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Introduction to PC Data Storage Solutions – SSD Types

Storage devices are important in today’s tech world. Hard drives have gone through several changes since the first time they were created. This has also improved how computer systems work.

A hard drive is the permanent memory of a computer. Its major function is to store and retain information even after the computer’s power is turned off. Basically, the hard drive will store bytes of digital inputs from the different computer programs that are active. It stores these data in gigabytes.

There are two main types of hard drives; SSD (Solid-state drives) and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment). Each of these drives have unique specifications and will not serve all purposes, therefore, it is important to evaluate your project needs and the drive’s capacity. Doing this will help you make an informed decision.

What is SATA?

SATA is a storage interface used for hard drives that are consumer-based. It is a connector that facilitates data transfer between the computer’s circuit board and storage devices through serial signaling technology. It was developed by Intel in 2003 and replaced PATA (Parallel ATA) which used parallel signaling technology to aid data transfer.

What are SATA Drives?

SATA drives are storage devices that give you an efficient way to package large amounts of hard drive space into smaller bytes. They are rotating devices that have spinning disks/platters and a moving needle that writes data numerically on each disk/platter, because of these moving parts/speed, SATA drives are vulnerable to shock and sudden movement.

However, the advantage is that these drives are versatile and easy to work with. They are useful for the storage of large files like software applications and movies. They have multiple storage disks which give you more spaces to maximize.

SATA Drives are effective for network servers or applications with high capacity and require the transfer of large amounts of data. Also, they allow multiple devices of different storage sizes to connect to a computer or server.

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What are SSDs?

SSD is a computer storage device that uses stable flash memory for frequent data storage. SSDs have no moving parts and are faster than regular hard disk drives (HDDs) and other types of storage devices. They are less volatile and can withstand shock when compared to SATAs. Also, they are suitable for laptops and desktop computers. 

SSDs have quick data access and transfer times because of the absence of moving parts. Although they are more expensive options, the efficiency of SSD drives guarantees an easy workflow for your projects.


SSDs use several connector types to link with a computer – SATA, M.2, PCle, U.2, SATA Express, mSATA – Some SSDs do not use a connector but are directly joined to the board. Now, let’s look into the 3 common SSD types;



SATA SSDs as the name implies, use a SATA connector to interface with a computer. They are the first generation of SSDs and have an impressive performance speed. 

SATA SSDs are compatible with any hardware i.e they can work with any laptop or desktop computer. Also, they have a potential read speed of 570MB per second. SATA SSD is also a cheaper option when compared to other SSDs.

2. M2 SSD

M.2 (M dot 2) SSDs are form factors Solid-State Drives (SSDs) that use internally mounted connectors and storage expansion cards. 

An M.2 SSD plugs directly into the motherboard and can either work with SATA or PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) interface. With M.2 drives, PCs have fewer cables cluttered internally. 

M.2 is basically used for efficient storage in tight devices that have limited power- (Eg, tablets and notebooks) and connect directly to the motherboard via the M.2 connector slot. If you want to upgrade your PC or laptop for 3D animations, Video editing, Gaming, and the likes, the M.2 SSD is a good recommendation.


NVMe(Non-Volatile Memory Express) refers to how data is moved from the drive to the computer. NVME drives either fit directly into the motherboard or uses the M.2 form factor. 

NVME has a higher performance speed when compared to SATA or M.2 SSDs. It communicates directly with the CPU and is also suitable for large projects and operations. NVME drives use flash storage through PCI Express (PCIe) connector. They have a potential read speed of up to 3500MB per second or more depending on the SSD brand.

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Computer Processors – Understand Intel® Processor Names

A processor is the major computer unit that executes commands on behalf of the various computer programs. Processors are also called CPUs (Central Processing Units). 

The CPU is the brain of the computer, it works by fetching data and instructions which it interprets, executes, and stores as output. 

Types of CPUs

The variations of computer processors include; 

  • Single-Core – 1 core (Intel 4004)
  • Dual-Core – 2 cores (Pentium D)
  • Quad-Core  – 4 cores (Athlon II X4 )
  • Hexa-Core – 6 cores (Intel Core i7-980X)
  • Octa-core – 8 cores (Intel Core i7-5960X)
  • Deca-Core – 10 cores (Xeon Silver 4114T)

The Various CPUs are distinct in names, speed, and cache levels.

