Yes Solid-state drives (SSDs) have grown in popularity as a computer storage option due to their faster read and write speeds, increased reliability, and longer lifespan when compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).
With technological advancements, can I build a PC with only an SSD ? This begs the question, “Is this a good idea? We’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of building a PC entirely out of SSDs.
We’ll also look at the required components, SSD size and type recommendations, and compatibility with other hardware. We’ll also go over: Can I build a PC with only SSDs? and the advantages of using SSDs in a PC, such as faster boot and load times, quieter operation, and improved performance in specific applications.
On the other hand, we’ll highlight some disadvantages that must be considered, such as cost and storage limitations. By the end of this article, you’ll know whether building a PC with only SSDs is the right choice for you.
How SSDs work
SSDs store and access data using NAND-based flash memory. Flash memory is made up of memory cells that hold bits of data. These cells are grouped together to form pages, which are then grouped together to form blocks. The SSD controller manages data reading and writing to flash memory.
When you write data to an SSD, it is stored in memory cells. Unlike HDDs, SSDs can write to empty memory cells without moving any read/write heads, resulting in a much faster process. When data is deleted from an SSD, however, the memory cells are not immediately erased. Instead, the data is marked as “deleted,” and the memory cells are not altered. This process is called “garbage collection.”
When new data needs to be written to the SSD, the controller will first look for any deleted data and try to write the new data to those cells. If there are no empty cells available, the controller will perform a process called “wear leveling,” which distributes the write operations evenly across all the memory cells to prevent any one cell from wearing out faster than the others.
When data is read from an SSD, the controller retrieves it from the appropriate memory cells and sends it to the processor of the computer. SSDs have much faster read speeds than HDDs because they do not have any moving parts.
Types of SSDs
There are three major types of SSDs on the market:
These SSDs connect to the computer’s motherboard via the SATA interface. They are faster than traditional HDDs in terms of read and write speeds but slower than other types of SSDs. SATA SSDs are an excellent option for those looking to upgrade from an HDD but who don’t want to spend too much money.
These SSDs connect to the motherboard via the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) interface. NVMe is a relatively new interface that provides faster read and write speeds than SATA. NVMe SSDs are ideal for gamers, content creators, and professionals who require quick access to large amounts of data and files.
To connect to the motherboard, these SSDs use the PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) interface. PCIe is the fastest available interface, with the fastest read and write speeds. PCIe SSDs are the most expensive type of SSD, but they are perfect for high-performance computing tasks like gaming, video editing, and 3D modeling.
It’s also worth noting that SSDs come in a variety of form factors, including 2.5-inch, M.2, and U.2, which determine how the SSD physically connects to the computer.
Building a PC with Only SSD
You will need the following components to build a PC using only SSDs:
Motherboard: A motherboard with the appropriate interface for the type of SSD you intend to use (SATA, NVMe, or PCIe) is required. Check that the motherboard has enough PCIe slots for any additional SSDs you intend to add later.
Processor (CPU): The CPU is responsible for your computer’s overall performance. Select a CPU that is both compatible with your motherboard and meets your requirements.
RAM: SSDs rely heavily on RAM for performance, so selecting a sufficient amount of RAM is critical. A minimum of 8GB of RAM is recommended, but more is preferred for high-performance computing.
Power Supply: Because SSDs consume less power than HDDs, you may be able to use a lower-wattage power supply. However, ensure that the power supply is compatible with your motherboard and has sufficient power to support any additional components you intend to add.
Case: Select a case that is compatible with your motherboard and has enough space to hold the number of SSDs you intend to use.
SSDs: You will, of course, require one or more SSDs to store your operating system, files, and programs. Choose the type and capacity of SSDs that meet your needs and budget.
Optional components: You may also want to add a dedicated graphics card, sound card, or additional cooling components, depending on your needs.
Recommended SSD size and type
The recommended SSD size and type depend on your specific needs and budget. Here are some general recommendations:
- Operating System: For storing your operating system and essential programs, a minimum of 128GB SSD is recommended. This ensures that your computer boots quickly and that programs launch quickly..
- Programs and Files: Consider a larger capacity SSD if you intend to store programs and files on it. For most users, a 500GB SSD is sufficient, but if you work with large files or require more storage space, consider a 1TB or larger SSD.
- Type: A SATA SSD is a good option if you’re on a tight budget. It offers a significant performance boost over a traditional HDD and is also the most cost-effective type of SSD.
