At a low price, the HDD offers high storage space, while the SSD provides lightning-fast access speeds at a higher cost. Used together, PC users can easily access their most important files through the SSD, while on their less costly HDD they can store media and other large files.
However, you should know that HDDs and SSDs are not all designed the same before you start shopping for storage. Each form of the drive has several different variables that affect storage space, speed, and compatibility with the device.
What is the Difference Between SSD and HDD?
SSDs have the same function as HDDs: for long-term use, they store data and files. The distinction is that SSDs use a form of memory called “flash memory,” which is identical to RAM—but the data on an SSD survives even when it loses power, unlike RAM, which clears its data once the device runs down.
You’d see a stack of magnetic plates with a reading needle-sort of like a vinyl record player if you take apart a standard HDD. The plates have to rotate around to the correct position before the needle can read or write data.
On the other hand, to send and receive data rapidly, SSDs use a grid of electrical cells. These grids are divided into sections called “pages,” and information is stored on these pages. Pages are clumped together to form blocks.
As they have no moving parts, SSDs are called “solid-state”.
Only an empty page can be written by SSDs in a block. In HDDs, data can be written at any time to any position on the plate, which means that information can be easily overwritten. SSDs can’t overwrite data on individual pages directly. In a block, they can only write data to empty pages.
How to Use SSD and HDD on the Same Computer?
- Place the things that you always need to read on the SSD. Besides, installing your device and frequently-used software on the SSD is recommended, so that your machine can run even faster. The pace of an SSD would help both programs—long load times will be shorter, and shorter load times will become almost instantaneous. Thus, those that you use most frequently are the most relevant applications to carry on your SSD. Productivity applications such as Office, photo editors, and all browsers will benefit from the speed.
- Video games are another group of apps that derive a huge gain from an SSD. SSD speeds reduce load times significantly, so you might want to install the games that you still play on that drive. But because hundreds of gigabytes are taken up by many modern games, you may only have space for one or two.
- Moving files from your SSD to HDD later is easy. Simply pick the files you want to delete from your SSD in File Explorer and click Ctrl + X to cut them. Then browse to a new position on your HDD, and to paste the cut files, click Ctrl + V. Bear in mind that this can only be done with user data, such as photographs and videos. Usually, cutting and pasting program details to a new drive would not work (unless it’s a portable app), so you’re best off uninstalling and reinstalling the new spot. If you install a new program or download a large file, think about whether you want it to load quickly and whether your limited SSD space is worth using. That will assist you in deciding where to put it.
- TRIM features are the key reason why an SSD can operate better than an HDD. Therefore, you should allow the TRIM option on your PC to get the most from SSD.
- SSD would not be able to function as quickly as before with no free space. It’s because the SSD would suffer from repetitive writing without enough free space, thus destroying the blocks in use. Therefore, the data files such as movies, music, and other large files, are best stored on HDD.
- Defragging an HDD speeds up the drive and greatly improves its performance. The SSD should never, however, be defragged. Other than HDD, SSD functions differently. Defragging will not increase the efficiency of SSDs.
Though SSDs are superior to HDDs in most instances, we’ve seen how to use them in equilibrium. Hopefully, you will soon be able to upgrade to a larger SSD. But you can handle your files between drives until then.