SSD vs HDD | Solid State Derive versus traditional Hard Disk Drive

SSD vs HDD : A showdown between the two memory types

The good, the bad and the ugly. In a showdown between SSD and HDD memory types, which will remain standing and which will end up sprawled out in the dust? Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to this question; it all depends on the buyer’s budget and their intended purpose for the machine. These days we have the luxury of purchasing a laptop for our personal computing needs and can make the choice between getting either a Solid State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as the storage component. Even though the price of SSDs has been falling, the price per gigabyte advantage is still strongly with HDDs. Yet, if performance and speed are your chief considerations and money is secondary, then SSD is the way to go. For the remainder of this article, we will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of both.

What is SSD?

To begin, SSD stands for Solid State Drive. You’re probably familiar with USB memory sticks – SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of the humble USB memory stick. Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD. Rather, information is stored in microchips. This difference is what makes SSD so much faster and more hardy.

SSDs use what is referred to as ‘non-volatile’ memory. What does non-volatile mean? The simple answer is that you can turn off the disk and it won’t “forget” what was stored on it. This is of course an imperative characteristic of any type of permanent memory. SSD memory is considered to be very durable and can maintain its integrity for well over 200 years.

What is HDD?

HDDS, or Hard Disk Drives, were first introduced by IBM in 1956. This 62-year-old technology uses magnetism to store data on a rotating platter. A mechanical arm floats above the spinning platter reading and writing data. These intricate parts can make the HDD more vulnerable to being damaged as opposed to the Solid State Drive. The faster the platter spins, the faster an HDD can perform. Typical laptop drives today spin at either 5400 RPM (Revolutions per Minute) or 7200RPMThe major advantage of HDD is that it is more cost-effective and can store lots of data cheaply. 

In conclusion: The good, the bad and the ugly


  • Good: Much faster and more durable
  • Bad: (Not really) Limited storage capacity  (although consumer SSDs now go up to 4TB and most of us will not need more than this)
  • Ugly: More expensive: you pay for the faster performance


  • Good: Huge storage capacity and a cheaper option
  • Bad: Slower boot up and processing
  • Ugly: More prone to being damaged

Which memory type will you choose to ride off into the sunset with?



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