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You Need to Know When Choosing a PC: Which Is Better — SSD or HDD?

Every device or computer must have a drive upon which it can save information. For computers, the drive is either an SSD or HDD. And you might wonder which is better: SSD or HDD.

While you may hear a lot about which of these is superior, there is much more you have to know about each option to really get an idea of how they compare. So, we’re here to help you decide which is better: SSD or HDD.

What Is an HDD?

HDD stands for hard disk drive. PC Magazine explains it is the traditional drive used in most computers since the earliest times of computing. In the beginning, HDDs were incredibly large in physical size, but they held very little information.

By the 1980s, they had shrunk in size to 5.25 inches. These days, they are usually 3.5 inches for desktops and 2.5 inches for laptops. Today, you can get an HDD that holds up to 10TB of data.

It is a non-volatile storage option that keeps the information permanently on it. An HDD uses spinning metal platters coated in magnetic material and a read/write head.

You can think of it as a record player with the record as the hard disk and the needle and arm as the transducer. It works in a similar way as the transducer will read information from the hard disk. It can also write information.

What Is an SSD?

SSD stands for solid-state drive. SSDs are a much newer technology than HDD. Intel explains that it gets its name from the fact that it has no moving parts. It is just a solid piece that stores data in integrated circuits. An SSD has the same essential function as an HDD to save data, except it uses flash-memory chips called NAND.

SSDs can be very small. The typical size is 2.5 inches, but that is mainly just to allow it to fit in the standard size spots made for HDDs. They can go much smaller. For example, the M.2, which can mount directly on a motherboard, is about the same size as a stick of gum. Due to the size, SSDs are pretty standard now as the drive on most laptops and desktops except for lower-end models.

When it comes to capacity, there is a difference from HDDs. They used to max out around 2GB, but now the highest is around 8TB. A typical size, though, is 250GB.

Which Is Better: SSD or HDD — A Direct Comparison

In general, HDD and SSD are the same basic thing. They both serve as a drive for a computer and hold permanent data. Either of them can be internal or external. They both can boot your system.

However, there are some very distinct differences that you want to consider. When comparing HDD vs. SSD, you want to think about the following:

  • Size
  • Capacity
  • Speed
  • Cost
  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Power
  • Noise

Size

When it comes to size, SSD wins easily. It just doesn’t have the limitations that an HDD has. You can’t really go smaller with HDDs than the 2.5 inches they are currently. There have been some attempts to reduce the size, but it hasn’t worked.

SSDs can still get smaller and probably will. The only reason many come in at the 2.5-inch size is for compatibility with a system made to accommodate HDDs. There’s no need for them to be so large.

Because SSDs have the ability to be smaller than HDDs, it offers a lot of flexibility in computer design. This is especially important as computers are popping up in smaller and smaller devices, such as watches. It’s also why most laptops on the market have SSDs instead of HDDs.

Capacities

Capacity is where HDD has the edge. It’s not because SSDs cannot offer a lot of storage. It’s because of the cost of a higher storage SSD.

You’ll find that SSDs generally max out at 2TB. Finding something larger is not going to be easy because they just don’t make them for sale to consumers.

On the other hand, HDDs come in sizes up to 10TB, which is incredibly more storage power than 2TB. You have to consider that the more storage your drive offers, the more data you can keep on your computer without affecting function and performance.

Speed

When it comes to speed, which is better, SSD or HDD? SSD wins this race. It comes down to how each type of drive functions.

Because an HDD has moving parts, it takes time for it to warm up and get going. SSDs don’t have this issue. You turn them on, and they are ready to go.

An SSD boots in seconds. It runs programs faster because it can access the stored data quicker. It also transfers data more quickly.

An HDD is slower overall. It has to get the disk moving and read/write it every time you want to access the drive. In addition, an HDD can become fragmented, which means the data is scattered on the drive instead of lying in a continuous block. That cannot happen on an SSD.

When data is not in a block, the HDD has to search around for it to access, which slows it’s functioning down. You can defragment the drive, but that, too, takes time and effort on your part.

Cost

SSDs are more expensive than HDDs. As mentioned, you will get more disk space with an HDD for cheaper. SSDs can be almost double the amount of an HDD with the same storage. A good example is when you compare this SSD to this HDD.

