What is the difference between SSD, HDD and SSHD

SSD, HDD and SSHD are different hard drive technologies that allow booting the operating system, running applications and storing personal files, each type of drive has its own set of unique characteristics.

Solid state drives (SSDs) are beginning to replace hard disk drives (HDDs) in many personal computers. While SSDs are becoming more and more popular, due to speed they still don’t compete on price.

The standard hard drive (HDD) has been the predominant storage device in desktop computers. The main advantage of hard drives is storage size and low cost. Computer manufacturers can include large hard drives at a lower cost.

A hybrid hard drive (SSHD) is significantly faster than a mechanical drive, has a cache algorithm that allows the operating system and program files to be stored in solid-state memory, offers the speed of solid-state drives with a reading mechanism similar to hard disk drives.

Let’s see the main differences between SSD, HDD and SSHD disks

Form factor

With no moving parts, SSD products are thinner and smaller than HDDs and SSHDs. They are used especially in laptops, since they allow their design to be thinner and lighter. SSDs are available in 5mm and 7mm height. HDD hard drives are available in 7mm (standard) and 9.5mm. Hybrids originally came in 9mm, but 5mm and 7mm hybrid discs are also available.


HDD hard drives have large storage capacity, currently more than 10TB. Seagate offers a 60TB HDD in 2016. SSHD technology can be found with a maximum capacity of 6TB. While the slightly more expensive SSDs have up to 1 or 2 TB of capacity. Since 2014 ScanDisk offers 4TB SSDs and promises 8 and 16TB SSDs.


SSD provides maximum performance for the operating system to boot. In addition to being faster in the reading / writing process. SSHD provides similar but slower performance than SSD for booting, launching and data loading. Hard drives are slower than their counterparts.


Low capacity SSDs like 32GB to 64GB are affordable compared to approx 1TB SSDs. $600+. HDD hard drives offer the lowest cost per gigabyte 1TB $50+. SSHD is somewhere in the middle between solid state drives and 1TB hard drives $80+.


Failure rates for SSD, HDD, and SSHD technologies have very similar ratings. SSHD hybrids have more benefit as it efficiently utilizes portions of SSD and HDD.


Solid state drives are considered more durable because they do not use mechanical parts, they can better withstand external factors such as shocks, temperature and liquids compared to hard drives and hybrids.


The hard drive works best with large files that are stored in contiguous blocks. When hard drives start to fill up, large files can become spread all over the disk platter, this is known as fragmentation. SSDs are faster as they do not have a physical read head but a memory controller chip.


Even the quietest hard drive and hybrids will emit a bit of noise when in use, due to the movement of the arm that holds the read/write head. The noise increases if the equipment has suffered some type of blow. SSDs emit practically no noise at all, since they have no mechanical parts.

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