June 19, 2016

Having the best of both worlds - SSD and HDD

HDD and SSD serves its own purpose for different users with different needs, but that until today, is a topic that many enthusiasts would still debate on. There are those who suggests that spending extra for a large capacity SSD is the way to go for; others that suggests that SSD isn't really necessary and getting a performance HDD like the WD Black will do just well, and also those who will just go for both in order to have the best of both world.

Personally, we would prefer having an SSD for Operating System and frequently used software, and a decent performance HDD to store large files which seems to be a more practical and cost effective approach compared to getting either a 1TB SSD or 6TB HDD that would cost pretty much the same and having the shortcomings of its own.

It might or might no sound convincing enough to pull someone to team SSD and HDD hybrid with just the statements above, but here are some facts for both HDD and SSD to support our stand:

The Speed Demon - SSD

SSD is known to be shock-proof due to the absent of moving parts and its blazing fast sequential read and write speed that can reach up to 550 MB/s on SATA III and 5000MB/s on PCIe. Installing Operating System to an SSD seems to be the right thing to do now and some even install their frequently used software and games to it as well to reduce the loading time required.

The only shortcoming is that SSD has lower capacity compared to a HDD and it cost more as the capacity increases. Judging from the size of the file size of the game installation nowadays that can reach up to 30GB or more, most SSD that has a capacity of 120GB to 240GB will definitely not suffice for other storage purposes. While there are SSD with TLC and MLC NAND flash which cost lesser than an SLC NAND flash SSD, it will still cost more than any HDD that can deliver few times higher capacity than an SSD. 

The Storage Monster - Hard Drive 

While it might not be able to offer that blazing fast 550MB/s performance like an SSD, an HDD is able to offer a much higher capacity that is more reasonable when it comes to storage purpose. HDD manufacturers like WD, Hitachi, Seagate offers a wide range of HDD that is made to serve different purposes and for WD Black especially, are made for enthusiasts and those who works in the creative industry who requires a fast and reliable HDD for both work and entertainment. There are significant difference in time when it comes to loading large game files, reading and saving large files like RAW images which makes the WD Black superior in a way compared to other mainstream drives like the WD Blue.

Still, that doesn't means that the WD Black is the wonder drive that beats the crap out of other drive. We have done a review on the WD Black 6TB ourselves and when compared against the mainstream WD Blue, it shows minimal to no difference when it comes to normal usage like opening word file, excel file, web browsing and other light task. 

Thoughts and Verdict
You can of course, directly aim for a high speed system with a large capacity SSD i.e: 4TB PCIe SSD or completely reject the existence of an SSD and aim for a high capacity HDD for storage needs, but as an end-user ourselves, we will say that it is more practical to have both SSD and HDD installed in a system where each of the storage devices will be playing a different role: SSD for the operating system and commonly used software which is often preferred for faster access, and HDD as a storage medium that stores larger files such as video, raw image, audio or even game installation.