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SSD VS HDD

SSD VS HDD which is better to use in your PC? What's the difference between SSD and HDD? Now, you come to the right place. In this post of MiniTool, you can find answers and know how to migrate your operating system to SSD without reinstalling Windows.

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Solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD) are two common types of computer hard drive. And now, most of you buy laptops for computing needs and have to make a decision between getting SSD or HDD as the storage component.

Well then, which of the two disks is the better choice for you, an SSD or HDD? Actually, there is no straightforward answer to this question since each buyer has different needs. So you also need to make the decision based on your needs, your preferences and course budget.

In this post, we will make a comparison of SSD and HDD, and walk you through the good or bad of these two computer hard drives. Then, you will know SSD VS HDD: which one to choose.

Definition of HDD and SSD

What Is HDD?

The traditional hard drive is an electromechanical data storage device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information. And it is the basic non-volatile storage on a computer, that is to say, information on it doesn't go away even when powered off.

Essentially, it is a metal platter with a magnetic coating. While the platter is spinning, a read/write head on an arm accesses the data. HDDs are very comon in desktops or laptops since they offer affordable and reliable storage.

What Is SSD?

An SSD is a solid-state storage device that features integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. Unlike an HDD, SSD doesn't have moving mechanical components. Instead, it can work in many ways just like your thumb drive does but an SSD typically is faster and more reliable.

Related article: An Introduction of SSD Drive for Laptop in Multiple Aspects

Besides, because there is no moving part, the packaging of SSDs is normally very compact, which makes them common in laptops and tablets.

After reading these words, you clearly learn about the difference between SSD and HDD in the definition. In the following part, we will show you a comparison of these two drives in price, capacity, reliability, speed, boot time, and so forth.

SSD VS HDD Difference

① SSD VS HDD Form Factor

HDDs are very common in desktops or laptops since they offer affordable and reliable storage. The two most common form factors are 2.5-inch (common for laptops) and 3.5-inch (common for desktop machines). The standardized size makes it easy to repair and replace when things go wrong.

The vast majority of hard drives in use today connect via a standard interface – SATA or Serial ATA. Sometimes some specialized storage systems use Fibre Channel, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or other interfaces for special purposes.

Many SSD makers produce SSDs that are designed to be plug-and-play drop-in replacements for 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives. Besides, it can also be installed in a PCle expansion slot, or even be mounted directly on the motherboard. This configuration is now common in high-end laptops and all-in-ones.

SSD has other form factors, for example, high-density form factors designed for data center applications like Intel SSD DC P4500 resembling a standard 12-inch ruler.

SSDs vendors are also chasing ways to store more data in ever smaller form factors and at greater speeds. The SSD like a 2.5” HDD is starting to become less common. The M.2 SSD is small but have the same capacity as any 2.5” SATA SSD.

② SSD VS HDD Price

In terms of dollar per gigabyte, an SSD is more expensive than an HDD. As to a 1TB internal 2.5-inch hard drive, it costs between $40 and $50. That is to say, it is worth 4 to 5 cents per gigabyte.

But for an SSD of the same capacity and form factor, although SSD price keeps falling, it can be worth 14 cents per gigabyte (Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD: $134.99 ).

Hard disk drives use older and more established technology, so they will keep less expensive in the future. But the expensive SSD may push your system price over budget.

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③ Hard Disk VS SSD Capacity

Respectively speaking, a hard disk drive can offer larger capacity than an SSD.

HDD makers have made remarkable advances in technology to keep more and more data on HD platters and consumers have benefited from larger and larger drive sizes. One technique is to replace the air in drives with helium and another is HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording).

You know the manufacturer Seagate has brought the world's first 16TB 3.5-inch hard drive with HAMR Technology. Besides, Western Digital will release large capacity HDD up to 20TB in 2020.

But for an SSD, the common capacities are 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and the maximum model is 4TB that is not common.

④ SSD VS HDD Boot Time

Additionally, let’s go to see SSD vs HDD speed difference.

In the speed aspect, an SSD is faster than an HDD. When searching for "SSD VS HDD speed", you will find some videos on the SSD and HDD speed test, especially the boot time.

Respectively, the average bootup time of an SSD is around 10-13 seconds where as the average bootup time of an HDD is 30-40 seconds. Besides, for application load test, HDD continues to be slower than an SSD. When referring to SSD vs HDD for boot time, SSD is the winner.

The HDDs’ mechanical nature limits their overall performance. Although hard drive manufacturers work tirelessly to improve data transfer speeds and reduce latency & idle time, things they can do is finite.

SSDs offer huge performance merit over hard drives. A PC with an SSD boots faster, launches and runs apps faster, and transfers files faster. This is where SSDs shine.

⑤ SSD VS HDD Gaming

In addition, some of you may be interested in SSD VS HDD performance when playing gaming. Actually, if you want to get good game experience, it is recommended to use an SSD since it is excellent on SSD vs HDD speed test.

Games that are installed on a solid-state drive will typically boot faster than games installed on a traditional hard drive. Usually, booting a game from an SSD can take less than half the time it would take to boot it from a hard drive.

Besides, load times to go from a game menu into the game itself are faster when the game is installed on an SSD than on a hard drive.

For gaming on SSD vs HDD, SSD is the winner.

An SSD won't help your PC run today's top games faster. Nevertheless, with the increased boot times, your games can load fast, which means you don't have to wait for a long time to play games. Additionally, SSDs can move large video files much faster.

