Difference Between Hard disk and SSD

Difference Between Hard disk and SSD

Difference Between Hard disk and SSD

Difference Between Hard disk and SSD, In this article we will compare the two types of storage device that are commonly used to permanently store data on the desktop and laptops.

Now, conventionally, these hard disk drives are used as a storage solution on desktops and laptops. And these hard drives are in use for more than two decades. But in recent years, SSDs or solid state drives are gaining popularity due to their speed and performance. So, in this article, let’s compare these two device in aspects such as speed and performance, the principle of operation, cost and storage capacity and many other aspects. Difference Between SSD and HDD.

Compare these two devices in terms of speed and performance

Speed difference between Hard disk and SSD


Now, hard disk drive technology has improved significantly in the last two decades. And the data density of this drive has greatly increased. But the speed of the hard drive has not increased at the same pace.

Compare these two devices in terms of speed and performance.
Now, hard disk drive technology has improved significantly in the last two decades. And the data density of this drive has greatly increased. But the speed of the hard drive has not increased at the same pace.

Usually, the access time of the current hard disk is in the range of a few ms. And the sequential read or write speed is typically around 100 MBPS. If you are thinking that the speed of the hard disk is not bad, let me tell you that the RAM access time and the cache used on the computer are within the range of nanoseconds. Which is significantly less than the access time of these hard disk drives. Therefore, even if you have a high-end CPU, along with a graphics card and RAM, you still cannot extract the best performance from that system if it is stuck with slow hard drives.

Speed difference between SSD and HHD

Now, don’t get me wrong here. With the best CPU and GPU, system performance will definitely increase. But due to the hard disk limitation, the system boot time and the opening of the applications will not be so fast. While at the other extreme, if we talk about SSD, they are much faster and have an access time typically in the range of microseconds. And the typical sequential read and write speed is in the range of 400 to 500 MBPS. And, in fact, it is even possible to achieve a sequential read and write speed in the range of Giga Bytes per second using these SSDs.

Internal structure and Working principle

So, now let’s look at the internal structure of these drives and find out why SSDs are so fast and hard drives are relatively slow in compared to these SSDs. Therefore, if you look inside the hard disk drive, it consists of a rotating disk, which is commonly known as the plates. Therefore, these dishes rotate at the typical speed of 5400 or 7200 RPM on laptops. And it can reach up to 10,000 RPM on desktop computers. And on some commercial hard drives, the speed can go up to 15,000 RPM. Therefore, in these hard drives, the data is stored magnetically in these platters using the head. Usually, data is stored on this hard disk drive in the form of tracks and sectors.

Now, since it involves mechanically moving parts, there is a limitation on the speed at which data can be accessed or written to these hard disk drives. On the other hand, SSDs are designed with flash memory and, to be precise, if I say, they are designed with NAND flash memory. Therefore, since these SSDs are designed with NAND flash memory and have no moving parts, they have a very fast access time and very low latencies. Then, apart from the flash memory, the SSD also contains the microcontroller and the small cache. Then, using the microcontroller, the flash memory cells can be accessed or programmed. And using the cache it is possible to temporarily store incoming and outgoing data.

Compare the two devices in terms of the form factor

So now let’s compare the two devices in terms of the form factor. Therefore, current hard disk drives are generally available in two form factors. For desktop computers, it is available in 3.5-inch form factor, while for a laptop it is available in 2.5-inch form factor. At the other extreme, SSDs are available in many form factors. The most common is the 2.5-inch form factor, where these drives can be used or replaced instead of hard drives. In addition to these, mSATA and M.2 SSDs are available in very small form factors and they are used in ultrabooks and tablets.

Compare these two devices in terms of the system interface

So now let’s compare these two Devices in terms of the system interface. Then, the system interface defines how these units are connected or interconnected with the system.

The previous hard disk drives were connected to the system through the PATA interface. Which is known as the parallel ATA. But today’s hard disk drives are connected to the system through the SATA protocol. While enterprise hard drives are connected to the system using the SAS protocol. On the other hand, if we talk about solid state drives, the mSATA and SATA hard drives are connected to the system through the SATA interface. While the M.2 SSD can communicate with the system using the SATA or PCI express bus. So, if we compare these drives in terms of storage capacity, then, for the hard disk drive, 1TB capacity is more common on desktop and laptop computers. But for desktop computers, even 10 Tera Bytes of hard disk drives are commonly available in the markets and if we talk about SSDs, from now on SSDs are available from 120 GB to 4 TB. Generally, for laptops, it is available from 120 GB up to 1 TB. While for the desktop it is available up to 4TB. But if we talk about cost, then these SSDs are much more expensive than hard drives.

