If you recently bought or are planning to buy a PC / Laptop then you might have come across two choices for your primary hard drive SSD vs. HDD. And you might have thought, well a Hard Drive is a Hard Drive, it doesn’t matter right? Not Exactly. Here, we point out the differences between SSD and HDD drives, to help you choose which is your best option.
The Choices You Get
So, if you head out right now to buy a computer / laptop. You will be faced with three main options. First one being an SSD as your primary drive. Which means C: Drive if you are buying a windows PC / Laptop and the Macintosh HD drive on a Mac. The second option is that you have HDD as your primary drive, or the last option is to configure your system with both SSD and HDD.
So now let us walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of both SSD vs. HDD to help you decide.
SSD and HDD Explained
HDD is your traditional spinning hard drive, used as a primary non-volatile storage. That is the information “stays” as it is even if the system is turned off, as compared to a RAM. In a traditional HDD there are metal platters with magnetic coating that store your data. And a Read/Write head on an arm can access the data while the platters are spinning.
An SSD (short for Solid State Drive) does everything a Hard Drive does, but in a different manner. The data here is stored in on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data even when the system has no power. These flash memory chips are of a different type than what is used in USB thumb drives, and are also more fast and reliable, and hence they are usually more expensive than USB drives of same capacities.
These chips can either be installed on the system’s motherboard (as on small laptops and notebooks ), on a PCI Express (PICe), or in a box that’s fixed in a slot for a laptop or desktop’s hard drive.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Both SSD and HDD do the same job. They boot your system, load and store your applications and save your personal data. But the whole point of this article is to point out the unique features of the both, so you can decide which one to get over the other?
- Price – As talked earlier, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs in terms of dollar per gigabyte. At the time of this writing, a 2.5 inch 1TB internal hard drive costs around $50. Where as a 2.5 inch 1TB internal SSD costs around $280.
- Storage Capacity – Although there are SSDs available upto 10TB of storage, they are very expensive. And generally 1TB is considered as base storage in almost all laptop/computer systems in 2017. Going for a SSD vs. HDD in low budget you might end up cutting down the storage to 128 GB. If you are a multimedia user you might require more than 1TB to 4TB of storage, which is common in many high end systems.
- Speed – SSD is equal to Speed. No traditional hard drive can match the speeds of a Solid State drive. Systems with Solid State Drives boot lightning fast, the applications load faster, file transfers are fast. Whether you are using your computer for fun, business, studies or research. The extra speed may be the difference between finishing on time and failing.
- Efficiency – SSDs are more efficient as compared to Hard Drives in terms of Durability (as it has no moving parts), Power Consumption (no need of electricity for spinning platters), Noise (SSDs make NO noise at all, as there are no mechanical parts).
- Availability – Hard Drives are more widely available in budget and in various storage sizes, on the contrary SSDs are just making their way in the laptop and computer systems and are really expensive. Also, usually you will get Laptops / Mac Books with either 256 GB or 512GB of SSD storage. Hence these chips cannot completely replace the Hard Drives, not until next few years.
- Overall – Hard Drives win in Price, Availability and Storage Capacity. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, durability, noise, form factor etc (basically the stuff related to speed / performance) are important factors to you. If Price and Capacity were not an issue, SSD would be a clear winner.
So in Conclusion! We can say If you are:
- A Multimedia Enthusiast who loves downloading and collecting movies and music, or a video / photo editor, or a general user then Hard Drives are the best choice for you. As you can easily run out of storage on a SSD and in case you need to replace / extend your memory, replacing a 1TB hard drive would be cheaper than replacing a 256 GB SSD.
- A person who just throws their laptop in their bags and rushes to work, a Speed Demon who needs all the work to be done as quick as possible (like fast boot-ups, quick app launches etc. ), a musician or audio engineer as you don’t want the noise from a hard drive to get recorded in your music. SSD is a great choice for you.
- Other than these, some group of people need both more Storage Capacity as well as Speedy performance, like Graphic Designers or Video Makers. Can go for a Hybrid or Dual Drive system. Where the manufacturer provides a small amount of primary SSD storage for installing applications, and traditional HDD for data storage and personal files.
Thank you for reading, Let us know in the comments, how well did we solve your SSD vs. HDD questions?