Category Archives: How-to, Tech Guide (Tech DIY, Tech Life Hacks)

M.2 SSD

Types of SSD (M.2 SSD And SATA SSD)

Welcome to another blog. This time I’m going to discuss M.2 SSD. Specifically, I’m going to compare M.2 SSD to the border adds to the half inch form factor SATA SSD and then I’m going to discuss the broader implications of M.2 technology.

What is M.2 SSD?

M.2 SSDSo here we have an M.2 SSD. It can be compared to the size of a human finger. It really is a very small storage device and that’s a great deal to the hardware. In terms of looking at the thing, we’ve got the flash memory chips on the top and this is indeed a single-sided M.2 SSD. When you turn it over, there aren’t many components on the other side of devices. So it really is a small piece of storage technology. And just to give you a little bit of background, M.2 SSD is a fairly new standard for connecting SSD and other devices, things like Wi-Fi adapters and Bluetooth adapters as well into computer motherboards. And M.2 replaces mSATA and was initially known as a next-generation form factor or NGFF. And today, M.2 increasingly being used to connect devices, not just to desktop motherboards with also to the motherboards used in laptops and tablets. Many modern desktop motherboards now have one, two or three M.2 slots. Now, different M.2 cards have different notches or cutouts in the connector to prevent them from being connected to slot incompatible with that device and also for being inserted the wrong way around.

M.2 Sizes

M.2 SSD

Image Source: SanDisk

M.2 cards come in a variety of length and width which are coded into a four or five digit number. So for example, this M.2 SSD uses a very common 22 x 80 mm form factor meaning, but it’s 22 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters long. Other common sizes for M.2 devices in general are1630, 2230, 3030, 2242, 3042, 2260 and 22110. They said if you’re fitting an M.2 SSD into a desktop PC, it’s most likely to be a 2280 device. This particular M.2 SSD is a SanDisk X400. The capacity is 128 gigabytes or comes up to 1 terabytes X400 SSDs. SanDisk also sells X400 SSDs in the 2.5-inch form factor. And if we put the M.2 X400 next to 2.5-inch form factor cousin, you can see how incredibly small the M.2 SSD really is and it’s amazing to think that fairly soon we will have multi-terabyte SSDs in the M.2 form factor.

M.2 Buses

Again, comparing an M.2 SSDs with a 2.5-inch form factor model, we should note that all modern 2.5-inch form factor SSD have got a SATA 3 interface and this means they can transfer data at up to six gigabits per second. In contrast, M.2 devices can feature a SATA PCIe or USB interface. Although in practice, desktop and M.2 SSD will either use a SATA or PCIe bus. Now here, this particular X400 SanDisk M.2 SSD has a SATA 3 bus exactly the same as that in it 2.5-inch companion here and therefore, both of these SSDs both end up to the traditional 2.5-inch form factor model or transfer data up to six gigabits per second. So they come out exactly the same. However, some SSDs have a PCIe interface and that can transfer data up at to 32 gigabits per second or the five times faster than traditional SATA 3. And for many people, achieving PCIe speed is what really matters when you’re purchasing an M.2 SSD. And in turn, that means if you are going to get yourself an M.2 SSD, be very careful to be clear about your purchasing a PCIe over the SATA3 device. The PCIe devices are much faster although of course, PCIe M.2 drive costs more than the SATA drives.

Fitting M.2

To fit a traditional two and a half inch SSD, you’ll need to connect a SATA data cable. Also, you need to connect a SATA power cable and they need to mount the SSD in your computer. In contrast, connecting vertical M.2 SSDs is a lot easier. We need to remove the returning screw and the M.2 SSD goes into the socket and get the screwback to the socket.

A Signature Development

M.2 SSD

Image Source: hardzone.es

In years to come, I think we will look back at the introduction of M.2 sockets on desktop PC motherboard, there’s a real signature, a really important PC innovation. Now partially that’s because if you can plug it at M.2 SSDs, you can get much faster data transfer speeds if it’s a PCIe SSD. That’s said, of course, we’ve had PCIe slot SSD for the motherboard for a long time to plug directly into standard PCIe slots and today you could actually buy PCIe card which will take multiple M.2 SSDs in great configuration. So the speed issue is not reliant on the introduction of M.2 and in fact, it goes beyond just the M.2 socket. But I think the really important thing is actually more than just the fact that for years and years and years when we built desktop PCs, we basically had a case which contains three chunks of technology and those chunks have been the motherboard, the processor, the cooler, and the memory. They’ve been a power supply and they’ve been the drives. But now with the introduction of M.2 on a standard desktop motherboard, you can build a PC if you like in two chunks; the motherboard including the processor, the cooler, the memory and the storage and then the power supply. And indeed, we’ve already got the motherboard with two or even three and two sockets. So it’s now possible to build really powerful multi-drive PCs without any drive bays at all. And that I think is a really important change the computing industry. It’ll alter the way we design and build desktop PCs and their form factor for a long time to come.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading this, please share it or subscribe to our newsfeed, and I hope to see you again very soon.

