hard drive stack

SSD (Solid State Drives) drives have been around for several years now and are finding their way into almost every new computer. But what about the good ol’ HDD (Hard Disk Drive)? is the HDD’s days numbered? Not exactly. Read on for our SSD vs HDD evaluation.

Performance: Winner SSD

Performance of an SSD drive is hands down better than a HDD when measured in seek time and data transfer rate. These drives are often 5x or more faster than their mechanical counterparts. Performance matters most in boot time, application load time, and where data is frequently accessed. Desktop computers, application and infrastructure Servers.

Durability: Tie

SSD drives are more durable when it comes to parts wearing out, damage from drops or shock. A great place for SSDs is in portable computers (laptops and tablets, smartphones etc). But when it comes to wearing out from constant writes, the HDD is still the champ. A good example of this is database workloads and video DVR/NVR systems.

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Storage Size: Winner HDD

There is no doubt the biggest drives are mechanical. If you need to store a lot of data, you’re looking for 10+ TB mechanical HDDs. SSDs of that size are very rare and very expensive.

Value: Tie

This may be a topic of a bit of controversy. Perceived value is a opinion and it is difficult to measure. Where you will use the drive will determine it’s value. More space or faster performance?

We know HDDs come in larger sizes for the same cost as a similarly priced SSDs. Dollars per Gigabyte the HDD is still the winner.

If you don’t need the storage, there is virtually no difference between a small SSD (250GB) and a small HDD (500GB) in price these days. A great example of this is an office workers desktop computer or laptop.

If you’re storing your data in the cloud or on your Network Attached Storage device most of that empty storage on your PC will go to waste. For that situation the SSD is the clear, best choice. However if you are upgrading your NAS, you’ll not need the performance of an SSD. You’re more concerned about storage capacity and write durability. The HDD is the clear, best choice in that situation.


Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives (mechanical) each have a use and a place in the market and both can be used to fill all storage use cases. However, the best device for the job is the one that is designed to do that job. The final word in our SSD vs HDD comparison: Performance – hands down the SSD wins. Storage – no comparison the mechanical HDD wins.

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