12 Differences Between SSHD and HDD

Differences Between SSHD and HDD

It is easy to say that an SSHD or Solid State Hybrid Drive is a hybrid storage solution while Hard Disk Drive is not. However, apart from that the full forms of the acronyms of these two storage solutions do not tell much about the differences between them.

However, it is essential to know the major difference between an SSHD and an HDD in order to make the right choice.

This is an article that contains the major differences and is created to make you knowledgeable. Therefore, continue reading.


  • The traditional Hard Disk Drives contain a spinning mechanical disc and a moving read/write head in it but a Solid State Hybrid Drive comes with both an HDD with moving parts and an SSD with NAND flash memory.
  • The data and information is stored on the mechanical disc of the HDD but in an SSHD the larger files are stored in the HDD and smaller and frequently accessed files are stored in the SSD portion.
  • The operational speed of the traditional HDD is relatively slower than the SSHD because the mechanical disc in the SSHD does not have to spin all the time as it is in the case of an HDD.
  • Data recovery from a faulty HDD is much easier than recovering data from an SSHD because you do not know which part has failed in particular.
  • Traditional HDDs typically come in 7 mm and 15 mm size but an SSHD usually measures either 7 mm or 9 mm.

The 12 Differences Between SSHD and HDD

Differences Between SSHD and HDD

1. Design

The HDDs come with a spinning mechanical disc inside it which reads and writes the data stored on it.

On the other hand, the SSHDs come with both a spinning magnetic disc as in the HDDs as well as an SSD portion with NAND flash memory technology.

Therefore, there are two storage devices in one single device.

2. Storage

In an HDD, all files and data are stored on the spinning mechanical hard disc.

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However, in comparison, only the larger files including photo and media files are stored in the HDD portion of an SSHD for a long time.

The SSD portion holds the files that are used and accessed often.

3. Speed

The speed of operation of the HDDs will be a bit slow in comparison because it will primarily rely on the spinning mechanical disc in it.

On the other hand, the SSHD will be a bit faster in operation because the mechanical disc on it will not have to spin every time you access data or a file if it is not stored in it.

4. Cost Factor

The cost of the HDDs is pretty less as compared to the SSHDs.

The SSHDs are more expensive because they come with additional storage space, a combination of two types of storage and additional firmware.

5. Data Recovery

When a traditional HDD fails, you will not have much difficulty in recovering your data if you know the right way to go about it.

On the other hand, if either part of the hybrid storage fails, the entire SSHD will fail to operate or will be affected.

In that case it will be very hard to recover the files especially due to the fact that you will not know exactly which portion of it has failed.

6. Form Factor

The HDDs are usually available in the market in two different form factors or designs such as 7 mm and 15 mm.

On the other hand, the SSHDs are typically available in two different measures such as 7 mm and 9 mm.

7. Power Efficiency

In terms of power efficiency, the HDDs consume more power because it needs to spin the mechanical disc all the time.

On the other hand, though the SSHDs have a mechanical disc as well, it does not need to spin it often and therefore consumes less power comparatively.

In laptop computers, it helps in saving the battery life considerably.

8. Heat Generation and Failure

It is also due to the fact that the HDDs come with a spinning mechanical disc that generates more heat during operation and is also more vulnerable to damages due to faster wear and tear.

On the other hand, the SSHDs do not need to spin the disc often and therefore are relatively less prone to failure due to less wear and tear. The heat generated is also less due to the same reason.

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9. Reliability

The HDDs are less reliable in comparison to the SSHDs due to several reasons such as its higher susceptibility to failures, and lower endurance to shocks, drops, and temperature.

On the other hand, the SSHDs are more reliable both in performance and efficiency because these are comparatively more enduring to shocks, drops, temperatures and mechanical failure.

10. Interface

The HDDs typically come with two types of interfaces such as SATA or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and PATA or Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment.

On the other hand, the SSHDs typically come with a SATA interface.

11. Noise Factor

The HDDs emit a lot of noise due to the spinning magnetic disk inside it. The SSHDs are, on the other hand, less noisy in comparison to the HDDs.

12. Applications

The HDDs are typically used in general or normal desktop computers and also in some normal laptops.

On the other hand, the SSHDs are typically used in gaming PCs and laptops as well as in high performance computers.

Which is Better – SSHD or HDD?

Differences Between SSHD and HDD

Now, knowing the differences between the HDD and the SSHD may have already helped you to guess which among the two is better to use in your computer.

However, if it still has not, then here are a few more facts about the working process and a few disadvantages of each that will surely help you further in making the right decision.

The platter in the HDD is coated with a magnet on both sides of it.

There are millions of tiny small areas on this platter where the magnetizing and demagnetizing process is carried on.

It is due to this magnetizing action the data on the HDD stays even when the system is switched off.

The data is demagnetized only when you demagnetize it.

When reading and writing, the two read or write heads on each platter move over the platter.

One of these reads the data on top of the platter and the other below its surface.

The data on an HDD is stored in perfect order.

First, the HDD stores a map of those sectors that do not have any data and those that have data on it already.

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While writing, the HDD finds a free sector and writes the new data over it. While reading data, it follows the same process but on the reverse.

The read and write cycles of an HDD is quite long since it has to fetch data all over it which makes it a bit slow in performance.

The SSHD, on the other hand, basically works by using the NAND flash memory.

Though it does not have an enormous amount of it, it is due to its high performance that the SSHD can access the frequently used data stored in the memory very quickly.

The SSHDs usually come with a memory manager which determines which files are to be stored in the SSD portion and which to be stored in the HDD portion.

Therefore, it knows all those files that you use frequently and can access them very quickly.

Therefore, it is good to go for the SSHDs if you want an SSD-like faster performance and also a large storage space like an HDD at a reasonably lower cost than an SSD.

On the other hand, the HDD is typically the default storage of most of the desktop and laptop computers.

It stores every file right from the operating system to the system programs, and from the data files to the installed apps.

The moving actuator arm fetches the data required as well as reads and writes data as and when required.

A serious downside of the HDD is that data can be written in any location which can create some issues at times in case it overwrites the data.

In short, the SSHDs offer a much better and faster performance in comparison to an HDD, but at a higher cost.


As you can see from this article, the differences among the Hard Disk Drives and the Solid State Hybrid Drives help you to determine which one of the two will suit your storage needs in the best possible way.

Follow the information while making a choice in order to gain the highest returns.

About Taylor

AvatarTaylor S. Irwin is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience.

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