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Upgrading your computer system or laptop from an HDD to an SSD (Solid-State Drive) can significantly boost its performance. It is because SSDs are a lot faster than conventional HDDs as they have no moving parts and access data digitally from flash memories,. Whereas HDDs use a physical mechanism with old-fashioned moving parts to read data from magnetic stripes.
SSDs, in essence, work like RAM or memory in a computer. They both use Integrated Circuits or chips for storing data and hence are a lot faster compared to mechanical HDDs. However, while RAMs are volatile and lose the data stored in them when the system is powered off, SSDs are non-volatile. They retain the data stored in them even after the device is turned off.
Many users are switching or supplementing their desktop and laptop HDDs with SSDs due to the better performance and longer battery life. It reduces the loading time of the operating system and speeds up the execution of applications and tasks.
There are different types of SSDs available in the market. They not only differ in their performance and price but also use different types of connectors. SSDs can be divided into four broad categories depending on the types of connectors they support:
The above SSDs have different connectivity interfaces and varying specifications. Some SSDs are fast while others are more affordable. They are designed considering the needs of different consumer segments.
Choosing the right SSD out of these can be quite confusing for a buyer. If you are looking to upgrade your system with an SSD but don’t know which one to choose, then don’t worry, we have got you covered and will help you make the right decision.
SATA SSDs are the most popularly found categories of SSDs. These SSDs use a SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) interface to connect to the computer. Modern HDDs also use a SATA interface. SATA was first introduced in the year 2000 as version 1.0 (SATA I) and had a transfer speed of up to 1.5Gbit/s. The SATA standard was revised to 2.0 in 2004 (SATA II) and supported a speed of up to 3.0Gbit/s.
Modern laptops and desktops feature SATA 3.0 ports (SATA III) that support a transfer speed of up to 6Gbit/s (750MB/s). They are used to connect HDDs, DVD drives and SSDs to the desktop or laptop. SATA SSDs use the SATA 3 interface for connecting to the computer or laptop. These SSDs generally have a read and write speeds in the range of 450-550 MB/s on an average which is a lot faster than SATA 3 HDDs that have a read and write speed varying from 70-200 MB/s.
SATA 3 SSDs are the best choice for most consumers who want to replace their current HDDs to speed up their system. They are also ideal for gamers who want to reduce the loading time of games. Developers and programmers may find these SSDs adequate for their requirements.
They have the same form-factor as 2.5inch HDDs and will easily fit most laptops. Laptop owners can replace the internal HDD with an SSD for boosting its performance. If you are building a new desktop system, you can use a SATA SSD for the OS drive and a regular HDD for supplementary storage. SATA SSDs are also the most economical among the different types of SSDs.
The mSATA or mini-SATA SSDs are similar in performance to SATA3 SSDs but have a slightly different connector known as mSATA. They use the mSATA connector which was announced in September 2009 and is smaller than the standard SATA connector.
It is designed to facilitate installation of SSDs in devices that have a small form factor. These include netbooks, ultrabooks, and other devices that can’t accommodate a standard SATA SSD. mSATA SSDs are smaller than SATA SSDs and will fit computing gadgets that have a small footprint.
The speed of mSATA SSDs is comparable to SATA SSDs, but they are slightly expensive than the latter. mSATA SSDs are suitable for users whose devices have mSATA connector instead of standard SATA connector. M2 Connectors are found on older variants of laptops but are rarely seen on desktops. Nowadays, manufacturers use an M.2 connector instead of an mSATA connector on their devices.