Hard Disk Drives (HDD) VS Solid-State Drive

Whether looking to build your own PC or shopping for a new laptop, you will be tasked with choosing between a hard disk drive and a solid-state drive. Although hard disk drives have been around since computers were invented, SSDs are the newest ‘kids on the block’, offering a myriad of benefits and features.

While all these serve the same purpose, many people will be torn between an SDD and an HDD, and for a good reason. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages, factors you ought to have in mind when shopping for a new PC or laptop. Discussed below is a comparison of the two in terms of features and performance.


1. Performance

Solid-state drives are snappier than HDDs and for a good reason. While an HDD has movable parts inside, SSDs are built with solid flash memory chips that make reading and writing relatively easy. There’s little to no latency when using an SSD, something that cannot be said about hard disk drives.

The HDD would have to spin to the required speeds for the computer to access specific data and information. This thus means slower boot up and fil access speeds. Computers equipped with SSDs boot up in just a matter of seconds too.  HDD drives are also bulkier than SSD drives for the same capacity.

2. Reliability

Anything with movable parts has a higher risk of breaking down as compared to those with non-movable parts. That said, SSDs are likely to be more reliable in the long run as compared to HDDs. Real-World comparison of the two would be dropping an SSD and an HDD on the floor at 4 feet. Even though the HDD might not be powered up, it is more likely to fail from the drop, while the SSD will simply bounce off and continue functioning normally.

Impact aside, HDDs will work comfortably at around 45 degrees Celsius, and even continue working at lower temperatures. Most HDDs will fail at temperatures over 85 degrees Celsius. SSDs, on the other hand, will function optimally at all these temperatures as they handle heat much better. It is also worth noting that SSD controllers tend to throttle performance if temperatures go beyond 80 degrees as a safety measure.

3. Price

When it comes to price, HDDs are considerably more affordable than SSDs.  It is for this reason they have remained relevant to this date despite SSDs penetrating the market as well. According to research, HDDs sell at about $0.03 per GB, while SSDs sell at $0.10 per GB.

The price difference is quite significant especially if looking for storage of more than 500GBs. For this reason, many gamers and content creators choose low capacity SSDs for boot up and operating speeds, and will hook a larger capacity HDD for data storage. This helps bring the price down a bit.

4. Noise and Vibration

This is a significant concern for those looking for a completely quiet and silent PC/Laptop. With HDDs spinning at more than 500RPMs, they send little shockwaves to the computer case and the desk as well. HDDs will also produce a humming sound. SSDs, however, offer quiet operation and are hardly noticeable in a PC or laptop. If looking for smooth operation, an SSD will offer just that.

5. Power Consumption

Power consumption would also be a concern for many laptop users looking to mint more minutes for their work. Laptops operating solely from SSDs have better battery life as compared to those with HDDs. In addition to this, swapping your HDD with the more efficient SSD will see your battery life go up by at least 30 minutes. That said, HDDs consume a lot more power in the long run.

From the points outlined above, it is evident that SSDs have the edge over HDDs. It, however, all depends on your preferences and budget in the long run. Be sure to make a more informed decision when shopping for either of the two.

Post Author: Steve Gonzalez