HDD is older technology, so it’s going to remain more budget-friendly. Until things start to even out and SSDs are not the new kid on the block anymore, you can expect to pay more for them.

Durability

Looking again at the general function of each type of drive, you’ll discover that an SSD is much more durable than an HDD. HDDs have moving parts, whereas SSDs don’t. It makes all the difference.

You can’t drop an HDD without the risk of damaging the parts. Even a bump could damage it. This is why laptops usually use SSDs.

Longevity

Longevity is a tricky one. Just looking at the general lifespan, HDDs win. They can wear out from constant use, but it’ll take a very long time.

However, the cells in SSDs can only withstand a certain number of times being written and erased, which is the measurement known as a TBW rating. The TBW rating was fairly low in the past, but technology is advancing, and now an SSD will likely outlive the device it is in.

The bottom line here is that HDDs and SSDs are pretty equal when it comes to longevity.

Power

Again, the moving parts on an HDD are a negative. Because it has the spinning platters and constant need for energy, HDDs will use more power than SSDs. According to Avast, this is a benefit to having SSDs in laptops because they won’t use as much of the battery life.

Noise

Because HDDs have physical parts that move, they will be louder. SSDs make no noise, actually. They are a non-mechanical device. HDD noise may be minimalized due to technological advances, but an HDD is always going to make some sound.

How to Choose Between SSD and HDD

Both options have their pros ad cons. You have to weigh the details and features of each when considering what is best for you. Think about your needs because that will usually dictate which drive is the best choice.

HDD is best

An HDD may be the best choice if you have a lot of data to store. Video collections or other multimedia will take a lot of space. You can easily max out an SSD.

It is also a better purchase if you have a low budget.

SSD is best

For people who stream or use cloud storage for the most part, an SSD may be the best option. It is especially good for those who want portability. Anyone who wants quick data access will also prefer SSD. This type of drive is probably better for anyone who needs to minimize noise, such as musicians recording their own music. It’s also usually the top choice for gamers.

Which Is Better: SSD or HDD?

Returning to the original question, “Which is better: SSD or HDD?” we have to be honest. SSDs are usually going to be superior to HDDs. However, due to budgetary concerns, SSDs may not always work for all users. The bottom line is that you have to consider what you can afford and go from there when choosing which type of drive you will buy.

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PS5 vs Xbox Series: Your All in One Guide to Everything We Know

The PS5 vs. Xbox Series matchup is part of a two-decade struggle between Sony and Microsoft that will likely continue for many more decades to come.

With the holidays quickly approaching, so too are the release dates for these next-generation consoles. On November 10th Microsoft will release its Xbox Series consoles, followed shortly by Sony releasing the PS5 on November 12th.

Unlike most other forms of electronics, newer and better gaming consoles do not come out every single year. This makes the PS5 vs. Xbox Series battle that much more crucial.

Since most of us cannot justify buying both of them at launch, the question becomes which console is most worth our hard-earned cash?

Both Sony and Microsoft have worked tirelessly to win your affection, and choosing between them is not an easy task. Doing so requires careful consideration from a number of different angles.

The Consoles

The first thing we’ll examine in our PS5 vs. Xbox comparison is the various models these consoles come in.

PlayStation 5

For the PS5, it’s pretty straightforward. You can purchase the standard PS5, or you can opt for the Digital Edition, which costs more but comes without a blue-ray player.

It’s worth noting here that on the PlayStation 4, digital games take up the exact same amount of hard drive space as physical copies.

Assuming the same is true for PlayStation 5, there are only a few reasons to want the blue-ray player; For example, if you enjoy collecting the physical copies, you used your PlayStation 4 for playing blue-ray movies, or you have a poor internet connection.

Xbox Series

Microsoft takes a different approach with the Xbox Series. Like the PS5, there is a blue ray version (the Xbox Series X), and a digital version (the Xbox Series S).

Note that unlike on the PS4, physical copies actually do take up less space than digital copies on the Xbox One. However, Microsoft has stated that digital copies on the Series S can take up 30 percent less space.

