SSD vs HDD: The Difference

There are majorly two types of people, one who goes for affordable and average storage and second are the ones who like the faster and amazingly sturdy storage.

In this article on the war between SSD vs HDD, we are gonna break the points and according to users need and give you an undivided ultimatum about which one is better so that you can choose wisely. 

For the ones who purchased the portable laptop within the past few years, you probably purchased a solid state disk or SSD as your main booting disk. Larger Gaming laptops are now using SSD drives, but a small portion of budget laptops still use HDDs (Hard Disk Drives).

The boot drives found in pre-built computers for instance are mostly SSDs also with the exception of the most expensive models. In some instances, the desktop will come with both an SSD being the primary boot device and an HDD as a larger capacity storage option.

For any reason, you have only chosen an SSD or the HDD. Engage together to uncover the actual differences between the two and also understand the pros and cons of both by briefly knowing the advantages and disadvantages.  

What is an HDD

The actual tech working at the back of the HDD is an established and tested mechanically working apparatus. HDDs have been taken in use for over 50 years, and have been steadily increasing their storage capacity while reducing their physical dimensions. HDDs depend on rotating disks, also known as platters that do the tasks of reading and writing the data.

HDD was a reliable storage device for years today. They typically have a lower cost than SSDs and can be found with higher capacities. Their main benefit is they can store a large amount of data at a low cost. However, vibration, moving parts, and high temperatures have always been a problem with HDDs.

Working of HDD

HDDs come with a magnet-oriented platter with an actuating motor-operated swing arm like structure that does the task of reading and writing upon every platter. 

The motors here help in the motion of swinging the platters.

For automated technical operation, the I/O controller and the availability of software have been provided with an HDD, which lets the HDD make a communication bridge between itself and the system.  

Each platter is divided into concentric circles referred to as tracks. Tracks are separated into logical units, referred to as sectors. Each sector and track gives an address unique to it which can be utilized to organize and track information.

The data is then written to the closest available space. The algorithm analyzes the data prior to it being written which allows the firmware to spot and rectify mistakes.

The motor-operated platters have the working potency and pace of 4200-7200rpm, which is seen in normal computers as well.

The moving Pace of the HDD corresponds with the reading and writing speed through an automated firmware, the faster an HDD works the better it can read and write data and execute tasks. 

Data is recorded to the area closest to it. There’s an algorithm that analyses the data prior to being written and allows the firmware to spot and fix mistakes. 

What is an SSD

Solid-state drives utilize flash memory for the best performance and longevity. Since there are many tiny, moving components inside the hard disk drive — including magnetic heads spindles, spindles, and spinning platters, it’s very easy for things to go wrong, and you could lose crucial information. Without moving parts SSDs last longer and operate cooler and use lesser energy.

The latest types of disks store data on flash memory, which is made up of memory cells, each containing information that is instantly accessible from the control system. 

Working of SSD

SSDs are often considered as big USB drives. They use the same technology. NAND, the technology used in SSDs is a type that is a flash memory. In the simplest terms floating gate transistors store the charge (or the absence of charges) to store information.

The gates are organized into the grid, which is further divided into blocks. Block sizes can vary and each row of the grid is known as a page.

One of the important tasks of SSD is keeping record of the place where data is actually stored (in which section)

The process of refreshing data is quite complicated for SSDs. Each mass of data is needed to be renewed every time any part of it is changed. The information in the previous block is copied to a new block, then the block is then erased then the information is written using the updated data to the fresh section.

Each time you ask your computer to retrieve or update data, the SSD controller looks at the address of the data requested and reads the charge status.

Whenever the data or information is needed by the user, an SSD directly accesses the address of the data which one is required and reads the status as well.

If an SSD is left idle, the data present in the previous block of information gets removed and the section gets free again and creates new space for getting recorded again. 

This complete process and execution are called Garbage collection.

One more process is known as TRIM which actually informs an SSD to jump the process of rewriting data whenever the block is erased. Since there is a limited amount of times a block can be written and erased, this is a crucial procedure to prevent premature wear and tear on the drive.

And, in order to make the SSD future-proof and long-lasting in terms of usage, the company gives an algorithm that ensures every block of the storage section in the drive gets an equal read and write process.

This complete process is known as wear leveling which is an automated process preset by the software in it.

Due to the fact that reading and writing speed needs the migration of data, SSDs are usually overequipped with storage.

However, there is always a portion of the drive not accessible by the OS and is not available to workers. It ultimately permits the disk to be able to transfer and erase items without impacting the capacity of the storage overall.

