How to Find an SSD for Your Laptop or Computer

The world of modern electronics is actively developing, and today no one will be surprised by the purchase of an SSD drive. This type of solid-state drive appeared recently, but it spread incredibly quickly. When choosing an SSD drive, buyers often have several problems with a large assortment of different values.

At the same time, it isn’t easy to find exact solutions for them without a detailed investigation. It is enough to spend a few minutes clearly understanding how to choose the right SSD for a computer or laptop in 2020 while not overpaying for those fancy functions that your computer will not need.

 

The Difference Between SSD and HDD

The Difference Between SSD and HDD

Classic hard drives are officially called HDDs (English “Hard Disk Drive”). They have accompanied personal computers and laptops for almost the entire history of their existence. They are the most critical components since they store absolutely all files, including the operating system. Accordingly, without these parts, it was impossible to start the computer.

However, recently a new type of drive has been actively spreading. We are talking, of course, about the SSD (English “Solid-State Drive”). Solid-state drives are gradually winning the hearts of users with their speed and excellent technical parameters. Even computer manufacturers are switching to SSDs, using them either instead of or in conjunction with HDDs. So what’s the difference?

When deciding what is better for a computer, hard drive or SSD, the user should have a clear picture of both options’ pros and cons. Of course, the advantages of a solid-state drive are more significant:

  • increased speed of work, in particular, reading and writing information;
  • heat and energy efficiency;
  • compactness;
  • increased resistance to damage (overheating, mechanical shocks);
  • silent operation.

But there are advantages to the hard drive:

  • protection against electrical damage;
  • low cost;
  • the ability to restore information in case of loss.

If you think from a technical point of view, the difference between the disks is specific characteristics. A detailed comparative analysis of this data is rather dull, so it is not worth presenting it (and there is no point in it), but its result is predictable; if you have financial resources, it is better to choose an SSD drive since it will provide the most outstanding performance, speed and efficiency of working with the file system.

 

Criteria for choosing a solid-state drive

Criteria for choosing a solid-state drive

Solid-state drives (and hard drives) have several technical characteristics that are simultaneously the criteria for choosing an SSD. These include several parameters that determine the operation of the device: types and amounts of memory, connection methods, read and write speed, the resource of working capacity to failure, and additional properties. It is worth noting that it is impossible to find the perfect combination of all the parameters. Still, it is pretty simple to choose a fast and high-quality SSD drive according to them: you need to get acquainted and understand its technical side.

Volume

The most popular criterion for an SSD drive is the choice of the amount of data being written. The amount of information that an SSD can store is one of the most critical parameters. Classic HDD hard drives are traditionally equipped with memory for 500 GB and higher (older models). However, solid-state drives have a smaller volume. But there is an entirely logical explanation for this.

To choose a good SSD drive, you need to determine its role. You can often find computers where an SSD is installed along with an HDD, while the first volume is several times less than the second. For example, a solid-state drive is designed for 60 GB, and a hard disk is designed for 500 GB. This means that the SSD is used only for the system, and the main one is a classic hard drive. However, laptops (usually gaming) have either a separate 500 GB solid-state drive (less often-1000 GB) or the same disk in combination with an HDD of about 1000 (1500) GB.

If you plan to use an SSD for the system, then buy a drive with a capacity of 64 GB to 128 GB. This will be more than enough and will not hit your pocket!

 

Memory types

SSD drives are characterized by the use of different memory cells, which are divided into different types. There are four of them in total:

MLC. This species has received the widest distribution. It involves placing two bits of data in one cell. The rewrite cycle is small (from 3000 to 10000 times), but the lower price eliminates this disadvantage.

SLC. In this case, there is one bit of information per cell. This architecture is suitable for powerful devices that constantly work with a vast amount of data. Overwrite cycles can reach 100,000 times; the speed is also at an excellent level, but the cost of an SSD with this type of memory is much higher than the others.

TLC. The architecture of the drive assumes that three bits of information correspond to one cell. The number of rewriting acts does not exceed 3000 times (less often-5000). The price of such a budget SSD is an order of magnitude lower, so it’s better for lovers of saving to take a closer look at this option.

