SSD Interface- The Details Of All The Interface Types

Digital storage basics

During the past years, Solid State Drives manufacturers have made lots of improvements of their products. The drives that were costly in the past have become reasonably priced in the present years. However, many users do not have a clear idea on the SSD interfaces and the available types in the market. The performance of most of these SSDs is better than any traditional HDD. Most common interface types comprise PCI Express, SATA, M.2 and many more. If you have a concept on all these interfaces, you may surely pick the right one.

Interface performance

Credit Tom’s Hardware

Know everything about SATA

To connect SSD, SATA has become the most popular interface used for connecting SSDs today. The latest version for the interface is SATA III, and it deals with 6 Gbps or 600 MB/s. Due to the availability of several SATA drive manufacturers, this interface has become low priced. The size of this SSD is about 2.5in.

PCIe interface and its categories

The interface, PCIe includes point-to-point arrangement, and it’s such an interface type that is useful for connecting Graphics cards. SSDs, which are based on PCIe, can be linked up to the expansion section, present in the motherboard of a computer. They help in connecting power and data.

The main way in which PCIe is different from SATA SSD is that it has better bandwidth and its signaling is also faster. As there is direct peripheral connection, PCIe interface work in a better way.

The interface, SATA was just like the interface of your HDD. However, with the increasing need of faster performing interfaces, lots of modifications have been done to SATA interfaces.

If you have considered PCIe SSDs, you can get two main categories-

  • Aggregator
  • Native

This native one needs to be linked to your PCIe bus. It includes an interface, which is designed for particular device. Aggregator unit comprises SAS controller, which aggregates more than one device’s performance for offering better output.

There are also many SAS features that you may not get in your SATA

  • Integrity to data
  • Higher concurrency degree

M.2- Another option for SSD interface

M.2 interface is highly interesting as it increases storage speed with PCIe lanes. It may also use several different kinds of buses. Though many users have confusions on M.2, it is much more versatile. Its parts may access the buses with the help of one connection.

Every storage system has benefits and also related issues. However, the level of benefits that you get depends on the system architecture. Thus, you have to make decision before considering an assessment. For instance, your computer perhaps has SATA drive, and you like to choose SSD for improvement. In this case, the interface and size of SSD must be same. For any new architecture, SSD addition may enhance the performance of the system. However, that system must be able to hold the higher data speed. So, choose SSD interface, which provides you with the best result.


Hybrid Drive- Get An Idea Of It Before Using It For Your PC


Storage devices, used in computers, are of various types. We usually use SSDs and HDDs for our PC. However, hybrid drive is another option that you may use for your computer. In some ways, HDDs work as an SSD and they are also bigger in size in compared to SSD. You may also call it as SSHD, and this drive tracks your data automatically in SSD to maintain the fast speed.

Hybrid drive- How this is related to SSD

The best fact about this hybrid drive is that it comprises not only a part of SSD but also a traditional type of magnetic drive. The drive also acts as the only drive for your OS. The firmware of this drive manages everything that is present in your SSD. A part of SSD of your hard drive works as the cache. These are files that you need to access several times. Another important fact is that with hybrid drives, the storage space for SSDs is very small.

Hybrid drive

Price rates of the drives

Hybrid drive is much cheaper, if you compare it to SSDs as it has smaller memory. However, the hybrid memory may be of 2 TB and it has cache memory of almost 8 GB. It may be costlier than any simple mechanical storage drive of 2 TB. Many computer brands have this kind of drives in order to present the best speed rate at the lowest rate.

Thus, the major factors are- the capacity of storage and price rate. While the cost of SSD and magnetic drives are almost same, you may not need to consider hybrid drives. In almost all the ways, SSDs are superior. Hybrid drive is much helpful as the SSDs are costlier for every GB. When you like to have better speed of SSDs and more storage space, it is better to have hybrid drive.

You can find two major technologies, related to the hybrid category.

In these two storage technologies, the main intention is to fastest technology with HDD to offer provide better performance. It is done with the use of hot data on your storage system. You have to make decisions on the data components that are important for your NAND memory.

next-generation Haswell platform

Dual-drive systems

These systems include the application of HDD and SSD separately in one computer system. The optimizations of performance are manageable in various ways-

  • The PC users place the data manually into the faster working drive
  • With the OS that combines the drives into the hybrid category

Solid-state drives

These drives are those products, which include NAND memory to HDD. You may also use the term- SSHD. The design of this SSHD identifies all the elements of data, directly related to performance.

Thus, you have perhaps got an idea on hybrid drive, which applies platter drive. Try out this new drive in order to use the latest technology. It may work better than any other older technology, used for computer.

SSD vs HDD – What’s the Difference?

SSD comparison

A few years ago, the only type of storage on computers was a hard drive or better known as HDD. Over the years, the technology stayed the same, but the capacity has been increasing constantly. Nowadays, we have HDDs with a capacity of 4TB. Then we were able to see SSD (solid-state drive) available in some, premium ultra-books and laptops. Now, however, each user has the ability to choose between SSD and HDD or both. The first question you may ask is what is HDD and SSD.

Understanding the HDD and SSD

Basically, both of them are developed and used to store files and data. They are used for long-term memory, meaning that they are completely different than RAM memory. But, there are a lot of differences in the way how HDD and SSD operate. HDD has a metal platter and magnetic coating, alongside read/write head. A combination of all this allows you to store data and then access it when needed.

