What’s the difference between HDD and SSD? A hard disk drive (HDD) is an old-school storage device that uses mechanical platters and a moving read/write head to access data. A solid-state drive (SSD) is a newer, faster type of device that stores data on instantly-accessible memory chips.
The choice is yours. Until just a few years ago, PC buyers had little choice about what kind of storage to get in a laptop or desktop computer. The traditional spinning hard drive is the basic non-volatile storage on your computer. This information on it does not “go away” when you turn off the system, unlike data stored in RAM. A hard drive is essentially a metal platter with a magnetic coating that stores your data. A read/write head on an arm accesses the data while the platters are spinning.
An SSD does functionally everything a hard drive does, but data is instead stored on interconnected flash-memory chips that retain the data even when there’s no power present. These flash chips are of a different type than the kind used in USB thumb drives, and are typically faster and much more reliable. SSD’s are consequently more expensive than USB thumb drives with the same capacities. The SSD drives are more expensive than the HDD drives. If you’re simply looking for a cheap way to store files, then you can still get a great deal with HDDs. They offer lots of terabytes for budget prices.
But for your “primary” drive (your operating system, application programs, and most-used files), you should upgrade to an SSD, as it offers dramatically improved speeds but at higher cost.
In all cases, SSD or HDD, you’ll need to keep your drive clean. Your operating system requires a lot of disk space to operate – and running low on space can cause extreme slowdowns and even crashes.
When you buy a computer, be sure to evaluate the reason that you use the computer and then determine which drive that you should have on your desktop or laptop computer.