What is an SSD, how does it differ from hard disks? In this article, we discuss the advantages of “Solid State Drive”.
At the end of 2020, SSDs, which are frequently mentioned long-lasting storage drives, continue to develop day by day. Through this article, we will examine topics such as what SSD is and what it does.
What is an SSD and why should it be preferred?
Normal hard drives have spinning disc plates. They are likely to be damaged in the event of a possible fall or impact. In this context, the disc may lose its function after a possible jolt. SSDs, on the other hand, are manufactured more resistant to impacts and drops, and do not have disk plates.
In addition, we can say that they offer a better performance in terms of reading / writing speed. For example; Installing the basic programs, especially the operating system, and the games that are played a lot, to these drives allows both the system and the programs and games to work more efficiently.
With these two features, SSDs are at a higher price compared to a basic hard / portable drive. Of course, basic elements such as product capacity and technology are also taken as basis. For example, there are price differences between a SATA SSD and an NVMe SSD.
What are the advantages of SSD?
- No moving parts: The biggest problem with hard drives is that they have plates rotating at 5400 or 7200 revolutions per minute (sometimes 10,000 or 15,000). This makes the disc vulnerable to shock and causes the disc to wear over time. So even if you don’t write any data, hard drives continue to wear out where they work. SSDs have no moving parts. In this context, the SSD does not wear out if there is no read / write operation during the time it is powered.
- Fast: SSDs can access higher read / write speeds than a regular disk or even eMMC. It is also observed that the response time decreases from milliseconds to microseconds, which even exceeds 10ms on hard disks.
- Mobility: Just like phones, processors and tablets, disks are also getting smaller. With this development, it has become possible to see SSDs in laptops and game consoles. An M.2 2230 size hard disk will never be produced, but SSDs of this size are possible.
- Low failure rates: Based on the physical failures we have given above, low failure rates are observed in SSDs on the software side. We even know that SSDs maintain their speed throughout their lifetime unless it is a serious condition. In addition, SSDs also include error correcting code features (Error-Correcting Code / ECC).
- Size and design: SSDs, which include versatility in this area, are designed in accordance with 2.5 inch drive slots and M.2 slots. These storage units, which are called M.2 NVMe SSD, exhibit higher performance.
- Lifetime: Hard disks generally reach their lifespan of 6 ~ 10 years and now they begin to create defective parts called Bad Sector. On the other hand, SSD lifespan can go up to 10 times the warranty offered as we have tested before.
SSDs come in different varieties. In this process, their sizes and storage capacities vary.
- SATA III: SATA III is the end point of a legacy connectivity option that works with both HDD and SSD. SATA III standard was also used for SSDs during the transition from HDD to SSD, as motherboards did not yet adopt new standards in the period when SSDs were widespread. The SATA standard is still used in current SSDs, but with a speed of approximately 550 MB / s, it falls far behind PCIe SSDs. SSDs of this standard need a SATA cable and power cable to connect to the motherboard.
- PCIe: Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCI Express slot; often used for add-on cards such as graphics cards, USB ports, and sound cards. However, SSDs that can use the entire bandwidth for extremely fast data rates have now been developed. The latest generation of PCIe 4.0 SSDs were first released with AMD’s X570 motherboards. In addition, the drives that can offer up to 5,000 MB / s read and 4,400 MB / s write speeds are generally more than double the price of equivalent models in SATA.
- M.2: M.2 SSDs can be called the smallest disks by design. M.2 drives are a form factor that can take advantage of both SATA and NVMe controllers. These SSDs use a short pin connector and are usually located flush with the motherboard. This can give you an advantage in saving space. However, there may also be a disadvantage: Heating problems may occur along with problems with air flow. To prevent this, sometimes it is necessary to supplement the coolant.
- NVMeNVMe is the basic interface that allows almost all PCI Express SSDs to transfer data. It was originally designed to replace the AHCI protocol. AHCI replaced the outdated IDE protocol years ago. Thanks to AHCI, traditional HDDs managed the data load much more efficiently. However, the same efficiency is unfortunately not observed in SSDs. With NVMe, SSDs can handle larger command queues more efficiently. It is worth noting that NVMe SSDs can also use the parallel feature of modern SSDs much more effectively. It should be noted that the latest generation consoles such as PS5 and Xbox Series X also use NVMe SSD.