SSDs have a number of improvements over traditional hard drives or magnetic drives (HDDs) that have made them increasingly popular and accessible. However, there are still different SSD types and sizes and it doesn’t hurt to give a review especially to consider your purchase.
It’s not that they’re something particularly recent, but hard drives still have a good presence and we’ve already seen that there are a lot of myths surrounding SSDs. Of course, as we also say, they are getting cheaper and cheaper and while the variety that exists is not to be lost, it can be useful to know what is best for us in our case.
SATA or PCIe drive
SATA SSDs may be the most common because they are older, but they are totally valid for computers today, especially if they are portable. This is due to its dimensions, as they are 2.5 inches wide, although it is advisable to also check the thickness depending on where we want to install it (usually between 7 and 9 millimeters).
PCIe SSDs are newer and above all faster. They can be seen in the computer specifications with the initials NVME, which correspond to Non-Volative Memory Express, an interface that offers improved performance over SATA drives and other types of storage.
In addition to this, we must take into account the M.2 connector, which allowed SSDs to occupy the approximate space of a RAM memory module. We can find it in SATA and PCI Express drives, and to find out if it works for us, we need to make sure our motherboard has the correct slots.
Speaking of the use and not so much of the material possibilities, as we have commented PCIe SSDs are faster. The fastest SATA SSDs can reach around 550MB / second, while PCIe with NVMe can reach 3000MB / second.
Even if this speed is not noticeable in basic tasks like browsing the web or office applications (or even in a game with no resources). That is why if we do not perform tasks that require high yields, it will be convenient to switch to the more economical ones, which are normally SATA drives (but not in all cases).
Aspects to consider in units with M.2 connector
Size is always important and also in this case as we have already seen for 2.5 inch units (not all so thick). Speaking of this type of unit, we can find different sizes, the name already being an index of dimensions:
- 2242: 22 x 42 millimeters (width x length) with SATA and PCIe x2 interface. A common format for SSDs for laptops and mini-PCs.
- 2260: 22 x 60 millimeters (width x length). It is used in higher speed and capacity drives and in PCIe x4 interfaces.
- 2280: 22 x 80 millimeters (width x length). This is perhaps the most common size, at least until the next one we see. It’s typically found on ATX motherboards for desktop computers, but we see it on laptops as well.
- 22110: 22 x 110 millimeters (width x length). The biggest, also the fastest several times and in the same way the most expensive. In this case, we see them on ATX plates.
Going into more detail about the physical connection, we can differentiate three types based on this:
- B key: there are two rows, one with six contacts and one wider. Usually seen on PCIe x2 connections.
- M key: A narrower row of five contacts and a wider row between 59 and 66 contacts. Used in PCIe x4 interface.
- Clé B&MAs you might think, it’s a combination of the two. It has a row of 5 contacts on the left side, one of the six on the right and two grooves that separate the central area, thus being compatible with those of type B and M simultaneously and the connection that we see now.
While it almost has more to do with our motherboard, speaking of using M.2 units, they are more geared towards being used rather on personal computers and not so much on servers or workstationsDue to the write and erase rates, its lifespan could be reduced to weeks. Especially in ultrabooks, as these have less space available for components.
MLC, TLC or SLC
In addition to the interface and connectors, we can differentiate SSDs based on the technology they use to store information. The differences between them are based on the number of bits that each cell or cell of the unit is capable of handling, there are three types:
- MLC: cell with several levels. They have 2 bits per cell.
- TLC: triple level cell. They have 3 bits per cell.
- SLC: single level cell. They have 1 bit per cell.
The translation of this: we will care about the durability. The higher the number of bits per cell, the greater the risk of failure. The oldest technology is SLC, so it will be convenient to look for them as MLC or TLC, which will also have better data conditioning.
This is a more specific aspect and is usually not a reason to choose between one unit and another when talking about standard use. AT professionals and more demanding uses A unit with MLC can be handy, especially if you are working with large amounts of information, as this can avoid retard by moving them from one place to another.
As we have seen in all kinds of briefs, no matter how much capacity evolves it doesn’t take long to arrive and in SSD there is already a good assortment. Depending on what we need and the price, it will be convenient to shoot for one capacity or another:
- 128 Go: It’s already a limited capacity, not only because of what adapts to it but because of its slower yields. In addition, it generally does not compensate for greater capabilities economically.
- 250 Go: these if they satisfy normal use (for the operating system, games and personal files) but not very comfortable if we are going to manage large volumes of data.
- 500 Go: This can be the optimal size if you want to be calm in terms of available space and also don’t want to go for the more expensive.
- 1, 2 or 4 To: for users a little more demanding, especially if they are large libraries of multimedia games or various content. They are more expensive, especially the 4TB ones, which we will normally see more for professional use and / or when budget is not an issue.