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The majority of SSDs have SATA connectors, a commonly used connection between the computer and its associated drives. Since SSDs support faster connection speeds, a faster SATA connection (SATA 3GB/s or SATA 6GB/s) is recommended to reach full operating speed though is not necessary.
SSDs are commonly smaller than HDDs. Most SSDs measure only 2.5" whereas a traditional desktop drive bay measures 3.5". This means that an SSD will fit easily into a desktop, but a mounting adapter may be needed. (Mounting adapters usually come with new SSDs.) Most notebooks come with a 2.5" bay which fits most SSDs.
Any operating systems can be installed on an SSD drive. There should be no compatibility issues. Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and DOS can all be installed on an SSD drive.
Some features (like TRIM) are only supported on more recent operating systems, such as Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.6 and higher. However, older operating systems can be modified to use TRIM with third-party tools or software updates.
The TRIM command is a feature commonly found on newer operating systems. It sends information to an SSD to find and delete memory blocks that are no longer in use. TRIM’s purpose is to maintain an SSD's speed throughout its lifespan. While newer OS support the TRIM feature, third-party tools and software updates will allow older OS to use it as well.
mSATA is a relatively new controller format for ultra-small SSDs. Not every laptop can use a mSATA-formatted SSD. Be sure to check with your computer manufacturer for any compatibility and support issues before purchasing a mSATA-formatted SSD.
All solid state drives are not created equal and can be classified into three different categories: consumer grade, commercial grade and industrial grade. Consumer grade SSDs are designed to meet the needs of individual users without harsh environmental concerns. Commercial grade SSDs are intended for users at the enterprise level who have very high demand on reliability, but do not have demanding environmental conditions. Industrial grade SSDs are ideal for harsh environments or remote locations where reliability is critical.
Hardware, software, and other configurations can vary the performance of your SSD. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your SSD is configured correctly:
A sudden power loss can cause a system to not recognize an SSD. In most cases, your SSD can be returned to normal operating condition by completing a power cycle, a process that will take approximately one hour.
We recommend performing this procedure on a desktop computer. It allows SATA power connection, which improves the odds of a power cycle completing successfully. A USB enclosure with an external power source will also work. Apple and Windows desktop may follow the same steps.
For laptops, you must connect the drive and navigate to the systems BIOS menu. (Refer to your computer manufacturer’s documentation on how to access the BIOS). Allowing the drive to sit in the BIOS will improve the odds that the power cycle will be successful. We don’t recommend using a USB enclosure powered via USB. In addition, Apple laptop users must boot the computer to the open firmware.
Solid state drives can cost between 5 to 10 times more than an HDD in terms of $/GB. However, they outperform hard disk drives so easily that most users who have experienced computing with an SSD are unwilling to turn back. SSDs are faster, quieter, cooler, more durable and reliable. The cost savings in the long run with greater productivity and lower energy usage makes SSDs well worth the money.
Wear leveling is a technique to compensate for cell cycle wear by distributing data evenly over the cells in the SSD. By avoiding “Hot Spots” (i.e. many repeated writes on the same few cells) on the SSD media, no cells will be worn out prematurely in the life cycle of the device.