SSD VS HDD – Which One to Buy in 2014 [In-depth Review]

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The advantage between a SSD and HDD lies in the parameter you compare. For example if you compare pricing, then HDD is the clear winner. But if you compare faster boot speed and performance, SSD will out-smart the “older” platter drives.

According to Wikipedia, these are the definitions of HDD and SSD –

A hard disk drive (HDD) is a data storage device used for storing and retrieving digital information using rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. An HDD retains its data even when powered off. Data is read in a random-access manner.

A solid-state drive (SSD) (also known as a solid-state disk or electronic disk, though it contains no actual disk) is a data storage device using integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives.

 

SSD VS HDD - See the difference

The form factor for SSD vs HDD

 SSD vs HDD – Difference of History

The HDD history is little old, starting from the infamous IBM 350 RAMAC hard drive to the today’s SATA connected 2.5-inch notebook-class drives. The amount of disk space also has increased from 40 GB to 2 TB  for desktops and laptops. There are even 6 TB HDD which are used for video storage and multi-media processing.

The SSD which has its roots, way back in 1970s, with the invention of bubble memory flashing etc. The present day flash memory is the logical extension of the same old idea. The SSD history started with the notebooks in 2000s. This got extended in 2007, with the the OLPC XO-1 using a 1GB SSD, and the Asus Eee PC 700 series using a 2GB SSD as primary storage.

The current 2.5-inch SSD capacity is at a maximum of 1TB currently and is to increase in the coming days. [Source : pcmag.com]

SSD vs HDD – The Pros and Cons

Both these drives do the same functionality like boot your system, store your applications, and store your personal files. So we need to answer the differences which makes a user buy a particular drive.

There are different factors like price, maximum and common capacity, speed, fragmentation, durability, availability, form factors and noise.

For a 1TB drive, you are going to pay $75 for a HDD while the same is $600 for a SSD. The common available disk spaces in SSDs are 128 GB to 500 GB, while it maximum outs at 1 TB. Coming to an HDD, the common base system for a typical desktop configuration is 250 GB or 500 GB.

You can even get a 4TB or 6TB hard drive for the more personal stuff like music, videos, photos etc. Coming to boot times, the SSD is lot faster than its predecessor. It boots up in seconds, while the HDD has to wait 1 to 2 min, even with the latest processor and RAM.

The advantage with SSDs is that it doesn’t care where the data is stored on its memory chips. Unlike it, the HDDs, are good for large files, which are laid down on the magnetic coating in contiguous blocks. But due to its methodology, the file system can be fragmented, for which you need to use de-fragmentation tools.

An SSD has no moving parts, so its suitable to carry in laptop bags and for office work. Even if you drop it, much damage is not done. But most HDDs park their read/write heads when the system is off and consist of movable parts.

The availability of HDDs comes from different manufacturers like Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi, and the list is never ending with different models. But SSDs manufacturers are new to the games and are still improving. 

Because HDDs rely on spinning platters, there is a restriction on the form factor. But SSDs have no such restriction which are currently available in the 2.5-inch laptop drive-sized boxes, but as the growth of tablets increase, the SSDs size can still decrease.

Due to drive spinning etc, the HDDs even if its the best, still emits some noise. Also faster HDDs make more noise than the slower ones. But SSDs make no noise at all, as they are non-mechanical.

Which one to Buy – SSD vs HDD

So if you are a multimedia user and heavy downloaders of torrents etc, wanting to buy a drive in your budge for a $500 PC, video and photo editors and are keen on replacing a cheap drive, and if you are a general user doing office work like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, you just need HDDs. 

But people who are rough and want extra security to their drive, speed is the key coming to opening of Photoshop kind of applications or booting up, and don’t want scratchy sound coming from the drive, SSDs is your choice.

ssd-top-sidessd-bottom-side

ssd-vs-hdd-comparison

[Source : storagereviews.com]

The BenchMarks

According to benchmark tests conducted by PCWorld, it ran an

Notebook WorldBench 8.1 benchmark suite on a recent-vintage Toshiba Satellite P75-A7200 laptop powered by a fourth-generation mobile Core i7-4700MQ CPU (part of the processor family code-named Haswell), and our Desktop WorldBench 8.1 suite on an older Maingear tower PC equipped with a second-generation Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge). Our colleagues at Macworld helped us out by running SpeedMark on an Apple MacBook Pro with a third-generation Core i5-3210M (Ivy Bridge). All three test suites measure the performance of the entire system—not just its storage subsystem.

In almost all the cases, SSD upgrades delivered huge performance gains.

ssd-vs-hdd-boot-time-comparision

hdd-vs-sdd-notebook-performance-score ssd-vs-hdd-desktop-worldbench-8.1-comparison

Conclusion

So at the end, HDDs win on price, capacity and availability. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise, or fragmentation (technically part of speed) are important factors to you.

I personally felt using HDD drive on Windows 8.1 computer doesn’t fully optimize the boot speeds. It almost takes 2 minutes for my 64 bit OS to boot up after restart. But I checked on the Internet and found that you can even boot up in 7 seconds with an SSD.

With increasing emphasis laid on speed and cloud storage taking financial burden on an annual basis, the local drive space is going to stay. So in the coming few years if you want to do more work productively, I recommend going for an SSD even for a smaller size like 80 GB.  Jai Gurudev!!

 

 

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