SSD

SSD VS HDD | Why You Should Go For SSD?

Hey whats up guys, today we’re going to answer a question that maybe you already answered yourself. Should you get an SSD? Are they better than hard drives and what ways? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both and well, spoiler alert! I’m going to answer the question right now and that is yes you should get an SSD (Solid State Drive). They are amazing. We’re going to answer all that because that’s just as important. So we’re going to look at four criteria comparing solid state drives SSD and hard drives HDD and those criteria are performance, reliability, capacity, and cost of course.

  1. Performance

So let’s begin with performance, probably the most important factor that anyone’s going to look at next to price and the truth is that; solid state drives almost always are just going to blow hard drives out of the water in terms of performance and hard drives are usually going to be the bottleneck of a computer that’s the slowest part of any computer and even with a SSD, they’re a lot better, but they’re still going to be kind of a bottleneck with your computer, because if you think about it, the memory bandwidth for your RAM is multiple gigabytes a second. Your computer can handle a lot of info, but it has to read off the hard drive and maybe 100 megabytes a second and with a SSD, you’re going to get about 500 megabytes a second, which means that you’re going to be able to access all the stuff on your computer a lot faster.

SSD

Image Source: SanDisk

Everything’s going to load faster, you’re going to be able to write things faster. Everything is going to be faster. And the reason it’s faster is that a solid state drive uses flash memory. It doesn’t have to use a mechanical device to search through the drive platters and get the data. It’s all electronic it can go right to any point of data, grab it off instantly. You don’t have to even worry about fragmentation on solid-state drives because the files could be spread out all over the drive it doesn’t matter. It’s going to be accessed just as fast as if they were right next to each other, physically on the drive, whereas on a hard drive that is a problem because there is an arm that has to physically move to and from each piece of data. So that means it’s going to take time and you don’t have to worry about that with the solid state. This also means that even if you install a ton of programs you fill up that drive with a bunch of junk. It’s not really going to run any slower, no matter how long you use the drive with some caveats we’re going to talk about. With a hard drive you use, it tons you with fragments all over the drive data spread out the arms going to be going crazy trying to load one program. A SSD, it doesn’t even break a sweat. And I should mention, even in the case of high RPM hard drives like 10 K or even 15 K RPM drives; those are still not going to be as fast as a solid state because you still have to move the drive. It’s just not going to be able to compete, no matter how fast it’s been that drive. It’s really the arm I think that is going to be a limiting factor in any case.

  1. Reliability (SSD vs HDD)

Now really tying in with a lot of the stuff I just talked about is reliability for the same reasons that a solid state drive is very fast. It’s also very reliable. So like I said, there’s no moving parts in a solid state drive which means there’s very few points of failure, whereas on a hard drive you got that spinning platter, you got multiple those, you got the arm moving, it can vibrate and throw things off. A lot can go wrong with a hard drive. Whereas a solid state, there’s nothing moving. There’s nothing that can get jostle around to an extent obviously. If you bash it with a hammer, it’s probably gonna break but you know what I mean. Theoretically, if you just have a SSD just sitting there, there’s not really a reason, it would ever fail, whereas a hard drive will maybe wear down the metal components brushing up against each other. It’s going to eventually fail hard drives, you must expect them to fail. They will fail. They always do. There’s no invulnerable hard drive, whereas a solid state; everything breaks down over time. But you can probably get by without expecting your solid state drive to die. Although it is possible. So of course, always back up.

