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SSD vs HDD: What's the Difference?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

SSDs and HDDs are two types of storage devices that are used as the local drive for a laptop. You have to decide which one you want for you. Both of them have their positives and negatives so is a Solid State Drive better or would buying a Hard Disk Drive the better choice? Well, it all depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. What's the difference between the two? If you look at the price alone, HDDs are a much safer option but if money isn’t an issue for you then SSDs are a far better option considering their superior performance. Let’s compare the different aspects of each storage device and find out which one is the right one for your needs.

What is an SSD?

SSD is the short form of Solid State Drive. The reason why it is called that is that it does not have any moving parts similar to a USB drive. In layman terms, you can call an SSD a very large and more sophisticated type of USB. Like a memory stick, the information on the SSD is stored in the form of microchips. Moreover, instead of having the data being accessed by a mechanical arm, SSDs can access it directly from the microchip. This is the reason why the SSD is far speedier than the HDD as it requires less manual labor for getting information.

solid state drive

SSDs utilize NAND-based flash memory which is a non-volatile memory type. It can keep the data stored on it even after the disk has been turned off. While all types of permanent memory have this same feature, it had been rumored that the data stored on SSDs would be lost after a few years. However, it isn’t true SSDs available today can keep the data stored for up to 200 years. An SSD has an embedded processor which is termed as a controller. It is used for performing various operations which are related to data reading and writing. The faster the controller is the faster are the data read and write speeds.(Click to get idea about How to Recover Data from SSD? No matter you lose data from SSD or HDD, you can turn to Wondershare Recoverit for help.)

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What is an HDD?

HDDs are an older technology that was initially introduced by IBM almost 60 years ago. It is the abbreviation of Hard Disk Drive and it makes use of magnetism to store data. HDDs have a rotating platter that spins at high speeds while a read/write head is placed above it which reads and writes data on the spinning platter. The performance of an HDD is dependent on the spinning speed of its platter. The usual spinning range of HDD drives in use today is 5400 RPM to up to 7200 RPM. Sever-based platters can reach spinning speeds of up to 15000 RPM.

hard drive

The thing that makes HDDs most suitable for data storage is that they are extremely cheap. They can store copious amounts of data and won’t cost you much either. The cost/GB of an HDD is far lower than that of an SSD. For instance, WD Black, an HDD, has a storage capacity of 1TB and is available for about $69 while Samsung 850 EVO, an SSD, having a capacity of 1TB can cost up to $319. So, if cheap storage is what you are looking for, HDDs are the best available option. There is no difference in the looks of HDDs and SSDs. A 2.5-inch hard disk is typically used for laptops while a bigger 3.5-inch hard disk is suitable for desktops. (You might also interested in How to Backup SSD to HDD Automatically)

SSD Vs HDD Comparison

Attribute SSD (Solid State Drive) HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
Battery Life/Power Draw Draws an average of 2-3 watts on average. Increases battery boost by 30 minutes Draws an average of 6-7 watts on average. Uses more battery power
Cost At $0.02/GB if you have a 1TB drive, it is expensive At $0.03/GB if you have a 4TB drive, it is relatively cheap
Capacity Not more than 1TB for notebooks but maximum 4TB for desktops Maximum 2 TB for notebooks but a maximum of 10TB for desktops
Operating System Boot-Time Average boot time of 10-13 seconds Average boot time of 30-40 seconds
Noise No sound produced because of the lack of moving parts Spinning and clicks are audible and can be heard
Vibration No vibration produced as there are no moving parts Vibrations are produced because of the platters' spinning
Heat Produced Lack of moving parts and low power draw equals less heat High power draw and the presence of moving parts mean more heat production than SSD
Failure Rate 2.0 million hours 1.5 million hours
Write Speed/File Copy 200 MB/s to up to 550 MB/s 50 MB/s to up to 120 MB/s
Encryption (FDE) Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Full Disk Encryption
File Opening Speed Approximately 30% quicker than the HDD. Comparatively slower than the SSD.
Effect of Magnetism Safe from magnetism effects Data can be erased by magnets

The following video is well prepared for you to check more details on the difference between SSD and HDD

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The Right Storage for You

So, which one between HDD and SSD is the right storage for you? The following breakdown might help you in making your final decision.



External and internal hard drives have the same features present in them and can be judged on the same principles mentioned above. The market is now rife with SSD external drives. So, if you are a person who needs toughness and speed from your external drive then choosing an external SSD is the best option you have.

Is an HDD or an SDD Better for Gaming?

When it comes to storage devices for gaming, you are not willing to compromise right? However, there are always two options, an HDD or an SDD. Here’s a speedy comparison for you to determine which one’s the best.


Talking about speed, we all are aware of the fact that SSD is certainly much faster than an HDD. The data transfer speed of an SSD is the key player in making it one of the fastest data transferring storage devices in the world. Likewise, the data transfer speed of an SSD can be many times faster than HDD's, but the results also depend upon the type of application. SSD offers you quicker boot time and also maintains the smoothness of the application. As a gamer, it is essential to have a storage device that allows the game to run smoothly.

Capacity and Pricing:

Two of the most significant entities in a storage device are its capacity and the price. Both act as an essential trait when it's about comparison. As we all see in 2021, the latest of them all SSDs are able to handle the immense amount of data. The cutting-edge technology is making it much easier to store a large amount of data files. Most of the people use from 120 to 4TB. However, HDDs are often used from a minimum 500GB to 16TB and more. Most of them are readily available for sale. After capacity, the only thing that comes in our mind is price. However, when it comes to price, HDD takes the lead, it is much cheaper than an SSD. Supposedly, if you buy an HDD for $20, you will have to pay 2 times more price to buy an SDD of the same capacity.


An SSD drive has no moving parts, so that's why it runs completely silent. On the other hand, the noise produced by an HDD is much more irritating and louder as compared to others. Eventually, how loud an HDD is depended mostly on some factors, here are the following factors.


Presently, the lower-ends HDDs have the capability to start at 5400 spins per minute. However, an HDD with good performance can go up to 15000, which is astonishing. The loudness of an HDD depends upon the speed of the spins.

Age/ Damage:

As the mechanism is based upon moving parts. It is better to understand that with physical damage and age, the noise can get much louder.


As much as the whole lifespan is concerned, HDDs are efficient enough to work more longer than SSDs. HDDs are much solid and have the power to sustain till a longer period of time. As SDDs are bound to take more load, the longevity is a little less than HDDs.


SSDs also win in the stability department, as they do not have moving parts compared to HDDs, due to external damage, it is very stiff for SSD to malfunction as compared to HDDs.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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