What is the M.2 slot and Hybrid storage (SSHD) in laptops?

SSD (Solid State Drive) is better than HDD (Hard Disk Drive) because of the following benefits it offers.

  • SSD is a solid drive without any moving parts. It serves as a flash memory chip that stores data into integrated circuits. As there is no motion while functioning, SSDs do not make any noise. It also consumes less electricity than an HDD.
  • Compared to HDD, SSD displays a faster processing speed and low latency. It has a shorter R/W time. It can produce more Input/Output functions per second than HDD.
  • Though SSD is expensive than HDD, it is a modern storage device. It is more reliable compared to an HDD. Thus, your data stored on the SSD is not so vulnerable to loss if you drop your laptop.
  • It is smaller and lighter than the HDD. SSD does not have any motor or external mechanisms attached to it.
  • SSD connects through SATA and M.2 slot, whereas HDD connects through SATA slot alone. Hence, the data transfer speed in SSD is higher than that of HDD.

What is the M.2 slot?

Technically, the M.2 format is a replacement for the mSATA standard. As M.2 is more than an evolutionary form factor, it can supersede the SATA format.

The M.2 slot can interface with the SATA 3.0, PCIe 3.0, and USB 3.0. It entails that you can mount multiple devices, like a storage disk, GPU, or port expansion, or a low-power gadget that uses a USB connection on a card plugged into a single M.2 slot simultaneously.

When you use the PCI bus instead of the SATA bus, the M.2 devices can transfer data at speeds ranging from 50% to 650% faster than SATA.

The M.2 slot is used as an interface for the super-fast SSDs on laptops and desktops. Some of the higher-prices laptops use the M.2 slot for mounting low-powered cards that combine Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Besides SSDs, the M.2 slot is used in notebooks for WLAN cards.

What is hybrid storage in laptops?

Some of the modern laptops offer both HDD and SSD storage. Under such circumstances, the HDD drive has a larger capacity, up to 2TB, whereas the SSD has a capacity of up to 512GB or 1TB, depending on budget.

Today, you also have a new concept known as SSHD, a combination of HDD and SSD. It is also known as hybrid storage. This device combines the large storage capacity of an HDD while offering the fast read/write capacity of an SSD.

The SSHD is an HDD with a spinning disk and actuator arm to read/write data. Besides, it also has an SSD attached to it. Depending on your preferences, data can be written on both the HDD and SSD.

Generally, the SSD contains data that you frequently use, like your OS, Software, etc. The HDD contains infrequently used data.

The hybrid drives monitor data constantly and automatically place the files used frequently on the SSD. It enables you to read/write faster. As the storage allocation process is automatic, there is no need to move your data manually from the HDD to SSD and vice versa.

Advantages of SSHD
  • The HDD component can store large volumes of data.
  • You can retrieve frequently used data at SSD speeds.
  • The data stored on the SSD is comparatively safer.

Disadvantages of SSHD

  • The data on the HDD component is still vulnerable to drops.
  • It takes more time to write data on the HDD.

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