Have you looked to upgrade your storage device and see HDD and SSD options, or in the description of new computers in the storage specifications the same three letters HDD, SSD, or even both, for example, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD. But what does that mean, which one is better to buy and why?
What is HDD (Hard Disk Drive)?
Technology and Storage
HDD is a mechanical device made of rotating disks(platters), coated with magnetic material, and magnetic heads that read and write data on the disk surface. Those storage devices are based on old technology that it is in use for more than 60 years already. The first HDD dates back in the middle of the 50s of the last century. The capacity of the first HDD was about 5MB; as of the end of 2019, you can find HDD with a size up to 16TB(1TB equals 1048576MB).
The speed of the HDDs measured in rpm(revolutions per minute), the faster the platters rotate, the quicker you will copy or reads the data. Currently, the standard for HDD speed is 7,200rpm, but you can find HDD with a low of 4,800rpm to a high of 15,000rpm.
- HDDs have a bigger footprint compare to SSDs. They usually come at 3.5″ for desktop computers, external storage enclosures, servers, and 2.5″ for laptops and other portable devices, where the M2 SSD device can be as small as 1.66″ x 0.87″.
- Beeing so much bigger, HDDs are also heavier than SSDs.
- As you can guess, there are a lot of moving parts in the HDD drives, and they also need more power to operate.
- HDDs run much warmer, when in use.
- Noise is also a factor, when you have moving parts there is always noise, even more, when there is an issue with them, you can hear pretty loud grinding noise coming out of them.
- HDDs also use more energy compare to SSDs
In the recent years the price for HDD per 1TB has dropped(~$15/TB), and they have been used mostly for a secondary drive for data storage – videos, music, pictures, documents), while SSDs have been dominating as the primary drive and that`s where usually the OS gets installed.
What is SSD (Solid-State Drive)?
Technology and Storage
SSD is a solid-state storage device that records the data in integrated circuits using flash memory. SSDs have been here for a while, but until recent years price was high. The technology was invented in the late 80s of the last century, but due to the high cost, SSDs didn`t show any potential to replace the HDDs until recent years. The first SSD was with the capacity of 20MB; nowadays, you can find SSDs with up to 8TB.
Speed by SSDs measures in MB per second of data that can be read or wrote in the memory. The typical range of speed starts at 200MB/s and currently can go as high as 3,500MB/s.
- Being a newer technology, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs.
Faster, lighter, cooler, quieter and smaller, that all describes SSDs and their advantages over the HDDs. With the prices falling all the time, soon we might even add cheaper too.