HDD vs. SSD for Data Storage: Which Is Better?

The highest hard drive storage capacity available to the general public is around 16 terabytes. That’s 16 million gigabytes or 16 trillion bytes. Wow!

It’s unlikely you’ll need that big of a storage capacity for your personal computer. But you should still want a hard drive that has a high storage capacity. You should want one that meets all your other needs as well.

But if you search for hard drives on your favorite online shopping site, you’ll notice two terms: HDD and SSD. What’s the difference between HDD vs SSD?

What Is HDD?

The technology for a hard disk drive (HDD) has been around for more than 50 years. But that may not make it the superior option for laptops and desktop computers.

An HDD retains its data even when it isn’t receiving power. This is why experts describe the HDD as having non-volatile storage.

HDDs get their data from a computer’s operating system or OS. This software orders the HDD to write and read data as the operator needs.

The speed at which HDDs read and write data can vary from very fast to very slow. It can vary from device to device.

What Is SSD?

The main draw of a solid-state drive (SSD) is its speed. These devices can read, write, and boot up at lightning-fast speed. But this ability may not be as beneficial to your computer setup as you may wish.

Unlike HDDs, SSDs do not contain moving parts. SSDs use integrated circuits and semiconductor charges to write and read data. By having this setup, these devices can make little to no noise when they’re working.

Their data manipulation method can also make them rather small. They’re the reason why many laptops these days have a slim profile.


The list below shouldn’t tell you which storage solution reigns supreme over the other. The term “better” can mean different things to different people.

For example, one business may need a lot more storage space to store customer data, computer codes, etc. They would need an option with larger storage like those available at Nfina (more on SAN storage solutions at the link). Other businesses may need faster storage solutions to run certain software programs.

So use the list below more as a way to choose which storage device is best for your personal device or business needs.


SSDs can have a sizable capacity for data. However, HDDs have significantly higher maximum storage space.

The former storage solution can have great storage density for its size. But there’s only so much that manufacturers can stuff into it. The largest SSD that a consumer can find has a storage capacity of around 8 terabytes.

HDDs, on the other hand, can have a massive storage capacity. This is likely because manufacturers have had the time to innovate them to this point. Many commercial HDDs have storage capacities of 20 terabytes.


Innovation often drives down prices and HDDs have been innovated more than SSDs. That is probably a big reason why SSDs are more expensive than HDDs on average. Perhaps this will change in the future.

But for now, a 1 terabyte SSD is close to 100 USD. In comparison, a 1 terabyte HDD is closer to 50 USD. So those who are trying to save a buck on their computer storage option had better go with an HDD.

Power Needs

One of the big reasons why people love SSDs is how this device uses power. One of the main complaints of HDDs is how much power they suck up. A computer with an HDD will run out of power faster than a computer with an SSD.

An HDD needs computer power to operate. An SSD doesn’t. The latter has a built-in power source.


HDDs have to record data mechanically on platters. They will erase this data and rewrite it when the operator calls for it. Over time, this can cause the platters to wear down and the HDD to die.

SSDs don’t have this weakness. They write data in a digital way rather than a physical way. So SSDs should last longer because they don’t have to worry about parts wearing down, right?

Not necessarily! SSDs can develop data leak issues after a year of being unpowered. So this one may be more of a tie.


A user might also run into issues with an HDD’s durability. There is a lot of space between the components of an HDD. This makes it easier for said components to break off and rattle around if someone drops the storage device.

SSDs should not have this issue. They don’t have any space between their components. It will be hard for these components to separate from their ideal locations.


The flash memory that SSDs use makes them far faster than HDDs. HDDs can only process a few hundred megabytes per second. It’s hard for an HDD to find all the data it needs across several different platters.

SSDs can process thousands of megabytes a second. So a computer with an SSD should boot up almost instantaneously. It should also take this device less time to load up apps and transfer files.

More Technology Posts Ahead

Hopefully, this article will help you avoid making the wrong choice when it comes to HDD vs SSD hard drives. To make hard drive choices based on other factors, you may need to do more research.

You may find your answers in the other technology articles available on our site. We also offer informative articles on sports, products, advertising, and more.

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