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HDD vs SSD, What difference and how to choose?

ByBrielle Wilson 2018-05-24 41840

What are the differences between HDD or SSD hard drives? For the post, first of all we will start describing in a simple and basic way what are the general features of SSD and HDD, so that you can easily recognize and choose them.
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1. What is HDD and SSD?

The hard drive is a key component of laptop and desktop computers. The hard drive is technical products. The hard drive of a computer plays the essential role of storing and retrieving information. These types of hard disks can store a large number of files, music, videos and images because of their high storage capacity.

Hard disk drives (HDD)

HDD, know as hard disk drive are the most commonly parts for desktop computers. These disks internal or external to the computer, consist of one or more mechanical disks that read and write information on the disk. Inside the HDD there are sectors located on tracks, which are stored on rotating platters. These platters have magnetic heads which move with an actuator arm to read and write information.


What is HDD and SSD

Solid State Drive (SSD)

SSD, also know as solid state drive (and non-mechanical HDD) memory to store information. SSD  made of integrated circuit assemblies by the control unit and storage unit (FLASH chip, DRAM chips). The SSD offer improved durability and superior performance to HDD drives. However, the HDD have generally higher storage capacity for SSD.

Original Samsung 256GB SSD


Original Samsung SSD


2. HDD vs SSD

SSD and HDD do the same job: they can start your operating system, store your applications and your personal files. But each has its own specific characteristics (storage capacity, price, speed, etc.).

(1) The price

SSD are more expensive than HDD in terms of Euro per gigabyte. An internal 2.5" 1TB HDD costs on average between 50 and 70 euros. On the other hand, it will take about 300 euros for an SSD of the same capacity.

(2) Storage capacity

Although there are several high capacity SSD (up to 16 TB), they remain scarce and costly. 500 GB to 1TB HDD is commonplace and is considered a basic capability. As for SSDs, the first prices offer a storage capacity of around 256 GB.

(3) Transfer speed

The transfer speed is the strong point of the SSD. A computer with a SSD will start in less than a minute (a few seconds for most) and be faster than HDD for starting and running applications as well as for transferring files. Whether you use computer for leisure, school and work, speed is still a criterion of choice for a computer.

(4) Durability and resistance

A SSD has no moving parts, so it is more resistant to impact when compared to HDD. Some external hard drives, however, have protection to address this problem (such as Rugged discs, water-resistant, dust-proof, shock-and-fall).

(5) Availability on the market

HDD are the most common and most accessible though SSD are starting to be increasingly present especially in small Netbook and Ultrabook laptops with storage capacities ranging from 256 to 516GB for the most part.

(6) Sizes and shapes

SSD are known for their performance. If you decide to option for a SSD for a hard drive and be aware that there are two common SSD sizes. The 3.5" is suitable for desktop computer while the 2.5" is designed to respond to laptop(with a more restricted space). Note that it is possible to connect a 2.5 "SSD on a 3.5" array via an adapter but the reverse is not possible. In the case of a laptop purchase, the default size of this SSD will therefore be 2.5". In this case, attention should be paid to the other technical specifications of SSD.

(7) Noise

Noise is first thought: internal or external HDD drives are relatively noisy. Even the quietest HDD will emit a slight noise because of its playback arm and the rotation of its disc. Because of their flash memory, SSDs produce virtually no noise.

(8) Consumption

Next comes energy consumption: SSD should not consume electricity to run a platter. So SSD is  less intensive than HDD. This lower energy consumption results in several minutes/hours of autonomy in addition.


SSD and HDD: main differences:

Main advantages SSD HDD
Price Much more expensive Much more economical
Capacity Betweem 256 GB and 1 TB  1 to 10 TB
Data transfer between 200 and 550 MB/s Between 50 and 150 MB/s
Durability Can be rewritten a limited 
number of times

Mechanical parts that can be 

damaged by moving

Sizes and shapes 2.5", 3.5" 3.5"
Noise Quieter because there are 
no moving parts

Something noisier because 

having moving parts

Consumption low higher
Starting time 7 Seconds 16 Seconds
Affected by magnetism No Magnetism can remove data

It doesn't vibrate because it 

doesn't have moving parts

The moving parts can cause 

slight vibracioness

Fragmentation No May occur


3. New tech to choose

Some manufacturers have implemented a solution for coupling a flash memory to a mechanical HDD. These "hybrid" models combine the storage capacity of a HDD and the performance of a SSD for a price slightly higher than a conventional hard drive. The flash memory serves as a buffer for frequently used files to speed up the launch of important applications.

Other technologies also exist to combine a HDD and SSD on the same computer, such as Intel's Smart Response technology (SRT). SRT uses the SSD as a cache to start the system or launch programs faster.

Although SSD is increasingly democratized, they are still costly but powerful alternatives to HDD.

HDD drives outweigh the issue of price, storage capacity and market availability.

As for SSD, they are definitely faster, more robust, more compact and less noisy. SSD drives are a choice option for laptops.

Acer 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD gaming laptop


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