HDD vs SSD Storage – What’s the Difference?

HDD vs SSD Storage - Which Is Better?

HDD vs SSD Storage – While it is true that you should worry about the amount of storage you are getting on the laptop that you are going to purchase but there is another factor that you should be way more concerned about is the type of storage it has. More specifically, does it have an SSD [Solid-State Drive] Storage or HDD [Hard-Disk Drive] Storage? What is the difference, you might ask? In this article, we have explained 4 major differences between HDD and SSD Storages and how they affect you as a consumer. Before we start with the differences, do keep in mind though that both types have their own advantages and disadvantages so it all comes down to how you are going to use your laptop. So without any further ado, let us just get into it.

HDDs vs SSDs – Main Differences

1) Operating Speed

The way Hard-Disk Drives work is largely dependent upon mechanical parts (the disk platter and actuator arm, for example) used to read and write data, which makes them way slower than Solid-State Drives which electronically find and retrieve data. The speed of HDDs is dependent upon how fast the disk platter spins which can range from 4200 RPM to 7200 RPM whereas everything that happens in an SSD happens at the speed of computing in electronic processors (which increases as the technology matures, may we add).

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SSDs can boost performance by up to four times as compared to HDDs.

In terms of absolute numbers, a regular SSD can read sequential data at a speed of about 550 MBps and write it at 520 MBps. On the other hand – even the fastest HDDs may carry out sequential reads and writes at only 125 MBps. That’s four times of performance increase right there. As a result, Solid-State Drives deliver faster loading speed for games, software, and if you store your operating system in it – your entire laptop as well. Yeah, you read that right. Another thing that contributes to the speed difference between SSDs and HDDs is that the lack of moving parts in SSDs makes it run at cooler temperatures which in turn makes it run faster as computing speeds increase with a decrease in ambient temperature [electrical conductivity increases with a decrease in temperature]. Now, onto the differences in security and preservation of data.

2) Security and Preservation of Data

As mentioned earlier, hard-disk drives work as a result of the small moving mechanical parts like the disk platters moving inside of it. This makes HDDs much more susceptible to damage if they are handled roughly or dropped. As a Result, the preservation of the data inside such hard-disk drives is compromised. SSDs on the other hand, don’t rely on such mechanical moving parts to read and write data and therefore are much safer and durable even after any outside damage. Dropping might not be a huge concern in computers, but if you are using a laptop or an external hard-disk drive you might want to take it into consideration. Moving parts also tend to wear and tear throughout the HDD’s lifespan, thus reducing it – SSDs win here as well.

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Hard-Disk Drives are a bit better for long-term storage than Solid-State Drives.

But there is another side to this coin – the security of the stored data throughout the drive’s lifespan. Now, HDDs and SSDs from different manufacturers have different warranty periods but they don’t differ by much. So it doesn’t matter if your HDD/SSD fails or not, your money will be safe but the stored data – not so much. The general consensus on the data failure rates of HDDs and SSDs is that they are almost the same – leaning a bit on the SSDs side. HDDs are great for long term storage if properly maintained and not abused but the same can’t be said about SSDs. So HDDs win over SSDs by just a bit in long term storage. But personally, the difference is not enough for us to prefer HDDs over SSDs. And besides, it is always advisable to keep a few backups of your important data on some other devices as well as on the cloud as data is never 100 per cent safe from corruption in any form of storage. Now, onto the differences in power consumption.

3) Power Consumption

The difference between the power consumption of HDDs and SSDs might not matter much in desktops [as they are directly attached to a power source] but on laptops [which rely on batteries for power] it’s a game-changer. There’s a bit of controversy around this subject, but SSDs clearly consume less power than HDDs due to lack of any mechanical moving parts. Also, SSDs typically run at cooler temperatures than HDDs – so that contributes as well. SSDs are about 5.40 times as efficient as HDDs and use about 5.24 watts less power under a typical server load, and they continue to get more power efficient every year. In laptops with SSDs, this means that they will have a battery that will last much longer than if they had HDDs.

4) Price Per Gigabyte

Price and the Storage are two of the main differences [apart from Operating Speeds] between HDD and SSD Storages when the common public is concerned. Lower Price per Gigabyte is one of the very few advantages that HDDs have over SSDs which does make sense given the other disadvantages HDDs have. We get so much more Storage space for way less money in HDDs as compared to SSDs. But is the Price increase justified for the advantages SSDs provide? Answer to this question depends entirely on your personal factors. If you have the money, we don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to buy one with an SSD instead of an HDD.

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Given you have the money, just go with laptops that have SSD or hybrid storage at least.

If you want the exact numbers – the price per Gigabyte for HDDs is 2.50 INR/GB (or 0.04 USD/GB) and the price per Gigabyte for the SSDs is 14 INR/GB (or 0.20 USD/GB). These numbers were calculated by taking the bestselling (at the moment) external HDD and external SSD (both on Amazon India) into consideration. The highest capacity currently available for HDD(s) is 10 TB and for SSD(s) is 4 TB. If you want an SSD and want to save some money – there are some laptops with hybrid (SSD for storing the operating system and HDD for everything else) storages as well. Do keep in mind that most of such laptops are intended for gaming.

And that concludes the article. We hope you liked it! If you have any further queries you can ask them below in the comments or you can contact us via email. Goodbye for now!

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