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Solid-State Hybrid vs Solid-State. What’s the difference?

Solid-State has become a standard for performance machines, but how does the Solid-State Hybrid drive stack up in comparison?


In today’s ever expanding PC storage market, the options for replacing aging technology continues to grow. Just a few years ago the only options for storage came by way of the aging tech of platter drives and how much RPM did one have. Now the market is saturated with multiterabyte platter drives, lightning-fast solid-state drives, and an emerging middle ground of the new hybrid drives. How do you decide which drive is best for your system?

Solid State Hybrid Drive

The acronym SSHD stands for Solid State Hybrid Drive and include drives that attempt to combine the best features of Solid State Drives (SSD) and Hard Disk Drives (HDD). On the one hand, the HHD style provides massive amounts of accessible storage on single or double stacked platters with access speeds determined by the rotations per minute (RPM) value.

Opposite of the HDD, the SSD operates using NAND (Negated AND logic gate) Flash memory which offers superior access speeds while having a more limited size and self-life. The SSHD combines these two types of drive systems by including a small amount of NAND Flash memory with a large conventional HDD allowing for increased boot operation speeds and consistent and longer-life data storage.

Solid-State Drives

Solid State Drives operate using a type of flash memory called NAND or Negated AND which is a type of logic gate that allows for the storage and access of data. This style of storage uses no moving parts, which allows for faster access times when compared to the spinning platter design of conventional HDD. Generally, the random access times of a SSD are 0.1 ms with read latency times that are negligible due to the data being read directly from the storage location. Compare this speed to the average HDD random access time of 7ms and the benefits of a SSD become clearer.

So, Which One?

Ultimately, the choice between SSHD and SSD comes down to personal preference and price. If the per/GB price of nearly $1 seems fair and the specter of high-use drive failures are not an issue, then the amazing access speeds of a SSD make it a great choice. If price is a significant issue but you need to increase the speed of commonly used programs on your system, then the moderately priced SSHD seem to make an excellent fit. Either choice will give your system a significant performance boost.

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