSD technology.
HDD vs SSD: Fragmentation
As we know that HDD drives have rotating surfaces in them due to which they are best operational when handling large files laid down in the form of adjoining blocks. By this, the drive can begin and conclude its read operation in one continuous motion.
However, when the drive is almost full, files become scattered all around the platter of the HDD disk which makes the drive suffer from a condition called as Fragmentation. However, this has been resolving particularly well in SSD drives especially due to the absence of physical moving elements and because data is literally stored anywhere. Due to this, SSDs are faster than HDD drives.
SSD vs HDD: Form Factors
To accommodate all the physical components within an HDD drive, there are certain limitations up to which it can be shrunk. Hence, the smallest size of an HDD drive is at 2.5” max. SSDs have no such constraints and will continue to get smaller and smaller as the technology progresses. In most laptops, SSDs are manufactured in the 2.5” scale but that is again only for convenience sakes.
HDD vs SSD: Noise
HDD drives are mostly many moving metallic components housed in once compact casing. As the arm of the driver moves back and forth, it is bound to generate sound. In rare cases, banging sounds too can be heard if the assembly is not proper. In contrast, SSD drives are quiet and make no such noise and this because they are non-mechanical devices.
HDD vs SSD: Power
An HDD drive requires extra electricity to spin the floating plate. Since there are rotating mechanical elements involved, the losses are high which makes HDD drives as power hogging devices.
Losses are minimal in SSD drives, if not completely none. A computer system with an SSD drive in it utilizes lesser electricity as compared to a System with HHD drives in it.
SSD vs HDD: Availability
Despite being available in large numbers, HDD drives are slowly being replaced in most high-end modern laptops available in the market. However, most Desktop Computers will house HDD drives and will continue to do so for at least until SSD technology becomes more economical than it is today.
Overall Difference between SSD and HDD technology
HDDs continue to be the most used storage solutions in most systems today as they are cheap and provide more storage as well. However, if you aren’t too keen on the price, SSD drives are better because they are fast, robust and most importantly, future-proof. Hence, SSD drives represent the future whereas HDD drives will continue to be used at least until SSD technology can be made more economical and can provide more storage capacity.
Round Three: SSD VS HDD Comparison
Let us now compare some of the technical aspects when it comes to Differences between HDD and SSD drives.
SSD drives draw about 3-4 watts power whereas HDD drives draw a massive 6-7 watts of power on average. Hence, SSD drives are more power efficient.
A GB of SSD memory costs about 20 cents. Whereas, a GB of HDD memory is roughly about 3 cents.
SSD drives are usually available with a maximum capacity of 1TB for laptops and in case of Desktops, can reach a capacity of 4TB
Whereas, an HDD drive is available with a maximum capacity of 2TB for laptops and 10 TB for desktops.
Boot Time of System
In case of SSD powered systems, the boot time is at most 10-12 seconds.
For systems with HDD drives, the average boot time is about 30-40 seconds.
SSD drives emit no sound at all.
Whereas, HDD drives emit random clicking and spinning sounds due to moving parts in the system.
Since SSDs have no moving parts, there are no vibrations.
HDD drives vibrate as they have rotating parts.
SSDs have no moving parts, hence little heat is dissipated due to low electricity is drawn by the system.
However, HDD drives draw high power and have moving parts which produce friction, hence heat dissipation is high.
File Read and Write Speeds
SSD Drives read and write files at speeds between 200 MBPS up to 500+ MBPS in high-end SSD drives.
HDD drives can read and write files at speeds between 50-120 MBPS.
Both SSD and HDD drives come with a Full Disk Encryption feature. However, this is available only on select models.
File Opening Speed
SSD drives can open files 30 percent faster than HDD drives.
HDD drives open files very slowly in comparison to SSD drives.
Rate of Failure
In case of SSD drives, the average time between failures is about 2 million hours.
In case of HDD drives, the average time between failures is 1.5 million hours.
Does Magnetism affect the system?
In case if SSD drives, the system remains unaffected in presence of magnetism.
