HDD Vs SSD: Which to Choose for Your PC
Choosing storage for your computer was simple till the late 2000s. The choices were quite simple, you just had a choice between 5400 RPM or 7200RPM drives with different storage sizes. However, storage mediums are a lot different in today’s world. You have the traditional hard drive on one hand and modern Solid State Drive on the other. Both the storage devices are used for storing OS, files, programs, pictures, videos, and music. Yet they work with different technologies. In this blog, EverythingTech will tell you the main differences between HDD and SSD and, which you should use for your PC.
What is an HDD or Hard Disk Drive?
The HDD was first introduced by IBM in 1956. The first hard disk was bigger than the refrigerator at your home and it could hold up to 3.75 megabytes of data. It is tremendous and astonishing to think that modern hard drives can hold terabytes of data in a remarkably small form factor. The data on an HDD is stored on magnetic rotating platters. There is a read/write header is present above the platters that to floats to read or write data. The faster this platter spins, the faster the hard disk will be. In order to read or write on a specific sector of a specific platter, the header has to navigate to the proper position. After this, it has to wait for the sector to pass. This entire process takes time since the header has to move to the exact position of the sector. Moreover, the header has to wait for the platter to provide the right portion. This is also known as rotational latency.
Generally, there are two types of consumer hard drives; the 5400-RPM drives and much superior 7200-RPM drives. However, there are server-grade drives, which can spin from 10,000 RPM to 15,000 RPM. This magnetic technology has existed for over 60 years. This long period has been a time for constant innovation and development in the HDD technology.
An HDD is capable of storing a huge amount of data cheaply. This is the most remarkable advantage of modern HDD. In fact, you will find the majority of today’s laptop with a 1 Terabyte of storage. The storage density of hard drives continues to grow to even a whopping 16 TB. The cost per gigabyte is decreasing day by day with the competition between the leading brands like Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba. Thus, if you want lots of storage using a normal HDD is the smart way to go. There are two form factors for hard disks; the smaller 2.5” form factor for laptops and a larger 3.5” form factor for desktop computers. However, the larger form factor is able to conceal more platters to provide more storage capacity. Whereas, the smaller form factor is ideal for laptop computers.
What is an SDD or Solid State Drive?
An SSD is completely different from an HDD. You already might be familiar and might have used USB flash drives, an SSD is can be concluded as a more sophisticated version of those drives. An SDD has no moving parts like an HDD; instead, the information is saved in microcircuits. They do not require the physical labor of having a mechanical arm with header used for reading information from storage platters. Usually, SSDs use NAND-based flash memory, which is a non-volatile memory. A controller does the writing and reading of data from the NAND memory, which is like a processor of the device. This controller is very important to decide the read and write speed of the SSD. Since it doesn’t have any moving parts, any part of the SSD can be accessed in the same amount of time without delays like HDD. This means that there is no variable seek time or rotational latency. The majority of the SSDs are 2.5” and NVMe SSD. The 2.5” SSD has the same form factor as a traditional laptop hard drive. The SSD fits into the same housing while having the same connectors as the hard drives. SATA is the standard connector used for connecting such SSDs. However, there are more form factors like mini-SATA SSDs, which fits into mini-PCI Express slot inside a laptop. The latest high-end laptops are packing NVMe SSDs, which makes them very light and battery efficient.
Which you should choose?
There couldn’t be a straight-forward answer to the confusion between HDD and SSD. Every PC user their own needs and you have to make the decision based on those needs. You might be in favor of incredible speed, but you might also prefer to stay under budget. The price per gigabyte is still in favor of traditional HDDs even after the decline in the price of SSDs. However, true performance in the form of faster boot-up speed and application performance will only be provided by SSDs.
Why you should choose an HDD?
- Storage capacity: When you need a huge amount of storage up to 10 TB, then an HDD is the ideal choice. More storage options are available in hard drives than SSDs.
- Affordable: The price per gigabyte is considerably lower when you choose an HDD. This is decreasing ever year with more competition in the market. You can save a lot of money by choosing a hard disk over SSD.
- No priority: There’s no benefit of an SSD at this point if you do not care how fast your PC boots up or how your programs perform. It is better to get a hard disk in such a case.
Why you should choose SSD?
- Performance: If you care about improved read and write speed, bootup speed, and application performance, then SSD could be a great choice for you.
- Money is not an issue: If you are not in a budget, then it is will always better to use the latest technology to store data.
- Reliability: There are lower chances of data corruption or data loss when you are using SSD instead of HDD. SSD’s are more efficient and reliable.
- Power Usage: SSD’s are a great choice for laptops. They consume less power and weigh less than traditional hard drives. You can save more battery life when you are using an SSD on your computer.
The SSDs are still new to the desktop market. The majority of the desktop users are still relying on a traditional hard drive for storing their data. They are preferred due to their cheaper costs and higher capacities. However, SSDs have created a great impact in the laptop market. The Macbooks and Ultrabooks have introduced greater speed to the public. The prices of SSDs are also declining every year, which gives tougher competition to HDDs. There could be one day when HDD won’t be the mainstream storage medium to store data. People will be more inclined towards SDDs after the prices drop mainly for their superior speed and reliability.