The main difference here is that unlike the PS5 Digital Edition, the Xbox Series S has completely different hardware from the Series X. In fact, it’s a much less powerful console.

It’s likely that the biggest differences you’ll notice with the Series S compared to the Series X are slightly slower load time and less impressive graphics. But, it’s still a next-gen console!

Financing Xbox Series

You can finance either of the Xbox Series consoles at 0 percent APR for a monthly payment that also includes two years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

This will make the Xbox Series much more accessible to the general public.

Additionally, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate comes with over 100 hundred high-quality games available to play on both PC and Xbox Series consoles.

Design

When it comes to PS5 vs. Xbox Series design, we have to say that Sony has Microsoft beat.

The PlayStation 5 looks like a next-gen console with its white and black color scheme and elegant curves. In our opinion, the Digital Edition looks slightly nicer since the blue-ray player on the standard PS5 looks out of place.

In contrast, the Xbox Series X just looks like a big black box, similar to a computer tower, although slightly smaller than the PS5.

This is where the Xbox Series S shines, however. It is the smallest Xbox console ever and only takes up about a third of the space of the Series X.

Tech Specs

When it comes to hardware, the PS5 vs. Xbox competition is fierce. Both have advantages and disadvantages.  In fact, it’s the subject of much debate, and for us to conclusively say that one is better than the other would be misleading.

The reality is that there are so many variables at play that we won’t know for sure until the console’s release in November. Until then, we can speculate on what we do know.

CPU

CPU is responsible for running through huge strings of code multiple times a second. It handles simulations, AI, physics engines, and more. The processor is what determines how fast your CPU is.

Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X use an 8-core AMD Zen 2 Processor. However, the Series X processor clocks at 3.8 GHz while the PS5’s comes in at 3.5 GHz.

Will gamers notice the difference? Probably not, especially because games made for the Series X also need to be playable on a PC.

Because the PS5 has more exclusive titles, developers may actually push the limits of its CPU further than those designing games for both PC and Xbox.

GPU

The graphics card determines the GPU, which in turn, affects draw distance and how quickly your console can update complicated graphics on your television screen.

Again, both the PS5 and Series X use the same card, which is an ADM RDNA 2. But again, the Series X comes out on top with 12.0 teraflops vs. the 10.3 of the PS5.

There are many other factors that come into play here, but teraflops are meant to give a general idea of which is faster.

This certainly suggests that the Xbox Series X has the advantage, but we can’t know for sure.

Storage and load times

Where Sony shines in the PS5 vs. Xbox Series mashup is in its hard drive.

The Xbox Series does have a full terabyte of space, whereas the PS5 only has 825 gigabytes. That is a 20 percent difference, so it’s nothing to turn your nose up at.

However, both consoles allow you to upgrade your storage space anyway.

What really matters is the speed of the hard drives. HDD speed determines how quickly games can update with new patches, and most importantly, how long loading screens take.

The PS5’s hard drive speed is two to four times faster than that of the Series X. It’s been shown that PS5 load times will be virtually instantaneous.

Keep in mind, though, that the Series X is still much faster than the Xbox One.

Everything else

When it comes to every other spec, the PS5 vs. Xbox Series X comparison is moot.

Both consoles have 16 gigabytes of RAM and can handle 8k resolution (whenever that happens) and up to 120 frames per second.

Xbox Series S

Of course, the Series S just does not match up to the other consoles when it comes to tech specs.

But, if you’re a casual gamer who doesn’t feel like dropping more than $300 for a new console, the Series S might be for you. It also takes up way less space, which is certainly a plus.

Xbox Series Remote Play

One advantage Microsoft has in the PS5 vs. Xbox Series showdown is the ability to play games remotely from phones and tablets.

That’s right; you can stream Xbox games directly to your touchscreen devices without the need for a television.

Do this using an Xbox controller, or purchase the Razer Kishi, which is a controller that attaches to your phone. Microsoft also sells a mobile gaming clip for clipping your phone to a standard controller.

It gets better. You can also download Xbox Series games on your Windows 10 PC at no additional cost. Your save files will be seamlessly synced between PC and console.

Controllers

Next up in the PS5 vs. Xbox Series arena is a detailed look at each consoles controllers.

