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Today I’ll be talking about Solid State Hybrid Drives or SSHD. For those who don’t know, Hybrid Drives have been around a while on notebooks and laptops. The main reason why you want a Hybrid Drive is because it performs like a Solid State Drive, but the cost is very close to that of a traditional drive.

hybrid hard driveOn the left, we have a traditional Hard Disc Drive with a spinning disc. These drives have been around for a long time. They have not really improved a lot performance-wise, because the limitation is the spinning disc. They can only make it go so fast, and with the current technology it just doesn’t make sense. So there are limitations with a traditional drive in terms of performance.

Intel_X25-M_Solid-State_Drive[1]

On the right, you have a Solid State Drive, which is semi-new upcoming technology. Right
now these drives are on the street and readably available, but they can be very expensive. It doesn’t make sense for most people in most applications to buy a solid state drive. It’s usually reserved for extreme performance such as in computer gaming laptops. The benefit of a Solid State Drive is high-speed reads-and-writes of data.

For a more detailed breakdown on the differences between an HDD and an SSD see this article: What’s the Difference Between an SSD and a Hard Drive?
A Solid State Hybrid Drive combines pretty much the best of both worlds, because you have the performance of a Solid State, very close to it, and you have a high capacity with a traditional Hard Drive . Manufacturers claim that Windows can boot extremely fast on a SSHD. Windows 10 boots in less than 10 seconds, is what Seagate claims. Most manufacturers also claim that Hybrid Drives increase reliability, because it reduces the wear of the Hard Drive, mechanical wear and tear is minimized. So, in theory, they’re a better choice because of reliability as well.
The way a Hybrid Drive works is it has a memory manager in the hard drive that will identify what data and files are used most frequently. It will store it in the flash memory, that’s the Solid State part of the drive. Basically, when your computer needs access to that memory, it’s going to be extremely fast. It knows what you use frequently, so everything that you use frequently will load faster. With that, comes system responsiveness.
Testing Hybrid Drives is a little bit tricky, because when you initially boot Windows, none of the information will be stored in your Solid State part of the Drive. If you were to load Windows again, it will load much faster and that’s when you get comparable performance to a Solid State Drive.

Hope this quick guide helped you out!