Theoretically, the Dual-Core computer should last longer than the Quad-Core computer because it does not work as hard as the Quad Core.

Besides saving energy and being more affordable, there are a few benefits for having a Dual Core computer over a Quad-Core. 

Although the computer with a Quad-Core has more computational power compared to the Dual Core computer, many users do not take advantage of this extra power with their non-intensive daily tasks.

Intel® Processor Naming


01. Brand

Brand refers to the major product line a processor was created for. The popular Intel® processor names begin with Intel® Core™, Intel® Pentium®, and Intel® Celeron®. 

Intel® Pentium® and Intel® Celeron® processors are cost-effective product lines created for price-conscious consumers. 

Intel® Core™ processors have better and faster performance. They also have extra features not available in Intel® Pentium® and Intel® Celeron® models.

Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors offer high-level performance for servers and workstations.

02. Brand Modifier

The Brand modifier appears before the model number in the Intel® Core™ processor series. Intel® Pentium® and Intel® Celeron® processors do not use this naming convention. 

The Intel® Core™ processor series includes the brand modifiers i3, i5, i7, and i9. Bear in mind that higher brand modifier numbers offer a higher level of performance and, in some cases, extra features (like Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology). 

For example, within a given processor family, an i7 performs better than an i5, which in turn exceeds an i3.

To put in a layman’s words: i3 is for general use, i5 is for gaming, i7 is for professional use.

03. Generation Indicator

The processor’s generation indicator comes after the brand and brand modifier. The processor number in all Intel® Core™ includes the  Intel® processor generations in a four-digit processor number.  

The first digit represents the generation. For example, a processor with the digits 9900 is a 9th gen processor, while one labeled 8900 is 8th gen technology. 

The Intel naming scheme is slightly different in 10th Generation  Intel® Core™. Here, the first digit in the product number will be 10 (these are product numbers like 1065, 1068, 1075, etc.)

04. SKU Numeric Digits

For the majority of Intel® processors, the SKU is the last three digits of the product number. 

SKUs are assigned in a numeric order following how processors in that generation and product line are developed. A higher SKU in other identical processor brands and generations will have more features. 

However, it is advisable not to use SKU numbers for comparison across different generations or product lines.

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05. Product Line Suffix

The SKU suffix also indicates the processor’s capabilities and unique features. A letter-based product line suffix indicates the product line suffix.

For example, within the Intel® Core™ processor series, U indicates Ultra-low power. This means a processor is for power-efficient laptops or 2 in 1s. Meanwhile, XE indicates an Extreme edition processor for maximum-performance desktops

06. Hyper-Threading

Hyper-Threading is a technology by Intel to improve the efficiency of parallel computations. 

It is a process that allows a CPU to divide its physical cores into virtual cores which are called threads. These threads are treated as physical cores by the operating system.

Hyper-threading is at work when each core in your CPU can perform two actions at the same time. 

As a result, you get better processor performance because it improves the CPU’s efficiency. This lets you use more demanding apps or games at the same time.

Feeling lost? This will help. Imagine a processor with two physical cores. Hyper-threading technology will divide the physical cores logically to make them act like a quad-core processor. That is, a dual-core Intel processor with hyper-threading technology will behave as if it is a quad-core processor. 

Remember, this technology only improves the efficiency, it doesn’t match the performance of actual physical cores.

07. Clock speed

Clock speed is defined as the rate at which a processor executes instructions from a program. That is, the number of cycles your CPU executes every second. It is measured in gigahertz (GHz).  

A higher clock speed means a faster performance by the processor. This means that a CPU with a clock speed of 4.0GHz is faster than one of 3.0GHz. 


The turbo-boost feature allows the processor to run at a higher speed than its configured limit. 

It is like a burst of adrenaline to the underlying processor when it identifies a need for more computing power. 

This feature is only available on the Intel Core i5 series and upwards. Intel Turbo Boost Technology frequency depends on the processor’s workload, hardware, software, and configuration.

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