- NVMe: An NVMe SSD is recommended if you are a gamer, content creator, or professional. NVMe SSDs have faster read and write speeds than SATA SSDs, which can be advantageous for tasks requiring access to large files and data.
- PCIe: A PCIe SSD is recommended if you require the highest possible performance. PCIe SSDs have the fastest read and write speeds, which makes them ideal for high-performance computing tasks like gaming, video editing, and 3D modeling.
Benefits of Building a PC with Only SSD:
Building a PC with only SSD (Solid State Drive) storage can offer several benefits compared to traditional hard drives (HDDs). Here are some advantages:
- Speed and Performance: SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs. They have faster read and write speeds, resulting in quicker boot times, faster application launches, and faster file transfers. This speed can greatly enhance overall system performance and responsiveness.
- Reliability and Durability: SSDs have no moving parts, unlike HDDs, which consist of spinning disks and mechanical arms. This makes SSDs more resistant to physical shock, vibration, and wear and tear. They are also less prone to mechanical failures, making them more reliable for long-term use.
- Energy Efficiency: SSDs consume less power than HDDs. As a result, building a PC with only SSDs can lead to lower energy consumption, reduced heat generation, and longer battery life in laptops or portable devices. This benefit is particularly important for those concerned with energy efficiency or using their PC on the go.
- Silent Operation: Since SSDs lack moving parts, they operate silently. This absence of mechanical noise can make your PC quieter, which can be beneficial for those who prefer a quieter working environment or for media-focused PCs.
- Compact Form Factor: SSDs are smaller and lighter than HDDs, which can be advantageous for systems with limited physical space, such as small form factor PCs or laptops. Their compact design allows for more flexibility when building or upgrading systems.
- Improved System Boot Time: SSDs significantly reduce the time required for your computer to boot up. With an SSD as the primary drive, your operating system can start up within seconds, providing a faster and more efficient start to your work or gaming sessions.
- Enhanced Gaming Experience: Games installed on SSDs tend to load faster, reducing loading times and providing a smoother gaming experience. This benefit is particularly noticeable in open-world games with large maps or games that require frequent loading of resources.
It’s worth noting that SSDs generally have a higher cost per gigabyte compared to HDDs. Therefore, when building a PC with only SSDs, it’s essential to consider your storage needs and allocate budget accordingly.
Many users opt for a combination of a smaller SSD for the operating system and frequently used applications, alongside a larger HDD for mass storage, to strike a balance between performance and cost.
Quieter and Cooler Operation
Another advantage of building a PC with only SSDs is that it will be quieter and cooler to use. SSDs, unlike traditional hard drives, have no moving parts, which results in less heat and noise.
The spinning disks of a traditional hard drive can generate a significant amount of noise, which can be distracting in a quiet environment. The noise may also indicate that the drive is nearing the end of its useful life. SSDs, on the other hand, are virtually silent, which is advantageous if you require a quiet workspace.
SSDs produce less heat than traditional hard drives, in addition to producing less noise. This can be advantageous for a variety of reasons. For starters, it can help extend the life of your computer’s components. Heat is one of the most dangerous enemies of computer components, and it can cause them to degrade over time.
Second, SSDs can help keep your computer cooler in general. This is especially important if you’re using a small-form-factor PC or laptop, where space is limited and cooling is difficult.
Building a PC with only SSDs can result in a quieter and cooler operating environment, which can benefit both the longevity of your computer and your personal comfort.
Another advantage of building a PC with only SSDs is their longer lifespan. Traditional hard drives use spinning disks that can wear out over time, leading to mechanical failure and data loss. SSDs, on the other hand, use flash memory, which has no moving parts and is therefore less susceptible to physical damage.
While SSDs have a limited lifespan in terms of the number of times they can be written to, modern SSDs are designed to handle a significant amount of data writing and rewriting before degrading. Indeed, many SSDs include a warranty that guarantees a certain amount of data can be written to the drive before it fails.
Furthermore, because SSDs lack moving parts that can be damaged by impact or jarring movements, they are less likely to fail due to shock or vibration. This is especially true for mobile devices like laptop computers.
Building a PC with only SSDs can provide a longer lifespan for your computer components, lowering the risk of data loss and the need for frequent replacements or repairs.
Improved Performance in Certain Applications
Building a PC with only SSDs can provide improved performance in certain applications, in addition to the benefits of faster boot and load times and quieter and cooler operation.
SSDs have faster read and write speeds than traditional hard drives, making them ideal for tasks like gaming, video editing, and 3D modeling. Large amounts of data are frequently accessed and transferred in these applications, and the faster speeds of an SSD can significantly reduce load times and improve overall performance.
