Purchase Guide: 400-AIGK DELL 400GB MLC SATA – Specifications and Reviews

Introduction

Dell 400-AIGK SSD is a 2.5 inches storage module with a SATA interface that allows you to store and manage data with faster read/write operations and reduced access time compared to hard disk drives – HDDs. Apart from that, if you install your OS on your Dell 400-AIGK SSD, you can experience much faster boot times and complement the powerful hardware components of your PC. 

But choosing one SSD from the variety of available options or deciding whether you should opt for the SSD or HDD can be an overwhelming task. To make this process simple, let’s start by determining some differences between HDDs and SDDs.

SSD vs HDD

Compared to a mainstream storage medium like HDD, which involves mechanical components that are more prone to failure or crashes (due to friction and vibrations), an SSD, in contrast, lacks any mechanical components. Instead, it possesses a NAND flash memory. With this static physical structure and modern design, an SSD also offers less power consumption and high durability. But this newer technology comes amidst some limitations in terms of storage capacity and is more expensive than its HDD counterparts.

Depending upon your specific requirements, there are different types of SSDs available in the market to opt from. This wide array of collections can make your purchase drive a bit confusing. This piece of writing will help you acknowledge some of the primary aspects you need to know before settling down for a certain SSD.

Different SSD Form Factors

The form factor denotes the physical size of a device/hardware component, such as its weight, size, and other physical attributes. When we talk about SSDs, the said technology has experienced instant evolutionary changes over the last 2 decades, in terms of both performance and form factor. Today, internal SSDs can be categorized into three form factors.

1. 2.5-inch

The 2.5-inch form factor appears like traditional HDDs present on a majority of machines. Also known as the small form factor (SFF), the title 2.5-inch reveals the drive’s dimensional measurement. It’s a commonly used SSD form factor, specifically in the PCs that come with a drive bay and supports the SATA connectivity interface. Like a lot of enthusiasts who custom-built, their PCs already use the 2.5-inch HDD modules, the availability of an SSD featuring the same dimensions allows them to easily switch to a faster drive. That too without employing any additional hardware support or alterations. It makes the 2.5-inch form factor one of the best-selling SSD form factors. The SDD in question (Dell 400-AIGK) offers a 2.5-inch form factor.

2. M.2

M.2 also known as NGFF (New Generation Form Factor) is a relatively new module in the internally-used SSDs category. It appears similar to a RAM strip and can be found in the latest laptops or notebooks. The M.2 SSDs are available in different sizes and possess the NAND flash memory on either one or both sides of the strip. For instance, the modules integrated on a board, the chips are only found on the front side. On the contrary, removable modules can have chips present on both sides. Apart from this, it’s an objective matter and depends upon the choice of manufacturer. You can find an M.2 SSD with either SATA or PCIe connectivity standards. The modules having a PCIe interface feature a higher price.

3. U.2

When it comes to appearance, U.2 SSDs are identical to the SATA HDDs. They are available in a 2.5-inch form factor, (comparatively bigger than M.2 SSDs). Due to their large size, they offer more capacity and better heat dissipation compared to M.2. When it comes to an interface type, U.2 only features a PCIe interface. It requires a separate connector (similar to the SATA Express plug) if you want to couple it to an M.2 port. The U.2 has a competitive edge over M.2 as it offers hot-swapping. Hot-swapping feature allows you to remove, add or replace the SSD while your PC is in running condition, without having to switch it off.

Types of SSD Interfaces

Just like various form factors, SSDs also experienced improvements in the way it couples to the motherboard, known as the connectivity interface or standards. From SATA-interfaces drives (introduced to be used in HDDs) to the modern PCIe interfaces with NVMe support, there are different types of interfaces, offered by SSDs. Let’s discuss this in detail.

1. SATA

The most common interface present in SSDs is Serial Advanced Technology Attachment abbreviated as SATA (specifically the SATA 3.0). It has been here for a long time and is known for its better data transfer rate between motherboard and storage module. One of the primary benefits of having a SATA interface is that it is capable of correcting any error or discrepancies in transmission, which makes it reliable and efficient in data transmission.

Dell 400-AIGK SSD for having a SATA 3.0 interface features a maximum transfer speed of 6Gbps which is twice that of SATA 2.0. However, due to some hardware restraints, the practical speed usually tends to be slightly lower if the drive and the interface do not complement each other. Apart from that, it is also noteworthy that SATA 3.0 in SSDs offers a host controller interface and AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) ideally supported in HDDs. 

2. M.2

M.2 is one of the most common SSD interfaces, widely adopted by manufacturers, and can be found on various PCs, laptops, and notebooks. The interface was introduced by Intel as an alternate to mSATA (Mini-SATA), which has become irrelevant in the contemporary scenario. In contrary to mSATA, M.2 features faster transfer rates – one of the most important weights in the decision matrix when it comes to choosing between different SSDs. Apart from that, another primary aspect that makes M.2 a better performer than its predecessor is the faster speeds with a comparatively smaller footprint.

The smaller footprint makes the M.2 interface a savior choice in slim laptops and notebooks. Similarly, it also provides space for multiple interfaces on a motherboard, which is a good option for those who need to acquire multiple SSDs running in RAID configuration.

3. PCIe

PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) is a connectivity standard used to couple different internal devices with the motherboard. This interface witnessed a boom in adoption and became one of the most preferred SSD interfaces compared to SATA as it offers speeds around two to three times faster than the older-gen SATA 3.0 interface primarily due to the number of channels contained by each to transfer data (roughly 10 for SATA and 25 for PCIe). Due to which a lot of motherboard manufacturers are turning towards PCIe interfaces. Just like SATA, PCIe has also experienced improvement and advancements, with PCIe 4.0 being the latest version available in a few top-notch SSDs. Some of its notable features include:

  • Hot-swapping
  • High performance in terms of speed
  • Storage-intensive,
  • Advanced error detection and correction protocols

If we talk about the protocol, PCIe features one of the commonly used SSDs protocols namely NVMe. NVMe ensures better performance and offers parallel connectivity for reduced latency rate, and in turn, boosts the performance. SSDs having PCIe interface and NVMe protocol are not the budget-friendly choice for most individuals.

Choosing between Storage Options

Once you have settled on the form factor and the connectivity interface for your next SSD module as per your requirements, the next important step is to decide on which storage capacity is suitable for you. The price per GB of SSDs is more than the price per GB of HDD and the margin increases as you go for the high-capacity SSD modules. For a budget-friendly approach, it is recommended to choose an optimal storage option. If you opt for 1TB SSDs, they are much expensive than their HDD counterparts. Dell 400-AIGK SSD offers 400 GB of storage space which is a decent storage space for an average user.