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Little Known Differences in SSD Types

When you look at the plethora of acronyms associated with solid state drives, the purchasing process can become quite daunting. Once you consider your options, however, you’ll notice there are just three main types of SSD’s (solid state drives). The main SSD types are SLC (Single Level Cell), MLC (Multi Level Cell), and TLC (Triple Level Cell).

SLC (Single Level Cell)

With just one bit in each cell, SLC is the most reliable choice when it comes to purchasing an SSD. SLC is most reliable because each cell can only be in on or off state. This makes it more difficult for something to go wrong with your SSD. Likewise, the simplistic structure of SLC translates to a longer lifespan and more accurate read/write operations. The average SLC lasts between 90,000 and 100,000 read/write operations. This is excellent. However, SLC is not without its flaws.

SLC is not always the best choice because it comes in lower storage capacities and costs far more than any other SSD type.  While SLC is not the best choice for everyone, it has its place. SLC is most suitable for business use because it is more durable and can withstand more read/write cycles.

MLC (Multi Level Cell)

MLC is a sharp contrast to SLC SSD’s because each cell contains two bits instead of just one.  Since MLC has two bits, it offers far more storage capacity than SLC. The increased storage capacity is wonderful for anyone who needs additional space and ideal for anyone on a budget.

On average, MLC is four times cheaper than SLC. MLC, however, is not without its problems. MLC is less reliable than SLC. Plus, its read/write lifespan is just 10,000. The reduced lifespan comes with an additional price reduction, which makes MLC ideal for domestic consumers.

TLC (Triple Level Cell)

While MLC has two bits per cell, TLC has three. The increase bits per cell make TLC slower and less reliable than any other SSD option. Plus, increased bits mean TLC has just half the lifespan of your average MLC SSD. TLC has a lifespan between 3,000 and 5,000.  With a lowered lifespan, less reliability, and slower speed, TLC becomes the cheapest and best option for users in search of an SSD for the most basic electronic devices.


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