What are the differences between the two techniques? Are there perhaps also similarities? Which is the right technology for you? Questions upon questions, which we want to get to the bottom of here. First, let’s take a closer look at the two systems and we’ll present you with all the facts you need to know. We hope you enjoy reading the article!
What is the HDD technology?
HDD ( Hard Disk Drive) has been around for over 50 years. The technology has therefore already proven itself many times over. With the HDD, the data is written to a rotating disk (the so-called “platter”) and then retrieved from this rotating disk. For this purpose, the plates are scanned by a read and/or write head located at the end of the actuator arm. The time spent by the hardware to do this is called “latency”. It is astonishing that the components are becoming smaller and more compact, while the storage capacity continues to increase.
Especially advantageous is that you get a lot for your money (expressed in storage space/money). Another advantage of this technology is that the maximum amount of storage space that can be installed per hard disk is currently much higher than with SSDs. However, with all the advantages, we must also tell you the disadvantages of this technology, because of course there are. One of the disadvantages is that the data on the HDD still has to be retrieved mechanically. This takes much more time than processing the same data on an SSD electronically.
The HDD mechanics are also much more susceptible to rough, careless handling or treatment. If your (external) hard drive or laptop falls off your desk, this is usually accompanied by a defect in the hard drive and the stored data is usually also gone. Another minus point on the side of the HDD is that they are relatively heavy compared to an SSD.
What is the SSD technology?
Unlike the HDD, the SSD technology is a relatively new one. The special features here are the moving parts – they do not exist in the SSD. This gives the SSD a special robustness and error resistance. In simple terms, the SSD is a large USB stick. The data processing here takes place on the non-volatile memories.
This means that your data is not lost after shutting down and powering off the computer, it remains stored. Since no actuator arm has to be moved over the rotating plates for scanning (as is the case with the HDD technology), you can read and write your data faster. This drastically reduces the previously mentioned latency and is especially recommended for gaming.
The SSD is also much less sensitive to drops and shocks. If an SSD falls off your desk, this will probably not have any major consequences (exceptions prove the rule here). But not only here does the SSD have clear advantages over the HDD. Thus, the SSDs are true power-saving wonders, which is also noticeable when the computer heats up less.
The only disadvantages that we could now find in the SSD is the (still) high purchase price of these, the “small” storage capacity and the high susceptibility to failure or the threat of total loss of data, for example, in a power failure.
What’s better now? HDD or SSD?
In principle, no general judgement can be made as to whether an HDD or an SSD is better. The SSD, for example, allows much faster access to your data. However, SSDs are also considerably more expensive than HDDs. You also have to accept a significant loss in storage capacity with the SSD, because they are only available in the sizes 128 and 256GB. HDD offer a multiple of this capacity.
But if you’re primarily concerned with speed, then the SSD clearly has the edge, as it’s usually four to five times as fast as the HDD. Another advantage of the SSD is that it has a low power consumption, does not cause much noise and does not require any special cooling.
However, the SSD also has its weak points: in the event of a malfunction or a power failure, it can happen that the SSD not only loses individual files, but it can mean the total loss of all data. On the other hand, HDDs are (still) cheaper to get than SSDs and they offer you much more storage space (up to eight terabytes compared to a maximum of two terabytes for SSDs).
HDD or SSD? Our conclusion
Basically, you need to think about what your focus is. Are you purely concerned with speed? Or do you need maximum storage capacity? You should also know your budget beforehand, because the SSD will have a much higher purchase price.
In principle, both techniques can be recommended, depending on where the requirements lie. However, no general recommendation can be given, as each user has individual requirements for a storage medium.