SSD vs HDD – What are They
According to Wikipedia, these are the definitions of HDD and SSD –
A hard disk drive (HDD) is a data storage device used for storing and retrieving digital information using rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. An HDD retains its data even when powered off. Data is read in a random-access manner.
A solid-state drive (SSD) (also known as a solid-state disk or electronic disk, though it contains no actual disk) is a data storage device using integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives.
Why I prefer SSD over HDD
The Western Digital WDS240G2G0A 240GB SATA III 6GB/s 2.5 7mm Internal SSD (Green) was bought in July 2019. It improved my boot time and operational speed of my computer. It is so easy to install and less chances of getting crashed.
The SSD vs HDD benchmark comparison lies in the parameters you compare. If you compare pricing, HDD is the clear winner. You get cheaper price per GB in HDD. A Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1 TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD can be had for less than $60.
But if you compare faster boot speed and performance, SSD will out-smart the “older” platter drives.
SSD vs HDD – History
The HDD history is little old, starting from the infamous IBM 350 RAMAC hard drive to the today’s SATA connected 2.5-inch notebook-class drives.
The amount of disk space also has increased from 40 GB to 2 TB for desktops and laptops. There are even 6 TB HDD which are used for video storage and multi-media processing.
The SSD which has its roots, way back in 1970s, with the invention of bubble memory flashing etc. The present day flash memory is the logical extension of the same old idea. The SSD history started with the notebooks in 2000s.
This got extended in 2007, with the the OLPC XO-1 using a 1GB SSD, and the Asus Eee PC 700 series using a 2GB SSD as primary storage.
The current 2.5-inch SSD capacity is at a maximum of 1TB currently and is to increase in the coming days. [Source : pcmag.com]
SSD vs HDD – The Pros and Cons
Both these drives do the same functionality like boot your system, store your applications, and store your personal files. So we need to answer the differences which makes a user buy a particular drive.
There are different factors like price, maximum and common capacity, speed, fragmentation, durability, availability, form factors and noise.
For a 1TB drive, you are going to pay $75 for a HDD while the same is $600 for a SSD.
The common available disk spaces in SSDs are 128 GB to 500 GB, while it maximum outs at 1 TB. Coming to an HDD, the common base system for a typical desktop configuration is 250 GB or 500 GB.
You can even get a 4TB or 6TB hard drive for the more personal stuff like music, videos, photos etc.
Coming to boot times, the SSD is lot faster than its predecessor. It boots up in seconds, while the HDD has to wait 1 to 2 min, even with the latest processor and RAM.
Large and Small Files
The advantage with SSDs is that it doesn’t care where the data is stored on its memory chips. Unlike it, the HDDs, are good for large files, which are laid down on the magnetic coating in contiguous blocks.
But due to its methodology, the file system can be fragmented, for which you need to use de-fragmentation tools.
An SSD has no moving parts, so its suitable to carry in laptop bags and for office work. Even if you drop it, much damage is not done. But most HDDs park their read/write heads when the system is off and consist of movable parts.
The availability of HDDs comes from different manufacturers like Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi, and the list is never ending with different models.
But SSDs manufacturers are new to the games and are still improving.
Because HDDs rely on spinning platters, there is a restriction on the form factor. But SSDs have no such restriction which are currently available in the 2.5-inch laptop drive-sized boxes, but as the growth of tablets increase, the SSDs size can still decrease.
Due to drive spinning etc, the HDDs even if its the best, still emits some noise. Also faster HDDs make more noise than the slower ones. But SSDs make no noise at all, as they are non-mechanical.
Which one to Buy – SSD vs HDD
So if you are a multimedia user and heavy downloaders of torrents etc, wanting to buy a drive in your budget for $500 PC, video and photo editors and are keen on replacing a cheap drive, general user doing office work like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, you just need HDDs.
But people who are rough and want extra security to their drive, speed is the key coming to opening of Photoshop kind of applications or booting up, and don’t want scratchy sound coming from the drive, SSDs is your choice.
According to benchmark tests conducted by PCWorld, it ran an
Notebook WorldBench 8.1 benchmark suite on a recent-vintage Toshiba Satellite P75-A7200 laptop powered by a fourth-generation mobile Core i7-4700MQ CPU (part of the processor family code-named Haswell), and our Desktop WorldBench 8.1 suite on an older Maingear tower PC equipped with a second-generation Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge). Our colleagues at Macworld helped us out by running SpeedMark on an Apple MacBook Pro with a third-generation Core i5-3210M (Ivy Bridge). All three test suites measure the performance of the entire system—not just its storage subsystem.
In almost all the cases, SSD upgrades delivered huge performance gains.
So at the end, HDDs win on price, capacity and availability.
SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise, or fragmentation (technically part of speed) are important factors to you.
I personally felt using HDD drive on Windows 10 computer doesn’t fully optimize the boot speeds. It almost takes 2 minutes for my 64 bit OS to boot up after restart. But using the new WDS240G2G0A SSD I could boot up in less than 15secs
With increasing emphasis laid on speed and cloud storage taking financial burden on an annual basis, the local drive space is going to stay.
So in the coming few years if you want to do more work productively, I recommend going for an SSD even for a smaller size like 250 GB.