All You Need To Know About SSD: advantages, proper selection and setup

What makes Solid State Drive (SSD) technology so special? What about access and wait times, durability, performance, efficiency and reliability over the conventional hard drive? The below article provides full information about it.

SSD Panel

SSD is a "long-lasting drive" in free translation, but no stranger is to be scared by anyone because the product is responsible for removing / supplementing HDD machines that work in machines. Its operating principle is similar to memory cards and its practical application to HDD, which is actually a hybrid that combines the benefits of the two technologies. As a result, it can deliver astounding speeds besides data storage.

Solid State Drive (SSD) technology is conquering the markets. It has many advantages over conventional hard disks. SSDs represent the most significant advance in storage technology for drives on which the operating system operates for many years (called "primary storage"). Switching from a hard drive to an SSD does not just boost performance. SSDs change the course when dealing with PCs or notebooks, because they allow tens of thousands of random accesses per second and proverbial multitasking with almost any number of applications and services. At the same time, SSDs are impressively robust and reliable.

Unlike hard disks, SSDs have no moving parts, so all memory cells can be addressed at the same speed. This property is the linchpin of many benefits.

In today's world, time is money, so it's a long way to go if your laptop takes seconds in seconds for a number of tasks that have long been counted, but they also have a longer lifespan for SSDs.
If we are wondering whether our laptop is slow, but we have a smaller framework to develop it, we can get the most out of this product range without question. With NMS chips with an access time of 0.1 ms, the data access time can be greatly reduced.

Booting, launching and running a program windshield will be quick, and since it does not include moving parts, its warranty will be truly durable. It is lighter, consumes less, is quieter and does not heat up.

SSD TYPES:

  1. SATA and M.2
  2. External USB SSDs and SSHDs

SSD Types: SATA and M.2

Solid-state disks - or solid-state drives, both terms are common - are available not only with SATA connection and the size of notebook hard drives, but also in many other versions. Some are practical alternatives to 2.5-inch mass-produced goods, others only shine in special applications. 

With the 2.5-inch SSDs the pressure of competition is greatest, here you will find the cheapest offers and the largest selection. If you want to populate a new PC, it's best to use a SATA 6G SSD in a classic design. Even upgrading a SATA 6G SSD is a good choice, even if the existing motherboard or notebook has only one SATA-II interface. It is generally not worth retrofitting a SATA 6G card. 

Some laptops and mini-PCs from the years of construction from 2010 have sockets for compact SSD cards in mSATA format. The connector is similar to the one of WLAN adapters in the form of PCI Express Mini Cards - but an mSATA socket must be connected differently, you can not simply swap the WLAN adapter for an mSATA SSD. The length does not usually fit: mSATA cards may be much longer, two length dimensions are common. To attach the SSD threaded sleeves are available on the board, where you fix the card with a tiny screw. Depending on the chipset, mSATA SSDs are connected via SATA II or SATA 6G.
SATA and M.2
After a few minutes of full load, the controller (right) of this M.2-SSD (Samsung 950 Pro) heats up to almost 100 ° C. It is clearly visible on the thermal image that only the right flash chip iS DESCRIBED.

Some manufacturers sell SATA 6G SSDs with nearly identical controllers and both 2.5 "and mSATA flash chips, typically with performance data very similar, but mSATA versions often heat up during long writes stronger, then the speed drops.

Slimmer than mSATA SSDs are those in M.2 format, but often longer. M.2 versions can only be found in systems since about 2013. In the older computers, just like mSATA ports, they are only connected with SATA 6G lanes. The most important advantage of M.2, however, is that depending on the system, two or four PCIe lanes are available, ideally, therefore, they can flow up to 4 GB / s via PCIe 3.0.

Confusion threatens so even when buying a M.2 SSD, because not only their length must fit to the motherboard - M.2 there are three screw positions for the types 2242, 2260 and 2280 -, but also their SSD controller: either SATA or PCI Express and PCIe with AHCI or NVMe protocol, and two or four lanes of the second or third PCIe generation. After all, PCIe is backward compatible: An M.2 SSD with PCIe 3.0 x4 also runs in a slot that only PCIe 2.0 x2 masters, albeit slower.

SSD Types: External USB SSDs and SSHDs

Finally, there are also external USB SSDs. Most of them work with USB 3.0 and thus with a maximum of 440 MByte / s, and even that is not sure: For this the operating system and external SSD must support the mode UASP mode (USB attached SCSI). If they do not, the fast SSDs snore at less than 200 MB / s.

Faster seems the connection with USB 3.1, but also there you have to be careful: USB 3.1 supports two speeds, namely 5 GBit / s and 10 GBit / s. The slower mode corresponds to USB 3.0, here the marking with USB 3.1 alone uses the marketing department of the manufacturer. Only with "USB 3.1 Gen. 2" designated external SSDs make full use of the potential of the interface and can thus reach just under 1 GB / s - if the built-SSD can deliver this speed.

External USB SSDs and SSHDs

If you need a lot of space but do not want to pay for a really big SSD, you have another alternative: Solid State Hybrid Disks (SSHDs) combine the great capacity of a hard drive with the speed of an SSD. Serve desktop PC or notebook only as a typewriter or surf station, then works fine: In mostly 8 GByte and invisible to the user SSD part, the SSD automatically stores frequently requested files, Windows and applications so start quickly. The SSHD reads all other data from the hard disk part - this only interferes with large copy actions, but not with movie watching or listening to music.


