Solid-state drives (SSDs) have become the preferred storage solution these days, displacing hard disk drives (HDDs) as a result. Its widespread adoption can be attributed to several factors, including speed, reliability, and size. There are, however, some interesting facts about SSDs that you might not know and which this post will inform you about.
There Are Several Different Types Available
SSD is somewhat a catchall term because there are many different options available. They tend to be related to how they are connected to your computer, with modern ones utilizing what is known as Pcie4 to reach truly staggering speeds (as will be discussed a bit later). According to backup specialists at https://www.backblaze.com/blog/nvme-vs-m-2-drives/, there are three unique form factors that an SSD can come in and include:
- SATA: A SATA SSD is a solid-state drive that connects to the computer through a SATA (Serial AT Attachment) interface. They are the most affordable of the bunch but also the slowest. However, they are still far faster than an HDD, perfectly acceptable to most people, and can be attached to a regular SATA slot on a computer.
- M.2: M.2 SSDs are a solid-state drive designed to fit directly into an M.2 slot on a motherboard. They come in various sizes but are notable for their diminutive size. However, while they have a tiny form, they can store up to 8TB of data. They are faster than SATA drives but slower than NVMe options.
- NVMe: NVMe stands for “Non-Volatile Memory Express,” and it’s a new interface that provides high-speed data transfer between the host system and storage devices. This type can reach astonishing speeds but also come with a price tag to match.
The Cost Per GB Is Much Higher Than HDDs
Although SSDs seem to be the perfect choice for almost everyone, they have some downsides, with cost being the most prominent. They are typically more expensive per GB than an equivalent HDD, and although prices are decreasing, they remain stubbornly high. However, it seems like most people in the consumer space are prepared to pay a premium for them as they are rapidly becoming more popular than their slower forefathers. One area where HDD still rules the roost is in commercial applications where higher capacity combined with a low cost is required to provide a service. Among the many areas where they are still used effectively is the storage industry. In addition, some consumers, especially gamers and those with a need for higher TB numbers, will combine an HDD with an SSD for maximum efficiency.
They Have A Finite Lifespan
While many people get caught up in the failure rate of conventional hard drives, most tend to forget that SSDs also have a finite life and slowly degrade the more you use them. It is worth mentioning that most people will never reach this limit with regular use, but it can become an issue for commercial users. Essentially, the more you use the drive, the more prone to failure they become. Nevertheless, a joint study between Google and the University of Toronto has shown that an SSD’s average lifespan is around ten years, which is pretty impressive.
They Can Reach Insane Speeds
Arguably the main draw of using an SSD over the traditional HDD is the insane speeds that they can reach. Even the cheapest SATA SSDs can reach speeds faster than the most modern HDD (although the gap is closing). However, if you want to understand how fast they can get, you need to look at NVMe versions. These are the fastest drives currently available, and the top ones from manufacturers like Samsung can have sequential reads/ write speeds of 7,000 MB/s / 5,000 MB/s, respectively. You can write up to 5 GB of data (sequentially) to this drive every second to put that into perspective. If you don’t find that incredible, I don’t know what does.
They Are Incredibly Reliable
Because they don’t have any moving parts, they are much more reliable than an HDD which is basically a bunch of spinning metal disks with a read/ write arm. This also reduces the amount of heat produced, making them far more efficient to run using less energy and allowing them to be placed in more confined spaces.
SSDs Are Extremely Robust
In the same way that their lack of moving parts makes them more reliable, it also makes them more durable. In the good old days, if you were to drop your laptop with an HDD inside, you might break out in a cold sweat and plead to the gods that you didn’t break the drive and consequently lose your data. These days, there is no such concern, and you can simply pick your device up safely in the knowledge that while your laptop might break, your day will be safe.
So there you have it, six things you might not know about these fantastic pieces of technology. There are many things to love about solid-state drives, from immense speeds to incredible durability. Whichever type you go for, you will be assured of having a great experience.