SSD and HDD: Compared
Whether or not a laptop will be used for gaming, storage is always among the biggest factors that affect the buying decision of a lot of people. Years back, choosing the right laptop in terms of storage was fairly easy because laptop users would only have to look into their storage capacity. But now that laptops can also come with a different type of storage besides the traditional HDD, choosing has become quite complicated especially to those who are not quite well versed about the different computer technologies.
To help those who are new to gaming laptops, here’s a little help about the types of storage commonly used these days:
What Is HDD?
Introduced to the technology world by IBM in the year 1956, the HDD or Hard Disk Drive is a storage device that makes use of magnetism on a rotating platter in order to store data. It has the ability to read and write data as well. The speed of its performance which is measured by RPM or Revolutions per Minute is greatly dependent on how fast the platter can spin. HDDs are quite affordable which make them a favorite among regular laptop users who store quite a lot of data. For laptops, 1TB HDDs are already available and there are also up to 4TB HDDs made available for desktop computers and their storage capacities continue to grow.
What Is SSD?
SSD or Solid State Drive was developed a little after HDD but was only used for laptops a few years back. If you are familiar with flash disk or a USB drive, then you are most likely going to understand what an SSD really is and how it differs from the traditional HDD. The SSD is a storage device that makes use of a non-volatile flash memory. It does not have the traditional rotating platter but it relies on the processor’s controller in performing its operations like reading and writing data. With Intel’s newest products including SSDs, it would probably cheer a lot of SSD users to know that they can now have up to 800GB storage capacity.
SSD vs. HDD
Let us look into which type of storage would be best for you if your priority is gaming on the go. Although the storage capacity is a big factor for gamers, it is still inevitable for us to consider other factors like power consumption, boot up time, vibration, heat produced, noise, opening speed and a lot more.
When it comes to the weight and size, the SSD is obviously a lot thinner and lighter because it does not have the heavier and more complicated components of an HDD. The boot up time is also a lot faster for an SSD; it is usually around 30 seconds faster compared to an HDD. It is the same scenario with opening a file; the SSD opens a file three times faster than an HDD. When it comes to vibration durability, because of the fact that the HDD makes use of a rotating platter and its ability to read and write data is greatly dependent on how it spins, it is also expected to fail a lot sooner at extreme vibration. In most tests, an HDD fails at around 300Hz while an SSD can perform at a normal state at up to 2000Hz. The rotating platter also tend to produce little noises on laptops while an SSD can guarantee users a quite time while processing data. As for the heat produced, the SSD has also been noted not to produce heat the way an HDD does. This would mean that using an SSD would also help laptop users prevent other problems arising from heat like running slow or hanging. The crown still goes to the SSD when it comes to power consumption. The SSD also consumes a lot lesser power compared to HDD.
So if all the positive attributes go to the SSD, why won’t everyone switch to it? Well here’s the catch; while an HDD can store, read and write several Terabytes of data, an SSD can only hold up to 800GB. That is definitely a whole lot of difference especially for hard core gamers who save the latest games that require a lot of storage.
Just like what a lot of people say; you really can’t have everything. In making a decision of whether to use an HDD or an SSD you would need to choose between storage capacity and convenience in so many different ways. Unless you are sure that your gaming data would not consume more than 800GB, you would probably be good with an SSD. But if you’re not, then you should settle with HDD.