HDD vs SSD

HDD vs SSD Drive – which one is better?

In this article, we shall be comparing two types of computer storage commonly used today i.e.  HDD vs SSD Drive. We shall try to look at HDD vs SSD storage, similarities, differences, and sample out their market cost and availability.

What are they?

HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive while SSD stands for Solid State Drive. Both are types of computer storage devices used to store users’ data permanently regardless of the presence of power.

They can be internal storage meaning they are found inside the system unit or external storage meaning they are connected through a USB port.

If you are the moving type of person who needs to be accompanied by your file all the time while the computer is far away then consider the external drive as a necessity although they might be more expensive.

Purpose of storage- What do you use computer memory for?

Maybe you are using a computer for entertainment like movies, songs, games e.t.c. or you are using it in the office or for school work research and assignment. We all have one thing in common, we end up storing data on the computer. Whether you need to store 2000 movies or 10000 song files or 3 office files we all need adequate and reliable space on our computer.

You don’t want to be working on your computer and then it starts bringing that warning “inadequate space please click here to delete some files”.

Nobody wants to store their file in the computer only to find it missing after three months- lack of reliability.

The most popular secondary storage devices in the world of computers are HDD and SSD. So which one should you choose and why?

HDD- Overview

Hard Disk Drive sometimes is known as a hard disk or just hard drive is a storage device that utilizes magnetic technology to store and retrieve digital data using one or more rigid rapidly rotating platters coated with magnetic material usually iron oxide.HDD platters

Most current hard disks have capacities ranging in Terabytes (TB) which is equivalent to about 1,000 Gigabytes(GB). This is the main characteristic of HDD making it a preference for many. HDD has moving parts, which makes it to consume more power than SSD.

For a Personal computer, you will find a 3.5 inch HDD while on the laptop you will find a 2.5 inch HDD. External Disk

In case you want to move with your data around, you may also consider buying an external hard disk, which typically connects from a USB port.

SSD – Overview

Solid State Drive is a storage device that uses integrated circuit to store and retrieve data. They don’t have moving part unlike their counterpart HDD, and hence uses less power and has a possible less failure rate. SSD

Compared to HDD, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, and have less access time (time taken by a storage device to retrieve data).

With the most modern SSD ranging up to 30TB enough to store 5700 HD movies, SSD gives the biggest disk within a very small form factor of 2.5 inches.

HDD vs SSD  Drive performance – Here is the summary

HDDSSD
Slower in access speedFaster access speed
Consume more powerConsume less power
CheaperExpensive
NoisierQuieter
More failure rateLess failure rate
Higher data retention rateLower data retention rate

Variants of HDD and SDD

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SSD WITH SATA III INTERFACE BELOW USD100

Samsung SSD 860 EVO 250GB 2.5 Inch – (my favorite)

Samsung SSD 860 EVO 250GB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E250B/AM)

  • INNOVATIVE V NAND TECHNOLOGY: Powered by Samsung V NAND Technology, the 860 EVO SSD offers optimized performance for everyday computing as well as rendering large sized 4K videos and 3D data used by the latest applications
  • ENHANCED READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively
  • SECURE ENCRYPTION: Protect data by selecting security options, including AES 256 bit hardware-based encryption compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1668
  • WARRANTY AND COMPATIBILITY: 5-year limited warranty; Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Server 2003 (32 bit and 64 bit), Vista (SP1 and above), XP (SP2 and above), MAC OSX and Linux

WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB Internal PC SSD – SATA III 

Kingston A400 SATA 3 2.5' Internal SSD

  • Sequential read speeds up to 560MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 530MB/seconds; megabyte per second (MB/s)
  • An industry-leading 1.75M hrs mean time to failure (MTTF) and up to 500 TBs written (TBW) for enhanced reliability; MTTF based on internal testing using Telcordia stress part testing; TBW calculated using Jedec client workload (JESD219)
  • 3D NAND SATA SSD for capacities up to 4TB with enhanced reliability
  • WD F.I.T. Lab certification for compatibility with a wide range of computers
  • 5-year manufacturer’s limited warranty
  • Free downloadable software to monitor the status of your drive and clone a drive, or backup your data
  • An active power draw up to 25% lower than previous generations of WD Blue SSD

