For decades, the trend in storage technology has been to make drives as small and fast as possible. We have come so far from 4-megabyte drives that are larger than your refrigerator to multi-terabyte SSDs that are the same size as your credit card yet can keep hundreds of gigabytes.
Now, we have come even further. We can shrink these storages even smaller without compromising their quality. A new interface for SSDs and expansion cards that is smaller but faster.
Before we dive further into that, let us review the basics. There are two kinds of storage in PCs and laptops. The Hard Disk Drive, HDD for short, and the SSD or solid-state drive. An HDD is a storage device with spinning platters to read and write data. SSDs, on the other hand, store data on a series of NAND chips. They are faster and more reliable compared to HDDs. An example of SSD is the M.2.
So a recurring question is what is a M.2 SSD?
An M.2 SSD is a type of SSD that is used in laptops and computers. They are designed to make high-performance storage possible in tiny power-constrained devices. They are smaller than other SSDs like mSATA (the first type of SSD). M.2 SSDs are best for building and upgrading PCs or laptops. This supports heavy activities like video editing, 3d animation, gaming, and other large file transfers.
What are the pros and cons of using an M.2 SSD?
- Speed – compared to SSD drives, M.2 is five times faster. If you have this kind of storage, your computer will be able to load video games ten times faster.
- Easy installation – you just have to plug the M.2 drive directly into the PCle bus making them faster when it comes to transferring data.
- Compact form – M.2 are small, slim, and light, making them highly portable.
- More storage – the M.2 SSD has a bigger storage capacity compared to other SSDs like mSATA. You can also expand the drives easily.
- Increased performance – the performance of an M.2 drive with a PCIe interface has grown, and it benefits from the non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol, which improves speed and reduces latency.
- Lack of universality – M.2 connectors are limited. Not all M.2 drives support the NVME, Only those ports with certain keys are present.
- Price – M.2s are really expensive. As of this year, 1 TB SATA SSD costs about 100 dollars or less.
- Shorter life span than HDD – Because SSDs have a limited write cycle, you can only write a block of data at a time without wiping and rebuilding the entire SSD.
Now that you have seen the pros and cons of M.2, you might consider getting them. Though, before you buy one, you should consider this first.
The most important thing you have to check is if your computer system is compatible with the M.2. M.2 SSDs cannot be used in older systems because of the difference in form factor between them and mSATA SSDs. Furthermore, M.2 SSD may not be appropriate for big enterprise storage systems because it was created for mobile devices.
We have come so far, from magnetic tape to floppy disks to DVDs to memory cards to now, the infamous SSDs. Evolution will not be possible without its previous poorly made versions. Trial and error are one of the most important things that contribute to the success of creating better things. This M.2 SSD may not be perfect, but this will serve as a stepping stone to creating newer and better technologies. As we continue to fail, we also continue to evolve.