Difference between SSD and HDD

Looking for which storage device to use.

What is the difference between SSD and HDD? If you have these questions in mind, I have covered these differences, the pros and cons, the comparison between a HDD vs SSD in this article.

What is a HDD

A HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive.

It is a storage device that stores your computer data and files in it. This data can be the operating system, software, music, movies, games, etc.

It can store a big amount of data in it. You will find 1TB, 2TB to up to 10TB hard disks available in the market. Laptop these days are shipping with 1TB of hard disk drive normally.

TB stands for Tera Bytes

Types of HDD

Internal HDD

An internal hard disk drive is located inside your computer. It is cheaper compared to an external drive. 

It stores your computer’s operating system other than your personal files, which is required for your computer to work

External HDD

It is an external device that also stores data, and it can be connected to your computer using a USB cable. 

An External Drive can be used with any computing device. 

It is portable as it can be carried anywhere additionally with your laptop.

They are slightly expensive compared to internal drives.

How a HDD works

Let’s have a look at how a HDD works, I will not go into great detail but give you just an overview.

A hard disk drive has two things in broad terms. 

One is the pack of disks and the other is the mechanical hand.

HDD Simple Diagram

The Data is stored magnetically on these disks, these disks are continuously rotating round and round. 

This rotating speed is measured in terms of RPM. Higher the RPM, faster the HDD. So if you are comparing two HDD in terms of speed. Look for higher RPM(revolutions per minute)

While the mechanical hand goes back and forth through these disks to get the data stored on it. This mechanical hand produces some sound also. 

You can also listen to this mechanical sound in a laptop easily. Run your laptop in a quiet room, place your ear near the laptop surface and you will hear its noise.

As HDDs are mechanical in nature, meaning the parts are moving continuously, any mechanical device or part wears with time due to friction.

So your HDD will also wear with time and become useless. A HDD has less life compared to a SSD

HDD Pros
  • Big Storage
  • Cheaper
HDD Cons
  • Slower in Speed

what is a SSD

SSD stands for Solid State Drive

It is the newer generation of storage devices and is very fast compared to a HDD.

120GB samsung ssd

Unlike a HDD it does not have any moving parts, nor they make any kind of noise. They require less power to operate, so using it will give you increased battery backup

They are expensive compared to a HDD 

They also last longer and are compact, meaning if a HDD and a SSD both fell from the same height, there is a higher chance of HDD being damaged.

SSDs are also lighter in weight making them ideal for laptops.

How a SSD works

A SSD is also a storage device like a HDD.

The difference is that SSDs store data into a type of memory called “flash memory” which is similar to the memory used in RAM.

This Flash memory is like a grid of electrical cells used to send and receive data.

SSD’s are called Solid State Drive because they do not have any moving parts.

There are many more technical things to know about the working of a SSD which I will skip here due to its complexity

SSD Pros
  • Very Fast
  • Consumes Less Power
SSD Cons
  • Expensive

SSD vs HDD (Comparison Table)

Storage SizeLessHuge
Battery ConsumptionNormalMore
DurabilityCompactLess Compact
Device Lifespan8-10 years5-8 years

HDD vs SSD for laptop or PC: Which is Better

We discussed the working of HDD and SSD, looked over the pros and cons, and a comparison table.

Now let’s look at which storage type to go for in a computer. If you are buying a new laptop I highly recommend opting for SSD storage.

Checkout some laptops with SSD

Why use a SSD?

As I gave the advantages which SSD holds in comparison to HDD previously. There is also one big factor to consider here.

ssd better than hdd

Most probably you would be using Windows 10 in your laptop which consumes more resources compared to other OS like MAC or Linux.

A Feature named “Windows Defender” is in Windows 10 which has shown to take the disk usage to 100%.

Many users have complained about their disk usage of 100% without no reason. Windows Defender here is the culprit.

So I would recommend going for an SSD storage, it will give you enhanced experience with your computer.

Your system will boot up within a few seconds, the application will load faster, it will give you greater gaming experience. Unlike a HDD which will only give you a headache

Believe me, my first laptop came with a HDD, it was a very bad experience. The Laptop ran very slowly. I tried several things to solve this problem. But nothing worked. At last, I had to buy a SSD storage and sell the HDD

But there is one problem with SSD that is its storage space which is very less compared to a HDD. 

Now you may say “I have SSD in my computer, but I can’t store all of my music, movies, games and files in it”.

Yeah, that’s the case with having a SSD. But you can solve this problem by having both SSD and HDD on your device.

So if buying a new laptop always look for a M.2 slot. Such that if the laptop comes with a HDD storage, you can buy a SSD and place it in the M.2 slot.

Using the M.2 slot you can place both storage types on your computer.

The SSD will store your computer Operating System and necessary apps while other files like games, videos, movies, pictures can be stored on the HDD. 

A 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD is a good configuration to go for.


Minimum SSD storage to go for?

At least 256GB, as in future you may want to install other OS with windows 10

Can HDD and SSD both be used on the same device?

Yes a HDD and SSD both can be used in a laptop device, you have to check for M.2 Slot

Which is better for gaming a HDD or a SSD?

A SSD will not increase your game fps, but it will make a game load faster. So you will not feel any major change while playing games. 

Why is SSD more expensive than HDD?

SSD is a newer technology, unlike HDD which is a mature technology. Any Newer technology is expensive. SSD’s were very expensive 10 years back. SSD prices have dropped massively in years due to the technology advancements

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