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Compared to hard drives, where deleting a file is only handled at the file system level[1], SSDs benefit from informing the disk controller when blocks of memory are free to be reused. Since the flash cells they are made of are worn out a little with each write operation, the disk controllers use algorithms to share the write operations on all the cells: this process is called wear leveling. Without the NVMe DEALLOCATE, SAS UNMAP or ATA_TRIM command (supported by most SSDs), the disk controller takes more time to do a write operation as soon as there is no empty memory blocks, as it has to shuffle data around to erase a cell before writing to it (see Wikipedia:Write amplification): a TechSpot benchmark shows the performance impact before and after filling an SSD with data.


Using the default mount options instead of an entry in /etc/fstab is particularly useful for external drives, because such partition will be mounted with the default options also on other machines. This way, there is no need to edit /etc/fstab on every machine.

On occasion, users may wish to completely reset an SSD's cells to the same virgin state they were at the time the device was installed, thus restoring it to its factory default write performance. Write performance is known to degrade over time even on SSDs with native TRIM support: TRIM only safeguards against file deletes, not replacements such as an incremental save.

The above output shows the device is not locked by a HDD-password on boot and the frozen state safeguards the device against malwares which may try to lock it by setting a password to it at runtime.

As noted in #Hdparm shows "frozen" state setting a password for a storage device (SSD/HDD) in the BIOS may also initialize the hardware encryption of devices supporting it. If the device also conforms to the OPAL standard, this may also be achieved without a respective BIOS feature to set the passphrase, see Self-encrypting drives.

Several USB-to-SATA bridge chips (like VL715, VL716 etc.) and also USB-to-PCIe bridge chips (like the JMicron JMS583 used in external NVMe enclosures like IB-1817M-C31) support TRIM-like commands that can be sent through the USB Attached SCSI driver (named "uas" under Linux).

If the kernel did not detect the capability of your device to unmap data, then this will likely return "full".Apart from "full", the kernel SCSI storage driver currently knows the following values for provisioning_mode:

Although Samsung deems firmware update methods outside of their Magician software as "unsupported", they still can work. The Magician software can create a bootable USB drive containing the firmware update, however Samsung no longer provides the software for consumer SSDs. Samsung also provides pre-made bootable ISO images that can be used to update the firmware. Another option is to use Samsung's magician utility provided by samsung_magician-consumer-ssdAUR. Magician only supports Samsung-branded SSDs; those manufactured by Samsung for OEMs (e.g., Lenovo) are not supported.

If you bought an ultraportable laptop anytime in the last few years, you very likely got a solid-state drive (SSD) as the primary boot drive. Bulkier gaming laptops have moved to SSD boot drives, too, while only a subset of budget machines still favor hard disk drives (HDDs). The boot drives in prebuilt desktop PCs are mostly SSDs now, too, except in the cheapest models. In some cases, a desktop comes with both, with the SSD as the boot drive and the HDD as a bigger-capacity storage supplement.

The traditional spinning hard drive is the basic non-volatile storage on a computer. That is, information on it doesn't "go away" when you turn off the system, unlike data stored in RAM. A hard drive is essentially a metal platter with a magnetic coating that stores your data, whether weather reports from the last century, a high-definition copy of the original Star Wars trilogy, or your digital music collection. A read/write head on an arm (or a set of them) accesses the data while the platters are spinning.

An SSD performs the same basic function as a hard drive, but data is instead stored on interconnected flash-memory chips that retain the data even when there's no power flowing through them. These flash chips (often dubbed "NAND") are of a different type than the kind used in USB thumb drives, and are typically faster and more reliable. SSDs are consequently more expensive than USB thumb drives of the same capacities. (See our deep-dive guide to SSD jargon.)

Like thumb drives, though, SSDs are often much smaller than HDDs and therefore offer manufacturers more flexibility in designing a PC. While some can install in traditional 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard drive bays, other models can be installed in a PCI Express expansion slot or even be mounted directly on the motherboard, a configuration that's now common in late-model systems. (These board-mounted SSDs use a form factor known as M.2. See our picks for the best M.2 SSDs and get much more info on these multifaceted types of SSDs.)

Note: We'll be talking primarily about internal drives in this story, but almost everything applies to external drives as well. External drives come in both large desktop and compact portable form factors, and SSDs are gradually becoming a larger part of the external-drive market.

