Now where did I put that document? Storage Solutions

From here on out, things get a lot simpler. The main things to look for will be your storage solution, whether a conventional hard drive, a solid state drive or a new, faster NVMe drive. The trade-off between all of these is going to be speed versus capacity, and with standard solid state drives sitting somewhere in the middle.

Hard Drive:

Hard drives are going to be your cheapest, largest and unfortunately slowest option for storage. These drives have been the mainstays of data storage for decades, and aren’t going anywhere in a lot of applications. They offer large drive capacities, 3TB or 4TB drives and larger are not hard to find but suffer from being slow compared to solid state drives. The benefit of these drives is that you can easily store a massive amount of data (Author’s note, the system this is being written on has 16TB of storage that was cheaper than my 512GB NVMe drive, at the time of building) cheaper than any other readily available solution.


Solid State Drive:

Solid State Drives, or SSDs are one of the biggest advancements in storage in the last two decades. These drives, unlike ones before them have no moving parts, and are capable of reading and writing data at much greater speeds than before. They also draw less power, produce minimal heat and create no noise unlike previous hard drives. Most mobile devices like phones, tablets, and smart devices store their data on SSDs of some sort or another. These drives are faster than hard drives, but are still limited by the SATA III Bus, as discussed earlier. One of the best upgrades you can make to an older machine is replacing its hard drive with an SSD.


NVMe Drive:

NVMe or Non-Volatile Memory Express is a recent development in solid state storage. Instead of connecting through the SATA III Bus, these devices connect using what is called an M.2 connector, or through your motherboard’s PCIe lanes. These drives are significantly faster than anything else on the market, draw less power and only produce noticeable heat under very heavy load for longer periods. Originally used in servers, these devices have gotten smaller, faster and filtered down to the consumer market. The trade-off of these devices is that they are typically lower capacity than other drives and are more expensive. However, the performance they provide is hard to beat even with advanced setups, costing far more. Modern motherboards are able to support M.2 form factor NVMe drives, but it can be an issue to get compatibility with older hardware.