SSD

Picture Source: Samsung

Now that being said SSD are not perfect. There are a few disadvantages compared to hard drives, but I think those are outweighed by the benefits. One of the main ones is that a flash memory cell can only be written to a certain number of times. So as you use the SSD more and more and more, it could theoretically slow down. If a lot of those cells get used those are going to slow down and it might not perform as good as it did when he first got it. However, there is typically software built into the drivers for these drives that handles all that and distributes the data evenly in such a way that not any one of the particular cells is going to slow down or if one of the cells, maybe does break, then it writes that off and says don’t use that cell anymore kind of like what you get with a bad sec or on a hard drive. It does the same thing, so you don’t really have to worry about those bad sectors unless you’re writing a ton of data and just using up every single cell. And some tests have shown that typically a SSD is going to start to get problems after you write about maybe 100 or several hundred terabytes worth of data. So you would have to write as much data to fill up that hard drive hundreds of times before you would ever see any issues from just writing to it for it being flash memory. So even though it is something to keep in mind, I think for most people for the average person, it’s a non issue. You’re never going to even notice the slow down. But there is one exception maybe I can think of like if you’re editing huge video files or you’re doing a lot of work in programs that need a scratch disk if you’re not familiar with that. It’s basically a drive where a program will use to really rapidly write and read data from just to have kind of a cash. And if you’re using a ton of data with video file, there’s something that can be quite massive then yeah that program might be writing and reading a lot. And in that case, you probably do want a hard drive as a scratch disk because it can handle a lot more rewrites than an SSD. But other than that, I don’t think you’d ever see a problem. Another small disadvantage of SSD is which can affect reliability is because it’s flash memory that flash memory has to be receiving power. If it goes too long without being booted up, you could start to lose data. This flash memory cells aren’t going to be able to store that information, whereas a hard drive uses magnetic fields and that is a physical property using a permanent magnet. And even though hard drives do start to lose magnetic property I believe it’s going to be much faster on a solid state drive. Still, I believe there’s things built into the drive like maybe batteries that would mitigate that, you’d probably have to leave the SSD unplug for a year or more before you’d ever see a problem but again it is a thing you have to consider.

  1. Size

SSD

Image Source: WD

Now the next main category is size. Size is another one where hard drives are typically going to win out. If you need a lot of storage, you have to go with a hard drive. There’s no other way around it.

  1. Price

Picture Source: Samsung

SSDs can maybe go up to about four terabytes I think right now that’s the biggest you can get and those are going to cost you $1,000 Plus. Whereas hard drives, I think the biggest one is made by Seagate now at 12 terabytes a cost just under $500. So obviously if you need a ton of data storage a hard drive is the way to go. Solid State Drive. I mean, you could theoretically buy a bunch of them but you’re just gonna have to pay an unreasonable amount of money when you could get the same job done with hard drive and unless for some reason you need a ton of extremely fast storage, which, in that case, you could probably go with a RAID configuration with a hard drive anyway, and maybe get around the same performance. And that kind of also ties in with the next section price; because if you get a solid state drive that isn’t huge enough to handle your files well that’s an extra cost you need to get another hard drive. And like I said solid state drives are already going to be a lot more expensive. But if you think about it, I would consider that the usual situation anyway where you would buy both you’d have the SSD as the boot drive maybe put your big heavy hitter programs on there that take forever to load and then for everything else you just shove it on the hard drive. I don’t think if you’re using a desktop computer, it probably is best to get both I don’t know. If you would really want to get just a SSD unless you know you’re not going need that data or, maybe you do already have a hard drive you don’t want to get a big SSD, you could get a very small one that’s just big enough to hold windows and just use it to boot windows purely and get that fast boot up and operating system will run fast and they just have the programs run off the drive.

Now there are a couple other benefits to solid-state drives that I’ll mention the form factor. Usually, you see these in 2.5-inch form factor which is smaller than typical 3.5-inch form factor on a hard drive. And that also means that they’re going to fit in really any laptop. So if you need a very fast storage, you don’t have to worry about getting the right form factor. They’re all going to be 2.5 inches you could pop it in your laptop no problem. Also a solid state drive because it’s smaller and just because of the nature of it, it’s going to generate less heat, whereas a hard drive, you know, if you have a ton of them on your computer or you have one that’s working all the time; it’s going to generate more heat and might not be a problem if you have a lot of airflows, it’s just something to consider.

So finally, I think yes you should get an SSD. I don’t think there’s anyone who could not benefit from one. I think an SSD is the best upgrade you can make for your computer better than ram better than a better CPU even literally I’m not kidding. If you have only been using hard drives your whole life and when you switch to SSD, it’s going to be like night and day, believe me! So in summary, the answer is yes. So let me know down comments section what you thank do you have an SSD, was it somehow maybe not up your expectations, I would really be surprised. So thanks so much for reading. We’ll see you next time. Have a good one!

