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Hard Drives - SSD

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are currently the fastest form of storage available, and can give your system a massive boost in application and OS load times, data-transfer speeds and overall system responsiveness. Their lightning speed comes from using flash memory chips, which unlike traditional hard drives have no moving parts. This makes them more reliable, smaller, lighter and less power hungry, but they can cost significantly more and oftentimes have less capacity. Scan recommends that anyone in the market for a performance PC opts for an SSD.

Intel Optane Memory System Accelerators

Intel Optane Memory is an caching device for HDDs that intelligently learns which applications and games you run most frequently and over time speeds up how quickly they load. Available in two different capacities, these are M.2 form factor devices, and require either a B250, Q250, H270, Q270, Z270 or Z370 motherboard plus a 7th gen Kaby Lake or 8th gen Coffee Lake Core i3, i5 or i7 processor to work.

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120GB to 480GB 2.5" SATA3 SSDs

Available in 120, 128, 240, 250, 256, 275 and 480GB capacities these SATA III 6Gb/s SSDs may no longer be the fastest around thanks to emerging PCIe SSDs, but they're the most cost-effective and are still easily fast enough for most users. You'll need a spare SATA 6Gb/s port to get the most from them, and a 2.5" capable drive bay - an adaptor may need to be bought, but most cases have at least one. These drives are the highest capacity ones available, suitable for holding an operating system, as well as numerous programs and a healthy collection of media and games.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: SSD Form Factors

500GB to 1TB 2.5" SATA3 SSDs

Available in 500, 512, 525, 960GB and 1TB capacities these SATA III 6Gb/s SSDs may no longer be the fastest around thanks to emerging PCIe SSDs, but they're the most cost-effective and are still easily fast enough for most users. You'll need a spare SATA 6Gb/s port to get the most from them, and a 2.5" capable drive bay - an adaptor may need to be bought, but most cases have at least one. These drives are the highest capacity ones available, suitable for holding an operating system, as well as numerous programs and a healthy collection of media and games.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: SSD Form Factors

120GB to 260GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs

M.2 replaced the older mSATA standard. Available in 120, 128, 240, 250 and 256GB sizes the M.2 SSD Connects to your device via an M.2 Socket using the newer PCI Express NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) controller variant designed to fully utilize the capability of high-speed PCI Express storage devices to perform many I/O (in/out) operations in parallel. These SSD's can achieve Read speeds in Excess of 3000MB/s and Write speeds over 2000MB/s making them the fastest available.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: SSD Form Factors

270GB to 550GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs

M.2 replaced the older mSATA standard. Available in 480, 500 and 512GB sizes the M.2 SSD Connects to your device via an M.2 Socket using the newer PCI Express NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) controller variant designed to fully utilize the capability of high-speed PCI Express storage devices to perform many I/O (in/out) operations in parallel. These SSD's can achieve Read speeds in Excess of 3000MB/s and Write speeds over 2000MB/s making them the fastest available.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: PCI Express SSDs SSD Form Factors

600GB to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs

M.2 replaced the older mSATA standard. Available in 960GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes the M.2 SSD Connects to your device via an M.2 Socket using the newer PCI Express NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) controller variant designed to fully utilize the capability of high-speed PCI Express storage devices to perform many I/O (in/out) operations in parallel. These SSD's can achieve Read speeds in Excess of 3000MB/s and Write speeds over 2000MB/s making them the fastest available.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: SSD Form Factors

Thunderbolt & USB External SSDs

External SSDs are ideal for users looking for lightweight, portable and speedy storage. Their pocket-friendly enclosures are significantly smaller and lighter than external hard drives, and with no moving parts they're also silent, more robust and less prone to physical shock damage. They use the USB 3 interface, which is 10 times faster than and backwards compatible with USB 2.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: SSDs USB 3.0
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