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HDD or SSD? Which is Better for You?


With the ever evolving technology of computers, there are often debates on whether it is better to have a HDD or SSD for mass storage. For those unfamiliar with these devices, it may seem confusing of which one is more useful. While they have similar functions, the way that they store data is quite different. Comparing which one is the better choice also becomes difficult as it depends on the functionality desired. In this blog, we will give a short overview of the similarities and differences between these two drives.

At their most basic, both HDDs and SSDs are a form of non-volatile storage, meaning that they can store and retain information even after powering off. Both can also be attached to the motherboard of a computer through the use of a SATA or IDE connection. The difference lies in the way that they read and write information.

A hard drive disk, or HDD, is a mass storage device that has been around for many years and utilizes magnetics to store information. With the use of a spinning disk, called a platter, along with an arm equipped with a read/write head, information can be magnetically recorded onto tracks of the platter. This information can be accessed again by moving the arm to the designated track to retrieve the data. As HDDs have been around for a long time, they serve as a reliable and fairly cheap method of mass storage. They also have quickly increased in storage size over the years, the current biggest hard drive holding 16TB of data.

Solid state drives on the other hand, use flash memory chips rather than magnets and lack moving parts. Memory is stored on an SSD’s “blocks” which are very small KB size memory units. When modifying data, a block must be copied to an open block and the old one is erased before the updated information is written. Without moving parts for reading and writing, SSDs are exceptionally faster than HDDs and have less chance of mechanical failure. Data is stored on blocks as an electric charge and if the device is left unpowered for a long time, data can begin to leak, making them less feasible for archiving data as compared to HDDs. They are a newer technology as well which makes them more expensive, and max storage options are much less as compared to HDDs.

Altogether, it depends on the application of the drive for which one may be more beneficial to your system. HDDs have a cheap GB/dollar ratio, are long lasting and reliable, as well as come in greater storage sizes. SSDs on the other hand are very quick and less prone to mechanical failure. One recommended use is to often utilize both together in a single computer system with a smaller SSD utilized for the operating system and applications where quick speeds are desired, and an HDD for mass storage.

At ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find solid state hard drives you need, new or obsolete. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@asapsemi.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


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