SSD vs. HDD

Choosing a Drive that’s Right for You
Which is better for me, SSD or HDD?

The answer depends on you, and how you use your computer - both have advantages and disadvantages.
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SSD

Solid State Drives (SSDs), including embedded flash drives, have become more and more popular. With no moving parts, they can read, write, and access data faster than HDDs. Many computers and tablets are now equipped with an SSD pre-installed instead of a traditional hard drive. Solid state drives typically access data faster, accelerate apps, and speed-up a computer’s boot-up time.

Best for quicker file access

Best for application acceleration

Best for quicker boot-ups

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HDD

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) have been a trusted data storage device for decades now. They are typically lower in price than SSDs and are available in higher capacities. Their biggest advantage is being able to store lots of data cheaply. However, moving parts, vibration, and high temperatures have always been a potential issue with HDDs.

Best for storing large amounts of data

Best for price per GB

Key areas to focus on when deciding if an SSD or an HDD is better for you is: Durability, Capacity, and Speed.
Which is more durable, HDD or SSD?

SSDs are lighter in weight than HDDs, use less power, and have virtually no vibration - due to no moving parts. They can also survive an accidental drop better than an HDD. SSDs store data electronically on ‘cells’, which makes data access quicker than a spinning HDD.

Generally, SSDs can be more durable than HDDs when it comes to portability and accidental drops. Some ruggedized SSDs like the My Passport SSD can withstand drops from up to 1.98 meters (onto a carpeted surface), whereas the same drop could potentially damage an HDD device.

HDDs are still in use by big institutions like banks, governments and datacenters because the price per GB is less than that of SSDs – and when you’re dealing with huge amounts of data, cost becomes a factor quickly. If durability is important when you’re working on-the-go, there are portable drives like ArmorATD that can stand up to the jostles and tumbles of the outside world.

ArmorATD and My Passport SSD
G-SPEED Shuttle XL with Thunderbolt 3
How much capacity do I need?

The amount of personal data we generate from documents, photos, music and multimedia is growing at an exponential rate. HD video files and high-resolution photos are larger than ever, requiring more and more reliable storage capacity.

Solid state drives are designed for speed, but not necessarily for capacity. That’s where traditional hard drives come in. They cost less per GB than SSDs and are available in massive capacities, up to 14TB in a single device (and over 100TB* in a multi-drive RAID device like G-Technology’s G-SPEED Shuttle XL with Thunderbolt 3).

*As used for storage capacity, 1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = one trillion bytes. Actual user capacity may be less, depending on operating environment and RAID/JBOD configuration.

Drive Capacity* Music1 or Video2 or Photos3
500GB 125K 30 80K
1TB/1000GB 250K 60 160K
2TB/2000GB 500K 120 320K
4TB/4000GB 1M 240 640K
6TB/6000GB 1.5M 360 960K
8TB/8000GB 2M 480 1.28M
12TB/12000GB 3M 720 1.92M

*Values in media columns reflect storage potential of only that media respectively, not multiple or all media columns combined.

1The number of songs is based on a 3.5MB MP3 file. Examples of the number of songs that can be stored are provided for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on content, file compression, file format, file size, host device, pre-loaded files, settings, software and other factors.

2The number of hours for videos is based on the 1920x1080 Full HD @ 30fps, 145MB/min, DV format. Examples of the hours of video that can be stored are provided for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on bit rate, content, file compression, file format, file size, host device, pre-loaded files, resolution, settings, software and other factors.

3The number of photos is based on a 16MP, 5.5MB JPEG file. Examples of the number of photos that can be stored are provided for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on resolution, content, file compression, file format, file size, host device, pre-loaded files, settings, software and other factors.

How much speeeeeed do I really need?

SSDs can access, read, and write files faster than HDDs. SSDs access data electronically through ‘cells’ that can be written and rewritten thousands of times.

HDDs utilize rotational platters and an actuator arm to access files by locating them on the platter then moving to that location to read the data.

Speed is an advantage in business – especially when dealing with large amounts of files.

WD Red SA500 NAS SATA SSD
WD Black Performance Mobile HDD

WD Black Performance Hard Drive and WD RedSA500 NAS SATA SSD
Speed is an advantage in business – especially when dealing with large amounts of files.
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Gaming

A fast SSD or HDD will give you an advantage in game loading speeds, so you can access your game data faster.

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Operating System

Replace the HDD with an SSD or add an SSD to an HDD system to significantly speed-up boot time and accelerate application load times.

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Fast Data Transfer

A faster HDD or SSD will greatly decrease the time it takes to transfer, write, or read data. This is key when managing large files or large amounts of files.

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Quick File Access

Because SSDs have no moving parts, they can access files faster than an HDD, which has to spin-up and find the files.

Find A Hard Drive

Western Digital makes a wide variety of Hard Drives ranging form 500GB to 14TB in capacity.

Find A Solid Sate Drive

Western Digital makes SSDs with a wide variety of capacities and form factors.