I have a Dell Inspiron 7720 laptop for a few years and I would like to buy an SSD disk for it. Currently, I have an SSD disk used as a cache for HDD disk (using Intel Rapid Storage). I want to remove the current SSD disk, use the new one as a system boot disk and the HDD as a data disk.
Since I stopped following new hardware a few years back, I'm not sure what to buy. I don't want you to suggest any particular model, rather just what technology and interface to choose. I want to buy the best possible but, of course, my laptop has to be able to use it (e.g. I don't need SSD faster than motherboard's bus can transfer).
So what I have:
- motherboard: Dell 072P0M (Intel Ivy Bridge chipset with Intel HM77 southbridge)
- 2 regular SATA ports revision 3.0 (i.e. 6 Gb/s), 1 empty (other one used by the HDD)
- mSATA port (used by the SSD which is in RAID with the HDD)
- 4x PCI Express x1 ports (it looks like only 2 are currently used (ethernet and wireless cards), although I don't know if there's any connector available inside)
- 1x PCI Express x4 port (it doesn't look it used but I don't know if there's any connector available inside)
So what to buy? It most likely doesn't have an M.2 interface so SATA is the only option I guess. Is there any (performance) difference between SATA and mSATA or is it just a different form factor? It looks that Inspiron 7720 cannot boot from the mSATA (there's some weird workaround but probably better not choose it, see this, this or this).
Considering all the facts I think the best is to buy some SATA III SSD like Samsung 850 Pro (little above 500 MB/s read and write). Am I right?
Or is there any possibility to use any of those PCI Express ports?