HDD

What's the difference between a traditional hard drive and a solid state drive?

Episode 1450

Michelle from Northridge, CA

Leo says that all traditional spinning hard drives are basically the same. They're basically like record players, but instead of vinyl, they use spinning metal plates. Those plates are magnetic, so they can be magnetized. They also have read heads, at least one per platter, which are like the needle on the record player. Except instead of reading the grooves in vinyl, they're reading the magnetic signals coming off the spinning platter. Because it's a computer, everything is recorded as 1's or 0's, and it's very easy with magnetic material to have a charge or no charge.

What's the difference between a traditional hard drive and a solid state drive?

Episode 1407

Michelle from Northridge, CA

Leo says that all traditional spinning hard drives are basically the same. They're basically like record players, but instead of vinyl, they use spinning metal plates. Those plates are magnetic, so they can be magnetized. They also have read heads, at least one per platter, which are like the needle on the record player. Except instead of reading the grooves in vinyl, they're reading the magnetic signals coming off the spinning platter. Because it's a computer, everything is recorded as 1's or 0's, and it's very easy with magnetic material to have a charge or no charge.

Are hybrid drives a good choice for a gaming system?

Sony Playstation 4

Episode 1115

Sam from San Bernardino, CA

Hybrid drives combine both Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives. Since SSDs cost more per gigabyte, it's expensive to buy an SSD big enough to hold everything. So the idea behind hybrid drives is that it would combine the speed benefit of SSD with the capacity benefits of the traditional, spinning drive. It puts both drives in one enclosure and uses smart software to determine what data should go on the SSD and what should go on the hard drive.

What to Look for When Buying a Hard Drive

Since hard drives have become a mature technology, the differences between them are more trivial. However, there are several models that are best for certain tasks. Depending on what the drive will be used for, rotation speed, reliability, storage capacity, and power consumption, may be important factors. But the most dramatic differences are between Hard Disk Drives and the newer Solid State Drives.