Solid-state drives are one of the few technologies in recent years that have really influenced the development of modern computers. SSDs set a new standard for system speed and responsiveness, making laptops and desktops smaller, more reliable, and quieter. This is largely the envy and speed of your work on the Internet – especially for those who play games or place bets at Woo Casino.
With the advent of fast SSDs in the next generation of consoles, the games themselves will gradually change – developers have repeatedly noted that the need to equal slow HDD hard drives imposed great restrictions on how virtual worlds look and work.
But at the same time, SSD drives are far from the same: there are many options that differ in appearance, connection type, and even manufacturing technology – this affects their speed, durability, and compatibility with specific systems. We will talk about the features in this article.
Formats and connection interfaces
Solid-state drives are silent and take up less space than classic 3.5-inch hard drives, and programs and the system as a whole begin to load many times faster.
The SSD market is diverse – in large online component stores, you will have to choose from several hundred models that differ in volume, speed, physical size, a connection interface, and, of course, price. On sale, you can find options from one and a half to two thousand to half a million rubles, and the volume varies from 32 GB to 4 TB.
Internal SSDs are connected to the computer through four types of connectors. The physical appearance of the connector determines the format of the drive that is connected to it. Some connectors on a computer motherboard are unique to devices with a particular interface, but there are more universal ones.
SATA is a small connector on the motherboard with an L-shaped key inside. Both conventional hard drives and SSDs with SATA III interface in 2.5-inch cases are connected to it.
U.2 is a relatively rare connector for connecting fast NVMe SSD drives in 2.5-inch cases. Supports “hot-swapping” of devices, useful in professional tasks.
mSATA is a flat connector on the motherboard designed for peripheral boards such as Wi-Fi adapters, sound cards, cards with additional USB ports, and SSD drives. Supports SATA III 6Gb/s.
M.2 (B-key and M-key) – outwardly almost indistinguishable from each other, with the exception of the location of the contacts. This is a universal slot that supports the SATA III interface, but at the same time provides a wide enough channel for NVMe drives. B-key supports up to two PCIe 3.0 lanes, while M-keys are equipped with four PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 lanes. B+M combo slots are most often used on modern motherboards.
Two M.2 drives have the same format but use different interfaces. The NVMe model has a sequential write speed of 3200 MB / s, while the speed of the SATA drive does not exceed 520 MB / s – six times slower
PCI-express – some drives are connected to a standard PCIe slot on the motherboard, which is usually used for video cards, video capture cards, and other similar devices. Some models connect directly, but there are universal adapters for regular M.2 drives.
Drives with the same connectors may use different interfaces to connect to the processor. Formally, there are only two interfaces: SATA and NVMe. However, each has several varieties that differ in data transfer speed.
Most drives communicate with the processor and RAM through the chipset, which, in turn, is connected to the processor by four PCIe 3.0 lanes (less often, PCIe 4.0). Accordingly, if there is something else in the system besides the drive (sound card, video capture card, DVD drive, network adapter, or other drives), the channel is divided between all devices.
Thus, when choosing an SSD for a computer or laptop, carefully study the available connectors – in the case of M.2 slots, you will have to look for the exact specification on the official website, in the motherboard manual, or in reviews of technical publications.
The second important point is not to overdo it with the number and speed of devices. The communication bandwidth between the chipset and the processor is limited, so putting several expensive NVMe drives on it at once may not be the best idea.