When it comes to storage devices, there are two main types of contenders: SSDs and HDDs. While many gamers and tech-savvy people consider SDD the winner of this race, there is more to it. Both SSD and HDD have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on the requirements and preferences of the user. While SSD is definitely faster and has a longer lifespan than HDD, hard drives have larger capacity and are comparatively much cheaper. Let’s move forward with SSD vs HDD.
In this blog post, we’ll compare these two storage devices head-to-head based on speed, price, availability, data recovery, and performance.
Table of Contents
What is HDD or Hard Disk Drive?
Hard Disk Drive, simply called a hard drive or HDD, is a data storage device. It is mainly used in computers and cloud servers to store data. HDDs are subdivided into volume, track, and sector.
The spinning magnetic tapes store data in tracks that the read/write head can access. When it comes to capacity, the modern hard drive can reach up to 32-64 TB.
What is SSD or Solid State Drive?
SSD, or Solid-State Drive, is a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory instead of spinning disks. It reads and writes data extremely fast due to the high-speed memory chips and read circuit.
Furthermore, SSD is more rugged since it has no moving internals and is less likely to be damaged if dropped. However, it is more expensive than HDD and has lower capacity, with the current limit being around 8TB.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the two storage devices, let’s compare HDD vs SSD in different aspects.
Difference Between SSD and HDD (Detailed Analysis)
Here we will explore the difference between SSD and HDD in terms of speed, reliability, price, durability, and other major criteria. You can set your preferences and make your decision if SSD is better than HDD for your data storage needs.
SSD vs HDD: Speed
HDD is slower than SSD since it must wait for the disk to spin around to the correct location before it can start reading or writing data. Furthermore, HDD must move the read/write head back and forth to access different tracks. On the other hand, SSD can start reading and writing data immediately since it doesn’t have to wait for the disk to spin.
Typically, an HDD has a top read/write speed ranging from 80MBps to 160 MBps. Meanwhile, SSD can have a reading/writing speed of 350MBps to 550MBps.
Verdict: SSD is a clear choice for people looking for high speed. Most gamers, crypto-miners, and other professionals who need high speed read/write should go for SSD.
HDD vs SSD: Pricing
HDD is cheaper than SSD because it is an older technology and has been around for much longer. A 1 TB Hard disk drive is priced around Rs 3000 while 1 TB solid state drive costs around Rs 8000.
Which One is Cheaper: HDD is a better option if you need large storage capacity in budget. However, the SSD price is dropping and is expected to be lower in coming years.
Reliability and Durability: Difference between SSD and Hard Disk
Since SSD has no moving internals, it is more rugged and less likely to be damaged if dropped. On the other hand, HDD is more fragile since it has spinning disks. SSDs are also more resistant to heat, moisture and magnetic fields.
Besides, hard drives are 5-8 folds heavier than solid drives, making them more vulnerable to falls and drops.
Is SSD More Reliable than HDD: SSD is more reliable and durable than hard drives. It’s a better option for your laptop or computer if you travel a lot with your device.
Suggested Read: What Is the Difference Between Hardware and Software
Is SSD Better than HDD for Data Recovery
HDDs easily recover data compared to SSDs, because the data is stored on spinning disks in an HDD. If the hard drive is damaged, the data can still be accessed by changing the read/write head. However, data stored in SSDs can be more difficult to recover. This is because the data is stored in flash memory chips, and minor circuit damage could lead to complete data loss.
Verdict: Hard disk is a better choice if you need to store highly valuable data and backups. If you are using SSD, make sure to regularly take backups or cloud sync the data.
SSD and HDD: Difference in Performance
HDD performs better than SSD when it comes to writing large files. This is because SSDs have to erase data blocks before writing new data. This process is called write amplification and it slows down the SSD. HDDs don’t have this problem since they can overwrite data without erasing it.
However, under general circumstances, solid state drives perform better at reading and writing files.
Which has better performance: SSD vs Hard Drive- If you need to write large files often you should go with HDD. In other cases, SSD is a better choice.
Solid State Drive Vs Hard Drive: Availability
Currently, SSD is pre-installed in high-performance laptops and desktops to complement the high-end processors, RAM, and GPU. However, most computers in offices and homes still have hard disk drives as storage devices.
Verdict: SSD is readily available in new Laptops and desktops.
SSD vs HDD: Noise and Vibration
HDDs tend to make more noise than SSDs since they have spinning disks. The noise is created by the spinning disks and the read/write head moving back and forth. On the other hand, SSDs are much quieter since they don’t have any moving internals.
Verdict: SSDs are a better choice if you are looking for a quiet device.
