How the SSD stacks up
HDD vs. SSD vs. SSHD
Selecting the right drive for your information storage needs can be challenging at first. Many people are used to HDDs since they’re the standard-issue hardware in most computers. However, SDDs offer plenty of advantages and are well worth considering as upgrades.
Hard-Disk Drives (HDDs) are the mainstay of the computing world. Most computers come equipped with HDDs because they’re cheap and have high storage capacities. They serve most functions well, but they have comparatively slow read/write speeds, which means they take longer to access or store data. Because HDDs rely on spinning magnetic platters and read/write cams, they’re also sensitive to vibrations and can experience errors if they aren’t kept in a stable position.
Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are faster and more reliable alternatives to HDDs. The best SSDs can achieve write speeds of over 550 megabytes per second – a 275% increase over the performance of the best HDDs, which clock in at approximately 200 MB/s. On top of that, the best SSDs can access files in under a millisecond, while the best HDDs can still take up to 7 or 8 milliseconds to read files. To achieve these results, SSDs use flash memory rather than magnetic platters. Their simplicity makes them resistant to the kinds of vibrations that can cause problems for traditional HDDs, which have lots of moving parts.
Solid-State Hybrid Drives (SSHDs) combine the hardware and function of both HDDs and SSDs. They use magnetic platters for the bulk of their storage, but they also have smaller internal flash memory for the most frequently-accessed files. SSHDs are fine for improving access times within a consistent set of data, but they have a harder time adjusting to new data because the drive is constantly updating which files are stored in flash memory. They also have limited flash memory, so the improved access speed can only be applied to a limited number of files.
So which drive is right for you? Right now, SSDs offer the best performance. They improve greatly on the read/write speeds offered by conventional HDDs, and they’re much more durable because of their simplicity. For anyone looking to run more than a few basic processes, SSDs are worthy successors to basic HDDs.