What to know about common SSD specifications

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Crucial FAQ: What to know about common SSD specifications


There are many words and acronyms associated with computers and servers that can be confusing. If you’re trying to upgrade your system and a slow computer has pushed your frustration to the limit, the last thing you want is to get slowed down further while trying to figure out what specific storage tech terms mean. So without further ado, here are some frequently asked questions to help you learn more and find the best possible upgrade.


Solid state drive (SSD) FAQ


What’s an SSD form factor?

A form factor is the physical form, or physical dimensions, of the drive. SSDs have three form factors: 2.5-inch, mSATA, and M.2. The 2.5-inch form factor is used in many desktops and laptops. The mSATA version is commonly used in ultrathin laptops and compact systems. The M.2 version is commonly used in tablets and ultrabooks. To ensure that you buy the right form factor, verify compatibility in just a few clicks using our System Scanner or Crucial® Advisor™ tool.


What do I need to know about total capacity?

Amount of data you can store on the drive, measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB – 1TB equals about 1,000GB). The larger the capacity, the better.


What do the “read” and “write” specs mean relative to SSDs?

Read and write speeds measure how fast data loads (reads) and saves/transfers (writes). Reads measure how quickly the SSD can access data it has already stored (i.e. you click on an application and it loads). Writes measure how quickly the SSD can save data and “write” it to the drive for storage (i.e. you save a document or transfer a photo from your phone to your computer).


What’s the interface?

The interface is how the drive is physically connected to your system. SATA and PCIe are the most common interfaces. The interface on the drive must match your system, and you can quickly verify this by using the System Scanner or Crucial® Advisor™ tool.


What’s the unit height and why does it matter?

It’s the measurement of the physical height of the SSD (in millimeters). You’ll need to know this to make sure the drive fits in the storage bay.


Crucial. The memory and storage experts.™

Memory and storage are crucial – your system won’t work without them. Every time you press the power button, load apps, save documents, type, or move your mouse, you’re using memory and storage. When it comes to these components, four factors are crucial: expertise, compatibility, reliability, and commitment. You need all four. As a brand of Micron, we’re part of one of the largest memory manufacturers in the world and we provide the same caliber of components that get pre-built into new computers. We live and breathe memory and storage, and we’re here to transform your system’s performance.