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What is an SSD disk? In-depth explanation of the solid state unit

We tell you directly: if you don't know what an SSD is and you don't have one on your computer, you're missing it. Not only are they much faster than traditional hard drives, but solid state drives or SSDs (Solid state drive), are a modern computer marvel. They make your computer start faster, the games load in the blink of an eye and also make the experience of surfing the web, working or doing anything else on a PC or Mac much more flexible and responsive. .

Next, we will show you everything you need to know about these units and why you should not buy a computer that does not bring one of these little wonders.

What is a solid state unit?

what is an ssd disk

Solid state drives work differently than a traditional hard drive (the HDD, Hard drive). Traditional hard drives use rotating metal drives to access information, unlike SSDs, which store data on flash memory chips, such as a cell phone, USB stick or tablet. You can access all those memory chips at the same time, which makes it much easier to access that information at high speed, since the unit does not have to wait for the disk to turn to the correct point to find the information.

It is that lack of moving parts that gives its solid state name.

SSDs are built differently and are available in a variety of different shapes and sizes. However, they are more expensive to manufacture, and even as prices fall, in 2020 their price remains more than double that of hard drives with a similar capacity. Especially for faster and larger SSDs.

SSD Advantages

external hard drive in one hand

Solid state drives are becoming much more common in everything from high-end gaming computers to basic-level laptops, and for good reason. They have a number of advantages over traditional hard disk storage and built-in flash memory (eMMC).

No moving parts: The big problem with moving parts on hard drives is that they are an important point of failure. That is, if any of the moving parts is broken, the entire unit is unusable. That makes traditional hard drives vulnerable to damage for every one and wear over time. Solid state units have their own useful life limitations, but are generally more durable and reliable, since there are no moving parts or an engine that can be damaged. This makes SSDs excellent for portable external drives that may be subject to more rigorous use and handling.

Speed: SSDs can write or read data at incredible speeds compared to HDDs and even eMMCs. They enjoy much faster sustained read and write speeds, useful for transferring large blocks of data. But more importantly, their random access times are in microseconds, rather than milliseconds. That is why SSD systems start so fast, games have no breaks and computers with SSD drives simply feel more flexible and responsive.

Mobility: SSDs are smaller and lighter than HDD discs. This makes it possible to create today's ultra-thin laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. The thinnest SSDs are only a few millimeters wide and only a few inches long, which makes them ideal for smaller high-speed devices.

Low failure rates: After years of development, SSDs have fewer failures than HDDs and also maintain their speed throughout their useful life. This is due to generalized material improvements and features such as ECC, or error correction code, that keep SSDs on the right track.

Size and design: SSDs can come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on how many chips they have and how they are organized. They can fit in a graphics card slot, 2.5-inch drive bays and M.2 slots. There is an SSD for almost any occasion and that makes them much more versatile than other types of storage.

Longer useful life: Each SSD has a limited lifespan due to the wear and tear of the disk's ability to properly store the electrical charges that are sent to it. The useful life tends to be measured in the number of terabytes that can be written to the unit before the flash cells degrade. That may amount to a decade or more of use for a typical user. Research has shown that SSDs not only last longer than HDD equivalents, but also last longer than expected by experts.

SSD types

what is a samsung 970 evo sticks 2 768x768 ssd disk

SSDs come in different shapes and sizes and that can affect their speed, storage capacities and even thermal output.

SATA III: SATA III is the latest evolution of an older connection option that works with HDD and SSD. It was very useful during the transition from HDD to SSD, since the main cards of the computers are compatible with the traditional hard disk and work with the new standard. It is still the most common used in modern SSDs, but it is by far the slowest, with around 550 MBps. It also involves a SATA cable that connects the unit to the motherboard, so it adds clutter.

PCIe: Slot Peripheral Component Interconnect Express o PCI Express is most commonly used for graphics cards and additional cards such as USB ports and sound cards. But there are now PCIe SSDs that can use all the additional bandwidth for extremely fast data transfers. The latest generation PCIe 4.0 drives first launched on AMD X570 motherboards can offer sequential read speeds of up to 5,000 MBps and write speeds of up to 4,400 MBps. Their prices are often more than double that of their SATA counterparts, and all that additional bandwidth does not always equate to a big difference in real-world use.

M.2: The smallest of SSD designs, M.2 drives can take advantage of SATA or NVMe controllers (which can be a bit confusing) so speeds vary between two extremes, but in terms of physical size, the drives M.2 are tiny. They have a short connector or comb and are usually parallel to the motherboard, which makes them extremely low profile. However, their compact nature can make them quite hot, especially for faster drives, so they often have heat sinks or heat sinks such as RAM.

NVMe: (Non-Volatile Memory Express), Is NOT a format or type of SSD drive, it is the protocol that allows almost all PCI Express and M.2 SSD drives to transfer data to and from the main card. When combined with any of those physical interfaces, it allows the fastest access speeds and that is exactly what you need if you are looking for the best possible storage.

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