Whether you’re shopping for a new laptop, desktop, external drive, or even building your own PC, you’ll be tasked with a choice: SSD or hard drive (aka hard disk drive / HDD)? Either technology can store your files and software, but they each come with their pros or cons.
In general, we recommend SSDs for performance and HDDs for price. But there are a lot of other differences between these two technologies that could impact your experience and purchasing decision. Let’s clear clear things up with an in-depth look at how your experience using these technologies will differ, plus some testing to illustrate this.
- SSDs are faster than HDDs. An SSD will load data faster than a HDD will.
- SSDs are less likely to break than HDDs because HDDs are comprised of moving parts. Empty list
- SSDs are quieter than hard drives. A PC with a hard drive will be noisier than an SSD and may even send vibrations throughout your desk space if you use an external enclosure. Empty list
- HDDs are cheaper than SSDs. You’ll get a better price per gigabyte (GB) with HDDs. So if budget or a large amount of files is your top concern, an HDD is worth considering.
- In laptops, opting for an SSD can lead to longer battery life. Up to 45 minutes on average compared to HDD-equipped laptops.
One of the main reasons HDDs have remained relevant has been their price per gigabyte. We’re currently seeing SSDs sell for under $100, or just $0.10 per GB, while HDDs are roughly $0.02-$0.03 per GB.
Therefore, HDDs are appealing to those looking for bulk storage. But their days seem numbered. Considering most people only need up to 500GB to meet their storage needs, HDDs are losing market share faster by the day. Many HDD vendors are now pushing HDDs for NAS applications and selling SSDs.