While there are merits to both Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives, the choice at this point is clear — you need an SSD. The price advantage HDDs once held is quickly slipping, and unless you have 1TB or more of data to store, you should buy a system with an SSD. They provide a noticeable bump in performance during boot-up times and data movement, often clocking in at five times faster than the speeds possible on an HDD.
First, let’s take a look at the difference in size — meaning data capacity — between hard drives and solid state.
It isn’t difficult to find HDDs with several terabytes worth of storage. In contrast, SSDs don’t hold quite as they become prohibitively expensive over 2TB, and are more expensive along the way. When comparing storage capacity, HDDs currently beat out SSDs. Of course, SSDs come with their own advantages over HDDs, which we’ll discuss more later.
HDDs have been the standard for desktops and many laptops, as their large storage capacities mean one doesn’t have to worry about running out of storage space too quickly, and their magnetic storage method means they have near-infinite read/write capabilities.
Storage capacity — while certainly the most important criteria to consider when buying a hard drive — is not the only difference between these two technologies. On the next page, we cover how HDDs and SSDs differ in terms of speed, form factor, and durability.