SSD or hard disk: which memory is used for?

The battle for data storage continues between the hard disk drive (HDD) and the SSD (Solid State Drive). At first glance, one might think that faster SSDs are more suitable than HDD hard drives and that there is no reason to buy anything else. But this is not entirely true.

While it’s easy to point out the advantages of SDDs, there are many cases where HDDs are still a very viable option today.

Also, remember that HDDs and SSDs aren’t just for external desktop or laptop data storage. They also have their place on servers, external storage boxes and NAS devices.

By choosing the right storage solution for the right task, you can save money and extend the life of your devices by delaying the time it takes to upgrade to a newer model.

What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)?

SSD is a storage device where data is stored on flash memory chips. These chips offer fast read and write speeds, making SSD a fast data storage medium.

An SSD has no moving parts, meaning it is silent in use and will not be damaged by vibration or shock.

What is an HDD hard disk?

Unlike an SSD, where data is stored on flash memory chips, HDDs store their data on spinning disks called platters. While not as fast as SSDs, HDDs are cheaper and come in larger sizes up to 22 TB.

However, spinning platters and other moving parts make HDDs not as robust as SSDs, and more susceptible to wear and tear.

Features of hard drives and SSDs


  • Maximum capacity: 4 TB // 22 TB
  • Typical cost per GB: €0.08 – €0.10 // €0.03 – €0.06
  • Peak read/write speed: 3000 – 7000 MB/s // 250 MB/s
  • Volume: silent // tinkling and restrained hum
  • Typical power consumption: 2W // 8W
  • Size: 2.5 inch, M.2 // 3.5 inch, 2.5 inch
  • Typical lifespan: From 5 to 10 years // From 3 to 5 years
  • Durability: vibration and shock resistant // vibration and impact resistant

You should buy an SSD if…

2.5 inch SSD along with M.2 SSD

Image: Adobe Stock.

1. You want speed

If you want your computer to boot quickly or install games or programs easily, an SSD will outperform even the fastest hard drive. The slowest SSD is easily 10 times faster than the fastest HDD, so there’s no comparison. If you need speed, you need an SSD!

2. You manage large files

Handling large files, such as large video files, is a quick and easy way to overload your hard drive. SSDs allow professionals to transfer and store large files with ease, speeding up work and significantly speeding up your computer. SSDs also speed up backups, meaning you spend less time trying to prevent accidental data loss or deletion.

3. You need rock solid reliability

With no moving parts, SSDs are more resistant to vibration and shock than HDDs. You can literally throw it in your bag without worrying about damaging your SSD. SSDs are an ideal choice for laptops and desktops, as well as for external storage that you take with you on the go.

Samsung Samsung SSD 870 EVO 4TB

Samsung Samsung SSD 870 EVO 4TB – Best prices:

  • Amazon


  • Amazon Marketplace


You should buy a hard drive if…

Hard drives have spinning platters on which data is stored.

Image: Adobe Stock.

1. You need a lot of storage space

Larger HDDs are cheaper compared to SSDs. Even a massive 20TB hard drive will cost you less than $500. Compare that to a 4TB SSD, which is nearly identical at the time of this writing, and you’ll quickly see the advantage of HDDs: large storage capacity for big apps and games, huge video files and backups. If you’re looking for the best value for money when it comes to storage space, you should go for a hard drive.

2. To save money

Want the best value for money? Select a hard drive. Today, a 2 TB hard drive costs less than 50 euros. While the price of SSDs is dropping rapidly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an SSD half the size for the same price. If 2TB isn’t enough for you, you can also get a 4TB or larger drive.

3. You use it for backup

Hard drives are attractive for backups because of their large capacity and low cost per gigabyte. If money is not a concern, there is no point in using SSDs for backup purposes. Whether you use a single hard drive in an external enclosure or multiple drives in a NAS device, hard drives will give you all the storage space you need. And since the backup devices are not too stressed, hard drives offer a high level of reliability.

WD Black 4TB

WD Black 4TB – Best prices:

  • Amazon Marketplace


  • Darty Marketplace


  • LDLC


  • Cdiscount Marketplace


Frequently asked questions

Which drive is the fastest?

The slowest SSD is 10 times faster than the fastest hard drive. So the two cannot be compared in terms of performance. If you want speed, you need an SSD. Even a budget SSD like the WD Blue 1TB is a huge improvement over an HDD.

SSD or HDD for gaming?

Both of! The ideal setup, in my opinion, is to have the operating system, an SSD for speed, and an HDD for storing games. This allows you to have the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.

However, if you had to choose just one for a gaming PC, I’d go for a fast hard drive like the WD Black 4TB, as SSDs of this size are very expensive.

Which one has the longest lifespan? SSD or HDD?

This is a tough question because I’ve seen some drives fail within days and others last for over 10 years. However, as a rule of thumb, you can expect a lifespan of 3-5 years for an HDD and 5-10 years for an SSD.


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