What is a solid state hard drive (SSD) and its features


   I recently thought about the speed of computers. I analyzed one very productive system and saw that the slowest component of it was a hard drive, and more specifically – the hard disk on which the operating system was installed. So, the mind about the new types of PC hard drives came to me and just about the SSD. Well, let’s talk about what is and how to buy the best computer SSD drive.

Let’s start with the answer to the question: “What is an SSD drive?”

SSD stands for Solid State Drive.

So, an SSD disk is a solid state drive (storage device), based on the use of flash memory, similar to conventional memory cards.

Since solid state drives use flash memory nothing spins and does not move at all in them, unlike ordinary HDD. Due to this, if you will compare SDD vs HDD drive, this disk is practically silent, which allows to obtain a good benefit – to significantly reduce the noise background of the system as a whole.

Let’s follow the basic characteristics of SSD disks in more detail:

1. SSD disk capacity.

As with conventional hard drives, the volume is a key feature when selecting an SSD drive, since the amount of information that can fit on a device depends on it.

There are SSD models with capacity from 8GB on the market (which can be compared to a simple phone flash drive).

The volume of the largest SSD drive can reach up to top 4TB largest SSD (which is already quite solid even for the PC).

However, it should be noted that the prices of SSD disks are much higher than the prices of similar-sized standard hard drives.

For example, if a 500GB SSD drive costs approximately $200, then for this money you can buy a standard hard drive for 5TB.

In general, the difference in the price per unit of stored information is about 8-10 times.

Therefore, we can recommend choosing of a small 250 Gigabyte SSD disk to install operation system and major work programs on it, and you can use conventional HDD to store data.

2. SSD memory type.

As already mentioned above, SSD drives are actually Flash drives.

Types of flash memory are divided based on how much information in bits is placed in a single memory cell.

This criterion distinguishes the following types of memory in SSD drives:

  • SLC (Single Level Cell) – one bit per cell.
  • MLC (Multi Level Cell) – two bits per cell.
  • TLC (Three Level Cell) – three bits per cell.

To avoid missing out on details, we’ll just say – most SSD manufacturers produce their products using MLC SSD memory, it’s relatively inexpensive and has a relatively large supply of overwrite cycles.
Computer SSD drive

3. SSD speed.

An SSD drive performs continuous read/write data operations. The speed of these operations will directly affect the performance of such a drive.

It is clear that the speed should be as high as possible.

On average, you need to focus on read/write speeds of 500 MB/s.

The fastest SSD flash drive that I had to meet was with a read speed of up to 550 MB/sec, and write speed of up to 520 MB / sec.

Manufacturers prefer to specify the maximum values of read/write speed, not average. So before you buy, you need to search real speeds for the preferred SSD drive model on forums.

4. Refusal rate.

If it were possible, sellers would not have shown this figure at all. However, the memory of SSD drives theoretically has a limited number of recording/reproduction cycles.

According to this, the use of memory should cease to work for some time.

However, you do not have to be particularly upset, the average refusal time can range from several hundred thousand to 1-1,5 million hours of work.

And given the fact that SSDs have a minimum of 3 years warranty – it can be argued that these indicators are likely to have a purely informative value.

5. Form factor (sizes).

The SSD form factor is actually the size of a disk.

SSD drives sizes are mostly 2.5″ and 3.5″.

2.5″ is the size of laptop models, and 3.5″ is the size of internal SSD drive for desktop.

Accordingly, if you need an SSD drive for a notebook – take 2.5″, for a home computer – 3.5″.

You can also use 2.5″ > 3.5″ special adapters.

There are also disks that are made in the form of a board and connected through PCIexpress.

But, nevertheless, it is necessary to take into account that the form factor plays a special role when you want to insert the SSD into a PC corps.

If you will use an external SSD drive, then the size will no longer be so important.

6. Connection interface.

SATA SSD (including SATA II or SATA III) and USB can be considered as the standard connection interface for SSD drives.

Here you can see the features of SATA.

There is a nothing special to say about an SSD USB – in this case a portable SSD drive connects as a regular flash drive.

Needless to say, the USB should be no lower than version 2.0, but better than 3.0 – but this version of USB should be supported by a motherboard.

There is also an SSD with the ability to connect through a special Thunderbolt or Wi-Fi bus.

The M2 driver connection format also appeared not long ago. But these formats are not very popular now, because the compatible equipment is not very popular at this time (especially for M2).

As for SSD manufacturers: Crucial, Silicon Power, Transcend can be noted.

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