Hard Drive: SSD or HDD?

Watch the video first:

SSD stands for Solid State Drive.  We might be familiar with USB drive, SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of the humble USB memory stick.  Like a pendrive, there are no moving parts to an SSD, and information is stored in microchips.

Meanwhile, a hard disk drive (HDD) uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter.

You can read more on SSD vs HDD, with a very brief description of SSD and HDD in details. Since both have their own pros and cons, the table below is good enough to summarize them all. Though, everything depends on our requirements.

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, in excess of $1.50 per gigabyte Only around $0.10 per gigabyte, very cheap
Capacity Typically not larger than 256GB for notebook size drives Typically 500GB – 1TB for notebook size drives
Bootup Time for Windows 7 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 500 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
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