Kingston 240GB A400 SATA 3 2.5″ Internal SSD

Kingston 240GB A400 SATA 3 2.5' Internal SSD

  • Fast start-up, loading, and file transfers
  • More reliable and durable than a hard drive
  • Multiple capacities with space for applications or a hard drive replacement
  • Limited 3-year warranty with free technical support
  • Sequential read speeds up to 500MB/s and sequential write speeds 450MB/s Write
  • Also more reliable and durable than a hard drive, A400 is available in multiple capacities from 120GB–1.92TB

*NB: all the above variants are also available in M2 form factor at different cost

Samsung SSD 860 EVO 250GB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E250B/AM)WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB Internal PC SSD – SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5″/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s – WDS500G2B0AKingston 240GB A400 SATA 3 2.5″ Internal SSD SA400S37/240G – HDD Replacement for Increase Performance
Price at AmazonUSD 59.99USD 64.99USD 39.96
Data Transfer Rate6 Gb per second6 Gb per second350 Mb per second
Device TypeInternal Solid State DriveInternal Solid State DriveInternal Solid State Drive
Digital Storage Capacity250 GB560 MB240 GB
Form Factor2.50 inches2.50 inches2.50 inches
Hardware InterfaceSATA 6.0 Gb/sSATA 6.0 Gb/sSATA 6.0 Gb/s
Hardware PlatformPC, MacPC & Maclaptop
Item Dimensions3.94 x 2.76 x 0.27 inches4.00 x 0.30 x 2.80 inches3.94 x 0.28 x 2.75 inches
Item Weight1.60 ounces1.31 ounces1.44 ounces
Model Year201820172017
Sequential read speed

 

550MB/s560MB/s500MB/s

 

HDD WITH SATA INTERFACE BELOW USD100

Seagate Bare Drives BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive HDD

Seagate Bare Drives BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB

  • Store more, compute faster and do it confidently with the proven reliability of BarraCuda internal hard drives
  • Build a powerhouse gaming computer or desktop setup with a variety of capacities and form factors
  • The go-to SATA hard drive solution for nearly every PC application—from music to video to photo editing to PC gaming
  • Confidently rely on internal hard drive technology backed by 20 years of innovation
  • Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included 2-year limited warranty

 

WD Black 1TB Performance Internal Hard Drive

WD Black 1TB Performance Internal Hard Drive -

  • Reliable everyday computing
  • WD quality and reliability
  • Free Acronis True Image WD Edition cloning software
  • Massive capacities up to 6 TB available
  • 2-year manufacturer’s limited warranty
WD Blue 1TB PC Hard Drive – 7200 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache, 3.5″ – WD10EZEXSeagate Bare Drives BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive ST1000DMZ10/DM010Seagate BarraCuda Pro 1TB Internal Hard Drive (ST1000LM049)
Price in Amazon$44.99$43.69$60.75
Cache Memory Installed Size6464.00128.0 MB
Hard Disk Rotational Speed7200 rpm7200 rpm7200 rpm
Hard Disk Size1 TB1 TB1 TB
Hard Disk Form Factor3.50 inches3.50 inches2.50 inches
Hardware InterfaceSATA 6.0 Gb/sSATA 6.0 Gb/sSATA 6.0 Gb/s
Item Dimensions5.80 x 4.00 x 1.00 inches5.79 x 4.00 x 0.79 inches3.95 x 2.75 x 0.28 inches
Item Weight0.97 lbs0.92 lbs2.99 ounces

EXTERNAL SSD & HDD FOR AVERAGE BUDGET

SanDisk 250GB Extreme Portable External SSD

SanDisk 250GB Extreme Portable External SSD - Up to 550MB/s - USB-C,

Amazon price: $68.95

High-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds let you move hi-res photos and videos fast (Based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending on drive capacity, host device, OS and application.)