Hard drive technology is relatively ancient (in terms of computer history, anyway). There are well-known photos(Opens in a new window) of the IBM 650 RAMAC hard drive(Opens in a new window) from 1956 that used 50 24-inch-wide platters to hold a whopping 3.75MB of storage space. This, of course, is the size of an average 128Kbps MP3 file today, stored in the physical space that could hold two commercial refrigerators. The RAMAC 350 was limited to government and industrial uses, and it was obsolete by 1969. How far we've come!

The PC hard drive form factor standardized at 5.25 inches in the early 1980s, with the now-familiar 3.5-inch desktop-class and 2.5-inch notebook-class drives coming soon thereafter. The internal cable interface has changed over the years from serial to IDE (now frequently called Parallel ATA, or PATA) to SCSI to Serial ATA (SATA). But each essentially does the same thing: connect the hard drive to the PC's motherboard so your data can be shuttled to and fro.

Most 2.5- and 3.5-inch drives use SATA interfaces (at least on consumer computers), but many high-speed internal SSDs now use the faster PCI Express interface instead. Capacities have grown from multiple megabytes to multiple terabytes, more than a million-fold increase. As for hard drives, current 3.5-inch hard drives are now available in capacities exceeding 10TB.

The SSD has a much shorter history, though its roots do reach several decades into the past. Technologies like bubble memory were briefly popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but the bubbles have long since burst. Current flash memory is the logical extension of the same idea, as it doesn't require constant power to retain the data you store on it. The first primary drives that we know as SSDs started appearing during the rise of netbooks in the late 2000s. In 2007, the OLPC XO-1 used a 1GB SSD, and the Asus Eee PC 700 series used a 2GB SSD as primary storage. The SSD chips on these laptops were permanently soldered to the motherboard.

As netbooks and other ultraportable laptops became more capable, SSD capacities increased and eventually standardized on the 2.5-inch notebook form factor. This way, you could pop a 2.5-inch hard drive out of your laptop or desktop and replace it easily with an SSD, and manufacturers could design around just one kind of drive bay.

Hard drives are still around in budget and older systems, but SSDs are now the rule in mainstream systems and high-end laptops like the Apple MacBook Pro, which does not offer a hard drive even as a configurable option. Desktop PCs, on the other hand, continue to offer HDDs.

That said, both SSDs and hard drives do the same job: They boot your system, and store your applications and personal files. But each type of storage has its own unique traits. How do they differ, and why would you want to get one over the other?

SSDs are more expensive than hard drives in terms of dollar per gigabyte. A 1TB internal 2.5-inch hard drive costs between $40 and $60, but as of this writing, the very cheapest SSDs of the same capacity and form factor start at around $80. That translates into 4 to 6 cents per gigabyte for the hard drive versus 8 cents per gigabyte for the SSD. The differences are more drastic if you look at high-capacity 3.5-inch hard drives. For example, a 12TB 3.5-inch hard drive that sells for around $300 to $350 can push the per-gigabyte cost below 3 cents.

Since hard drives use older, more established technology, they will likely remain less expensive for the foreseeable future. Though the per-gig price gap is closing between hard drives and low-end SSDs, those extra bucks for the SSD may push your system price over budget.

Consumer SSDs are rarely found in capacities greater than 2TB, and those are expensive. You're more likely to find 500GB to 1TB units as primary drives in systems. While 500GB is considered a "base" hard drive capacity for premium laptops these days, pricing concerns can push that down to 128GB or 256GB for lower-priced SSD-based systems. Users with big media collections or who work in content creation will require even more, with 1TB to 8TB drives available in high-end systems. Basically, the more storage capacity, the more stuff you can keep on your PC. Cloud-based storage may be good for housing files you plan to share among your smartphone, tablet, and PC, but local storage is less expensive, and you have to buy it only once, not subscribe to it.

Speed is where SSDs shine. An SSD-equipped PC will boot in far less than a minute, often in just seconds. A hard drive requires time to speed up to operating specs, and it will continue to be slower than an SSD during normal use. A PC or Mac with an SSD boots faster, launches and runs apps faster, and transfers files faster. Whether you're using your computer for fun, school, or business, the extra speed may be the difference between finishing on time and being late. 041b061a72


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