Have you been weighing your options between solid-state drives and hard disk drives? Although HDDs have served as reliable storage solutions since IBM first developed them in 1953, the dawn of solid-state storage is upon us and shows no signs of slowing down. Unlike hard disk drives, SSDs function by using NAND flash memory on chips that contain cells connected in series. Some believe that smaller drives are faster, but that is not always the case. In this article, we explore the factors that might explain why larger solid-state drives are faster, so you can learn more about high-capacity drives before you decide to buy.
NAND vs. NOR Flash Memory
It’s no surprise that flash memory is revolutionizing the storage landscape. Computers and other electronic devices use flash memory to store photos, videos, and all kinds of files. NAND and NOR are the primary types of solid-state memory. What sets NAND and NOR flash apart is their architecture. NOR flash contains individual memory cells that are connected in parallel, so devices can randomly access data. This kind of configuration ensures short read times, making NOR flash ideal for low-density read-only applications.
NAND flash, on the other hand, contains an array of memory transistors that are connected in a series. This kind of configuration ensures smaller cell sizes, smaller chip sizes, and lower cost-per-bit rates to consumers. Rather than programming individual cells of data, NAND flash is designed to program blocks of data all at once, making NAND flash ideal for high-density data-storage applications. NAND-based SSDs are more common.
SSD Capacity and Speed
While determining why larger solid-state drives are faster than smaller ones, it’s important to consider capacity and speed. SSDs start to slow down as you fill them up with files. Filling your drive to near or maximum capacity can be detrimental to write performance and PC performance overall. This occurs because of the NAND architecture found in most solid-state drives on the market. When an SSD receives a file, it starts searching for empty blocks, so it can fill them. Modern operating systems with trim features will automatically delete data from the drive as soon as a user deletes it in the operating system, so the drive can quickly write new data to any empty and available blocks.
As write performance decreases, you can expect your PC to slow down too. No feature can consolidate partially filled blocks, so your drive will have to read the value of each block into its cache and modify the value with new data, so it can be written. As a result, partially filled blocks can create a significant amount of delay and the drive can’t clean up. You should only use up to 75 percent of your drive’s capacity to strike the perfect balance between performance and capacity. Large SSDs also have an advantage over smaller SSDs in speed. Thanks to NAND architecture, drives can write to several chips at once and speed up the process.
In conclusion, large solid-state drives come with improved rack density, workload consolidation, and overall scale, as well as other key benefits to keep in mind. Give your PC a significant speed boost by choosing a larger SSD today.