From Legacy Spinning Disk Drives to Cutting Edge Chipsets: M.2 SSDs

With higher definition videos, multi-megapixel photos, and data-heavy software programs coming to the mass consumer market; the demand for heavy hitters in storage devices has skyrocketed. Not only that; but as people move to more active, dynamic lifestyles, portability has also become essential. Lastly, the age of the internet has urged everyone to move at a quick, nigh-frantic pace of living – which has also affected the storage device industry. 

To put it simply, a storage device is a computer component (in this context) that is able to store data and information necessary for the computer to work. It also has the capability to write, edit, and move data from one device to another, which promotes accessibility and functionality. 

Now those storage devices are clearly defined, what are all these talks about with the M.2 SSDs? 

In order to tackle that, a brief background of computer storage devices must be given. There are two main types of storage devices that are present in the mainstream market today: Hard Disk Drives (HDD), and Solid State Drives (SSD). Although there are similarities (by which they both store data), their makeup and building systems are entirely different. HDDs employ a rotating platter that is read magnetically by a transducer. Remember the old vinyl records? HDDs use the same concept, with a different part of the disk containing a different set of information/data. 

SSDs on the other hand, are built in a circuit. Meaning, that there are no moving parts, and everything is set in place via an integrated circuit (called NAND flash memory). 

A quick round down on SSDs vs HDDs

Although there is an argument that is to be made for HDDs, SSDs are generally more preferred in day-to-day life. HDDs are slower, heavier, more fragile, and generally require more power to run. This makes them incompatible for almost every scene in that people use their laptops and computers. However, they do have a saving grace. In this day and age, HDDs are still way less expensive than your typical SSD. This makes them ideal to be bought in bulk and serves as a storage device for heavy photos and videos that you wouldn’t necessarily want to open in a frequent manner.

Other than that, SSDs take the cake. They are faster, more reliable, more power-efficient, more portable, and are generally the better storage device to get. And so, what is an M.2 SSD?

In order to fully explain, one must know the different types of SSDs. Most notable are the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) SSD, and the aforementioned one. Although SATA SSDs are also vastly quicker than your typical HDD, they are still bulkier and more power-hungry than your M.2s. They also use a specific connector that runs from your motherboard to the drives themselves. An M.2 on the other hand, is a much smaller device. It has the size of your typical gum, even a minuscule chipset that does not take more than a square inch. An M.2 is also plugged directly into the motherboard, which eliminates the need for wires and connectors that run around your laptop or computer.

Lastly, M.2s is one of the most power-efficient yet highest-performing SSDs available right now. Their compactness makes portable devices the name of the game. In other words; sleek, thin, yet very quick laptops and ultrabooks are possible with M.2s. Highly compact computer desktop builds no longer require a 3.5-inch SSD bay to accommodate. If you’re looking for the best of the best right now, you could never go wrong with an M.2.

What is a Storage Device? – Definition from Techopedia

SSD vs HDD: Which Is Best for You? – Intel

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