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June 26, 2016  |  Kyle Martell


M2 Digital Technologies



Kyle Martell is co-founder and CEO of M2 Digital Technologies, the parent company of M2 Hosting. Kyle brings 22 years of experience in digital marketing and application development. He brings a unique understanding of digital business transformation initiatives, direct marketing, e-commerce platforms & delivery, mobile application development, cloud hosting, as well as an extensive digital marketing background to each client engagement. He offers clients a unique blend of expertise, helping them to set and evolve their digital business strategy to improve each customer's experience and increase profits.


Back in the day, PC buyers had few choices in the kind of file storage they purchased with their laptop, Ultrabook, or desktop. Ultrabook's, most likely have Solid-State Drive (SSD) as the primary drive. Desktops and laptops come with Hard Disk Drives (HDD). Today, you can choose either an HDD, SSD, or in some cases both.


So let's review the differences between SSDs and HDDs, and take a look at the advantages and disadvantage of both.


HDD and SSD Explained



The traditional spinning hard drive (HDD) is the basic and most common storage on a computer. Hard disc drives are engineered with metal platters with a magnetic coating. The coating on the platter stores your data. While the platters are spinning, a read/write head on an arm retrieves the data.



On a SSD, the data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data. They do this even when there's no power present. SSDs can be permanently installed on the system's motherboard or can slot in into a laptop, desktop, or server configuration.



SSDs are more expensive than HDDs in terms of dollar per GB. For example, you'll pay just about double for an SSD (14 cents per gigabyte vs. 7 cents for HDD).



Today, SSD units max out at 4TB. A 4TB SSD is not readily available and very expensive.  But typically, 500GB to 1TB SSD units are standard in systems.



This is where SSDs shine. An SSD-equipped PC will boot in seconds, certainly under a minute. A hard drive requires time to speed up to operating specs, and will continue to be slower than an SSD during normal use. A PC or Mac with an SSD boots faster, launches apps faster, and has faster overall performance.



HDD surfaces work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks. But when hard drives start to fill up files can become scattered and  fragmented. SSDs will store the data anywhere on its chips, This is what makes an SSD so much fast than a HDD.



An SSD has no moving parts and is more likely to keep your data secure and safe if computer equipment is  heavily used and/or damaged.



Today, there is a much larger supply of HDDs on the market and you'll have more choices too. SSD is the newer and more advanced technology and more model are being released each month but HDDs are still the primary go-to drive for storage devices in most PCs.



There is a limit to how small an HDD can be manufactured because of its internal disk. SSDs have no size limitations and can be engineered to be small-and-smaller as manufacturing technologies advance



SSDs make little or no noise at all where HDDs have many moving mechanical parts.


So which is better?

Well, that is kind a loaded question. It really depends on the user, the budget, and the application for which it is being used. SSDs are a newer and more advanced technology. They are much faster, more durable, produce less noise, and can be engineered to be smaller-and-smaller in size. SSDs are superior in speed and efficiency but have storage limitations and are much more expensive. HDDs are less expensive and have a higher capacity, and are widely available in the marketplace. In regards to the drive's overall lifespan it is pretty much a tie. So it all really get down to the end-user's individual budget and preferences.









SSD Hard Drive and HDD Hard Drive Comparison

What is the difference between an SSD and HDD and which one should I buy?