Over the course of just a few years, solid-state drives (SSD) have almost completely supplanted magnetic hard disks (HDD) as the primary storage choice in laptops. However, a new solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD) has been developed, which combines the finest features of both SSDs and hard disk drives.
In this article, we’ll go over the differences between SSDs and SSHDs, as well as how to determine which is the best option for you.
What exactly is an SSHD?
SSH is an abbreviation for a solid-state hybrid drive. In this case, the hard drive is a conventional spinning disk with a tiny portion of rapid solid-state storage integrated in it. A solid-state drive (also known as an SSD) is a kind of storage device that is completely composed of memory chips, rather than the rotating magnetic platters found in a conventional hard disk. The storage capacity is similar to that of a USB thumb drive, but it is much quicker.
So an SSHD is essentially a combination of a hard drive and an SSD, which is why it is referred to as a hybrid drive. Windows (or any other operating system) sees the drive as a single device, and the SSD portion is only utilized for temporary storage to speed up operations; your data is saved permanently on the mechanical disks.
Differences Between SSD and SSHD
SSD is flash storage that is comparable to a USB drive, however, it is much quicker due to the usage of NAND memory. As opposed to conventional hard drives, solid-state hard drives (SSHD) include both a normal hard disk and NAND memory, which acts as a large cache buffer (generally 8 GB). Unlike a traditional hard disk drive, the SSD and hard disk drive components of a solid-state hybrid drive are combined into a single piece of hardware.
Although both hard disk drives are available in 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch sizes, SSDs are also available in the M2 form factor, which is much smaller in size.
SSDs are typically limited to 4 TB of storage capacity, while SSHDs may have capacities of up to 14 TB with an 8GB SSD cache.
In terms of storage capacity, SSDs are still much less capable than conventional hard drives. They are about 4TB in size, but at around £650 / $700 per, they are beyond reach for most people. Even a 1TB device costs about £150 / $150, therefore many customers choose a 250GB or 500GB model, such as the Samsung 860 Evo, which is less expensive. Those are the costs for regular SATA hard drives; NMVe SSDs are much more costly than that.
An SSD with 2TB of storage capacity, such as Seagate’s FireCuda, costs less than £90 / US$90 and is the ideal compromise if you want a good mix of storage space and speed, according to the experts.
An SSHD is still much slower than even a SATA SSD, but it is far quicker than a conventional hard drive. For the most part, an SSD is an excellent option when you need a lot of storage at a fair price. If speed is your first concern, and you want Windows to be more responsive, an SSD is a way to go.
Life Expectancy: SSD vs. SSHD
Many people believe that SSD storage degrades over time as a result of repeated usage and that this is true. However, this is not true (similar to USB drives). That is indeed true for older models, however, failure rates for subsequent generation designs are lower than for earlier versions. SSDs that are now available on the market is much more robust and have a more realistic life cycle.
The TBW (Terabytes Written) parameter for SSDs is an essential life expectancy statistic since it shows how many terabytes of data may be written to the disk throughout its lifespan. Take, for example, the Barracuda SSD 500 GB with 320 TBW shown below. Although it is very improbable that a user would write 100 GB of data every single day (which is highly implausible in a consumer setting), it will take 8.7 years to achieve the SSD’s life expectancy. Indeed, according to the most current projections, the maximum lifespan of SSDs is about ten years.
While using SSHD, you may expect to have an extended working life. According to the manufacturer’s datasheet, this Seagate FireCuda SSHD has a load/unload cycle of 600,000 times per year.
This refers to the power on/off cycle that is controlled by software. In the rare event, if you rebooted and booted your SSHD system 150 times per day for a year (which is very improbable in a consumer setting), the SSHD should survive 10.9 years, which is much longer than the SSD. In practice, SSHD continues to function even after its load/unload cycle rating has been exceeded. It has a lower failure rate due to program cycles than a traditional hard drive since it utilizes both the SSD and HDD parts more effectively than a traditional hard drive.
At the moment, the lifespan values of both SSDs and SSHDs are very high. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about hard drive failure even if you have a lot of use for either. SSHD, on the other hand, is still ahead.
6.Final Verdict: Which Type of Storage Is the Most Appropriate?
If you’re seeking sheer speed, an SSD is unquestionably the superior option for you.
If you are on a tight budget or need additional storage capacity while maintaining the same rapid boot-up time and quick access to commonly used programs, and SSHD is the best option.
If you just need a little amount of storage capacity, you may also make use of a combination of SSD and HDD (as a secondary drive). The SSD is used to store system files and programs, while the HDD is used to store backup data such as pictures, video files, and other files.