An (SSD) solid-state drive or solid-state disk is a nonvolatile storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory. Solid-state drives actually aren’t hard drives in the traditional sense of the term, as there are no moving parts involved.
A hard disk drive (HDD) is the mechanism that controls the positioning, reading, and writing of the hard disk, which furnishes the largest amount of data storage for the PC.
SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of a USB memory stick. Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD. Therefore a reduced risk of failure and data recovery needs. Information is stored in microchips. A hard disk drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter.
An HDD uses magnetism to store data on a rotating platter. A read/write head floats above the spinning platter reading and writing data. The faster the platter spins, the faster an HDD can perform.
|Attribute||SSD (Solid State Drive)||HDD (Hard Disk Drive)|
|Power Draw / Battery Life||Less power draw, averages 2 – 3 watts, resulting in 30+ minute battery boost||More power draw, averages 6 – 7 watts and therefore uses more battery|
|Cost||Expensive, roughly $0.50 per gigabyte (based on buying a 1TB drive)||Only around $0.15 per gigabyte, very cheap (buying a 4TB model)|
|Capacity||Typically not larger than 512GB for notebook size drives; 1TB max for desktops||Typically around 500GB and 2TB maximum for notebook size drives; 4TB max for desktops|
|Operating System Boot Time||Around 22 seconds average bootup time||Around 40 seconds average bootup time|
|Noise||There are no moving parts and as such no sound||Audible clicks and spinning can be heard|
|Vibration||No vibration as there are no moving parts||The spinning of the platters can sometimes result in vibration|
|Heat Produced||Lower power draw and no moving parts so little heat is produced||HDD doesn’t produce much heat, but it will have a measurable amount more heat than an SSD due to moving parts and higher power draw|
|Failure Rate||Mean time between failure rate of 2.0 million hours||Mean time between failure rate of 1.5 million hours|
|File Copy / Write Speed||Generally above 200 MB/s and up to 550 MB/s for cutting edge drives||The range can be anywhere from 50 – 120MB / s|
|Encryption||Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Supported on some models||Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Supported on some models|
|File Opening Speed||Up to 30% faster than HDD||Slower than SSD|
|Magnetism Affected?||An SSD is safe from any effects of magnetism||Magnets can erase data|
HDDs are still the popular choice for the majority of average consumers, usually choosing the HDD as the storage option in their new computer simply due to the much cheaper cost. However, more and more consumers desire top computing performance and are opting for an SSD inside their new setup or as an upgrade to their current one.