SSDs can also boost performance when multitasking or running multiple programs at the same time. Your computer can quickly switch between programs and data sets when using an SSD, allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively.
Using only SSDs to build a PC can improve performance in a variety of applications, making your computer more responsive and efficient. Whether you’re a gamer, a creative professional, or a casual computer user, SSDs can help you get more out of your computer.
Drawbacks of Building a PC with Only SSD Cost
The cost of building a PC with only SSDs is one of the main disadvantages. SSDs are generally more expensive than traditional hard drives, making them a less economical option for some users.
However, the price of SSDs has steadily decreased over time, making them more affordable for consumers. Furthermore, the advantages of SSDs, such as faster load times and improved performance, may justify the extra cost for some users.
It’s important to note that the price of an SSD can vary depending on the type and size of the drive. Larger capacity SSDs, for example, will typically cost more than smaller capacity drives, and NVMe SSDs will typically cost more than SATA SSDs.
While SSDs are more expensive than traditional hard drives, the advantages they offer can make them a worthwhile investment for users who require high-performance storage solutions.
Another disadvantage of building a PC with only SSDs is the storage constraints that they can impose. While SSDs can provide faster load times and improved performance, their storage capacities are typically lower than those of traditional hard drives.
SSDs may not be the best option for users who require large amounts of storage, such as for storing large media files or running applications with high storage requirements. However, larger-capacity SSDs are becoming more widely available and affordable, and many users may find that an SSD’s storage capacity is sufficient for their needs.
One solution to this problem is to use both SSDs and traditional hard drives on your PC. This allows you to reap the benefits of SSD speed and performance while still having access to larger storage capacities for your data and media files.
Although storage constraints may be a disadvantage of building a PC with only SSDs, there are solutions available to help mitigate this issue, and many users may find that the benefits of SSDs outweigh the storage constraints.
Tips and Recommendations
Best practices for building a PC with only SSD
If you’re planning to build a PC using only SSDs, there are a few best practices to follow to ensure that your build is reliable, efficient, and performance-optimized:
Select high-quality components:
It is critical to select high-quality components, such as SSDs, as well as the motherboard, power supply, and other components. This ensures that your build is dependable and performs well.
Use the appropriate SSD type
There are several types of SSDs available, including SATA, NVMe, and PCIe, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is critical to select the correct type of SSD for your specific needs and use case.
Consider RAID configurations
Using multiple SSDs in a configured array, RAID (a redundant array of independent disks) can provide increased performance and redundancy. This is especially beneficial for users who require high-performance storage solutions.
Optimize your OS and software
To get the most out of your SSDs, optimize your operating system and software to take advantage of the faster load times and improved performance that SSDs provide.
Ensure proper cooling
Although SSDs produce less heat than traditional hard drives, it is still critical to ensure that your system is properly cooled to prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance.
SSD Brands and Models
There are many different SSD brands and models on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most popular and highly recommended SSD brands and models:
Samsung 970 EVO Plus:The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a high-performance NVMe SSD with fast speeds and high reliability.
Crucial MX500:The Crucial MX500 is a popular SATA SSD that provides excellent performance and reliability at a low cost.
Western Digital Blue SN550: The Western Digital Blue SN550 is yet another excellent NVMe SSD with fast speeds and high reliability.
Kingston A2000: The Kingston A2000 is a low-cost NVMe SSD with fast speeds and dependable performance.
Intel 660p: The Intel 660p is yet another low-cost NVMe SSD that provides good performance and excellent value.
Seagate FireCuda 520: The Seagate FireCuda 520 is a high-performance NVMe SSD with excellent performance and reliability for demanding applications.
SanDisk Extreme Pro: The SanDisk Extreme Pro is a high-performance SATA SSD with quick speeds and dependable performance for demanding applications.
Building a PC entirely out of SSDs is not only possible but can also provide a number of advantages over traditional HDDs. SSDs provide faster boot and load times, quieter and cooler operation, a longer lifespan, better performance in specific applications, and other benefits.
Can I build a PC with only SSD While there are some drawbacks to consider, such as storage limitations and compatibility issues with older hardware, there are also cost-effective alternatives that provide good performance and reliability in everyday use.
When building a PC with only SSDs, it’s critical to choose the right SSD size and type, as well as components that are compatible with your build. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus, Crucial MX500, Western Digital Blue SN550, Kingston A2000, Intel 660p, Seagate FireCuda 520, and SanDisk Extreme Pro are among the recommended SSD brands and models.