Fast, faster, fastest: SSD versus hard drive

Published on 23 oktober 2019

With the SSD 970 EVO Plus, Samsung makes the fastest SSDs that you can now choose. But how fast is fast? Maybe you planned to install a hard drive next to your SSD or you don't even have an SSD yet. We are going to provide the same PC with a super-fast SSD and a 4 TB hard drive. What do you win with an SSD?

Due to the use of flash memory, an SSD is much faster than, for example, a hard disk. For example, Samsung specifies a maximum reading speed of no less than 3500 MB / s for the SSD 970 EVO Plus in the 250 GB version, while the maximum writing speed is 2300 MB / s. This is in stark contrast to the average hard disk, which has a read and write speed of about 180 MB / s. To find out what that means in practice, we provided a Laptop with both Samsung's SSD 970 EVO Plus 250 GB and a 4 TB hard drive. The Laptop is of course equipped with a motherboard with an m.2 slot that fits Samsung's SSD 970 EVO Plus perfectly.

Samsung's SSD 970 EVO Plus is a modern SSD in m.2 format.

Much faster

The specifications of both the SSD 970 EVO Plus and the hard disk show that the SSD must be many times faster. Obviously, measuring is knowing, so we ran a number of benchmarks to find out. An important benchmark that we use to determine the performance of a storage medium is the PC Mark 8 Storage benchmark. It is based on disk activity of real programs and expresses performance in a score. The Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus achieves a score of 5070, making it one of the best performing SSDs on the market. The hard drive scores less than half with 2497. AS SSD is another benchmark we used and measures the maximum read and write speed. The 970 EVO Plus achieves a read and write speed of 2237.98 and 2113.76 MB / s, while the hard disk is stuck at 191.85 and 174.90 MB / s.

The Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus is, as expected, much faster than the hard drive.

Enormous time savings

A high speed or high score for an SSD is one thing, but of course it is really about loading time and that difference is not tender. This already starts with the start-up of the PC, where we have the desktop of Windows 10 in view with the SSD after 27 seconds, while the same with a hard disk takes a minute and 42 seconds. Of course you start up only once a day, it is the start of programs where you really make a profit. The aforementioned benchmark PC Mark Storage 2.0 is based on traces, recordings of real writing activity from various programs such as Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and various games. Where the benchmark with the Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus takes one hour and three minutes, we lost no less than three hours and 27 minutes with the hard drive!

All things considered, the SSD is almost two and a half hours faster in our tests.

Imagine if this was the moment you were really waiting for. Not convinced? We also installed the Shadow of the Tomb Raider action game on both the Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus and the 4TB hard drive. Where we can play with the ssd after waiting 43 seconds, we have to wait 86 seconds when using the hard drive. Copy actions are also much faster. Copying a large 3-gigabyte file, like a movie, for example, takes just 3.22 seconds on the SSD, while it takes 36.38 seconds on the hard drive. So with the SSD, we have saved almost two and a half hours of time just with the examples in this article. And of course this doesn't just apply to a specific benchmark or game, but to everything you do with your laptop.

"With the Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus, we saved two hours and 28 minutes!"


We can only draw one conclusion: a modern laptop needs a super-fast SSD. An SSD saves a lot of time for your operating system, software and games. Time you can use what really matters: using your PC productively. Does a hard drive no longer have any right to exist? Of course it is, a hard drive is now dirt cheap and therefore suitable for storing large amounts of data that does not necessarily require fast access. In many cases, a hard disk is also a good medium for extensive backups, especially since you often want to keep several backups at the same time. With the right software, a backup is made in the background without bothering you or having to wait for it. These are applications that you can also centralize, for example in a NAS filled with hard drives. But for installing your operating system, software and games, there is only one choice: a super-fast SSD!