eMMC vs HDD – What is the Difference? Which is Better?

If you are choosing between eMMC and HDD storage, which one is better? eMMC vs HDD – what is the difference?

Generally, eMMC hard drives are better than HDDs. This is because the performance of the eMMC lies between the performance of the HDD and the SSD.

HDDs are typically known as the slowest data storage device in modern computers. The maximum speed of the eMMC is 400 MB/s, whereas the standard data transfer speed of the HDD is 300 MB/s.

However, it also depends on the electronic device you connect the eMMC or the HDD. The eMMC is more ideal for consumer electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. At the same time, the HDD is more ideal for personal computers and laptops.

Read on to learn more about the differences between HDD vs eMMC.

eMMC vs HDD

eMMC vs HDD

Generally speaking, the eMMC is better than the HDD. This is due to the performance of the eMMC, which lies between the performance of the HDD and the SSD.

HDDs are known as the slowest data storage device in modern computers. The maximum speed of the eMMC is 400 MB/s, whereas the standard data transfer speed of the HDD is 300 MB/s.

However, it must be noted that it also depends on the type of electronic device you are connecting the eMMC or the HDD. The eMMC is more ideal for consumer electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. At the same time, the HDD is more ideal for personal computers and laptops.

If you are familiar with the solid-state drive (SSD), you will most likely be aware that it outperforms the HDD. The features of the eMMC and the HDD are more comparable, so we will focus on these two drives in this article.

It is best to provide a brief overview of the two to know more about the eMMC storage features vs. HDD storage.

eMMC Hard Drive Overview

The Embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMCs) hard drive, more commonly known as eMMC, does not get easily damaged by regular bumps and dropdowns due to its integrated circuits.

eMMCs Are Typically Faster than HDD Drives

eMMCs are typically faster than HDD drives in most cases. However, this does is not the situation all the time. It also all depends on the models used by eMMC hard drives.

Unlike the HDD and the SSD, the eMMC features a flash memory controller compatible with the flash memory. Both the flash memory controller and the flash memory are integrated into similar silicon die linked to the motherboard.

Integrated Flash Memory Controller

With the eMMC,  the integrated flash memory controller minimizes the pressure carried by the CPU. Hence, the CPU becomes capable of addressing other tasks, causing the computer to run faster.

This then explains why when we compare eMMC vs. HDD speed, the data transfer speed of the eMMC is faster than that of the HDD.

Furthermore, this also explains why low-end desktop and laptop computers usually feature eMMC hard drives and budget CPUs. The eMMC can hold a maximum data of 256 GB and is affordable.

HDD Overview

The Hard Disk Drive, also commonly called the HDD, is a traditional data storage device for personal computers. It is developed using reading heads and rotating magnetic platters.

Longer System Boot-up Times

This data storage device typically has longer system boot-up times. Its ability to load applications and files is slow. Its execution of other commands, including copy and paste, is slow too.

Standard Rotational Speed of Platters

The standard rotational speed of platters for the HDD is 5400 rounds per minute (rpm). In high-end laptops, the rotational speed reaches 7200 rpm. This then results in faster reading, writing, and data accessing speed.

However, an HDD with 7200 rpm is not typically available on the market. Moreover, this type of HDD does not have any room for more improvement as the cache memory also impacts laptop performance.

The HDD may have several disadvantages, and, practically speaking, the eMMC is more favorable to many computer users. However, the HDD features several strengths too.

This data storage device is not as costly as other drives, such as the hybrid drive and the SSD. Furthermore, it is capable of storing a large amount of data.

Differences Between the HDD and the eMMC

Let’s discuss the differences between the HDD and the eMMC according to the following categories:

  1. Technology
  2. Performance
  3. Application
  4. Capacity

1. Technology

32GB eMMC vs 500GB HDD

The HDD features magnetic storage for storing and retrieving digital data. Since it is a mechanical drive, it features multiple moving parts. Hence, its non-durability.

With the eMMC, this hard drive features flash storage in which data is stored via the flash memory. Its integrated circuits prevent it from getting easily damaged or broken. Thus, the eMMC is more durable compared to the HDD.

2. Performance

Based on the result of an eMMC vs HDD speed test, the eMMC performs better than the HDD. The eMMC storage lies between the performance of the HDD and that of the SSD.

The HDD is known as the slowest data storage device in modern computers. The maximum speed of the eMMC is 400 MB/s, while the standard data transfer speed of the HDD is 300 MB/s.

You can also check the exact speed of the drive installed on your laptop. Perform a speed test using a drive benchmark program. A suggested program is the MiniTool Partition Wizard, which is a multi-functional partition managing program.

It has several features, including formatting, checking the file system, and copying disks, among many others.