Pentium

Pentium vs i3, i5, i7 With Kaby Lake Processor

It’s an exciting time to be a PC builder with Intel releasing an entire stack of seventh generation processors i.e Pentium vs other i-series and on the verge of a big release and Vega and possibly even volta on the coming horizon. Correspondingly board partner manufacturers have begun to release supporting hardware for the new platforms as we saw in abundance at CES 2017.

Unfortunately, initial testing of Intel’s new Kaby Lake CPUs has revealed slightly disappointing results on an instruction per clock basis when compared to the sixth generation Skylake chips. Still, if you take a look at strict out of the box performance Kaby Lake CPUs do outperform their Skylake equivalence considering that they still come into they similar price point to Skylake, it would seem incorrect to choose a Skylake chip over a Kaby Lake chip. At this time, but which Kaby Lake chip is for you? which one offers the best performance for what you need? which one is going to give you the best bang for your hard-earned buck. Let’s find out.

Pentium

Image Source: Intel

So for the purposes of this blog I think would have been slightly impractical to try to test out all 26 skews that use the Kaby Lake architecture, I decided that four processors best represented the different market segments that prospective buyers might be a part of. Starting at the bottom we have the Pentium G 4620 unlike the previous generation of chips, the budget Pentium line now comes with hyperthreading giving a significant performance boost to the sub $100 category. This is the highest clock Pentium at 3.7 gigahertz and comes in and they still reasonable $93.

Pentium

Image Source: www.neowin.net

Next up I chose the i3 7100. Now I’m sure a lot of people are anxious to see more performance numbers from the 7350 K, the first ever i3 that comes with an unlocked multiplier, there’s an issue with this chip though that I’m having a difficult time getting past. This is $190 i3. No matter what kind of performance gains the ability to overclock will net you, the fact remains that you’d be better off spending an additional 10 bucks and buying a locked i5 7500. If your goal is to build a budget machine, you’re not spending $190 on a processor. If your aim is for a mid-range system you’re not buying an i3. So why does the 7350 k exist? I kind of have a hard time wrapping my brain around the 7100 is $119 chip that gives you two cores at 3.9 gigahertz and should still be a nice budget gaming option, of course, to round out our testing we needed to include the two high end unlock i5 and i7 chips 7600 K and the 7700 k. Right now these are actually selling for their MSRP of $249 and $349, respectively, which is a really great thing to see after the fiasco that happened during the Skylake launch. Those looking to build systems around these chips are aiming for excellent gaming performance and strong multitasking support.

So what’s our testing methodology; well, I wanted to try to compare the performance of each chip, not only in an empirical sense but also in a price to performance manner, how much relative value can you expect from each processor. In order to sort this out, I ran five different tests on all processors in stock speeds. Then I overclock the case skewed shift to their highest stable point and re-ran the tests. The testing question is Cinebench 15, geek bench AIDA64 CPU Queen, FIRESTRIKE Physics, and the CPU frame rate in Ashes of the Singularity I did some simple math and figure it out performance ratios for Cinebench, as well as the FPS per dollar I was seeing in ashes then took the result and charted the processors total performance against a baseline with the Pentium chip being a signed a score of 100. I was able to get the 7700 k stable at 5.15 gigahertz. However, I didn’t have quite as much luck with the 7600 K, which was unstable at anything higher than 4.7. All tests were run using the R7 270X gaming along with 16 gigs of G skill DDR4 2400 a GTX 1070 founders edition and at 240 gig SSD. Cooling for the processors was provided by a Corsair.

Pentium

Performace Comparison Between Pentium G4620 vs i3 vs i5 vs i7 With Kaby Lake Processor

So a couple of interesting conclusions can be drawn here. While the 7700 K is obviously the best performer of the group and is likely the choice for many enthusiasts. It gets poor marks in the value categories scoring at or near the bottom in both. Similarly the Pentium while putting up the weakest performance numbers still managed to shine when measuring how much processing power, you’re getting for your dollar. Interestingly, the addition of hyperthreading to the G 4620 has put it almost on the same performance level as the i3 at a significantly lower price which is bad news for the i3 line as a whole. It seems that Intel has unintentionally obsoleted the entire stack with the higher end Pentium is performing almost identically as the low-end i3 and the high-end i3 costing almost as much as an i5. It would be hard for me to recommend any core three at all right now for those reasons.

So what ship do you choose for your next build? Are you waiting for the horizon? Are you still satisfied with your older platform ships performance and we’ll wait it out until something groundbreaking comes along, let me know down below in the comments and get subscribe to the website if you aren’t already? As always guys, thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next blog.