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⑥ SSD VS HDD Reliability

In harsh environmental conditions, SSDs are extremely reliable because they don't have moving parts to break. They are not bothered by extreme heat and cold or being dropped. But HDD can suffer issues based on harsh conditions and a drop may break it. Usually, your SSD will not experience arctic temperatures or liftoff.

Besides, the reliability rate is defined by MTBF (Mean Time between Failures). When purchasing one type of hard drive, you can see it in the description. In general, SSDs are not incredibly different from that of HDDs.

⑦ SSD VS HDD Lifespan

Although an SSD doesn’t have moving parts, each memory bank has a finite life expectancy, which limits the number of times that it can be written to and read from before it stops working.

Compared to an HDD, an SSD has a more limited lifespan. Usually, 5 years is a good estimate of the lifespace of your average SSD.

In addition, there are some differences between these two drives in other aspects, for example, HDDs can be power-hungry, generate noise, and produce heat but SSDs offers low power consumption, are noiseless and durable. Here, we won't show you them in detail.

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Now you have known the information on SSD vs HDD difference. In conclusion, hard disk drive wins on price and capacity. If speed, form factor, noise, ruggedness or fragmentation are important factors for you to consider, SSDs work best. If it wasn't for the price and capacity issues, an SSD would be the hands-down winner.

SSD VS Hard Drive

Hard Disk Drive VS Solid-state Drive: Which One to Use?

After learning the difference between SSD and HDD, then you may ask: HDD VS SSD, which is better for use in your PC? As we have mentioned above, it all depends on individual needs.

An HDD will be your right choice in these cases:

  1. You need lots of storage capacity, up to 16TB.
  2. Don't want to spend much money.
  3. Don't care too much about how fast your computer boots up or runs programs, or how smoothly you play games on your PC.

An SSD will be the right option in these cases:

  1. You want to play games or boot Windows faster to enjoy high performance.
  2. Don't mind limited storage capacity.
  3. Don't want the scratchy sound from a hard drive intruding when you are recording music.

In short, HDDs are still the popular choice for the majority of average consumers. And you may usually choose the HDD as the storage option in a new computer simply because of the much cheaper cost.

However, most of you desire top computing performance and choose an SSD inside your new setup or as an upgrade to your current one. Now, SSDs are on their way to becoming the mainstream, standard storage mechanism, especially for laptops given the merit they present for a mobile device.

How to Migrate HDD to SSD

For SSD VS HDD performance, SSD is the winner because of its fast speed like excellent boot time. If you are the one who requires faster performance and has installed Windows OS on an HDD, now you may search for the way to upgrade HDD to SSD.

You may struggle with fitting the operating system and personal files onto another drive when upgrading your desktop or laptop storage.

But don't worry. Typically, the easiest way to move an existing Windows installation without reinstalling OS is by cloning the drive. In this post, we will show you how to migrate HDD to SSD.

Here, we strongly recommend using MiniTool ShadowMaker. At first glance, you will find this tool is professional PC backup software, helping back up files, OS, disk or partition.

But actually, it can also be as hard drive cloning software since it offers you a powerful feature - Clone Disk, enabling you to transfer everything including system files, settings, applications and disk data from HDD to SSD without reinstalling OS.

Right now, get MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition from the following button to have a try.

Free Download

Step 1: Open MiniTool ShadowMaker to continue.

Step 2: Where is the clone feature? Just go to the Tools tab and then click the Clone Disk feature to start the disk upgrade for faster performance.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone disk feature

Step 3: Next, you are required to choose the source disk and the target disk for the cloning. Here, you intend to clone HDD to SSD, thus, please set the HDD as the source disk and SSD as the target disk.

choose disks to clone HDD to SSD

Tip:
• Some of you may say your SSD is smaller than HDD, how to clone HDD to a smaller SSD? This tool can be helpful as long as the SSD has enough disk space to hold all the contents on the HDD.
• The disk cloning process will delete all the information on your SSD, thus, please make sure there is no important data or you have backed up needed files.

Step 4: Now, MiniTool ShadowMaker is cloning HDD to SSD. Please wait patiently until the process completes.

performing disk cloning

After the operation, please remove the HDD from your laptop and insert the SSD to the PC. And then, you can enjoy the good performance from SSD, for example, boot the Windows OS quickly, play games smoothly, run programs in a short time, etc.

"SSD VS HDD, I want to use SSD as my boot drive since it has a better performance. MiniTool ShadowMaker can easily transfer my HDD to SSD without reinstalling OS."Click to tweet

In addition, if you only want to migrate Windows OS from HDD to SSD, you can ask another hard drive cloning software, MiniTool Partition Wizard, for help. It offers you the feature Migrate OS to SSD/HD, enabling you to only migrate Windows system to SSD or clone the entire system disk to SSD.

Free Download

Related article: Easily Migrate Windows 10 to SSD without Reinstalling OS Now!

Bottom Line

In this post, you know much information about SSD VS Hard Drive. Then, you know the answer to this question: SSD VS HDD which is better for your PC.

To sum up, an HDD is an option for you if you require cheap cost and large capacity storage, whereas SSD is a good choice if you go for fast speed and high performance. To clone HDD to SSD without reinstalling OS, MiniTool programs are helpful.

If you have any other ideas about the difference between solid-state drive and hard drive or any question related to MiniTool software, please leave a comment or contact [email protected].

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