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.