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SSD Vs HDD: Which Storage Unit Is the Best Fit for Your Custom PC?

17 Feb 2020

No PC builder can escape the decision: SSD or HDD? Your storage is among the more important PC components in your system. SSD and HDD storage devices both have their unique strengths and weaknesses. 

So, which one is right for you? Do you pay more for higher performance in an SSD storage, or get more storage for your buck with HDD? The answer depends on what you want to get out of your custom build. Continue reading to learn whether SSD or HDD storage is the right choice for you.



What is SSD Storage?

Let’s start with the SSD or solid state drive storage. SSD storage is a collection of several, interconnected flash microchips. SSD storage is newer technology than HDD, and is built for faster, more powerful performance. In an SSD, information is stored on the microchips, which means that no moving parts are necessary to access data stored in the drive. An embedded processor reads and writes data from within. SSD technology is only a little more than a decade old, beginning in the late 2000s and have been gaining in popularity – and dropping in price – ever since.


Pros and Cons of SSD Storage

SSD storage is high-performance technology compared to HDD. That means much faster storage (several times faster than hard drives) and loading times, but less value capacity. In other words, you’ll pay more than you would for HDD, and receive less storage capacity. But the SSD units are more durable and reliable because they have no moving parts. Also, because SSD storage contains no moving parts, your computer will make less noise, vibrate less, and generate less heat. Solid state drives can keep your data secure for up to a whopping 200 years.


What is HDD Storage?

Believe it or not, HDD or hard disk drive storage is very old technology. Hard drives have been an integral part of computing since the mid-1950s. Unlike SSD, hard drives use magnetism to store data on spinning discs. The quality of an HDD’s performance depends on how quickly the disc can spin. Most computers have disc rotations at either 5,400 or 7,200 RPM.


HDD technology has been refined for decades, and nowhere is this more evident than in their storage capacity. Multiple terabyte hard disc drives are easy to find, often at lower prices than an SSD unit with fewer than 500 GB.


Pros and Cons of HDD Storage

HDD storage is simpler technology than SSD storage. HDD units are also much less reliable than SSDs, due to the wear of moving parts. Their moving parts mean they require more battery power to operate, and the spinning of the disc can cause noise, vibrations, and greater heat output from your computer. HDD storage suffers from slower boot up and storage times because a hard drive must physically move its reader to the data location on the disc. Lastly, in terms of lifespan, most hard drives don’t compare to the SSD counterpart – they only last around three to four years.


Despite these old-tech drawbacks, they do provide much greater value when it comes to sheer storage capacity – think brawns over brains. HDD units work out to a value of about $0.04 NZD per gigabyte of storage, versus nearly $0.30 NZD for SSD storage. That difference adds up quickly when we are considering storage capacities of thousands of gigabytes.


Why does SSD vs HDD storage matter for gaming?

When it comes to actual gameplay performance, your computer’s hard drive doesn’t actually matter much. Both SSD and HDD can deliver the requisite frame rates for a great gaming experience. What really matters is the effect these different hard drives will have on your games boot times. The more powerful read and write times for SSD means that they can load large game files at least twice as fast.


Once your game starts, the drive you use won’t make a huge difference, but an SSD will get you to the starting line a lot quicker.


NVMe SSDs - New trend of PC storage 

It’s an acronym that you’ve seen attached to many new SSDs. What on earth does it mean? NVMe – Non-Volatile Memory Express is a storage device specification that lets the SSD take advantage of the high bandwidth of the motherboard’s PCI Express bus. In English this means that there are less restrictions on the max speed of the drives and so you’ll see a significant increase in the max speed of the SSDs. Gen 4 NVMe drives are SSDs that use PCIe 4.0 lanes on the latest motherboards to reach even higher data transfer rates. It's great option to maximize power and speed in high-end gaming PC.


Find all the Drives you need in one place

Need more tech help? The Computer Lounge experts can help! For more information about computer parts, visit our Auckland store or contact the experts at Computer Lounge today.

If you’re looking for storage now, whether you’re opting for the thoroughbred power of an SSD unit or the tried-and-true value of an HDD, you’ll find the best of what you’re looking for at Computer Lounge. Shop storage components here


Author:

Computer Lounge