Xbox

In terms of design, the new Xbox controller is basically a slightly smaller version of the old one, albeit with the enhanced D-Pad found on the Elite wireless controller from Xbox One. ‘

Like its predecessor, it uses AA batteries instead of having a built-in rechargeable battery. If you want to charge your controllers, Microsoft offers a battery pack and USB-C cable or $25.

Fortunately, the Xbox Series controllers are still only $60 a piece. You can also use Xbox One controllers on your Series console, which is an excellent cost saver.

However, the new controllers have incredibly low latency, meaning there’s virtually no time between when you press a button and when the game reacts. So, you may just want to upgrade.

The low latency is a difference of milliseconds, but can certainly give you an edge against opponents. You can also use your new controllers to play older games.

Finally, it’s worth noting that traditionally Xbox controllers have been more comfortable than PlayStation’s.

PlayStation 5

In contrast to the Series controller, the PS5 DualSense controller looks significantly different from its predecessor.

It’s a little bulkier, which most people agree is a step in the right direction. The black and white color scheme matches the futuristic aesthetic of the console.

It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery pack and a USB-C cable but is $70 instead of $60. Also, when the battery dies, you pretty much just have to buy a new controller.

The DualSense uses enhanced haptic feedback vibration technology for more immersion. This means that different actions have a distinct vibration; For example, shooting an assault rifle is a different sensation from shooting a pistol.

The dynamic adaption triggers offer different levels of tension, depending on the action. Drawing a bowstring feels very different from swing a sword, for instance.

This controller also has motion technology. It probably won’t be utilized as much as on the Nintendo Switch, but it is nice to have.

Finally, a built-in microphone and speaker on the controller lets you voice chat without a headset. Of course, a quality headset is still preferred.

Virtual Reality

When it comes to PS5 vs. Xbox Series VR, it’s no contest. That’s because the Xbox Series consoles will not include any kind of VR capabilities at launch.

According to Microsoft, not enough people are asking for VR for them to implement it.

On the other hand, the PlayStation 5 will definitely have VR.  However, we don’t know much about it at this point. What we can say is that existing PSVR games from the PS4 will likely look much better on the PS5 as a direct result of the improved hardware.

Our research tells us that virtual reality is a quickly expanding market, so we expect to see exciting things coming with it in the future.

Games

Who wins the PS5 vs. Xbox Series battle for supremacy may very well depend on which games are available and when.

It’s no secret that PlayStation has more exclusive titles than the Xbox. For many people, wanting to play games from franchises like Spiderman, God of War, and Devil May Cry will be more than enough reason to buy a PS5.

One huge PS5 exclusive title that is sure to attract a lot of customers is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Legacy, an open-world Harry Potter game that we’re all very excited about.

But Microsoft has leaned into this fact brilliantly by making it so that games you buy digitally on Xbox are also available on your PC at no extra charge.

That, combined with the ability to play games remotely from touchscreen devices, means you can comfortably play games anywhere in your house (assuming you have a good internet connection).

PS5 Launch Titles

Here is a list of every new game that available on the PS5 from day one:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Destruction All Stars
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • Fortnite
  • Godfall
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Xbox Series S and X Launch Titles

And now for Xbox’s turn:

  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  • Bright Memory
  • Dirt 5
  • FIFA 21
  • Fortnite
  • Gears Tactics
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • The Falconeer
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Older Games

While these lists are rather short, they don’t tell the whole story of PS5 vs. Xbox Series day one games.

Games you purchased for the Xbox One and PlayStation 5 are playable on their next-gen counterparts and will likely look significantly better.

The Xbox Game Pass comes with over 100 games, and the PlayStation Plus bundle will also include a long list of older titles.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series: The Battle Rages On

Sony and Microsoft have developed very different ideologies for their next-gen consoles. While Sony continues to leverage its PlayStation- exclusive titles advantage, Microsoft has gone after flexibility and accessibility.

The PS5 looks and feels more futuristic with its fancy new controller, sleek design, and ability to play virtual reality. However, the Xbox Series consoles are much more affordable with the ability to finance and integrate seamlessly with your Windows 10 PC.

Which console do you think wins the PS5 vs. Xbox Series grudge match? Let us know in the comments below!