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HHD – Hybrid Dard Drive Evolution | HHD vs SSD | Pros & Cons

Hybrid Hard Drive (HHD) is in trend and the most used memory device at present. It is also known as Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). They are so popular because they fulfill both the requirements of speed and capacity of a system. In this Post, In this Post, We will discuss what is Hard Disk Drive (HHD) or Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD), its evolution, How it differs from SSD and Who should prefer SSHD.

What is Hybrid Hard Drive (HHD)

What is Hybrid Hard Drive or SSHD
What is Hybrid Hard Drive or SSHD

HHD is a type of computer hard drive that combines the features of a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a Solid State Drive (SSD). It typically has a larger storage capacity like an HDD and faster data access speeds like an SSD. This combination aims to provide a balance between storage capacity and performance.

Evolution of Hybrid Hard Drive or SSHD

Since 2007, the hybrid hard drive has come all the way with the implementations of modern technology over the past decade.


Seagate and Samsung introduced the first hybrid drives with Seagate Momentus PSD and Samsung SpinPoint MH80 where both these models were 2.5inch drives featuring 128 MB NAND flash memory options.

May 2010 – Hybrid Hard Drive

Seagate introduced a new hybrid model named Momentus XT and used the term solid-state hybrid drive which mainly focused on delivering combined benefits of hard drive capacity points with SSD like performance.

Nov 2011

Seagate introduced their second generation SSHD which had the increased capacity to 750GB and pushed the integrated NAND flash memory to 8GB.

March 2012 – Hybrid Hard Drive 

Seagate introduced their third-generation laptop SSHD’s with two models a 500GB and 1TB both with 8GB integrated NAND flash memory.

September 2012

Toshiba first announced its first SSHD, delivering SSD like performance and responsiveness by combining 8GB of Toshiba’s own SLC NAND flash memory, innovative and self-learning algorithms with up to 1TB of storage capacity.

September 2012

Western Digital announced a hybrid technology platform that pairs cost effective MLC NAND flash memory with magnetic disks to deliver high-performance, large capacity integrated storage systems.

November 2012 – Hybrid Hard Drive

Apple Inc released the factory-configured dual drive hybrid system named Fusion Drive.

October 2015

Tar disk introduced the plug-and-play dual drive hybrid system. “Tar Disk Pear” with flash memory size options up to 256GB.

August 2021

Western Digital introduced OptiNAND, a new Flash-Enhanced HDD architecture. It uses iNAND read/write cache system for performance. This feature is used when the power is lost during a write phase to prevent data loss.

What Hybrid Hard Drives or Solid-state Hybrid Drives do?

SSHD parts
SSHD parts

Solid State Hybrid Drive often monitors the data recovered from storage and it automatically decides the most opened data. It keeps the most used files on the SSD so that it can read and write faster. HDD manages the allocation of data for the user and need to manually move the data from one drive to another.

SSHD usually will not have much space for SSD. It only has 8GB of storage capacity. However, this storage capacity is enough to store the most used applications like web browsers and office applications.

Pros and Cons of SSHD

Advantages of Hybrid Hard Drive

Below are the advantages of Hybrid Hard Drives –

  • Large amount of data can be stored by the user.
  • The user can recover the often-used data at SSD speed.
  • The data stored in SSD is safe from drops.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Hard Drive

Below are the disadvantages of Hybrid Hard Drives –

  • The data in HDD is at risk to drops.
  • It takes long time to read/write the data.
  • SSDs outperform SSHD’s when it comes to overall speed.
  • Storage space is less.

Is Hybrid Hard Drive Right to Use?

Is SSHD safe to use
Is SSHD Right to Use

If the user uses PC temporarily or for any business purpose, HDD provides enough space for storage to hold all personal data like photos, documents, spreadsheets etc.

However, with the use of SSD, the user can open the applications or files faster. It can store small amount of data like web browsers, office applications and streaming applications.

Further to note, SSD components do not have enough storage space to accommodate large PC games, intensive applications like creating software. The user may have to store the software on the HDD and hence the software will not get any improvement in the performance.

Benefits of Hybrid Hard Drive

Using Hybrid hard drive, it is beneficial in terms of costs, their capacity and their management. The cost of hybrid hard drives is slightly more when compared to hard disk drives (HDD), but less than SSDs as it is normally a combination of both.

When it comes to storage capacity, the capacity of hybrid hard drive could be as big as hard disk drive as the cache volume is hidden from the operating system and the end users need not to decide on which data would be stored in SSD because that is left to the drive controller and the operating system.

What is Solid State Drive (SSD)?

What is SSD
What is SSD

SSD is the modern hard drive technology which is developing rapidly in this era. It is a memory drive that does not have any mechanical parts where the data storage happens with the help of integrated circuits. The solid-state drives are very expensive, and so they are available in less storage capacity normally. It acts as a cache for the mechanical hard disk which means the most often used files would be brought into the SSD for the quick access.

Benefits of Solid-State Drive

  • They add small capacity solid state drive to their drive controller.
  • Acts as an additional cache for frequently used files.
  • Easy to access the files as they are stored in solid-state hybrid drive.
  • No much difference is taking it from standard hard drive to primary storage of system.
  • They offer benefits of two technologies without any significant increase in cost.
  • The solid-state hybrid drive is cheaper when compared to full solid-state drive.
  • This drive offers same capacity as of magnetic hard drives.

Pros and Cons of Solid-State Drive

Following are the pros and cons of SSD:


  • They are much faster when compared to hybrid hard drives as there are no moving parts.
  • The architecture of SSD is well built and hence the data is safe and there is no loss or damage even if there is a drop in computer.


  • Solid-State Drives are very expensive compared to normal memory disks.

Difference between Hybrid Hard Drive and Solid-State Drive

Hybrid Hard Drive Solid State Drive
It consists of mechanical hard disk and a Solid- state drive. It consists no disk, its pure SSD
Mechanical parts involved in hybrid disk It consists of only electronic parts
Low cost High cost
The performance achieved is less. The performance achieved is more.
Since hybrid disk consists of conventional mechanical disks, the storage capacity is more. The storage capacity of SSD is usually small.
The power consumption of hybrid drive is more The power consumption of solid disk is less.
While operating, hybrid disk gives sound due to moving parts. While operating, solid disk does not gives sound.


Who should consider Hybrid Hard Drive or SSHD?

Hybrid Hard drive is considered as one of the best for those who are planning to upgrade an existing laptop system. The primary market for HHD is laptop computers. Since it has limited space on these systems, they generally prevent more than a single drive being installed. However, the smaller size limits the amount of data which can be stored on HHD.

Solid-State Hybrid Drive
Who should consider Solid State Hybrid Drive

An HHD can offer an easy and affordable way to improve their performance without sacrificing storage capacity. There might be an exception for mini desktop PC that has only space to fit a single mobile-sized drive. These computers benefit the same way as a laptop from an HHD.

With any of the storage devices, one must think of the biggest risk is that the chances of failing are at extremely high. Hence, one must make sure the backup of a hybrid system is in place. If the user is unable to safeguard the data, he can get support from reputed companies to recover the data from any hybrid drives. However, one must make sure to have Solid State Drive (SSD) and Hybrid Hard Drive (HDD) parts of the hybrid drive system in order to recover the data.

Read Also:
Pen Drive Flash Drive – Architecture I How to Repair I Recover Data
Solid State Drive (SSD) – How it Works, Types, Application, SSD Vs HDD
Chakrasthitha is a B.E (Medical Electronics) and has work experience in MatLab and Lab View Software as Design Engineer at BCS innovations and Manipal hospital as Biomedical Engineer. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.


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