You might have come across terms such as SSD or HDD while buying a PC or laptop. They are nothing but storage devices where you can store your data like apps, files, etc in your laptop, PC, smart TVs, and more.
Both HDD and SSD come in built-in devices but you can buy them separately. While HDDs are traditional devices that operate in magnetic storage mechanisms, SSD uses newer and advanced electrical mechanisms to store and access the data. In HDD the data is accessed like the old school gramophone where one needle reads the data from a fast revolving disc. This also means that SSD is much faster and better in performance than HDD.
Let us now understand in detail how each of them works and how SSD is better than HDD storage discs;
What is a Solid State Drive(SSD)?
Solid State Drive is the latest method of storing data. You can find them in the newer laptops and other compact devices. This is because it uses advanced technology which allows it to access data very fast and also requires less power to operate.
In a solid state drive, there are no moving parts and the data is stored and accessed non-mechanically. Since there are no moving parts or platers like HDD, it can also be reduced and increased in size and capacity.
How does an SSD Work?
SSD uses a grid of flash cells called NAND to store data. When the computer requests data from the SSD, instead of waiting for the drive to read/write in order to find out the required data, SSD directs it to the exact grid where the data is stored. This is possible because the controller has the exact address of the grid where the data is stored. This process makes SSD much faster than other traditional storage devices.
- Near instant access time that is calculated in nanoseconds
- Are compact and very convenient for devices such as laptops
- They use very little power which makes them great for devices with smaller battery
- The are also great for areas where a huge amount of data is accessed on a daily basis
- They come in different capacity from 32 GB to 5 TB
- These are comparatively expensive than other storage devices
What is a Hard Disk Drive(HDD)?
This uses the traditional type of data storage where a spinning platter is used to read and write the data. This is very similar to the way vinyl records work where a reader moves between discs to read the data. This mechanical way of working makes it significantly slower than an SSD drive.
The readers are also delicate and can break easily.
How does an HDD Work?
HDD has multiple spinning discs that can store data magnetically. These discs or platters come with individual heads or readers. When the data is needed, the arms and the discs move simultaneously to read and write the information. This process is similar to how an old school record player plays music.
- They are legacy technologies which means they are more trustworthy and reliable
- They are relatively affordable
- The major disadvantage is the speed which is significantly lesser than SSD
- They are also fragile and can break easily
- Because of their moving parts, they are not as compact as SSD
Difference Between HDD and SSD
|Technology||HDD uses a traditional mechanical|
method to store and access data
|SSD uses a newer and advanced method
which is completely non-mechanical
|Speed||It performs at a slower speed.||The speed here is significantly better
|Price||HDD costs much less than SSD||SSD is generally the expensive one of the two|
|Capacity||HDD has better capacity. The|
highest capacity of HDD is 10TB
|SSD generally has a smaller capacity of 4TB|
In this regard, SSD are out perform HDD by a large margin because they use electrical integrated circuits instead of mechanical discs and heads.
In an SSD the address of the data is already known to the controller so it does not have to waste time on reading and writing the data like HDD does. This makes the SSD much faster.
This means that when you are accessing data, HDD will process it at a speed of 0.1 to 1.7 mb per second speed whereas the same piece of data will be processed at a speed of 50 to 250 mb per second by an SSD disc. This difference is what makes SSD superior to HDD.
In terms of capacity, both of them have almost identical performances. HDD generally comes with larger storage capacity. The highest capacity for an HDD is 10 TB. SSD on the other hand is designed for laptops and other devices which does not require extremely high capacity. This is why SSD comes in smaller capacities but they are developing very fast and newer versions of SSD are coming in with larger capacities.
Currently, the highest capacity of SSD is 4TB. This is also because SSD are significantly smaller and more compact than the HDD.
3. Life Span:
A memory device is made up of cells. The cells wear eventually with use which decreases the life span of the disc. The more data a cell has, the faster it will wear out. Since the SSD can hold more data, logically it should wear out faster. But, this is not the case. SSD use advanced technologies such as water levelling and block management which ensure that the lifespan of the SSD does not diminish even when they carry a lot of data. This means that the lifespan of most modern SSD can go over 10 years.
In theory, the lifespan of a HDD can be limitless because it stores data mechanically but this is not the case. This is because the mechanical parts are more prone to damages and malfunction which reduces its lifespan.
By now we know that SSD is faster than HDD which makes it appropriate for faced paced usage such as gaming. It can also access data in nanoseconds which makes it very convenient for gaming because in gaming you need constant change of maps, topography and even graphics.
Due to the mechanical movement of the head and disc, the HDD creates a slow but constant noise, this noise maynot be noticeable at first but long exposure can be irritating. SSD on the other hand are completely noiseless during operation.
6. Power Consumption:
One of the main benefits of an SSD device is that it saves a lot of power as compared to an HDD. This is because the constant mechanical movement of the discs and the heads in a HDD consume a lot of energy.
SSDs are more expensive than HDD, this is because SSD are newer in the market and use a much advanced technology. However, these days with advancement in technology SSDs are becoming increasingly cheaper. The price difference between an HDD and SSD is getting smaller and the benefit of an SSD justifies the higher price.
All the above factors make it clear that SSD is a better choice in most regards. With additional speed and less power consumption, it outperforms HDD in all regards. Unless you have budget constraints, SSD drives should be your clear choice.