In HDD drives, data can be erased when subject to any sort of magnetism.
Round Four: HDD vs SSD: Which Should You Choose?
Since we have listed out the subtle difference between SSD and HDD technology, now comes the part where you must choose which is the right type of storage solution technology for you, it merely depends on the type of person you are. Requirements differ from person to person. Let us discuss further.
HDD technology is Right for You
HDD drives are perfect for the following type of people:
Such users require a lot of storage space to satisfy their downloading requirements. Hence, HDD proves to be a viable and cheaper option.
Budget firm Users
For those walking on a tight storage budget, HDD drives are your only option.
Graphic/ Engineering professionals
These kinds of users almost overuse any storage given to them. This is since they work on heavy memory projects and hence, HDD drives are perfect for them.
These are the type of people who aren’t sure about how much storage space they require. Sometimes they might require heavy memory or sometimes you just don’t. In such cases, HDD drives are the best and economical option.
SSD technology Is Right for You
Users always on the move
These are the type of people who carry their laptop everywhere and hence, require SSD just in case of an emergency. They might violently shut their laptops while catching a flight and hence SSD drives are safer in such cases.
These are users who want everything to be done very quickly. Whether it is a system reboot or a simple file transfer, SSD drives provide super-fast storage solutions.
Graphic/ Engineering professionals
SSDs drives are perfect for such users who have systems which can support dual drive systems. Sound Engineers/ Artists
While recording music, you need a completely sound free technical setup. Only SSDs provide you with noise free storage solutions.
Round Five: Frequently Asked Questions by people
What is an SSD drive?
SSD stands for Solid State Drive Technology which is a type of storage device which doesn’t have any moving or rotating part like on an HDD drive. SSD drives store data with the help of flash memory.
Is SSD better for gaming?
Yes, it is much better as SSD drive computers are much faster and best equipped when it comes to playing games. However, it’s always best to keep an extra HDD drive in case you need the extra storage space.
Can you run an SSD and HDD together?
A host of computers support dual drive systems on them. By using both an HDD and an SSD drive on the same system, you can enjoy the best of both the technologies all on one single system.
Can you have an SSD and an HDD in the same computer?
Yes, this is possible. For best performance, we advise you to install all your apps on an SSD drive for faster performance. Rest of the data can be stored on an HDD.
Is SSD volatile?
Solid State Drive technology is a non-volatile form of storage technology which makes use of NAND based flash memory technology.
Is it possible to clone HDD to SSD?
Yes, it is possible to make a switch from an HDD drive to an SSD drive on the same system. Before transferring your data to your SSD drive, take a backup of all the heavy files such as Movies, music, etc. and then delete them. Next, transfer all the small memory files to your SSD drive and you are good to go.
How can I tell if my hard drive is SSD?
If you have just purchased a new system and would like to know what kind of storage device is installed on your system, just use Windows Optimizer which gives you the result.
The Current SSD
Most of the latest SSD drives come in the form of M.2 versions. Some of the top SSD manufacturers are SanDisk, Samsung, etc.
The Storage of Tomorrow
Since we have completed listing out the subtle difference between SSD and HDD technology, it is safe to say that both have their unique advantages. It is highly impossible to conclude that SSD technology is capable of completely replacing HDD technology. However, the cost of SSD drives is coming down but they are still very expensive especially for common people like us. Despite the rise of Cloud Storage technology, local storage devices are not going to go away anytime soon. However, only time will tell if SSD technology is the future of storage technology.
The Final Verdict
As the battle of HDD vs SSD technology ends. It’s time for the verdict.
We know that SSD is the clear-cut victor of this battle. SSD technology is super-fast and is perfect for those who desire performances at elevated levels.
However, it doesn’t come without flaws. SSDs do not provide long-term storage solutions because high storage SSD drives are rather pricey.
Hence, it’s best that you use both. Use an SSD drive in your system and load all the apps on it so that the system performs faster. Load all your other heavy memory files on your HDD drive. This is by far the most cost-effective solution there is.