What Is a Solid-State Drive (SSD)?

Whether you’re shopping for a new computer or looking to upgrade your existing computer with new hardware, you might be wondering whether to use a solid-state drive (SSD) or a hard-disk drive (HDD). In the past, HDD was the universal storage drive used in computers. While many computers still use an HDD, though, most tech companies have since switched to SSD. So, what’s the difference between these two storage drives?

What Is an HDD?

Also known as a fixed disk, an HDD is a storage drive that’s characterized by the use of a magnetic field with rotating platters to read and store data. If you open up an HDD, you’ll discover a large platter. These platters work in conjunction with a magnetic head to read and write data.

HDDs have been around for over a half century. In 1956, PC manufacturer IBM developed the world’s first HDD. By the the 1960s, HDDs were universally accepted as the primary storage drive for computers. Today, you can find them HDDs in computers, external storage devices, video game consoles and more.

What Is a SSD?

Like HDDs, SSDs are also capable of reading and writing data — but they work in a completely different manner than their HDD counterparts. SSDs don’t have moving parts, nor do they have a magnetic field. Rather, they consists of flash memory in which data is stored in semiconductor cells. A typical semiconductor cell in an SSD can store roughly 1 to 4 bits of data.

While SSDs generally have a lower data storage capacity than HDDs, they offer unparalleled speeds. A typical SSD can read and write data roughly five to 20 times faster than an HDD. With speeds up to 20 times faster than HDDs, SSDs offer significant performance benefits.

What About Hybrid SSD-HDDs?

Some storage drives actually combine the properties of both SSDs and HDDs. Known as hybrid drives, they are essentially two storage drives in one. A hybrid disk drive still uses an HDD to store large amounts of data, but it also has a small amount of SSD to achieve significantly faster speeds.

Because of their faster speeds, SSDs have become increasingly popular in recent years. They allow consumers and business owners to store and access data more quickly, all without the loud noise that’s commonly associated with HDDs. With that said, there are some drawbacks to SSDs. In addition to a lower data storage capacity, SSDs generally cost more than their HDD counterparts.

Whether you’re shopping for a new computer or looking to upgrade your existing computer with new hardware, you might be wondering whether to use a solid-state drive (SSD) or a hard-disk drive (HDD). In the past, HDD was the universal storage drive used in computers. While many computers still use an HDD, though, most tech companies have since switched to SSD. So, what’s the difference between these two storage drives?

What Is an HDD?

Also known as a fixed disk, an HDD is a storage drive that’s characterized by the use of a magnetic field with rotating platters to read and store data. If you open up an HDD, you’ll discover a large platter. These platters work in conjunction with a magnetic head to read and write data.

HDDs have been around for over a half century. In 1956, PC manufacturer IBM developed the world’s first HDD. By the 1960s, HDDs were universally accepted as the primary storage drive for computers. Today, you can find them HDDs in computers, external storage devices, video game consoles and more.

What Is a SSD?

Like HDDs, SSDs are also capable of reading and writing data — but they work in a completely different manner than their HDD counterparts. SSDs don’t have moving parts, nor do they have a magnetic field. Rather, they consists of flash memory in which data is stored in semiconductor cells. A typical semiconductor cell in an SSD can store roughly 1 to 4 bits of data.

While SSDs generally have a lower data storage capacity than HDDs, they offer unparalleled speeds. A typical SSD can read and write data roughly five to 20 times faster than an HDD. With speeds up to 20 times faster than HDDs, SSDs offer significant performance benefits.

What About Hybrid SSD-HDDs?

Some storage drives actually combine the properties of both SSDs and HDDs. Known as hybrid drives, they are essentially two storage drives in one. A hybrid disk drive still uses an HDD to store large amounts of data, but it also has a small amount of SSD to achieve significantly faster speeds.

Because of their faster speeds, SSDs have become increasingly popular in recent years. They allow consumers and business owners to store and access data more quickly, all without the loud noise that’s commonly associated with HDDs. With that said, there are some drawbacks to SSDs. In addition to a lower data storage capacity, SSDs generally cost more than their HDD counterparts.