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What is PCIe SSD? Get to know PCIe Technology or NVMe - the latest computer tutorial

What really makes computer users fall in love with a storage technology called SSD? It might be similar to the transition from CD to flashdisk almost two decades ago. This technology offers a much faster reading, writing and media transfer process. Efficiency, that's the main selling point.

Increasingly, of course this SSD technology gets new touches. Starting from the shape, dimensions, interface, to performance. And what's warm right now is a new touch of performance in SSD storage products by utilizing a new interface. It is called SSD PCIe.

SSD PCIe or NVMe, what is it?

For those who have not followed the development of SSD, maybe embarrassed also read the naming of this product. NVMe itself stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, which actually offers SSD-like capabilities. It's just that it has latency performance and lower CPU usage as well as advantages in utilizing internal flash-based devices in parallel.

For that, let's take a little flashback about the interface used on previous SSD products.

Like the hard drive, early generation SSDs also use the SATA interface. It's just with the characteristics of a flash chip that is able to provide read and write performance up to 10 times.

Well, this NVMe makes the data transfer process even faster by utilizing the speed of the PCI Express V3 path. Not just like the PCI Express accessories that are often found on desktop PCs, NVMe uses a special PCI Express x4 line which is usually only intended for video card lines.

On paper, NVMe can utilize bandwidth width owned by PCI Express V3 up to 4 x 985Mbps or around 3.9Gbps.

Terms of Utilizing the NMVe SSD

Because this technology is still very new, of course, recognize some conditions so that our hardware can recognize and utilize the capabilities of this SSD NVMe. The thing to remember, NVMe was born from the limitations of SATA and AHCI technology which has difficulty handling NAND Flash speeds. Initially, this NVMe technology was only used among enterprise and server groups which in fact had to serve many users.

To be able to use this technology, there are three conditions that must exist on our PC or laptop.

First, of course PCIe slots or M.2 slot laptops because in general, this type of slot can be made of two functions, SATA and PCIe. Although the type of M.2 slot that supports PCIe is slightly different.

Second, the operating system that supports this technology. Initially, only Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2003 had drivers for the NVMe solution. However, at this time, Windows 10, Windows 7 to Linux can also take advantage of this technology.

Third, of course the NVMe SSD itself. Physically similar to SATA SSD NGFF 2280 form factor. However, it is different in the connector section where the NVMe SSD has two devices. For those of you who have M.2 slots but don't support NVMe, don't try experimenting to install the NVMe SSD into it.

The benefits of SSD PCIe

With the theory mentioned above, SSD PCIe promises throughput that can be compared with two SSDs in RAID 0. You can imagine, with one SSD with NVMe technology, we may just leave RAID technology. Similar to SATA SSDs, capacity also affects the speed of the NVMe SSD.

With the performance offered, it is not wrong if gaming laptop products that have adopted Intel Skylake are also competing to highlight this feature. For some products, such as MSI gaming laptops with the addition of a killer network option, for example, promise a far more perfect online gaming experience.

Naturally, the MSI Super RAID mainstay feature is directly developed using this technology. And according to MSI's claims, two NVMe SSDs combined with the Super RAID 4 feature are able to provide throughput of up to 3.3GB. Even more curious just to review products that already support NVMe, such as Gigabyte Aero 15 or MSI GE63VR.


Then, is SSD PCIe SSD technology already worth buying?

For example, the Samsung V-Nand 950 Pro 256GB SSD PCIe as of this writing is priced at 3.4 million rupiah (13,500 / GB). At the same time, an SSD mSATA or M.2 SATA with the same capacity is priced at 1.4 million (± 5500 / GB).

Now there is a difference in price of 8,000 rupiah per-GB or price per-GB of SSD NVMe 145 percent more expensive. Now, please look at some of the performance testing scenarios that have been widely circulated in digital IT media, where the average NMVe SSD is almost 200 percent faster than SATA-based SSDs.

Well armed with an example of price versus performance comparison above, for me whose activities play a lot of triple-A games, upgrading to SSD PCIe is certainly very feasible and will be very helpful, especially when in-game. Because, AAA game data files at this time the size is not friendly with the performance of the standard SSD especially HDD.

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