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SSD, What is it and how to choose an SSD disk

SSD is a particular type of hard drive that uses flash memory compared to classic hard drives. They have no mechanical parts.

Lately, we hear a lot about SSD, in fact, for some years now many people have also already started to install them on the computer. The question, however, to the less accustomed to new technologies arises: what are SSD disks? In practice, they are “special” hard drives, which use flash memories compared to classic hard drives. When it comes to solid-state drives (SSD stands for Solid State Drive in English ), many compare these tools with hard drives.

It is true that these are two alternative solutions to each other, but we must not think of SSDs as an evolution of hard drives, but a new technology that has radically changed the management of internal memory. For years, hard drives have focused on ever-larger storage capacity, while solid-state drives aim at safety, speed and in particular to improve the performance of the machine where they are installed. Today SSD disks are increasingly present on modern laptops, however, it is important to understand what features you need to evaluate, to determine which is the best solution that can meet your needs.

SSD and Hard disk, what differences

What are the structural differences between an SSD and a hard disk? Solid-state drives, for example, Kingston SSD A400, unlike hard drives, have no mechanical parts such as heads or turntables. Without mechanical components, it is much more difficult that the SSD can break due to damage or falls. The removal of the mechanical parts was possible thanks to the use of SATA collectors (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), compatible with practically any motherboard. Working with collectors at RAM level, performance improves, but SSD disks have a limit, that is, a precise time duration. On average, the life of solid-state drives is 5-6 years, although it all depends on the write cycles.

The development of SSD and technical evolutions

Over the years the interfaces of solid-state drives have been the subject of developments and evolutions. In the beginning, for example, they were only used on laptops, while in recent times they are also starting to be adopted on fixed devices and ultra-thin notebooks of the latest generation. This success stems from a number of new features and faster data transfer speeds than ever before. On the market, there are SSD with a SATA III interface and hard disk, with SAS or HDD interface, or with SATA III or Serial ATA-600 interface.

Which option should I buy? As always, at the technological level, before buying a device you need to analyze your needs. If our first need is storage space, especially above 1TB, it is better to buy a hard disk. On the contrary, if we aim at the writing speed and the best performance of the machine, the recommended choice is solid-state drives. Here are some useful tips for choosing an SSD drive for your pc.

How to choose an SSD disk

Before buying a PC, or buying an SSD disk to be installed on the laptop, it is important to understand how to evaluate the technical characteristics of this hardware component. First of all, it is necessary to consider their compatibility with your notebook or PC, analyzing whether the dimensions allow perfect integration. Today most of the M.2 and SATA memories adapt without problems to the standard measures, which for current PCs range from 5 to 9 millimeters as regards the height and size of 2.5 inches.

In the same way, it is fundamental to look at the capacity of the SSD disk, according to which the medium will be able to store a more or less high amount of data. On the market you can find very different models, with a storage capacity between 64GB and 4TB, therefore it is essential to opt for a suitable product according to your personal needs. The mid-range SSD disks offer a space of 500GB, otherwise, with the high-end models, you can get to 1 or 2 TB without problems.

Equally important is the number of write cycles, that is, how many times you can use the storage space before the media is no longer available, then before it stops working and ensures optimal performance. On average modern SSDs offer 3 to 5 thousand cycles, however, the presence of a cleaning system is essential. This device, in fact, allows increasing the duration of the memory, thanks to the possibility of eliminating the junk files automatically, an effective solution especially if combined with a TRIM functionality.

The best internal SSD drives

Here are the best models of internal SSD disks to buy, suitable for all needs.

Crucial BX500

If you want to buy a good quality SSD drive, but without spending too much money, a suitable model is the Crucial BX500. This is an internal memory with 240GB of storage space, however, you can also find the variants at 480GB, 960GB and professional options up to 2TB. The dimensions are standard, with 2.5 inches and 7 mm in height, Flash technology, and Micron 3D Nand system. Good performance and efficiency, as well as quietness, also this support is compatible with most notebooks on the market.

SanDisk Plus SSD

Among the cheap SSD disks, one of the most popular products is the SanDisk Plus SSD, on Amazon. In this version, the solid memory capacity is 240GB, therefore suitable for non-professional needs, with a SATA 3 interface that requires compatible support inside your PC. The reading speed is 535 MB / s while the writing speed is 450 MB / s, with a size of 2.5 inches and a height of 7 mm. The product offers a 24-month warranty and can be used with Windows operating systems from version 7 onwards.

Kingston SSD A400

A fairly cheap but good quality SSD disk is the Kingston SSD A400, a fairly reliable model that can ensure good durability. It is a robust and resistant component, with a height of 7 mm and an M.2 format, compatible with all the most popular notebooks and PCs on the market. This SSD has a capacity of 480GB, with a write speed of 500 MB / s, has a Flash-type memory and is also available in other formats. The purchase cost is approximately 45 euros, confirming an excellent quality-price ratio.

SanDisk SSD Ultra 3D

Among the mid-range SSD disks, we find a very reliable model, the SanDisk SSD Ultra 3D, designed specifically for those who need high performance. Based on the new 3D Nand technology, safe and efficient, it offers a 2.0 cache and an energy-saving unit, with speeds of 560 MB / s for reading and 530 MB / s for writing. The capacity of this version is 500GB, with DRR3L SDRAM flash memory and physical height of 7 mm. The interface is SATA Revision 3.0 at 6 GB / s, with the reduction of vibrations and operating temperature up to 70 ° C.

Samsung 860 EVO

A mid-range model is the Samsung 860 EVO SSD disk, which in this version has a storage capacity of 500GB. Alternatively, it is available in versions from 250GB up to 4TB. This SSD has Samsung’s patented V-Nand technology, with a standard 2.5-inch format and a height of 7mm. The reading speed is 550 MB / s, with a 6 GB / s SATA interface compatible with 1.5 and 3 GB / s SATA architectures. This support ensures high performance, optimal data security, and constant firmware updates.

Best portable external SSD drives

For greater convenience, you can also choose between different models of portable external SSD disks: here are the best.

Samsung MU-PA500B T5

In addition to the internal models, it is possible to purchase an external SSD disk, portable support to be connected to the PC via USB cable. A product with an excellent quality-price ratio is the Samsung MU-PA500B T5, rather compact and light hardware, with a weight of 51 grams and dimensions of 57 x 10 mm. The internal memory capacity is 500GB, or there are the 250GB, 1 and 2TB variants. The technology is the official Samsung V-Nand technology, quite efficient and reliable, with a data transfer speed of up to 540 MB / s, which can also support 4K video.

SanDisk Extreme SSD Portable

Among the external SSD disks, we find the SanDisk Extreme SSD Portable. This support has a storage capacity of 500GB, otherwise, there are the 250GB, 1 and 2TB versions, able to satisfy every need. Specifically, it is an external DDR3L SDRAM memory, with IP55 certified structure and resistant to dust and particles, a pocket memory to always carry with you, with a weight of only 41 grams. The SSD is compatible with Windows and Mac OS operating systems, and also boasts a read speed of up to 550 MB / s.

WD My Passport GO

High-quality SSD disk, designed for professional use and for those who need high performance, WD My Passport GO support is a 500GB portable SSD memory, also available in the 1TB version of storage space. The performances are of a reading speed up to 400 MB / s, with an integrated automatic backup system and drop resistance up to 2 meters high, thanks to an external shockproof rubber coating. This SSD disk is compact and robust, equipped with a USB cable for quick connection, it is compatible with Windows and Mac OS PC.

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