We are going to explain to you what are the differences between HDD or SSD hard drives. For that, we are going to start by describing you in a simple and easy to understand way what are the general features of hard drives, both mechanical or HDD and solid state or SSD. Thus, you can learn to recognize and differentiate them without problems.

HDD vs SSD: differences and advantages of both types of hard disk

Comparing SSDs and HDDs HDDs are a legacy storage technology that use spinning disks to read/write data. SSDs are faster and more power efficient than HDDs. HDDs are priced lower, but SSD prices are dropping.

Then we will continue with a comparative table in which we will show you the main characteristics of both, and we will continue with an in-depth explanation of what these characteristics are and what they imply. Finally, we will finish by telling you when it is recommended to use the HDD or SSD, so that if you want to buy one you can have an informed decision.

Hard disk or HDD (Hard Drive Disk)

Hard drives, also known as HDDs, are a computer component that is used to permanently store your data. This means that the data is not erased when the unit is turned off, as is the case with those stored by RAM memory. The first company to commercialize them was IBM in 1956.

Hard disk or HDD

They are made up of mechanical parts, hence they are sometimes called mechanical hard drives, and they use magnetism to record your data and files. It is made up of one or more rigid disks joined by the same axis and that rotate at high speed inside a metal box. On each platter and on each of its faces, a read / write head reads or writes your data onto the discs.

samsung ssd TS

The thinner the discs, the better the recording, and the faster they rotate, the faster the data is transmitted, both when reading it and when writing it. Generally, the speed of hard drives is usually 5400 or 7200 RPM (revolutions per minute), although some server-based drives can reach up to 15,000 RPM


In terms of size, the enclosures for mechanical hard drives can be 2.5 “or 3.5”. Its price may vary depending on this size, but especially on its storage capacity. In fact, the great advantage of these hard drives over SSDs is that they are much cheaper.

Solid State Drive or SSD

Solid state drives or SSD (Solid State Drive) are an alternative to hard drives. The big difference is that while hard drives use mechanical components that move, SSDs store files on microchips with interconnected flash memories. Therefore, we could almost consider them as an evolution of USB sticks.


SSDs often use NAND-based flash memories, which are also non-volatile and keep information stored when the drive is disconnected. They do not have physical heads to record the data, instead include an integrated processor to perform operations related to reading and writing data.

These processors, called controllers, are the ones that make the “decisions” about how to store, retrieve, cache, and clean the data on the disk, and their efficiency is one of the factors that determines the overall speed of the drive. Additionally, by not relying on the spinning of a physical component, a quieter drive than mechanical drives is also achieved.

In terms of size, these drives are usually 2.5 “, and have a design almost identical to that of mechanical hard drives, which helps them fit in the same housings and slots where conventional hard drives are mounted in a computer.

HDD vs SSD: main differences

CAPACITY Generally between 256 GB and 4 TB Generally between 1 and 10 TB
CONSUMPTION Lower consumption Higher consumption
COST Much more expensive Much cheaper
NOISE Quieter due to no moving parts Somewhat louder for having moving parts
VIBRATIONS Does not vibrate due to not having moving parts The spinning of your discs can cause slight vibrations.
FRAGMENTATION Does not have Can be given
DURABILITY Your cells can be rewritten a limited number of times With mechanical parts that can be damaged by movements
OS BOOT TIME 7 seconds 16 seconds
DATA TRANSFER Generally between 200 and 550 MB / s Generally between 50 and 150 MB / s
AFFECTED BY MAGNETISM Do not Magnetism can remove data

In this table you can see which are the main differences between both storage technologies. The main difference has to do with maximum capacities and price. Keep in mind that SSDs are much more modern, so it is normal that their price is significantly higher. Today, a 250GB SSD can be worth the same as a 3TB HDD.

Being storage units without moving parts like their predecessors, SSDs have some notable advantages such as causing less noise and vibration. It should also be made clear that we cannot say that mechanical hard drives are not extremely noisy either, so it is a not so important difference.

