Storage Wars – HDD, SSD or Hybrid


A detailed look at HDD, SSD & Hybrid storage options.–PC Pitstop

Storage Wars – HDD, SSD or Hybrid

Anand Khanse for The Windows Club

With Flash storage devices picking up, you would want to know which type of storage device to buy for yourself. Solid State Disk or SSDs are faster than conventional Hard Disk Drives or HDDs, but a lot costly. There is significant difference between HDDs and SSDs.

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Hybrid Drive vs SSD vs HDD

This article focuses on the difference between Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives and then compares them to Hybrid Drives.

Hybrid Drives, as we have seen yesterday, combine both SSD and HDD where the SSD is used as a cache between Hard Disk and RAM. Hybrid Drives are actually Hard Disk Drives that employ some SSD to act as a cache. They come with a firmware that figures out what data is being required frequently and stores it on the SSD part (cache) of the Hybrid Drives. This results in faster operations with time (as you use the Hybrid Drives). To make the previous statement a little more clear, you will not see any difference in speed of Hybrid Drives initially but as you use the Hybrid Drive – over time – you will notice that your programs and operating system (and other data) are much faster than before.

Hybrid Drives are good for people who need both speed and space. Being part HDD and part SSD, Hybrid drives are less costly while providing you with better storage space. In comparison, Hybrid drives are faster than regular Hard Disks and slower than standalone SSDs, while not compromising on storage space.

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5 thoughts on “Storage Wars – HDD, SSD or Hybrid

  1. “I find I can put all my active files an 240 GB SSD. Then I put inactive files on the hard disk. This saves the overhead of caching and ensures all scratch files go on SSD.”

    If you can afford to lose them when the SSD fails, then carry on.

  2. Great article. I have been out of computer building for awhile, so I don't know a lot about the new technologies in hard drives. It sounds like for me the Hybrid would be a good choice. I have owned and built computers for many years and have at no time had a HDD fail on me. Very lucky as I have had to replace many peoples failed HDD's, but with the Hybrid, space and speed is what I need. Not worried about the fastest most expensive anymore.

    • @Roedy Green:
      For the average consumer, who doesn’t know (or want to) which files are accessed and how often, the hybrid drives are excellent.
      The two drive solution is great if you can afford it and need (or want) the speed, and to some extent for techies, who do take an interest in what goes where and how often. Even so, how many of even the techies among us know which of the many operating system files are used and how often?
      Then extend that to the many and various DLLs in applications that provide functions that you don’t use very often or at all, and the amount of flash you need for the genuinely active files is reduced enormously.
      But of course, if it’s two drives, you can’t split the contents down like that, so you waste expensive flash storage on things you rarely if ever access.
      Hybrids work all this out automatically.
      And you can install them in laptops that only have one drive bay.
      I don’t believe there is any downside to hybrids, as long as the flash portion is greater than your working set of files.

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