Best SSD 2018 (SATA, mSATA, M.2)

In the world of hardware, if you want to improve your computer performance, everything goes through choosing a good solid state drive, characterized by a high speed data transfer (up to 10x more than mechanical drives) and minimum information accessing times. [toc]

What is an SSD?

SSD stands for Solid State Drive. These are devices that use memories such as flash drives or USB drives, but of a higher quality. They can come in different formats, from typical portable hard drives to small cards that plug into special ports (mSATA or PCIe).

The difference between a hard drive and an SSD is the time it takes to access information and data transfer. On hard drives, the discs are turning all the time and only read information when the head passes through the point where the information is. With SSD memories, it directly accesses the information at any time it wants. The transfer speed of the hard drive depends on the speed of the disc, but is something that can’t be increased lightly, especially in the case of hard drives destined for home users.

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What an SSD controller is for and the job it does

When we read the specifications of a solid state storage unit, just as important as knowing the type of NAND memory that it uses inside to store our data, is to know what SSD controller the manufacturer has decided to install in it. But do we know what the controller is and how it is used in the function of the SSD?

Apart from the fact that the price of NAND memory is right now in the clouds, there is no doubt that solid state storage units are the greatest revolution that has been seen in decades within the area of consumer-market computer products and related to data storage on a personal level.

And we can affirm this in such a categorical manner not only because the latency in accessing the data that we store on these units is practically non-existent, but also because of the irrefutable improvements in speed that we have achieved because of them. This improvement in speed has allowed us to pass from the 100 or 200 MB/s that a mechanical hard drive could offer us (in the best of cases), to the 550 MB/s or 3 GB/s that SSD units are able to offer (depending on whether they use SATA or PCIe buses).

SSD

The SSD controller is in charge of organizing all of the data in the NAND memory cells

Given the high rate of transfer of files that a good SSD unit can reach, it’s important that its manufacturer incorporates a good SSD controller which takes charge of controlling where those files go and placing them in the memory directories that are free, carrying out an exhaustive control of the files. This function is basic in order to always know at every moment how much free space remains in our storage unit.

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Comparison: SATA 3 SSD vs PCI-Express (PCIe) SSD, is it worth the investment?

As you know, for some time now the performance of SATA3 SSDs reached its peak due to interface limitation, and for that reason nowadays the SSDs with PCI-Express interface –whichever format they may be- and especially those with NVMe, for their high performance, are booming. Today we want to show you a performance comparison, but not in our usual analysis level, but a closer inspection, using real life tests and daily use of the computer, to see if it’s worth or not to update our SATA3 SSD to a PCI-Express.

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How to add a 2nd hard drive (SSD) to a Laptop?

Changing your laptop’s hard drive or installing an additional one is a very simple task. Here we show you how to do it and what you should keep in mind.

1: Check your computer’s specs

Before buying anything, the first thing we have to do is check our computer’s specs. This is very important since, even if you’re going to replace your existing unit, you must check the compatibility of the models that you plan to install.

For that you must check the technical specifications of your laptop online, and closely examine the storage specs. This way you will know which units it supports, although it’s not always easy to find our model, even looking at several websites. This isn’t infallible, and there will be occasions where you will have to look for another solution.

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Samsung announces its new V-NAND chip and their SSDs of up to 32TB

Samsung announced in the Flash Memory Summit 2016 its fourth generation of 3D V-NAND memory Flash. These new memory chips of vertical arrangement have up to 64 layers, which means that each chip has a capacity of up to 512 Gigabits. The manufacturer has also announced that these will be used in their next generation of SSDs that will reach up to 32TB capacity in a 2.5-inch format.

Samsung

The previous generation of Samsung’s V-NAND had 48 layers per chip, so the maximum capacity of these was 256GB. As an example, these third-generation chips have been used in the 4TB versions of SSDs Samsung 850 EVO. With the arrival of the fourth generation,the number of layers has been increased to 64, significantly increasing the maximum capacity per chip, occupying the same space.

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Seagate already has a SSD that reaches 10GB/s the PCI-Express

Seagate

The Flash Memory Summit just ended, so have to talk about storage devices. One of the biggest bombs of the fair was given by Seagate, as they introduced their new PCI-Express SSD Nytro XP7200, with a total capacity of up to 7.7TB and is capable of operating at speeds up to 10,000 MB/s . They have also shown a 3.5-inch SSD with 60TB capacity.

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Crucial finally announces their first SSDs M.2 NVMe

It was already unusual for a manufacturer with the category and history of Crucial (which is actually a Micron Technology brand) not to have last generation solid state devices in its catalog, but fortunately that is over as it just announced its new generation of high-performance SSDs with M.2 format and which use the NVMe protocol, using a PCI-Express interface.

Crucial-Ballistix-TX3

You know that since long time ago the SSDs with SATA 3 interface reached their performance limit, which is why manufacturers of storage devices had to look for other alternatives to further improve and they found in the PCI-Express lanes the ideal solution, thanks to their high bandwidth (they use a PCI-Express rail of 32 Gb/s). Of course it was difficult to use this interface with the usual format of 2.5 inches, so the M.2/U.2 format is now the chosen one thanks to the small space it occupies and to its versatility (with M.2 SSDs variants and an adapter which connects directly to a PCI-Express x4 of the motherboard).

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AMD Announces The SSD Radeon R3

The Radeon R3 is the new AMD SSD unit series, updating a storage catalog Storage in which Sunnyvale’s company is also present, in order to “offer consumers a unique window” in computer products, which includes the main components of a computer under its own brand.

The Radeon R3s are sold in a 2.5-inch and 7mm thickness format which allows inclusion in ultra-portables. They use a Silicon Motion SM2256KX controller which under a SATA-III interface provides a data transfer rate up to 520/470 Mbytes per second, depending on the model.

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