HDDs consume more power than SSDs since they have spinning disks. The disks need to be spinning all the time for the data to be accessed quickly. On the other hand, SSDs don’t have any moving internals and only use power when they are reading or writing data.
SSD HDD difference in power consumption: If you are looking for a power-efficient storage device, SSD is the better choice.
Solid State Drive vs Hard Disk Drive Lifespan
HDD is widely used in computers and servers around the world with an average lifespan of 3-5 years under general conditions. The age might vary depending on the read-write frequency. SSDs are relatively new and are not tested to the mark under practical circumstances. However, studies and research have concluded that NAND-based SSD could last up to 10 years as NAND chips come with a limited working time span.
Which one is better SSD or HDD for long term storage: Virtually, SSDs are expected to last much longer than HDDs making them better choice to store data for longer time.
Security difference between HDD and SSD
Some of the SSDs have hardware-based encryption to protect data. Any data that is written to an SSD is automatically encrypted, making it more secure than HDD.
However, it’s difficult for users to use software-based encryption or permanently delete a specific set of data in SSD as it distributes data on all flash NAND chips to increase the lifespan.
Is SSD better than HDD in terms of Security: Well, SSDs have both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to security. If you want to secure stored data, hardware encryption-based SSD are a better choice. However, HDDs are better when it comes to permanently deleting or encrypting a set of data.
Suggested Read: What are Hardware Security Modules ? Why Use and How HSM Works?
When Should You Buy a Solid-State Drive Instead of a Hard Disk Drive
Summarizing everything we have written above, here are some cases when you should prefer SDD over HDD:
- Buying systems/laptop for gaming or extremely fast performance
- Updating the existing system when you can’t change the processor
- Need smaller storage space on your system
- If you want to store data for a longer time
- If you are planning to use your system in an unfavorable environment: Extreme cold, hot or humid
When Should You Buy HDD Instead of SDD
Here are some of the cases when you should go for a Hard drive instead of a Solid-State drive:
- Need a large storage capacity either for file storage, server setup, or crypto mining
- Have a limited budget to upgrade your system
- For installation in coaching centers, schools, and educational institutions where speed is not crucial
- frequently need to read/write extremely large files
- If your system has security risk and you might need to recover deleted data
Pro Tip to Get High Speed with a Budget System
If you want extremely high speed, larger storage capacity and you are low on budget for SSD. Here is a trick. You can install both HDD and SSD on your desktop/ laptop.
But wouldn’t that make it more expensive? No, you just need to install a 128/256 GB SSD as primary system memory and rest 512 GB or 1TB HDD as secondary memory. You can install your OS in the SSD and run all games/applications at lightning speed while storing the rest of your data in HDD.
If you Install 512 GB SSD, it will cost you anywhere around Rs 5000. However, you can get a 256GB SSD and 1 TB HDD for the same price. Many Budget gaming Laptops have the same configuration.
SSD or HDD: Which is Better for Laptops
While most of the users consider SSD as a better option for laptops in terms of speed, performance, and reliability, it comes down to the user’s requirements at last. SSDs are ideal for gaming and high-speed laptops. However, when it comes to storing and processing very large files for animation, video and servers, HDDs are much better options.
Even for processing large games like Call of Duty and Quantum Break, you need SSD greater than 1 TB capacity, which are extremely costly. The mixed approach of using SSD as primary and HDD as secondary memory could prove much more beneficial in most of these cases.
Suggested Read: What Are Storage Devices and How Do They Work
- How much faster are solid state drives compared to hard disk drives?
A solid-state drive is much faster than a standard hard disk drive. A hard disk can read/write data at an approx speed of 80-160 MBps, while Sold drives can read/write at approx. speed of 350-550 MBps.
- What are the capacity differences between HDDs and SSDs?
The capacity of SSDs is limited as of now. The maximum capacity of an SSD that is commercially available is 8 TB. On the other hand, a hard disk drive can go up to 32TB.
- Is an HDD or an SSD better for gaming?
SSD is much better for gaming as it has a much faster reading and processing speed.
- Which is better, HDD or SSD?
It completely depends on your requirements, preferences, and budget. If you need speed, durability and performance, go for an SSD. If you need extremely high storage space or you are low on budget, HDD is a better choice.
- How much faster is SSD than HDD?
A solid-state drive is much faster than a standard hard disk drive. A Hard drive copies around 7.2 GB of data in a minute under normal circumstances whereas an SSD can copy around 32 GB of data in a minute.
- Which lasts longer SSD or HDD?
HDD has a normal life span of 3-5 years while SSD is expected to have a life span of 10 years. SSDs could last longer than HDD as they have no moving parts.