SSD Types and Form Factors – An SSD Primer

Our SSD close up today is going to examine the different SSD types and form factors common to the consumer.

This is the third paper in a series of recent articles that explained the benefits and components of a solid state drive and will go so far as to make up our SSD Beginners Guide.  Each article is designed to be easily understood and will enable the reader to become proficient in every aspect of the SSD as it relates to their specific computing needs.


Our featured picture might seem a bit intimidating to most simply because the average consumer isn’t used to seeing, much less buying, anything that shows its circuitry and is not nicely packaged as the SSD in the middle is.  It displays the OCZ RevoDrive 3×2 480GB PCIe card on the bottom, followed by the Crucial M4 512GB SATA 3 SSD with the Renice x3 mSATA 120GB SATA 2 SSD on top. A simple click on any of these links will bring you to the analysis we did of each on their release.

All three comprise of the main types or ‘form factor’ SSDs we may consider for purchase as they fit into the Ultrabook, notebook or desktop systems that we see available in any electronics store today.  Don’t misconstrue my words because I’m definitely not saying that each will fit into any of the three type of computers and, in fact, if you take a close look you will see that the OCZ Revo 3×2 card is actually thicker than our Toshiba Z830 Ultrabook.

Pik 1

There are key differences in each form factor that go beyond size and placement alone which just may help you along in determining the solution for your specific need.  Specific interface type, speed, and capacity are as similar to the group as a whole as they may be different given a specific need for the end user.


In as much as their are key differences, a key point that we learned in the last article, SSD Components and Make Up, is that each and every SSD has to have specific parts regardless of its form factor.

These parts are easily identifiable in all three shown here and are the interface which connects to your computer, processor which coordinates travel of information, circuit board and NAND flash memory which stores your data.

Just to keep things interesting, I thought I might throw in the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB PCIe Hybrid SSD (which will be later discussed) and the OCZ 1.6TB Z-R4 PCIe SSD as both are recent releases and stand out in the crowd.  The hybrid contains, not only a RevoDrive SATA 3 SSD for performance but also, a 1TB hard drive for capacity while the Z-R4 Drive is just about the fastest available PCIe card on the market as it has lightning speeds as fast as 2.8GB/s.

My absolute two favorite reviews that show our sites….creativity… just happen to be the RevoDrive Hybrid PCIe Review and the Runcore T50 SATA 3 mSATA SSD Review.  The Hybrid review was based on a high school science experiment and even included Cold Play’s song, ‘The Scientist’ whereas the Runcore T50 review drew comparison to that SSD and the 1969 Ford Mustang with the ‘monster’ 429 Boss engine.


For those new to our reviews, a quick click on any picture will bring up a much better high resolution version whereas a click on any word that is shown in orange will bring you directly to the article discussed.