If you are going to buy a new computer or hard drive, you can now choose between Solid State Drive (SSD) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. We discuss these here so that you can make a better choice for your new hard drive.
What exactly is an HDD?
Until about ten years ago you could only buy one kind of hard drive. This type is therefore still called a Hard Disk Drive today. With an HDD, the data is read from a rotating magnetic disk.
Because this type of hard disk has been on the market for a long time, it has become a cheap way to store data.
The capacity of Hard Disk Drives that can be connected to ordinary home-garden-and-kitchen desktops and laptops ranges from about 32 Gigabytes to four terabytes (one terabyte is 1,000 Gigabytes).
What exactly is an SSD?
Unlike a Hard Disk Drive, a Solid State Drive (SSD) contains no moving parts. The data is stored and read from memory chips, rather than a spinning magnetic disk.
You can somewhat compare this between playing music from a CD and from an MP3 player. From the memory chips, an SSD can store and read data much faster than an HDD from its magnetic disk.
This is partly because the device does not have to wait for the read head to reach the location where the data is stored. An SSD is, therefore, more advanced, and therefore ten to twenty times faster than an HDD.
SSD or HDD: what do you use for what?
Should you choose SSD or HDD as a storage medium? The answer to that question cannot be given directly. It mainly depends on the budget you have for it, the amount of data you want to lose, and the purpose for which you want to buy your hard drive.
An internal SSD is a storage device just like an internal HDD, but without moving parts. Instead of a turntable, an internal SSD uses electrical charges. As a result, SSDs are many times smaller, more resistant to shocks and damage, and up to 4 times faster than an HDD.
SSD vs HDD: budget
If you want to be as cheap as possible, choose Hard Disk Drive (HDD). As a rule, you will be seven times cheaper per Gigabyte. On average, the storage of one Gigabyte on an HDD with a larger capacity costs only three euro cents, while the price per Gigabyte for an SDD is considerably higher at approximately twenty cents per Gigabyte.
SSD vs HDD: storage capacity
If you want as much storage capacity as possible (at least one Terrabyte), choose an HDD. In addition to the fact that Solid State Drives are much more expensive, the maximum storage capacity is now even less.
For example, if you need a lot of storage space for your backups, an HDD is an excellent choice. You won’t need your backups often anyway, so it’s a shame to buy an expensive and fast SSD.
Because Solid State Drives are so new, it is not yet known how durable they are. Incidentally, it is recommended to replace all your hard drives every ten years, regardless of the type.
SSD vs HDD: speed
In terms of speed, there is only one good choice: the Solid State Drive. This is up to twenty times faster than the older technology of the HDD.
In addition, an SSD is more energy efficient, more reliable, more shock-resistant, and quieter than a Hard Disk Drive.
SSD or HDD: the conclusion
If you want a lot of storage space for little money, then you choose a Hard Disk Drive. If you want to use an old computer as a backup, an HDD is a great choice. For all other reasons, a Solid State Drive is the best choice.
With an SSD you make your system much faster. For example, you can choose to use your current HDD as a second disk and use a Solid State Drive with a limited storage capacity (for example 200 Gigabytes) as your primary hard disk.