The HDD technology is older than the new SSDs, that you all know. The tech-related to HDD drives is quite old as compared to SSD. There are numerous photographs that show the IBM 650 RAMAC hard drive in 1956, which had 50 platters with a width of 24 inches stored an impressive 3.75MB in storage.

This, naturally is what you would find in the average MP3 file of 128Kbps currently, which is that is stored in the physical space that could accommodate two refrigerators in industrial use. The RAMAC 350 RAMAC 350 was restricted to industrial and government uses It was also outdated by 1969. What a leap forward!

The PC hard drive’s design was standardized with a size of 5.25 inches by the early 1980s and the popular 3.5-inch desktop, as well as 2.5-inch notebook-class drives, are to be released shortly following.

The cable interface inside the drive has evolved over time in the past from serial (now often referred to as Parallel ATA (also known as PATA) in the direction of SCSI and finally to Serial ATA (SATA).

Each does the identical stuff that does the task to connect the hard drive to the motherboard of your PC so that data is able to be transferred across the board.

The Hard Drives which come in proportions of 2.5 and 3.5 inch portions are known to consume SATA structures, which is mostly seen in normal computers and Macs.

Whereas, the SSDs are known to make use of the PCIe, in which the capacity and storage options are increased from many megabytes to terabytes, which is an ultimate increment.

You can also notice, 3.5 inch HDDs that are present to reach the level of 10TB.  

SSDs share a shorter time span, but their origins go back decades back into the past. Including inventions such as the bubble, a memory flashed with Pun’s intention and then ceased to exist during the 70s and the 1980s.

Flash storage today is the natural extension of the same concept since it doesn’t require continuous power to preserve the data stored on it. Initial primary drives are now known as SSDs were introduced during the popularity of netbooks in the mid-2000s.

In 2007 the OLPC XO-1 had an SSD of 1GB, while it was the Asus Eee PC 700 series utilized a 2GB SSD as the primary storage. The SSD chips used in these laptops were permanently connected to the motherboard.

With the introduction of notebooks, as well as other laptops that are ultraportable, got more efficient, SSD capacities increased, and eventually, they were standardized to the 2.5-inch notebook-like form factor. This means you can take the 2.5-inch hard drive from your desktop or laptop computer and replace it quickly with an SSD or even a manufacturer could create their own type of storage.

As time passed, new smaller SSD forms were developed such as those that use the mSATA Mini PCIe SSD card, as well as the previously mentioned M.2 SSD format (in SATA and PCI Express variants).

M.2 has seen rapid growth in all notebook SSD industries, however, currently, the SSDs which still utilize the 2.5-inch shape are typically intended for upgrading desktop computers as well as older laptops. SSDs with the 2.5-inch dimension designed for consumer PCs are currently maxing out at 8TB.

What is the difference: HDD vs SSD

HDDs are yet available in old and budget-friendly systems, however, SSDs are the norm for regular and premium laptops such as those like MacBook, in which we do not get the option of an HDD, even as a customizable alternative. Laptops and desktops that are less expensive however are expected to continue to feature HDDs at a minimum in the coming time.

However, it is true that both SSDs and HDDs deliver the same thing: They start your system and also store your apps and personal documents. Nevertheless, each kind of storage comes with its own distinct characteristics. What makes them different and why would you prefer one over another?

Solid State Drives are actually on the pricier side due to its fats working and execution approach, which helps them deliver tons of advantages to users in terms of storage on offer on every gigabyte you get.

The price may reach from 30 dollars to 60 dollars on 1TB in an HDD, whereas if you look at the SSDs, even the least you can expect is 80 dollars. 

That’s the equivalent of 3 to 5 cents per gigabyte on the hard drive and 10-cents per gigabyte with the SSD. The price differences are even more significant when you consider large capacity 3.5-inch HDDs. For instance, a 12-TB 3.5-inch hard drive that retails around 300 to 350 can bring the per-gigabyte price lower than 3 cents.

A computer with SSD capabilities can begin to boot in under a second, and often in a matter of minutes. A hard drive takes time to get up to specifications for operation and is less efficient than SSD in normal usage.

The PC or Mac equipped with an SSD can boot faster, launch apps more quickly, and can transfer files more quickly. If you’re using your computer to play, study, or for work it could make the difference between completing your work on time or being late.


As the founder and owner of this website, I am an enthusiastic computer software and hardware enthusiast who takes pleasure in troubleshooting and solving computer-related problems. With MTech & BTech degrees in Computer Science & Engineering under my belt, I have worked in this field for over 12 years now. Through my career I have acquired a vast amount of knowledge regarding various computer topics such as software, hardware, and programming - knowledge which I love sharing with others to help people gain more insight into this exciting world of computers!