Here’s how to test the performance of your drive using the MiniTool Partition Wizard program:

  1. Connect your eMMC or HDD drive to your computer;
  2. Launch the program. When you reach the main interface, click “Disk Benchmark,” located somewhere at the top of the interface;
  3. Upon reaching the next window, select the location of your drive and set the other parameters by your demand;
  4. Click the “Start” icon to begin testing; and
  5. Wait for the results, which will include both sequential and random writing and reading speed.
  6. Application

3. Application

The eMMC hard drive is typically used in consumer electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. But it may also be incorporated with personal computers.

This drive is normally connected to the motherboard of 2-in-1 computers, tablets, and notebooks offered in the market at budget-friendly prices.

In terms of the HDD, this drive is connected to the motherboard of inexpensive notebooks and computers. The eMMC has a noticeably wider application compared to the HDD.

4. Capacity

The storage capacity is a significant factor to consider when comparing the HDD with the eMMC. The available capacity for the HDD includes 320 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and above. Whereas, with the eMMC, the available capacity includes 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB.

Evidently, the eMMC has more available capacity for smartphones and tablets than the HDD. This shows that you have to consider the type of electronic device you are connecting it to when choosing between the two drives.

If you are storing small files, then the eMMC drive is ideal for you. But if you are storing large files or if you will be running computer games, then the HDD is an ideal choice for you.

Again, eMMC vs. HDD-what is the difference? In general, eMMC hard drives are better than HDDs since, in terms of performance, eMMC is between HDD and SDD. On the other hand, HDDs are famous for being the slowest data storage device in modern computers.

The maximum speed of the eMMC is 400 MB/s, whereas the standard data transfer speed of the HDD is 300 MB/s.

32GB eMMC vs. 500GB HDD: Which Is Better?

Are you torn between getting a 32GB eMMC vs. 500GB HDD? If you are, let me help you decide on that.

If you are talking about a smartphone, a 32 GB eMMC is already guaranteed to make your device work fast and smoothly. However, if you have too many files, a 32 GB storage capacity might not be enough for you.

A 500 GB HDD is suitable for bigger devices such as laptops and desktop computers. But then again, if you have too many large files, this might not be enough for you too. In the long run, the performance of your computer will be affected.

This is another thing if we talk about a 32 GB eMMC or a 500 GB HDD for your laptop. While eMMC may generally work faster than the HDD, a 32 GB eMMC might not be enough for a laptop or a desktop computer.

These electronic devices hold larger files, and 32 GB does not seem perfect for them.

Come to think of it, a 500 GB HDD is not that big a memory too, but it is more ideal for laptops and desktop computers. It will provide data storage of approximately 16 times larger than the eMMC with 32 GB capacity.

With laptops and desktop computers, the operating system alone eats up a lot of storage space already. Suffice it to say that a 32 GB eMMC might not be sufficient at all. In fact, it is not even sufficient for some smartphone users. Thus, the launching of eMMC drives with higher storage capacity.

Operating System Migration

HDD vs eMMC

By now, you probably have a clearer idea of what drive to choose. If you want to buy a drive with a large capacity but a low price for your laptop or desktop computer, choosing the HDD is the way to go. This is particularly recommended for games or if you keep large files.

However, if you need to upgrade your smaller devices’ storage capacity, you need not go for the HDD. The eMMC is ideal for you.

Should you want to replace your eMMC with an HDD without experiencing data loss, you have to migrate your operating system (OS) to the new hard drive. There are a few available software in the market that can help you do that successfully.

Additional Information About eMMC

Here are additional details about the eMMC that may be of help to you:

Is eMMC a Good Data Storage?

Yes, eMMC is a good data storage. It is ideal for dealing with small files. It works well with tablets and laptops. Not to mention the fact that they are affordable too.

Is a 64 GB eMMC Enough for Laptops?

No, a 64 GB eMMC is not enough for laptops or even for desktop computers. The ideal storage capacity for laptops is 500 GB or up. This is why the HDD offers storage in terabytes, which is not available with the eMMC.

Which Is Better Between eMMC and HDD?

For laptop and desktop computers, the HDD is better than eMMC. This is mainly because there are Hard Disk Drives with high storage capacity.

Does the eMMC Last Long?

The eMMC, unfortunately, has a limited lifespan. Typically, a 16 GB eMMC lasts for approximately 10 years, while a 32 GB eMMC lasts for roughly 5 years. However, it must also be noted that even other types of drives have a limited lifespan too.

Conclusion – HDD vs eMMC

In general, the eMMC is a better drive than the HDD. This is mainly because of the performance of the eMMC, which lies between the performance of the HDD and the SSD. HDDs are known as the slowest data storage device in modern computers.

The maximum speed of the eMMC is 400 MB/s, whereas the standard data transfer speed of the HDD is 300 MB/s.

However, it must be noted that it also depends on the type of electronic device you are connecting the eMMC or the HDD. The eMMC is more ideal for consumer electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. At the same time, the HDD is more ideal for personal computers and laptops.

The eMMC works well when dealing with small files, whereas the HDD works well when dealing with large files. This is why the HDD is more ideal for gamers.

To decide which one to choose, you have to consider the type of electronic device you will connect it to.