Access and waiting Times

Modern SSDs achieve access times for random operations in the range of 0.1 ms, while 2.5 "hard disks, such as those frequently used in notebooks, require an average of at least 10 - 12 ms. SSDs are about 16 bits faster than data access 100 times faster, which includes search and wait times Modern SSDs provide access times for random operations in the range of 0.1 ms, while 2.5 "hard drives, such as those commonly used in notebooks, average at least 10 - 12 ms need. SSDs are over 100 times faster than hard drives when accessing data.
This includes search and waiting times. In addition, hard drives "suffer" from the effect that data can be stored in many pieces distributed - one speaks here of fragmentation. A frequent repositioning of the heads is necessary to collect all the fragments of a file. And almost always there are waiting times.


SSD capacity from 250 GB to 4 TB

At least 250 GB should be it today. This capacity provides ample space for Windows or Linux, some applications and the working files. An SSD with only 128 GB may be sufficient at first glance, but at the latest after various Windows updates it will be tight. Players with more than 50 GB of Steam packages are better off with 512 GB or even one TB of disk space. Only the wallet sets a limit - the largest SATA SSDs currently come from Samsung and hold 4 TB. There are also larger SSDs, but only with the usual SAS port on servers.


The prices for 250 GB SSDs have meanwhile settled well below 100 euros, even under 70 euros are models of well-known manufacturers. Most providers have several SSD variants in the program. The more expensive ones are different in the scope of supply of the cheaper ones: So is often a removal program for dubbing the old Windows installation at. Less obvious are the differences in the inner values. For more expensive SSDs, manufacturers are looking for more powerful controllers and better flash. Also, they often give a longer warranty. 


Performance

The short access times directly contribute to high performance of a system under heavy workloads. The ability to address each storage area with virtually no latency means that multiple applications can be active simultaneously without delays. Users with SSDs also experience noticeable improvements over HDDs when booting or shutting down the system, when loading applications, browsing the Internet, installing applications, or copying files.

Long hourglass on Windows or other wait icons become the exception for drive related activities. The opening and closing of notebook displays and the associated operating system functions "save power" (or "sleep" and "wake") or "standby" work practically without tedious waiting times. These performance benefits are results of high performance sequential and random read or write of modern SSDs. Fast sequential transfer rates allow fast copying and fluid handling of large files such as Eg videos.


Durability

Mechanical vibrations end in turntables or CD players with a "jump" during playback. Compared to an MP3 player, the two mentioned disc media appear rather vulnerable. Whenever mechanical components are involved, there is the risk of mechanical influences or damage. And whenever mechanical stress is involved, the affected components exploit over time. An SSD can withstand up to 40 times more vibration than a hard drive (20 G instead of 0.5 G or 1,500 G shocks versus 350 G for hard drives). Data stored on SSD will usually survive shocks and shocks better. This also means that an SSD can reliably play a video during a busy flight or a car ride over bad roads,


Reliability

Anyone who still remembers the good, old music box knows how fast it could break and how complex it was to find the desired piece through laborious spooling. The CD was a significant advance in reliability and ease of use.

The same happens when comparing between HDD and SSD. The mechanical components that are not present in SSDs mean that no failure can take place for this reason. Samsung SSDs are specified and tested in the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) method for 1.5 million hours. By contrast, high-quality 2.5-inch consumer hard drives typically achieve 500,000 to 700,000 hours, and Samsung achieves relatively low failure rates (AFR) for its SSDs in the industry, thanks to stringent quality controls and fully automatic chip selection processes.

Efficiency

If an HDD is to read or store data, the spindle motor must accelerate all the storage disks to the nominal speed and the comb with all the read / write heads must constantly be repositioned - this is a comparatively large amount of mechanical effort. An SSD only activates the data paths to the required memory areas and uses much less energy.


Controller in the SSD: connection between memory chips and PC

The controller takes care of the connection between memory chips and PC. Often it is a combination processor (system on chip) with two or more cores. One takes care of the connection to the PC, the one or the other to the Flash management.

Since flash memory can be read quickly, but is rather slow in writing, one uses various methods for acceleration. In addition to the DRAM cache - typically 1 MByte cache per GB storage capacity - this includes the largest possible number of memory channels. This allows the controller to distribute data across multiple chips simultaneously.

The controller's administrative tasks include garbage collection, wear leveling, checksuming, bad block management, and encryption. Many SSDs store the data encrypted in principle, even if the user has not assigned a key himself. Garbage collection usually runs in the background when the SSD has little to do. It combines blocks of pages that are not fully occupied to provide as many free pages as possible.

The SSD does not necessarily know that data is no longer needed - if the user deletes a file, only the entry in the file system disappears. Therefore, modern operating systems of the SSD trim-command which blocks are no longer needed. The SSD can also clean up and provide more free pages.

When writing, the controller generates checksums and saves them with. If they no longer read while reading, the controller tries to correct the data by means of correction mechanisms. Such errors occur especially with progressive wear of the SSD. Samsung and Toshiba use in-house developments in their SSDs, most other manufacturers use controllers from Silicon Motion, JMicron or Marvell. 



The change is worthwhile

Switching from hard drive to SSD makes the PC or notebook noticeably faster, more robust and more reliable. No upgrade of another component will have so many positive effects at the same time.

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