HDD & SDD Comparison, Make The Right Choice!

What is HDD – Hard Disk Drive?

Hard disk driveA hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive or fixed disk is a data storage device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. The platters are paired with magnetic heads, usually arranged on a moving actuator arm, which read and write data to the platter surfaces. Data is accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially. HDDs are a type of non-volatile storage, retaining stored data even when powered off.

What is SSD – Solid State Drive?

Samsung solid state drive A solid-state drive as the names implies is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology primarily uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives (HDDs), which permit simple replacements in common applications. New I/O interfaces like SATA Express and M.2 have been designed to address specific requirements of the SSD technology.

SSDs have no moving mechanical components. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads. Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, and have lower access time and lower latency. However, while the price of SSDs has continued to decline over time (24 cents per gigabyte as of 2017), consumer-grade SSDs are (as of 2017) still roughly four times more expensive per unit of storage than consumer-grade HDDs.

Hybrid drives or solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) combine the features of SSDs and HDDs in the same unit, containing a large hard disk drive and an SSD cache to improve performance of frequently accessed data.


What’s the Diff is here to demystify and explain in plain language how this stuff works. We’ll try to put it context for you as well, so you can understand not just how this stuff works but why it’s important to know. We hope you find it useful, and if you have any questions about this or other stuff you’d like to see us talk about, please sound off in the comments!


HDD & SSD Comparison Chart



Hard Disk Drive contains moving parts – a motor-driven spindle that holds one or more flat circular disks (called platters) coated with a thin layer of magnetic material. Read-and-write heads are positioned on top of the disks; all this is encased in a metal cas.


Solid State Drive  has no moving parts; it is basically a memory chip. It is interconnected, integrated circuits (ICs) with an interface connector. There are three basic components – controller, cache and capacitor.



Has higher latency, longer read/write times, and supports fewer IOPs (input output operations per second) compared to SSD.


SSD has lower latency, faster read/writes, and supports more IOPs (input output operations per second) compared to HDD.

File Copy/Write Speed


The range can be anywhere from 50 – 120MB/s.


Generally above 200 MB/s and up to 550 MB/s for cutting edge drives.

Operating System Boot Time


Around 30-40 seconds average bootup time.


Around 10-13 seconds average bootup time.



Typically around 500GB and 2TB maximum for notebook size drives; 10TB max for desktops.


Typically not larger than 1TB for notebook size drives; 4TB max for desktops.

Failure Rate


Mean time between failure rate of 1.5 million hours.


Mean time between failure rate of 2.0 million hours.

Heat, Electricity, Noise


In result of the rotating platters and other moving parts of the Hard disk drives it enhances the generation of heat and sounds due to friction on the HDD.

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Since no such rotation occurance in solid state drives, they use less power and do not generate heat or sounds.



The performance of HDD drives worsens due to fragmentation; therefore, they need to be periodically defragmented.


SSD drive performance is not impacted by fragmentation. So defragmentation is not necessary.



HDDs are heavier than SSD drives due to its structure i.e the rotating mechanism.


SSD drives are lighter than HDD drives because they do not have the rotating disks, spindle and motor.

Magnetism Affected


Magnets can erase data.


An SSD is safe from any effects of magnetism.



Hard disk drives are less expensive compared to solid state drives.


Solid state drives are lot more expensive compared to hard disk drives.


Going through the above comparison, does it mean SDD better than HDD? I don’t think so not at least, it all depends on the individual need. The comparison here is just to lay out the pros and cons for both options. To aid you even more, here are some rules to follow when you decide which drive is best for you:

An HDD might be the right choice if:

  • You need lots of storage capacity, up to 10TB
  • Don’t want to spend much money
  • Don’t care too much about how fast a computer boots up or opens programs – then get a hard drive (HDD).

An SSD might be the right choice if:

You are willing to pay for faster performance
Don’t mind limited storage capacity or can work around that (though consumer SSD now go up to 4TB and enterprise run as high as 60TB).

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Additionally, in as much as SDD got more pros compared to HDD,  HDDs are still the popular choice for the majority of average consumers, usually choosing the HDD as the storage option in their new computer simply due to the much cheaper cost. However, more and more consumers desire top computing performance and are opting for an SSD inside their new setup or as an upgrade to their current one.

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As an online entrepreneur and webmaster in Nigeria, I love technology! As a result, and to earnestly contribute to tech awareness within individuals, I find the need to give digital-based insight of the technology world today, hence, making individuals well tech rounded and get the need to acquire technical skills.

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