SSHD Vs SSD: Are Hybrid Drives Better Than SSD?

When it comes to the parts of a computer, the storage is pretty much the most interesting component. On one hand, you are presented with the choice of going with speed and overwhelming performance with the Solid State Drive (SSD) and on the other, you have the option of going with capacity in the form of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD).

For someone using a desktop computer, you can decide on going with either of the drives or even both. However, for someone using a laptop, who cannot have both the speed of the SSD and the capacity of the HDD, there is the option of going with the hybrid drives known as the Solid-State Hybrid Drives.

Find yourself stuck between SSHD vs SSD and wondering which you should go with? Here is a simple explanation that will put you through.


What is the Solid-State Hybrid Drive?

The solid-state hybrid drive is a storage solution that is designed with the moving part of the HDD (spinning hard disk) as well as the flash and controller that is available in the solid-state drive. What this means is that it serves you both the HDD and SSD in one drive.

It is not out of place for people to make the SSHD vs SSD comparison because, on the surface, the drive looks very much like the HDD. It comes with a 2 ½ or 3 ½ inch form factor and is placed into a single SATA port just like the HDD.

That said, inwardly, it is neither the HDD nor is it an SSD. It makes use of a controller that is designed to manage both the spinning platter of the HDD and the flash of the SSD.

Although the two drives are separate even though they appear as one to your computer, you cannot decide what data should be stored where. However, with time, your computer will learn what files you access the most and give them a priority by placing them in the flash of the HDD.

What is Solid State Drive?


The solid-state drive is a storage technology that is designed to offer you better performance than the traditional HDD. It makes use of the flash memory to store your files, giving it the extra performance boost. More so, it does not have moving parts like the HDD which makes it less energy consuming and reduces heat on your computer as well as the noise that you get with the HDD.

This NAND-based flash storage is a non-volatile memory, which means that it doesn’t need power to store what you put on it. It doesn’t forget even when the power runs out.

The advantage it has over the HDD is its performance boost, although it still falls short when it comes to capacity and life expectancy. While that is established, the question that remains is as regards SSHD Vs SSD, trying to know which of the two drives has an edge over the other.

Are Hybrid Drives Better Than SSD?

On a simple glance, the Hybrid drive may seem better than the SSD. However, the call cannot be made this easy.

As regards the cost of the drive, the SSD is still so much more expensive than the SHDD. Since making it to the storage market, SSD has always cost more than the HDD even though they are less in terms of capacity. A 2TB SSHD can sell for $100 or even less. Getting the same capacity on SSD may sometimes cost more than $300 while a terabyte may be more than $100.

More so, the flash capacity that you get with a hybrid drive is usually small. Before now, this was a serious issue for people who want to make use of the drive because while you really need the functionality of an SSD, you do not get enough space that will make that possible.

Although they are now improving in terms of capacity, the hybrid drives used to have very little flash space which may sometimes be less than a hundred gigabyte. There are some newer drives that now offer more than that, but they are still not much in the market. In that regards, if you need to have many programs running with the speed of an SSD, then the Solid State Drive is the better of the two because there is a limitation on the things the hybrid can achieve because of storage capacity.

Also, unlike the SSD, the SSHD does not offer immediate performance since they have to know the data that should be put in the NAND Cells for easy and quick access. In this regard also, the SSHD is the better of the two because it doesn’t need to study anything before it gives you its superior performance.

Another issue that may place the solid state drive over the hybrid in the SSHD vs SSD comparison is that you do not get the chance to decide on what portion of the drive you want to have your data. When you make use of the SSD and HDD separately on a computer, you can decide to have your applications on the SSD for better performance while other files can be stored on the HDD. However, the SSHD does not give you that convenience; it decides what it should put on what drive after it understands the files you always access.

See Also: SSD vs HDD For Gaming – Which One Is Better [Simple Explanation] 


At the end of the day, the SSHD may not be the best option when placed against the SSD because it delivers less in flash space on one hand, and on the other, it does not give you as much control of the things you want to store on either part of the SSHD.

That does not mean that hybrid drives are not important; it only means that they might not be the best choice for everyone. The drive can only be recommended to laptop users who will not be able to have the two drives together on their computer just like the desktop and they still need some SSD performance. More so, it is recommended for people who are unable to afford the SSD as a storage solution but they still need its boost.

At the end of the day, the SSHD is still a good technology if you want capacity, cost efficiency, and that extra performance.

Tim Flaherty
Tim Flaherty
Tim is our talented senior tech writer and editor, the one who plays music on replay, drinks more coffee than beer, plays video games, and reads poetry. In between, Tim reviews products, write about computers, games, hardware, software, guides, reviews and talk tech and arts. If there is a WWIII, he thinks it could be caused by bad writing.


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