What are SSDs?

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In a sentence, SSDs are storage devices intended to do what a normal HDD does but faster. So, that’s it then the end of the article. Sadly no, unlike the good old days of simple naming of hard disks, SSDs have a much more complex naming scheme, sometimes making the consumer confused about what kind of SSDs should one buy. So, let’s start the explanation:

Introduction:

SSDs stands for Solid State Drive which uses integrated circuits to store memory unlike their slower counterparts, HDD( Hard Disk Drive ) which uses magnetic disks to store memory. SSDs are much faster and consume much less power than HDDs though they are expensive than HDDs. SSDs are also much robust and have a greater lifetime as they have no moving parts. Putting an SSD is the easiest and quickest way to make your computer faster and performs significantly snappier. But not all SSDs are the same, so let’s discuss all of them one by one:

1.SATA 2.5″

SATA 2.5

These are the most popular kind of SSDs they are installed where your Hard Disk gets installed i.e. SATA port. It generally comes in a 2.5-inch casing which can be put anywhere you like which makes them easy to use as well as are very portable. They offer speeds up to around 5 times the speed of normal HDDs and are the cheapest of the bunch. They are about 4 times as costly the HDDs. This is the SSD I would generally recommend if you are looking to buy an SSD if you just need snappy performance and are not used to transfer large amounts of files between various computers. They can basically be installed on almost every desktop and laptop. A typical 256GB SATA 2.5″ SSD can cost you about 5-6 thousand rupees in Nepal.

2.M.2 SATA

M2 SATA 2

This the first spot of confusion but bear with me. So, M.2 SATA basically is the same as SATA 2.5 but different in size and structure physically. They are installed to an M.2 port but their connection is SATA so you get the same around 5 times the speed of HDDs. They are around the same price as SATA 2.5 but physically but are generally found in the size of 22mm in width and 80mm. Their most distinctive feature is the two key connectors shown in the picture. I would generally suggest you buy SATA 2.5″ SSD rather than M.2. but if your SATA port is already populated with another SSD or HDD you can comfortably buy this one as there is no difference. A typical 256GB M.2 SATA SSD can cost you about 5-6 thousand rupees in Nepal.

3.M.2 NVME

M.2 NVMe

This is the third kind of SSD available in the consumer market. They are also sometimes referred to as M.2 NVMe PCIe as their connection goes to the PCIe lanes of the motherboard. Here, NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express. They look a lot like M.2 SATA but can be easily differentiated by looking at their connector i.e. NVMe ones have one key connector. They are much faster than both SATA 2.5 and M.2 SATA and can give more than 4 times the performance i.e. read and write speeds of SATA SSDs. But they are also much more expensive than other SSDs. I would recommend these SSDs for those users whose works include video editing large files and transfer of multi GB files between computers. A typical 256GB M.2 can cost you about 9-10 thousand rupees in Nepal.