When considering storage for your computer, you need to consider a lot of factors, not just the amount of storage the drive has. When you choose the type of SSD for your device, you need to consider the speed, readability, noise, and power usage.
A solid state drive (SSD) is an extra storage unit for your computer that stores data using flash memory. Its ability to read and write data runs at a speed several times faster than a hard drive. Your applications will load a lot faster and you might notice how smooth your computer runs when you turn it on.
If you are still using a hard drive, you might want to consider upgrading to an SSD, especially if you are a gamer. You will notice the difference in your computer’s responsive time after you make the switch. SSDs require less power to operate so it won’t kill your battery.
There are two different types of SSDs: Serial Advanced Technology Attachment SSDs (SATA) and Peripheral Component Interconnect express SSDs or Non-Volatile Memory express SSDs (PCIe/NVMe/PCIe-NVMe).
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment SSDS (SATA)
SATA SSDs tend to be the slower of the two since it uses the same interface as hard drives. However, even though they may be the slowest grade, they will still speed your computer up four or five times more than a hard drive would. Your chances of finding someone using a SATA are still high because they have been around for quite some time.
The most common type of SATA is the 2.5 inch SATA SSD since it can be used on older computers. The average speed of SATAs are around 500-550 Mbps and will max out at 600 Mbps or 6 Gbps.
mSATA SSDs are just smaller versions of SATA SSDS. They are mainly used for smaller devices like phones, tablets, notebooks, and very thin laptops but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for your computer. They still have all the specifications of a 2.5 inch SATA SSD with the maximum speed of 600 Mbps.
M.2 SSDs are small and rectangular sticks of ram most commonly used in mobile devices and thin laptops because of their flat and compact card format. However, they can still be used on computers only if your motherboard has the slot for it. They are faster and thus more expensive than SATA SSDs and can store up to 2 terabytes of data. The most common sizes for M.2 SSDs are 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110. The numbers indicate the size of the SSDs by width and length.
For example, an M.2 2280 is 22mm (length) x 80mm (width). An M.2 2242 is 22mm x 42mm.
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express SSDs (PCIe)
PCIe SSDs have more bandwidth and will provide three to four times the speed and performance than SATA SSDs, which means that PCIe SSDs are the fastest type of SSDs. They are high-speed interface and performance expansion cards that are plugged into the motherboard and will generally go along well with graphics cards and sound cards.
PCIe SSDs are expansion cards that connects your computer to its peripherals. They are usually recommended if you are a gamer since you want the fastest performance speed when playing your game. As long as you don’t care about the price, you can get a PCIe SSD for your computer. PCIe SSDs tend to be more expensive than SATA SSDs for obvious reasons, but not if you want more storage space compared to performance, then you would be using SATA.
Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe)
NVMe are built especially for flash and new generation SSDs that deliver the best performance and have the highest response times. It works well with PCIe SSDs to transfer data rapidly to and from your computer and storage card.
NVMe SSDs transfers data at a high performance speed of around 3,000-3,500 Mbps or 3-3.5 Gbps. You can transfer a 30 GB file to your computer in about 15 seconds or less.
Add-In Card SSDs (AIC)
SSD AICs are generally supposed to have a much faster speed than most of the other drives because it operates on a PCIe express bus rather than a SATA. As mentioned above, PCIe is the faster type of SSD and therefore will have a higher performance speed than SATA so AICs would have the potential to be a lot faster. Also, AICs are more preferred than M.2 drives since they can access more lanes on PCIe. They can only be used on desktops so their drive plugs into the motherboard and are most commonly used for RAID controllers or graphic cards.
Hard Drive Disks (HDD)
Hard drive disks, the traditional storage device that operates inside a computer. They cost a lot less because of their slower performance, but they have high battery drainage. Additionally, they are generally used for a more practical storage card to store file and media like photos or videos.
HDDs, despite their slow speeds, can store a lot more data than SSDs. SSDs have a storage capacity range of 64 GB to 4 TB while HDDs can store 250 GB to 14 TB of data.
Which SSD Should You Use?
The type of SSD you should use depends on your device. For computers, check your motherboard and find out what kind of slots you have. Different devices will support different types of drives.
If you are a gamer and want to optimize your gaming PC, you will likely get the PCIe SSD because of the faster interface. Your games will start up and perform faster if they are installed on an SSD than a traditional hard drive. Gamers require a computer drive that can access data very quickly. Additionally, if you have ever played games in general, you’ll know that games contain large amounts of data like audio, high-resolution graphics, and more, sometimes coming up to more than 100 GB of data.
Just downloading the game isn’t all the data the game keeps. When you play your game, data is also stored. Anytime your player levels up in a game, data is stored. Anytime your player interacts with another player, data is stored. Anytime your player starts another mission, data is stored. Data is written down for everything.
If your game takes two to three minutes to load from your HDD, think about how much faster it will take if it was on an SSD. The longer the game takes to load, the more disrupted your gameplay will be.
For everyday performance that does not require high-intensity data speed transfer, you can get an SATA SSD.
There are still the traditional HDDs that you can use to store your data. It just won’t transfer as fast and will probably take up more battery life. Keep in mind that drives that have a lower storage capacity have fewer memory modules and will in turn have slower performance. HDDs are generally for those who want to store a lot of old pictures and videos that they won’t have to check up on.
As to whether your data will be corrupted transferring depends on the drive’s readability. Usually, SSDs are more reliable because they don’t need any moving parts to operate while HDDs need to write your data onto a disk, thus risking the chance of corrupt data.The prices for solid states drives have decreased dramatically over the years so you can upgrade to one without a problem, you just have to make sure your device is compatible with the drive.