SSD vs. HDD: Which Should You Use?

Last Updated: October 5, 2021By

Black Samsung 870 EVO SSD on wooden table

SSDs and HDDs are two types of storage devices that have many differences, but they both perform the same function: storing data. The SSD is a newer technology with many advantages over the HDD, but it comes at a higher cost. Which one is best for you? Let’s take a look at some of their pros and cons to find out!

History of SSDs and HDDs

The HDD was invented in the 1950s.

IBM created their first hard drive that would store 3.75 megabytes of data. It weighed over one ton!

By 1980, they had reduced its size considerably and made it more affordable for consumers. Within no time at all, many people were using HDD technology to store their files.

The first SSD was introduced in the early 1990s, but the technology didn’t take off until much later. It was more expensive than HDDs, and it had less storage capabilities, so most consumers were not interested in switching to SSDs at that time.

Because of this, only businesses could afford them at first. It wasn’t until later that SSDs became more affordable for everyday people.

Today there are many different kinds of SSDs on the market that have various storage capacities and speeds. They are being used by many people who want a faster computer experience than what an HDD can provide.

The HDD is still in use today. It is more common than the SSD in most homes and offices, but that may be changing as new storage advancements are made.

What Is an SSD?

SSD stands for solid-state drives, which are storage devices that use flash memory rather than spinning disks. They store data in blocks and pages, but they do not have any moving parts, making them more durable and requiring less power.

SSDs can access data faster than HDDs, and they are more resistant to physical shock. They also do not generate as much heat or noise since they have no moving parts inside, making them perfect for laptops.

However, they do have some disadvantages. SSDs are more expensive, and they tend to hold less data than HDDs.

How SSD Stores Data

SSDs use flash memory, which is a type of non-volatile storage. What this means is that it does not require power to store information. This allows SSDs to operate faster than HDDs, which are limited by the data transfer rate of their moving parts.

Unlike an HDD, where bits are written randomly throughout its storage space, an SSD organizes data in blocks and erases these blocks before writing over them. This is because SSD storage cells are smaller than the smallest bit size on an HDD drive.

With every generation of flash memory technology comes a reduction in cell size and increase in capacity—and this means that modern-day SSDs have more space for writing data than ever before.

What Are the Benefits of an SSD?

SSDs offer many advantages over HDDs, including lower power consumption, higher reliability and performance levels, better shock resistance, faster access to stored data, and less heat output.

What Are the Disadvantages of an SSD?

The price of SSDs is one disadvantage. They are more expensive than HDDs, and about five times as much storage space on an HDD will cost you the same amount of money for a comparable capacity SSD drive.

What Is an HDD?

Close up of Inside of HDD

HDD stands for hard disk drives, which are storage devices that use spinning disks to store data. An arm with a read/write head on it moves across the disks and reads or writes information from specific tracks, which is how they can access stored data more slowly than an SSD.

HDDs are most commonly used in desktop computers and servers rather than laptops.

How HDD Stores Data

Hard disk drives store data on spinning disks that are divided into small areas called tracks, which can each contain a portion of the data on your computer. Each time you save or change a file, hard drives need to update this information in multiple places across the disk platter. For instance, if you’re working on a spreadsheet, the hard drive might need to update some of the information in each tab. This makes it difficult to open large files quickly and can make your computer slow down over time as more data is added (a process called fragmentation).

As far as speed goes, HDD is limited by their rotation speed—typically between 3600 RPM to 15000 RPM.

What Are the Benefits of an HDD?

HDDs are much cheaper than SSDs since they use mechanical parts instead of flash memory chips. They also have more storage space available at a lower cost per gigabyte.

What Are the Disadvantages of an HDD?

An HDD uses more power than an SSD and is slower to access data. They also generate more heat and noise.

Which One Should I Buy?

Backside of black HDD

The main benefit of choosing an SSD over an HDD depends on personal needs. If you want a storage device that will last longer with less chance of breaking down, then the extra cost is worth it since the lifespan of most SSDs is about five times as long as HDDs. If you need lots of storage space at a low price per gigabyte, an HDD is better.

If you want fast access to your data, then the SSD will be faster than the HDD in most cases since it does not have any moving parts inside and can read from many areas of memory at once. An SSD can also boot your computer more quickly, so you do not have to wait for it when starting up or shutting down.

Who Should Use HDD?

Regular users who want a storage device with lots of space at a low price per gigabyte will benefit from using an HDD. They are also useful for storing large media files that you don’t need to access quickly, such as movies or music libraries.

Who Should Use SSD?

Gamers or graphic designers who want to improve their computer performance will get the most benefit from using an SSD since they read information much faster than HDDs.


SSDs are much more expensive than HDDs, but they offer many advantages like lower power consumption and higher reliability. The main benefit of choosing an SSD over an HDD is the device’s ability to last longer with less chance of breaking down; it has a lifespan of about five times as long as that of most HDDs.

If you need lots of storage space at a low price per gigabyte, then you should choose an HDD instead. Which one do you think would work best for your needs?