  • Ruggedized, water- and dust-resistant (IP55-rated) (IEC 60529 IP55: Tested to withstand water flow (30 kPa) at 3 min.; limited dust contact does not interfere with operation. Must be clean and dry before use.)
  • Shock-resistant solid-state core for greater durability (Shock-resistant (up to 1500G) and vibration-resistant (5g RMS, 10-2000 HZ), Non-Operating Temperature(from ‐20°C to 70°C), operating temperature (from 0°C to 45°C))
  • Compact and pocket-sized
  • For PC and Mac users’
  • Built by SanDisk, a technology leader and pioneer of the modern-day SSD, to deliver superior performance
  • 3-year limited manufacturer warranty

Samsung (MU-PA500B/AM)T5 Portable SSD – 500GB – USB 3.1

9d957c4751fbc26767cf67852759fe03 cropped optimized Amazon price: $89.99

  • SUPERFAST READ WRITE SPEEDS: SSD with V-NAND offers ultra-fast data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s (up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs); Ideal for transferring large-sized data including 4K videos, high-resolution photos, games and more
  • COMPACT AND PORTABLE DESIGN: Top to bottom shock-resistant metal design fits in the palm of your hand and easily slides in your pocket or purse to take work and entertainment on the go
  • SECURE ENCRYPTION: Optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption keeps your personal and private data more secure
  • SEAMLESS CONNECTIVITY: Includes USB Type C to C and USB Type C to A cable to connect to PCs, Macs, smartphones and other devices
  • WARRANTY AND COMPATIBILITY: 3-year limited warranty; Requires Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), Android 4.4 (KitKat), or higher; older versions of the Windows, Mac, and Android operating systems may not be supported.

Seagate STGY8000400 Desktop 8TB

Seagate STGY8000400 Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive HDDAmazon price: $141.99

  • Ideal for the home, office, or dorm, the Seagate Desktop Drive offers 8TB of enormous desktop storage for photos, movies, music, and more
  • An external hard drive for Windows or Mac computers, simply back up with a quick drag and drop
  • The perfect laptop hard drive or PC drive, just plug into a computer for automatic recognition no software required
  • Includes an 18 inch USB 3.0 cable and 18 Watt power adapter
  • Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included 1-year limited warranty

Final Thoughts

SSD is replacing HDD in modern computers, especially where speed is critical. SSD however, is more expensive and would be considered only when its necessary investment.

External hard disks though more expensive should be considered as important since they are more portable and convenient to use.

Be sure to confirm the compatibility of your new drive with your computer before purchasing one to avoid disappointment. Some online sites like amazon offer a platform for that, if it’s not available please check with your manufacturer.

The above drives are just some samples, they are many more in the market that you can always select from.

12 thoughts on “HDD vs SSD Drive – which one is better?”

  1. SSD any day. HDD may appear cheaper on the face value but it fails frequently and people end up buying another one. It is not about the cost but the data. Sometimes it is next to impossible to retrieve the data from the failed hard drives. Hope more and more people will invest in SSD.

    1. Previously SSD had limited capacities and that’s why many people shun them, but with modern technology, SSD are having even bigger capacities and they are likely to replace HDD. All the best

  2. Hi
    This is a very interesting article and you present different options very rationally allowing direct comparability. SSD’s kind of sneaked up on me unawares. I’ve been using computers for many years now and even built my own from parts but that was years ago. I have bought and used many external USB HDDs and similarly flash drives. One irritant I often found with flash drives was that if you were not careful how you ejected them they could blow and then it was bye bye data. I guess that problem has been mostly solved now. There is one question I would have, I may have missed it so please excuse if this is a dumb question that you already addressed. How do HDD and SSDs compare as regards retention of data if they are left for a long time on a shelf not powered up. Many of us have old files on old HDDs and I guess this is a concern. What happens when you go back 20 years later to an old HDD at the bottom of a storage box with all your old family photos and videos and find that the data is compromised? Do we know how long SSD’s will retain data without some form of data maintenance or migration action?
    Thanks and best regards
    Andy

    1. While Most HDD has a data retention of around 50 years when stored at the optimum temperature, consumer SSD has a retention of 1 year while enterprise version up to 3 months. I don’t know if you had a different experience. Best wishes

  3. Hi,

    What an extensive and interesting review about hdd and ssd. These were definitely the terms I wasn’t not too familiar with as my other half tends to deal with the technical side of the things.

    I am grateful to learn more from your article.

    Many Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Habib

  4. Very informative, the drawbacks to HDDs are a result of the mechanical parts used to read and write data, as physically finding and retrieving data takes more time than electronically finding and retrieving data. The mechanical parts can skip or even fail if they are handled roughly or dropped. This is a concern in laptops, but not as much in desktops. HDDs are also heavier and use more energy than comparable SSDs.

  5. I didn’t even know SSD even existed in the first place, so just for the fact I learnt something new, this was time very well spent! I think in my case, when I need to change it, it would still make sense to get an HDD.

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