Updated February 9, 2014

What is the difference between SSD and HDD? Here is a breakdown of SSD vs HDD:

What is HDD?

A hard disk drive (HDD) is a data storage device for storing and pulling digital information with rapidly rotating disks that are coated with magnetic material. HDDs retain data even when it is powered off. The coating on the hard drives stores the data and it is read in a random-access manner so individual blocks of data can be stored in any order instead of sequentially. HDDs were introduced by IBM in 1956 and is now being built by over 200 companies.

What is SSD?

A solid-state drive (SSD) does not actually contain a disk or motors to drive the disk. It is a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data. SSD uses electronic interfaces that are compatible with tradition block input/output hard disk drives, which enables simple replacement in common applications. SSDs are resistant to physical shock and runs silently. It also has lower access time and less latency.


There is generally a trade-off when it comes to HDD vs. SSD. Prices are in favor of HDD in today’s devices, but SSDs adds a faster boot up time and higher performance for laptops, desktops, and servers. If you prefer a higher storage, then you should get an HDD. If you want to have a faster computer, then buy one with an SSD. Perhaps one day, SSDs will match the prices of HDD and the decision will become a no-brainer. But for now, that is the trade-off decision that you will need to make.

Here is the suggestion that I would make today. Buy a laptop with an SSD hard drive, but also spend $100 or less for a 1 terabyte HHD external portable hard drive to keep your large collection of music, movies, and photos.