As of now, the cost per Gigabyte for SSD is almost 3 to 4 times the cost of the hard drive. But as the demand for SSD grows, the cost also decreases and maybe someday, it will be as cheap as today’s hard drives.

Compare these drives in terms of the power consumption and the reliability

As these hard drives involve the mechanical moving part, the power consumption of this drive is greater than that of the SSDs. And they are more prone to damage in case of shock and vibrations.

Reliability is discussed for the same reasons that a solid state drive is very fast, it is also very reliable, so, as I said, there are no moving parts in a solid state device, which means there are very few fault points.

Whereas on a hard disk you have that spinning platter, you have multiple of those that you have moving your arm, it can vibrate and throw many things it can go wrong with a hard disk, while in solid state there is nothing moving, there is nothing to I can push to a certain extent, obviously, if you hit it with a hammer, it will probably break, but you know what I mean theoretically if you only have a solid state drive sitting there, there’s really no reason why it would fail, while a hard drive may wear out the metal components that rub against each other, eventually hard drives will fail
you should expect them to fail, they will fail, they always do, there is no invulnerable hard drive, while a solid state is fine, everything breaks down over time, but you can probably survive without waiting for your solid state drive to die, although it is possible of course, always now that it is said that SSDs are not perfect

Whereas on a hard drive you got that spinning platter, you got multiple of those, you got the arm moving it can vibrate and throw things off it a lot can go wrong with a hard drive.
Whereas a solid-state there’s nothing moving, there’s nothing that can get jostling around to an extent. Obviously if you bash it with a hammer it’s probably going to break but you know what I mean theoretically if you just have a solid-state drive just sitting there there’s not really a reason it would ever fail. whereas a hard drive will maybe wear down the metal components brushing up against each other it’s going to eventually fail hard drives. You must expect them to fail they will fail they always do there’s no invulnerable hard drive whereas a solid-state okay everything breaks down over time, but you can probably get by without expecting your solid-state drive to die although it is possible so of course always back now that being said SSDs are not perfect

There are some disadvantages compared to hard drives

I think those are outweighed by the benefits one of the main ones is that a flash memory cell can only be written to a certain number of times. So as you use the solid-state drive more and more and more it could theoretically slow down if a lot of those cells get used those are going to slow down and it might not perform as good as it did when you first got it. However there is typically software built into the drivers for these drives that handles all that and distributes the data evenly in such a way that not any one of the particular cells is going to slow down or if one of the cells maybe does break then it writes that off and says don’t use that cell anymore kind of like what you get with a bad set on a hard drive it does the same thing so you don’t really have to worry about those bad sectors unless you’re writing a ton of data and just using up every single cell and some tests have shown that typically, a solid-state drive is going to start to get problems after you write about maybe a hundred or several hundred terabytes worth of data so you would have to write as much data to fill up that hard drive hundreds of times before you would ever see any issues from just writing to it for it being flash memory so even though it is something to keep in mind I think for most people for the average person it’s a non -issue you’re never going to even notice the slowdown but there is one exception maybe I can think of like if you’re editing huge video files or you’re doing a lot of work in programs that need a scratch disk if you’re not familiar with that it’s basically a drive where a program will use to really quickly write and read data from just to have kind of a cache and if you’re using a ton of data with video files or something that can be quite massive then yeah that program might be writing and reading a lot and in that case you probably do want a hard drive as a stratch disk because it can handle a lot more rewrites than an SSD but other than that I don’t think you’d ever see a problem.

Another small disadvantage of SSDs which can affect reliability, because it’s flash memory. Flash memory has to be receiving power if it goes too long without being booted up you could start to lose data those flash memory cells aren’t going to be able to store that information. Whereas a hard disk drive uses magnetic fields and that is a physical property using a permanent magnet and even though hard drives do start to lose imaginatively I believe it’s going to be much faster on a solid-state drive still I believe there’s things built into the drive like maybe batteries that would mitigate that you’d probably have to leave the solid-state drive unplugged for a year or more before you’d ever see a problem but again it is a thing you have to consider.

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