Solid State or Hard Drive disk?

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 - 09:00 | By: Rutledge Daugette

Maybe you're building a new computer, upgrading one, or just curious about which is better. Obviously, if you are looking for more speed, Solid State (SSD) is the best way to go. If you are looking for a drive that is cheaper, and may last longer depending on how well you treat it, then you are looking at getting a Hard Disk drive (HDD). As the place that stores all of your files and data, picking the correct hard drive is very important.


What is a Hard Disk drive?

A Hard disk drive (or HDD) is a magnetic storage device with several rotating disks, which are called platters, covered in a magnetic material on which data can be written. The data is written with ReadWrite heads(which are magnetic), which hover very closely to the platters, and read or write the data onto the disk. HDD's are classified as non-volatile (which means they keep their data after power is turned off), and have been used in computers since the 1960's.


  • HDDs can be written to many more times than solid state
  • Data is overwritten directly onto the disk
  • Cost per gigabyte of space on an HDD is much less than that of solid state


  • The fact that the parts inside move, have many disadvantages
  • Even though each sector of an HDD can be written to more times than a SSD, the drive will fail well before the sector does.
  • Because the parts inside the HDD will move, dropping it can cause drive failure.
  • HDD's are much slower than SSD's in terms of read/write capabilities. They are also the one computer component that has not been improved in years.
500 Gigabyte Hard Drive | 1 Terabyte Hard Drive2 Terabyte Hard Drive | 3 Terabyte Hard Drive

4 Terabyte Hard Drive | 600 GB Velociraptor (10,000 RPM/Faster HDD)

What is a Solid State drive?

A Solid State drive is a drive that has no moving parts. The data is stored in integrated circuits and is quickly accessed. If you have a USB Drive (or Flash Drive), then you are familiar with Solid State technology.


  • SSDs are less likely to be damaged by physical damage, such as dropping.
  • SSDs access data much faster than HDDs
  • Fragmentation of the drive is not an issue with SSDs


  • Solid State Drives costs much more per gigabyte than Hard Drive Disks
  • Each block of memory on a Solid State drive can only be written to so many times before failure
  • Solid State Drives have some drawbacks in terms of data encryption that can leave your data vulnerable to someone with the right tools.
90 Gigabyte SSD | 128 Gigabyte SSD | 256 Gigabyte SSD | 512 Gigabyte SSD | 1 Terabyte SSD

No matter what you choose, Solid State drives and tradition Hard Drive disks will co-exist for a long time to come. But like any technology, Solid State drives will continue to improve and become cheaper, until traditional Hard Drive disks are no longer the standard for computing systems. When making your decision on what to get, think over the following questions;

  • Will you be using your computer's hard drive for gaming? | For the best experience, Solid State drives are best, follow by Velociraptor drives, and then standard hard drives.
  • Will you primarily be using the computer for standard business applications? | Solid State drives will only increase file load time by so much, Hard Drives are more practical, and cost efficient.
  • Do you need a lot of storage space? | Depending on what you are storing, you can get much more space from standard Hard Drive disks.
The choice is up to you, and the decision really comes down to what you need. Everything in his post should help you decide which is best for your upcoming build or upgrade!


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Rutledge Daugette
CEO and Founder

Founder of TechRaptor with a love of video games (B.S. in Game Programming) and technology. Started TechRaptor to create a place where people could come for quality content.