The latest development in the field of data storage. 3D-V-NAND. It does not use MLC or TLC, but a particular flash memory, thanks to which the amount of information to be recorded increases per unit area. This type is still rare, but, shortly it can make a splash.

 

Connection methods SSD

The connection of a solid-state drive and a hard disk takes place inside the case of a laptop or computer using unique interfaces. The latter can have various types, among which there are:

SATA II

SATA III

mSATA

PCIe

Also, some programmers also include M.2, but it is a continuation of mSATA.

The most popular interfaces are SATA II and III. The first model is gradually going out of circulation since the second one has received a more technological connector and improved contacts that increase the efficiency of interaction. mSATA works on the same principle; only the model is used in compact computers due to the reduced size. The most effective option is PCIe, which uses third-party drivers to work, due to which data transfer is carried out several times faster.

 

Write/read

speed read/write speed of the drive

As mentioned above, one of the advantages of an SSD drive for a PC is the high speed of writing and reading data. Regarding this parameter, there are minor reservations, taking into account which will avoid unnecessary questions. 

 

Health resource before failure

It is impossible to purchase the best SSD drive without knowing the performance of the drive. The classification by memory type has already been given above. It depends on it how many times you can overwrite the data. The most short-lived (and therefore the most economical) option is TLC. It allows from 1000 to 3000 rewrite cycles. For MLC, this indicator is from 3 to 5 thousand times, which is an average indicator. And, finally, the most extended service life is distinguished by solid-state drives with the SLC memory type, which can withstand up to 100 thousand rewriting cycles.

When buying a good SSD drive, you should not focus on this parameter since even the most direct drive will be enough for you for at least ten years or even more.

 

Additional functions

The main task of an SSD is to store files and provide the fastest and most reliable access to data. However, there are some other features. For example, the TRIM option. It consists in deleting data that is overwritten in a particular cell. In the hard disk for the computer, when writing new data, the old identical indicators remain, so to speak, “under the cells”. Before overwriting the SSD, the system deletes the data from the cell, and only then do we write new ones there. All modern solid-state drives support this function; the only question is whether the OS supports it (available with MS Windows 7).

Another exciting feature is the hidden area. Every high-quality SSD has it, but the user does not have access to it. The fact is that the cells in which information is stored tend to fail. However, when one of them” dies”, it is automatically replaced. The volume of the hidden area can be about 30% of the storage capacity. But if you want to buy an inexpensive but reliable SSD drive, you will find an increased volume and a reserve of only 10% on their packages. This allows the user to get a more significant amount of memory for a lower cost.

 

Equipment

To find the answer to the question, which is better to buy an SSD drive, the disk configuration often helps. When purchasing, the seller can offer both the device itself and the kit. If the goal is to buy an inexpensive but good SSD disk, you prefer the first option. However, it is best to take all the components. These include cables, sledges for mounting in a 3.5-inch slot and a 2.5-inch USB case. All this will allow you to install the drive without “dancing with a tambourine”.

 

Choosing a company of SSD disks

Choosing a company of SSD disks

Choosing the company of the SSD drive

After all, the most critical parameters are studied, you can proceed to the main action. To date, not every manufacturer can offer to buy a high-quality and fast SSD drive for their laptop or computer. The most popular among them is Kingston, which sells various kinds of components for PCs (including HDD, USB drives). Only SSD drives from Sandisk can compete with them in terms of prevalence, which came to the segment of solid-state drives not so long ago, but managed to prove itself from the best side. Premium quality but quite expensive products are offered by famous companies Samsung, HP and Intel. Also, ADATA and Transcend can be called reliable manufacturers of drives. The choice here depends more on the price preferences of the buyer.

We recommend you watch an exciting video on how to choose an SSD drive correctly!

 

Conclusion

Solid-state drives are gradually expanding the “sphere of influence” and replacing classic hard drives. The model range is increasing; component manufacturers are willing to join this segment of the computer parts market. Given these factors, the question of how to choose the best SSD drive for a computer in 2020 is becoming particularly relevant. However, a systematic, meaningful approach to the choice will allow you to get a reliable SSD drive in the price-quality ratio and and save money that can be spent on unsuitable options purchased due to inexperience.

Leave a Comment