What is a notable difference is speed. In our comparison between the two technologies, we saw how an SSD started an operating system in less than half the time of a 7,200 rpm HDD, and that its data reading and writing speeds were more than tripled. In our test we used an HDD that read and wrote data at 150MB / s, and an SSD that read and wrote at 545MB / s and 525MB / s.

Obviously, these specific data reading and writing data always depend on the different models on the market. But generally SSD hard drives are always much faster than mechanical ones. Hence precisely its high price.

The great concern around SSDs has always been around their durability, especially since the first drives to hit the market had little. The useful life of solid state disks depends directly on the amount of data you are writing to it, since each cell in a bank of your flash memories can only be written a certain number of times.

A study by Tech Report concluded that a fairly standard SSD, specifically a Samsung 850 Pro , could last up to 2.4 Petabytes of data written, which is equivalent to 2457.6 Terabytes. Therefore, the duration of one of these discs depends on how long it takes to write and rewrite the hard drive until you reach that amount., which is surely more than the 3 to 5 year warranty that manufacturers usually offer.

One of the drawbacks of SSDs versus HDDs in durability is that they have a higher failure rate. Even so, this is improving generation to generation, and has other advantages such as better resistance to shocks. Remember, HDDs have mechanical parts, so a hit could cause them to break or wear out sooner, shortening their useful life.

In any case, and to avoid surprises, both in SSDs and in HDDs that can last around 10 years or more, it is best to regularly monitor the health of your hard driveHere’s a collection of tools you can do it with, so you know when you might be about to experience an error that puts your data at risk.

What hard drive to choose?

If you usually download a lot of content from the Internet and need large amounts of storage, or if you have a low budget, it is recommended that you continue to use HDDs. They are also a good resource for external hard drives, where storage capacity tends to take priority over speed.

On the other hand, SSDs are recommended if you want to have a much faster computer. In fact, its speed can make a PC with a few years go much faster without having to invest in other components. It is also recommended if you usually work in the edition of multimedia content or you are a video game lover, since the loading processes will be accelerated thanks to them.

In most cases, however, it is advisable to combine both types of hard disk. In a home tower, for example, you can use an SSD on disk C: to install the operating system there and make everything go faster. You accompany it with an HDD as a secondary disk and you will have a perfect unit in which to store all the heavy files you have on your computer.

HDD vs SSD: differences and advantages of both types of hard disk FAQ

What is the difference between HDD and SSD type of hard disk?

The difference between hard drives and solid state drives is in the technology used to store and retrieve data. HDDs are cheaper and you can get more storage space. SSDs, however, are faster, lighter, more durable, and use less energy. Your needs will dictate which storage drive will work best for you.

Is it better to have both SSD and HDD?

The HDD offers high storage capacities at a low price, while the SSD provides blazing fast access speeds at a higher cost. Used together, PC users can access their most important files quickly via the SSD, while storing media and other large files on their less expensive HDD.

What are the two main advantages of using solid state storage vs a conventional hard disk?

Since SSDs have no moving parts, they run considerably more quietly, enjoy faster access time, and lower power consumption over hard disk drives. And better reliability developments have made SSDs as durable as disk drives.

Is 256GB SSD better than 1TB?

What’s the use? Of course, SSDs mean that most people have to make do with much less storage space. A laptop might come with a 128GB or 256GB SSD instead of a 1TB or 2TB hard drive. A 1TB hard drive stores eight times as much as a 128GB SSD, and four times as much as a 256GB SSD.

Is SSD safer than HDD?

Generally, SSDs are more durable than HDDs in extreme and harsh environments because they don’t have moving parts such as actuator arms. SSDs can withstand accidental drops and other shocks, vibration, extreme temperatures, and magnetic fields better than HDDs. Almost all types of today’s SSDs use NAND flash memory.

What are the advantages of SSD over HDD?

Since SSDs have no moving parts, they run considerably more quietly, enjoy faster access time, and lower power consumption over hard disk drives. And better reliability developments have made SSDs as durable as disk drives.