On paper, storing capacity, form factor, and price may look like all the difference between HDD, SSD and NVMe. Wait! There is a lot more to it. HDD vs SSD have striking differences in how they work, their power usage, speed, and performance. Whether you already have an SSD in your laptop or looking to buy one, it’s essential to know the differences between the types of drives.
In this blog, you’ll learn about the difference between HDD, SSD and NVMe and whether it is worth spending extra for a specific drive?
You may also like:
- 10 Best Laptops in Pakistan Price, Specs & Other Details
- USB Price in Pakistan
- 10 Best Laptops Under 50000 in Pakistan
Types of Drives
There are three types of drives depending on the structure, performance and technology. Let’s talk about each in detail.
Is HDD, and How Do They Work?
HDD stands for Hard Disk Drivers; they were invented almost 50 years ago. Since then, the fundamental principle of these drivers has remained the same. However, significant improvements were made in their size for data storage. Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) has been used as a default interface for HDD since 2003. SATA hard drives are commonly referred to as HDDs.
HDDs comprise a spinning disk or platter made up of glass or aluminum. The disk is magnetically coated to read and write data on it. A Read and Write arm prints data on the drive.
The majority of the process in HDD is mechanized.
So how do these simple data storing devices work? The answer is simple. When any data is accessed, the magnetic disk inside the HDD begins to spin at a preset rate of 4200 rpm to 7200 rpm. The higher the speed, the quicker your laptop/pc will be able to read/write the data.
There are specific concentric circles called tracks on the disk. These tracks are further classified into sectors. Any data stored is assigned a unique address in an orderly manner to achieve the best possible read and write speeds. The stored data isn’t just printed; it has to go through a process of electrical circuits which filters the data and corrects any errors found.
- A lot of storage options are available
- Fragile as data can be lost due to electrical or mechanical shock
What is an SSD, and How Do They Work?
SSD stands for Solid-State Drives, which were invented in 1978. The first SSD was RAM-based, later replaced by flash memory in 1989. Latest SSDs use the same flash memory structures to store the data. There is no mechanical input, and the data is stored in electronic form on flash-memory chips. These flash chips are also referred to as NAND despite having a similar configuration to a USB and using different mechanisms for storing the data.
SSDs are known for their compact size and high performance. You might have seen gum stick sized SSDs that can be directly installed on the board. These types of SSDs are known as M2. Computer manufacturers now prefer SSD due to their small size and having more room for batteries, speakers, or other components.
Data read/write speeds and transfer speeds vary according to the manufacturer, so there isn’t an exact number. However, the lowest-performing SSDs are still more capable than decent HDDs. The prices of SSDs are usually 2-4 times higher than HDDs.
- Fast data read and write speeds
- Durable than HDDs
- Cost 2-4 times more than HDD
- Not many storage options are available
What is an NVMe, and How Do They Work?
Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) was introduced in 2013, and it’s still the fastest drive in the market. NVMe is a type of SSD that’s attached to the mainboard via PCI express. These slots were initially designed for graphic cards, which explains why the data transfer speeds are blazing fast. NVMe drives can do an interface speed of 32 Gb/s with a throughput of 3.9 Gb/s.
If you do lots of intensive work like video editing and high-resolution applications, NVMe should be your go-to. However, consider the following pros and cons when choosing NVMe over SSD and HDD.
- Extremely fast
- Very slim form factor
- Extremely expensive
- Not all BIOS can support NVMe. You may have to replace the whole main board, which is quite expensive.
SSD vs HDD vs NVMe: Which is Best For Your Laptop/PC?
If you have read this far, you know each drive has inherent advantages. Recently, budget and premium laptops come with a preloaded SSD or NVMe as a standard boot driver. Only the lower tier models and low-budget PCs use HDDs as a storage option these days.
If you have the budget for an NVMe drive, go for it. Otherwise, SSD comes out to be the next best option with its outstanding performance and value for money aspect. HDDs are not recommended since they offer low speeds.
Which drive do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments below.