IT Support 101: What is SSD?
Updated: May 10
Please do ignore the drives in the image here (an iron wolf enterprise-grade HDD, amazing stuff) the rest is more or less what we want to talk about, which is SSD, so what is SSD or solid-state drive? Now in true IT BLOCK fashion, we like to break it down and not have you worry too much about the details. So I would like to group the SSDs into 3 groups. The SATA SSDs, the M.2 SSD and the M.2 NVMe SSD.
On your left, we have the first generation of SSDs readily available in the market. These are designed to be the same size and fit as your 2.5-inch hard disk drive or HDD. We think this was more of a transition product, giving us a taste of the amazing speed and also for many companies to work out the kinks when dealing with this different type of storage. Not quite obsolete yet, this technology has been surpassed by the latest M.2 SSDs, which are about the size of a RAM card and fit directly onto a motherboard.
And finally, we have here the 2 types of M.2 SSDs. The ones that are labeled AHCI, which is a storage protocol and the ones labeled NVMe, also a storage protocol. Not to get too technical, but NVMe is what you want. Not to say that AHCI protocol SSDs are slow, by no means they are. But an NVMe M.2 SSD is capable of performing around twenty to forty percent faster. Which is blisteringly fast. Your OS will only take a handful of seconds if not immediately boot up. That is how fast we are talking about. So when you do consider or are considering an upgrade and catch yourself staring at SSDs, wondering what they are. Just look for the NVMe on your M.2 SSD. It also does not hurt to make sure your mainboard or motherboard supports this protocol.