SSD vs HDD: Which Should You Choose

edited May 24 in Acer Corner

Before you click the button to purchase a brand new or gently used PC, you should always consider which type of hard drive will best suit your everyday computing needs. There are two primary types of hard drives are used in both external and internal applications, namely the hard disc drive (HDD) and the solid-state drive (SSD). HHDs are mechanical and depend on moving parts like arms and discs to carry out PC operations, while SSDs have no mechanical parts and instead use microchips to receive and transfer data. 

There are also hybrid drives known as solid state hybrid drives (SSHD) which included features of both HDDs and SSDs, but they are not an ideal merging of the two forms of technology. Any apps not saved on the SSD portion of the drive will only have the innate speed of HDD to work with, and the drive will need to undergo a learning process to properly speed up the appropriate apps and files. The size of such hybrid drives will also prevent you from purchasing ultrathin and lightweight models of laptops, which can sharply limit your options when purchasing a new PC.

A conventional HDD unit will likely serve you well if you are in the market for a relatively cheap way to store files and keep them safe. As the latest generation of hard drive technology, SSDs have no moving parts required for operations, making them resistant to damage from external sources and much more efficient. In addition, SSD hard drives tend to be smaller in size and can write data anywhere up to fifteen times the speed that HDDs can produce. 

It should be noted that while SSDs are much faster and more resistant to shock, the have a shorter lifespan and are significantly more expensive than HDDs. If you are primarily interested in storing data for longer periods of time like documents, movies, and photos. For those who intend to use their PCs for speedy OS response times, gaming apps with heavy CPU requirements, and frequently used professional apps, SSDs are more than capable.

Qualities to look for in HDD and SSD drives

Security features to ensure that your data is well protected

If you have any experience with typical hard drives, you might be curious about how protected data stored on external hard drives can be if you only need a working PC with a USB port and compatible OS. These concerns can be mitigated because the latest external hard drives now come equipped with security features like password protection which is reinforced through 256-bit AES hardware encryption. This encryption method is used by countries across the globe, including the U.S. government. The time it would take to crack 256-bit AES hardware encryption protection has been calculated, and unless you can wait until the heat death of the universe, the encryption won't be broken.

Easy access to both USB-C and USB 3.1 ports for ease of use

Reasons to buy an external hard drive include transferring files from your old computer to your new one or needing extra protection for your current work PC. Possessing the ability to plug and play with devices from different generations is essential to preserving and transferring your files.

Durability and rugged design features for any accidents that occur

Many consumers have accidentally dropped some expensive electronic equipment harder than intended and had to hope and pray that it did not sustain severe damage. Of course, if your product has been designed to withstand a weight of up to one ton and is resistant to dust, rain, drops and shock, you can rest much easier if it falls out of your laptop bag. All hard drives are not equipped with the ability to prevent such damage and destruction. You should seriously consider if you need to buy a more robust unit for your needs.

Internal vs. external hard drives

While the type of hard drive used by your PC can be crucial to your everyday activities, it is also worth considering what kind of external hard drive would best suit your data storage needs. When it comes to overall storage capacity, HDD is clearly the superior option for its sheer ability to install large amounts of memory. It is also much easier and less expensive to buy or upgrade an HDD’s capacity with up to 16TB per drive, especially when compared to the cost and rarity of large-capacity SSDs.

By choosing to go with an internal HDD, one of the major benefits is that it frees up room in your budget to potentially invest in upgrading other PC components. SSDs are certainly more expensive but offer not only better performance across a range of functions, but they also come in flexible form factors which can be installed in PCs of varying sizes and shapes.

When it comes to external hard drives, HDDs are extremely affordable and an excellent option for those interested in storing personal files offline. For those who want an external hard drive which offers incredible resilience and encryption for truly valuable data, SSD is the way to go if you can afford it.

Should I use HDDs or SSDs?

Although budget is the primary factor when choosing between these two types of hard drive, if you only have the option for a single hard drive, you should go with SSD. It should be noted that PC with multiple drives can enjoy the best of both worlds, but unless you want to go through the time and trouble of installing such a system, SSD is generally the best option.

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