Do I need a mechanical hard drive or SSD?

When choosing a server, one of the most important decisions you'll make is whether you want a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD).

For those of you frightened by computer jargon, this decision may seem daunting, but understanding these technologies is really pretty simple.

In this article, we'll explain the difference between SSD and HDD memory to help you decide which one is best for you. Read on and choose with confidence.

What is the Difference Between SSD and HDD Memory?

The classic, magnet-based hard drive that makes the whirring noise when you boot your computer up is an HDD.

HDD memory is almost as old as computers themselves. Dating back to 1956, when IBM released the 650 RAMAC, which held a total of 3.75MB.

Since then, hard drives have become the standard tool for long-term data storage.

SSDs are a recent phenomenon (developed in the late aughts), but they're quickly taking market share from HDDs.

The principal difference between SSD and HDD is that HDDs is mechanical and magnetic, while SSDs are electrical.

An HDD consists of a read head (kind of like on a record player) and a magnetic disc where it stores all the data. This disc spins while the read head either reads data from it or writes data to it.

An SSD is made up of a sequence of flash memory chips with no moving parts.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each

Boot up Speed

When a server boots up, the first thing it needs to do is load its operating system from memory. If it has an HDD, it has to start spinning the disc and read all the information with the read head: a time-consuming process.

A server with an SSD drive will boot up much quicker.

Read/Write Speed

Even once the server is running, SSD drives are faster than HDD drives. Moving files, reading files, and saving files are all quicker with an SSD drive.


Although SSD drives continue to get cheaper, they're still usually two to four times as expensive (per GB) as hard drives.


HDD drives are very sensitive to impact. If you drop your computer, it can easily damage the read head or disc, whereas an SSD will be much more resilient.

Energy Efficiency

An SSD drive won't waste any energy on mechanical processes or friction. This means a server with SSD memory will tend to use less power.


When an HDD saves a file, it attempts to write all the parts of the file in a neat row on the disc. However, if the disc is almost full, it may need to put different parts of the file in different places, leading to messy inefficiencies.

Because an SSD retrieves everything electronically, it doesn't matter where it stores its data.

Which Should You Choose?

If you plan on storing a lot of information on your server and you don't want to spend a lot of money, go with a classic HDD. But, if you want speed and efficiency, an SSD is the way to go.

Check out our SSD based cloud servers for fast and efficient hosting. And feel free to contact us if you have any other questions about the difference between SSD and HDD.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our blog for more great information.

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