Most users think that storage is only for… well… storing things! But the truth is that the best way to 'cap' the speed of a good processor is to put it on a slow storage system.
In the end, a computer can have luxury hardware! But if you have to waste time waiting for the SSD or HDD drives to send you the information, you have a machine that is simply not reaching its full potential.
A hard drive is particularly slow if it has moving parts inside it. So the best you have to do is really buy a good SSD (Solid State Drive)
So first of all, it's always a good idea to know what you need, what computer you have, and of course… the money you can spend.
For example, you've probably heard of the new PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs, from brands like Gigabyte, Corsair, etc… that offer read speeds around 5Gbps. But here you will need an AMD platform with one of the new X570 motherboards. And if you do not know, the fact is that although the sequential speeds have gone up a lot, a normal user may not feel this increase in everyday life.
However, this is also a time when you can get your hands on SSDs with a good amount of storage at prices that won't ruin your bank account. However, your speed may not reach you. But let's break it down to try to explain it all the best.
Know your computer! Realize what you really need
First, know what machine you have in your home and find out whether or not you have M.2 disk space on your motherboard. Otherwise, you can only look at the 2.5 ”SSD.
Similarly, try not to even look at SSDs with less than 500GB of storage! Half Tera is already a good compromise between price and capacity. By the way, these days it might even be a good idea to look at 1TB drives if your wallet agrees with this idea.
SATA SSDs are cheaper, but they are also much slower!
If your PC happens to support NVMe-PCIe or Optane drives, buy an SSD with these technologies. Although SATA drivers are much more common and cheaper, they also perform below these solutions. Still, if what matters is having an SSD and not having much money, there are very competent SATA drives, capable of offering a lot and good performance.
Which brings us to the second point… Any SSD is better than an HDD!
An SSD is always better than a traditional hard disk in terms of speed. By the way, even the worst SSD will be at least 3x faster than an HDD.
- SSD vs HDD: Is there still development of HDDs?
How much do you want / can you spend?
There are SSDs from 120GB to 2TB. That said, while drives with less storage are super cheap, the truth is that they won't be able to store much either. In addition, they are also slower compared to larger GB versions, due to the way the technology works.
That said, the price difference between a 120GB and 250GB SSD is negligible, and it's always money well spent.
However, the difference in price between a 250GB SSD and a 500GB SSD is a bit bigger… But in our opinion, the 500GB is now the ideal choice for the vast majority of users. After all, have you seen the space that CoD: Modern Warfare will take up?
- PC version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare will need 175GB!
What type of SSD can you put on your Desktop or Laptop?
There are several types of SSDs, with different formats and different interfaces as well. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that the type of drive you need also depends on the device you have on hand.
So if you happen to have a recent Gaming PC, or are building a PC with a mid / high end motherboard, your system will most likely support everything on the market.
However, in the case of laptops, the trend now is to use M.2 drivers, which are much smaller than the old 2.5 ”SSD. (Attention: Several manufacturers are soldering SSDs onto the laptop's own motherboard, which makes upgrading impossible or at least very difficult.)
Commercial SSD Formats:
- 2.5 ”Serial ATA (SATA) -> The most common format, which mimics the format of traditional hard drives of the past. They connect with SATA cables, just as the old 2.5 ”mechanical hard drives did. They are compatible with 99% of PCs in the market.
- SSD Add-In Card (AIC) -> These drives have a much higher speed potential because they connect via the PCI Express bus instead of the old SATA connection. This type of SSD mounts into the motherboard's PCI slots, just like a graphics card.
- M.2 SSDs -> With a format of a RAM module but being smaller, the M.2 format has become the industry standard in a relatively short time. Most motherboards even have 2 or more slots for these drives, so RAID is possible.
- U.2 SSDs -> At first glance, these 2.5 ”components look like SATA drives. However, its connection is made by PCIe, being also thicker than the old HDDs. It is a kind of SSD a bit more expensive.
This is very important! Want an SSD with SATA or PCIe interface?
After all of the above, it's time to realize what you really want, or can buy.
You want a SATA SSD that will use a connection designed for mechanical disks. Or do you prefer an SSD designed for PCI Express? In order to enter the storage highway?
But beware, depending on the product, an M.2 drive may work under the SATA interface or PCI Express interface. In fact, the fastest M.2 drives even support NVMe technology, a protocol designed just for super fast storage.
ATTENTION! -> An M.2 drive can be based on SATA technology, PCIe technology (without NVME) or PCIe technology (with NVME).
In short, if your daily tasks consist of web browsing, Office, or even games… You will not notice great advantages when using an NVME drive. However, if you have heavier tasks such as large file transfer, photo / video editing, transcoding, compression / decompression, it might be a good idea to opt for a more suitable SSD.
What kind of NAND Flash memory do you need?
When you buy an SSD, you probably don't look at it too much. But maybe it's a good idea to understand what kind of technology we have at our disposal.
- SLC – Single Layer Cell. One bit per cell, technology typically found in cache layers or super fast SSDs in the business world.
- MCL – Multi Layer Cell. Two bits per cell. We can find several such products in the market like Samsung 860 Pro.
- eMLC – Enterprise Multi Layer Cell. Same MLC but with lower speeds to lower the number of errors in memory. (Same 2 bits per cell)
- TLC – Triple Layer Cell. 3 bits per cell, a technology that dominates today's market.
- QLC – Quadruple Layer Cell. 4 bits per cell, technology we can already find on the market in products like the super cheap Samsung 860 QVO.
- PLC – Penta Layer Cell. 5 bits per cell, the new technology that Toshiba and Intel are betting on.
So what about storage Optane/ 3D XPoint?
3D XPoint technology was created in a partnership between Intel and Micron, and has the potential to be much faster than what currently exists in the SSD market. After all, the speed is comparable to what we can find in RAM.
However, while Micron wants to bring the technology to market, the only products we can find are from Intel in the form of Optane Memory. Which in the end is not quite an SSD, it is more a cache drive to increase the performance of an old HDD or SSD.
In short, it is a very recent technology, too expensive, and with little storage available.
In conclusion, now that we've talked a bit about the entire SSD market, your choice should be a little clearer. Still, always keep in mind… Buying a top-notch SSD super fast doesn't mean you'll feel that speed! You will have to have tasks that justify all this power.
That is, unless you are an enthusiast or professional, it is always better to opt for a less expensive but looking component that offers the storage you need at a decent speed.
Besides, what do you think about all this? Share with us your opinion in the comments below.
The News (Especial – Guia) How to buy the right SSD in 2019 !? first appeared on Leak.