Solid State Drives vs. Hard Drives

The Pro's & Con's between Solid State Drives & Hard Drives.
Both the Solid State Drive (SSD) & Hard Drive (HDD) deliver the same function - which is to boot your system, store your applications, and store personal files and documents. Even though each performs the same task, each has a unique feature set that suits different users.


Speed is the unique selling point for the SSD, which is known to boot your system from start within a matter of seconds - most definitely under a minute, whereas the older HDD needs time to speed up and takes much longer to start up a PC. The SDD not only boots faster but also launches apps faster, and has higher overall performance. Whether you use your machine for business or pleasure, the speed difference may lead to either meeting your deadlines or not.

One of the reasons for the faster performance of the SSD is that a fragmented drive with scattered large files does not influence its operations. A standard Hard Drive slows down with fragmentation and needs aligned blocks of large files to read smoothly through a continuous motion, hence why we need to defragment PC's from time to time.


The Solid Sate Drive is much more durable and it more likely to survive a drop. Unlike standard HDD's, with their read/write heads, the Solid State Drives does not have moving parts, making it the prefer choice if you are rough on your gear.

Form factor

Currently SSD’s are available in 2.5”to fit notebooks, but that is purely for convenience and will continue to adopt as machines get smaller and tablets slimmer. The HDD is limited to a certain size due to their spinning platters – currently 2.5”and 3.5”depending on the application.


With standard HDD's, even the newer and faster drives will make some sort of noise, with their spinning drive or due to the read arm moving. However a Solid State Drivemakes virtually no noise, as they are non-mechanical.


Comparing the two in terms of price, the SSD is much more expensive than a HDD in terms of Rand per GB. For the same capacity and form factor 1TB internal 2.5-inch drive, you may pay considerably more per GB for SSD than a standard hard drive. The HDD is older & a more established technology, that will remain less expensive. The difference between the two may push your system budget over your intended budget. However, the benefits of a SSD should far outweigh the price difference.


1TB SSD’s are extremely rare and also expensive. The more frequently available storage space for Solid State Drives which are usually locally available, is from 128GB to 500GB. 250 – 500GB is usually the size drive that will be inside an OEM PC or notebook, whereas128GB is rarely found and considered to be too low. Standard HDD’s are available in capacity of up to 3TB, depending on your form factor requirement. Multi Media Users will require a more high end system that allows 1TB to 4TB storage space to hold and process larger data files. In general, this size requirement will warrant using a standard HDD, as high capacity SSD’s are currently rare and very expensive.


HDD has a wide variety of product lists and model numbers that are being offered by a large number of brands as they are more established in comparison to SDD's. Currently HDD's are still the majority storage for pre-built PC and Mac and will not be replaced by SSD any time soon.

So when choosing your drive you need to consider what is important to you and your requirements: budget, durability, storage or speed? In some cases, if massive storage is needed but the budget is a concern, you can consider a combination between both in one machine, for example using the Solid State to un the OS and applications and the HDD to store data.
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