An SSD is based on the interconnected flash memory. It means that the drive has memory chips which can be implemented in the motherboard or can be purchased separately, which is a more common case. They are small, thin and they can be added to any computer and a laptop. Most of you believe that SSD is the same as USB flash memory, but it isn’t. Yes, the technology is similar, but SSD is far more reliable and faster, which means that it will speed up a computer and make data safer.

Both of these are internal drives, meaning that they are implemented in the case of a computer or in the laptop. There are external drives as well, but they are usually used as backup storage or as additional safety drives.


Good and bad of HDD and SSD

Both of the storage drives have pros and cons, or better-said advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you which type you will choose, but before that, it is mandatory to know about their good and bad sides.

Cost: HDD is better

When it comes to the price of HDD and SSD, hard drives are more than just affordable. For example, an HDD with a capacity of 1TB will cost you $50, while the equivalent SSD will cost you $250. As you can see, they are far more expensive. In addition, it is known that HDD will stay more affordable in the future, due to the fact this type of storage is older.

Maximum capacity: HDD is better

As we have explained, SSD is far more expensive. It means that you will find a decent HDD with a capacity of 1TB which is still affordable and treated as a sufficient amount of storage space you need today easily and without investing too much of money. On the other side, an equivalent SSD will have 128GB of capacity. The bare minimums are 64GB for SSD and 500GB for HDD. Most users have up to 4TB of space. Yes, it is possible to use online storage features, but they are not as great as they sound and the price may be an issue. Also, you will have to purchase the internal storage only once.

Speed: SSD is much better

This is the main advantage of SSD. They are almost 10 times faster than HDD. For example, a computer with HDD will need a minute to boot, start the system and become operational, while the same computer with SSD will require 20-30 seconds. As soon as a computer starts, in a case of SSD, it will be ready to be used, which isn’t the case with HDD. SSD is faster in any other way as well, regardless of the facts are you a gamer, you must transfer data or simple computer using. Interesting: Most users with older computers purchase SSD of 128GB in order to speed up their machine. This actually works and the results are fantastic.


Fragmentation: SSD is better

An HDD will use its read/write head to store files on the surface. This method is known for better performances with larger files, simply because the entire proves will be completed in a single motion of the head. But, once a drive becomes full, the larger files will be saved on different blocks on the HDD, meaning that drive gets slower. The same situation comes when you must move or copy a high number of mall files. The HDD is much slower in this situation. SSD stores data on all parts of the memory inside, so there are no fragmentation issues like those we have just explained. This is one of the reasons why you get the speed advantage we have mentioned.

Durable: SSD is better

It isn’t difficult to understand why SSD is much better in this case. HDD has a moving part inside, meaning that it is more likely to get damaged over a period of time. When a computer, especially a laptop is moved, the write/read head will move as well, which isn’t great and it can damage the HDD. That’s why it is recommended to completely turn off a computer while carrying it. SSD doesn’t have moving parts, so it is more than just durable. That’s why they are common on all devices which have been developed for rough use.

Easy to find: HDD is better

Keep in mind that this advantage goes to the favor of HDD, but only for a short period of time. At the moment, it is much easier to find HDD, regardless of its capacity than equivalent SSD. But, SSD is coming fast, so soon, it is going to be much easier and more affordable to get a solid-state drive. In addition, HDD won’t go away completely, but in the recent years, they would be less and less used. We can say that SSD is the future, obviously.

Size of a drive: SSD is better

This factor refers to the size of a drive, not on its capacity. It was difficult to produce an HDD of 1.8 inches and its capacity was only 350GB. On the other hand, we have SSD which are not limited by size. This is one of the main reasons why we see them in ultrathin laptops, notebooks and etc. In the near future, SSD will become smaller and smaller, while HDD is almost limited at the moment.

Level of noise: SSD is better

All HDDs are loud while operating. Faster ones are even louder than slower hard drives. This issue cannot be solved, simply because all HDD have moving parts inside. SSD doesn’t, so they are perfectly quiet. Important: When you notice that an HDD is louder, it is one of the first signs of the potential malfunction. It is time to backup data and replace it.

best SSDs

Power consumption: SSD is better

Obviously, HDD has moving parts which use more electricity than SSD which doesn’t have a single moving element. It means that SSD uses far less electricity. When it comes to desktop computers you can expect a bit lower energy bill, but it is a minimal difference. What matters is in the case with laptops. Those with SSD have a much better battery life, simply because they use less energy.

Hybrid configurations

Ideally, you would have one massive SSD or two, but this is an expensive configuration, obviously. But, there is a smart alternative. Some users have hybrid configurations, meaning that they use both, SSD and HDD. The operating system and software and games will be installed on SSD, allowing you the speed and a full benefit of SSD. All other data and files will be stored on HDD, like photos, movies and etc.

Hybrid configurations are great. You will get a combination of the best advantages these two types of drives have to offer and you will still get them for a fraction of the money you would need to get one massive SSD. Of course, 128GB may be too low for some users, so they would need 256GB SSD which is a bit expensive. Keep in mind that operating system will require 20-30GB of space only and a few games can double that. Also, don’t forget that all installations must be stored on SSD. In a case a game or a software is installed on HDD, you won’t get the advantages you want.

In addition, SSD has newer connectors than old computers, meaning that if you have an old machine, you will need additional cable in order to connect it. On newer computers, they fit perfectly, without any additions.


HDD is better when it comes to the price, availability and the capacity for the money. SSD is better with any other factor. They are smaller, much faster, can be smaller, use less energy and don’t produce any noise. As such we must say that SSD is the ultimate winner of the comparison here. After all, the speed advantage is impressive and the reliability of SSD is more than just great.