How the HDD works and Advantages of HDD

by sogrow team

How the HDD works, Advantages of HDD.

In the digital age, information storage technologies are constantly being improved. Mechanical hard drives are being replaced by solid-state drives, which no other hard drive can match in terms of speed and performance. However, SSDs that appeared long ago have yet to replace their seemingly outdated counterparts. Most computers still come with "traditional" hard drives, and for a good reason.

How the HDD works?

A hard disk is an electromechanical storage medium based on the principle of magnetic recording. The advantages and disadvantages of a hard drive are due in part to its design. So, before we go straight to the strengths and weaknesses of the user, a few words about how it works and what it is made of. And it consists of the following parts:

  • An integrated circuit is also known as an electronic board. Synchronize the unit with the PC and control the processes within the HDD itself.
  • Electric motor. The spindle motor drives the magnetic discs to rotate, and the electronic circuit board ensures that the rotation speed remains constant.
  • Writing head pad. Since modern hard drives contain terabytes of information, a magnetic disk is not enough for recording. Consequently, several read heads are used. Each of them is part of a mechanism called a "seesaw". It is responsible for moving the heat across the surface of the magnetic disk. Usually, the head itself never touches the disk: there is always a small gap between them, the thickness of which is 5000 times less than that of human hair.
  • Magnetic disc. The hard drive gets its name from this part. The magnetic head writes information to the disk.
  • Frame. It contains all the details of the unit. It is made of plastic, but its lid is always metal. The enclosure is sometimes called a buffer zone because it contains purified air and sometimes even neutral gas. A special environment is required to protect magnetic discs - even a speck of dust can impair your work.

Advantages of the Hard Drive 

Now that we've figured out how the hard drive works, let's look at the pros and cons. Since they are relative, we will compare the HDD with its main competitor, the Solid-State Drive. 

The main advantage of the hard disk is its low cost. If a hard drive with a volume of 2 TB costs 510,000 rubles in 2019, then for an SSD of the same volume, you will have to pay from 30 to 70,000. The colossal price difference is due in the first case to the relative simplicity of manufacture and the second to the complexity. HDD is just a mechanism that does not require rare earth elements or special conditions for its manufacture. The second reason is cheaper: demand for HDDs is still high, so companies don't have to inflate the price to cover production costs like they do with SSDs.

  • Storage 

  • Another advantage of the hard drive is the amount of space it offers. Even if solid-state drives keep getting better and better, they still can't keep up with their predecessors when it comes to magnetic drives in terms of volume. Today, SSDs can only store up to five terabytes of data, while the storage capacity of a hard drive reaches 15 terabytes. 

  • Recovery Option 

  • The speciality of the hard drive is that it often fails slowly, and the system has enough time to warn the user that their data is at risk. The SMART self-test program constantly monitors the status of the drive. When that fails, file recovery is easier and cheaper than an SSD. It is expensive to repair a computer with a faulty SSD. 

  • Restrictions on Dubbing 

  • Like permanent electronic devices, Perpetual motion machines do not exist, but on average, hard drives last longer than solid-state drives. This is because, unlike the latter, hard drives have no restrictions on the number of overwrite cycles since the information resides on magnetic drives. SSDs are designed as flash drives, and files are written to memory chips with limited resources. When it runs out, the medium will fail. Although computer technologies are advancing rapidly today, this advantage no longer appears to be important: the disk becomes morally obsolete rather than physically.