With the computing device getting more portable, the amount of data processing and storage is also getting bigger and bigger. Since all storage cannot be done on the cloud, local storage is still a basic essential. When it comes to storage solutions, users have three options to opt for. SSD, HDD, or SSHD (combination of both). Out of these, SSD storages are the most popular ones.
These are types of data storage devices that are nonvolatile. They provide faster data retrieval speed and higher durability when compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).
SSD Storage: A Brief Understanding
Before we get into SSD, you must first know about HDDs (hard disk drives) work. HDDs are among the oldest storage technologies that are used to date. They are like how vinyl records work. They are electromechanical storage with multiple disks that spin around a central axis, and the attached mechanical arm reads and writes data.
HDDs involve multiple moving parts, which are often inconvenient to move around. Here solves this issue while offering plenty of storage. In SSDs, data gets stored and accessed through microchips (like USB) instead of a mechanical arm. They use flash memory like NOR and NAND for storage. Among these two storages, NAND is volatile, faster, and can protect data even if it’s turned off. It’s purely an electronic storage method. It’s basically an enhanced version of RAM.
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Types of SSD:
Currently, four types of SSDs are available for users for general purposes. They have been categorized based on interfaces, connections, and memory protocols. Here is a glance at all the types of SSD.
SATA SSD: It’s one of the most used storages of today’s time. The SATA interface in the SSDs is the fastest, with a speed of 500 to 600 MB/s. Even the slowest SATA SSD storage is significantly faster than the HDD. You can find SATA SSDs faster than the specified range that read and write much faster. But you may not get the best cost-to-performance ratio. Most users for this reason choose the cheapest SSD to store OS and HDD for other general storage.
NVMe SSD: One of the standouts of this SSD is the memory protocol, which significantly boosts the traditional SSD. NVMe SSD can reach up to 2-2.6 GB/s. It is much faster than a SATA SSD.
Another standout of NVMe SSDs is the latest technology and PCle connection interface it employs. Moreover, NVMe uses flash memory. It ensures consistent speed, whether connected internally or externally.
M.2 SSD: It’s essentially an SSD paired with an M.2 connector. It is the fastest SSD available, helping you achieve impressive performance at 3-5 GB/s. Though SATA SSD is faster than traditional SSD but not more than M.2 SSD. The top-of-the-line models of M.2 SSDs are much faster, approximately 5 times.
One of the reasons for the higher speed is the connection interface, meaning M.2 SSD gets directly connected to the motherboard. Since it has a small form factor, it is used in small systems like ultrathin laptops. M.2 SSDs can also use SATA and NVMe protocols that vary read and write speeds.
PCIe SSD: It’s a variant of SSD storage that uses a PCIe connector. It enables the device to directly connect to the motherboard and get high data transfer speeds. However, these SSDs are expensive. Because of the pricing, investing in small amounts is a wise quote unless you can afford it. Start with 256 GB or 512 GB for operating system storage. If you require a large amount of storage, choose SATA SSD or HDD.
Also, not every laptop or PC supports PCIe SSD. It all depends on the motherboard design and compatibility. That is so because PCIe connectors are embedded with GPUs, restricting the space for PCIe cards. Users must be considerate while building a new PC to have enough space to accommodate a fast SSD in their system.
When is SSD ideal: Use Cases
- If you juggle multiple work responsibilities at once and require fast boot times, switching between multiple OS, apps, and files, SSD storage is ideal for you.
- If you are one who keeps on the go, and you want a portable and reliable storage solution.
- If you are an audio engineer, a graphic designer, a video editor, or a gamer who runs intensive applications, SSD is for you.
While most people argue that cloud storage is the future, they do not realize it’s not actual storage. We still need physical servers with storage devices to back the cloud infrastructure. It means that the cloud is somewhere safe in the SSD. Hence, SSDs aren’t going anywhere. They are here to stay. Although it’s not cheap at the current time, the rising storage demands, and modern entertainment apps are bound to reduce the price.