V-NAND Vs 3D NAND – What’s The Difference?

The recent increase in storage size for both hard drives and solid-state drives has led to plenty of new terms which can confuse potential buyers to the point where they default to things they either heard were good or have at some point been good but are now outdated.

SSD technology has moved from SATA to NVMe, using M.2 and U.2 connectors, but beware of the different M.2 sizes, like 2280, 2260, 2242.

With so many names for different terms, how is one to understand NAND flash, particularly V-NAND vs 3D NAND? Here are a couple of explanations to help you understand NAND, particularly 3D NAND and V-NAND.

NAND Flash – 3D or V?

It will take a simple trip back in time, to Q3 of 2013, to find that there is no 3d nand vs v nand and that they refer to the same thing. V-NAND, as it is called, is a marketing name for 3D NAND, created by Samsung back in 2013, when they were the first ones to actually get working 3D NAND cells on devices, thus hinting at an end of a price war for SSD storage.

This was a very important step in the development of fast storage drives, because stacking the cells in a vertical way enabled more storage at a lower price, the result of which we are enjoying today. This allows even the cheapest of SSDs to have storage sizes up to 2TB, allowing consumers to build computers with fast and reliable storage.

Modern SSDs – They Are Vertically Stacked

Because 3D NAND is so efficient, all manufacturers make their SSDs using vertical stacking. This enables higher storage sizes at lower costs, both for the manufacturers and the end users. Some SSDs are more expensive than others, but that has to do with their NAND cell type, some types being more efficient at read/write tasks, but also a lot more expensive.

The fact is that the best SSD does not really exist in a vacuum, but only the best SSD for the use case and price range. Vertically stacked drives increase the size of storage, but with more bits per NAND cell, the performance worsens, as well as the reliability.

Summary and Conclusion – 3D NAND and V-NAND Are the Same

Marketing terminology has been problematic in the world of technology, anywhere from audio, cameras, to graphics cards, CPUs and in this case, the technology behind SSD storage. V-NAND is Samsung’s name for 3D NAND, where both things refer to the same thing, vertically stacking NAND cells to make better use of a given space on an SSD, be it NVMe or SATA.

Today, most SSDs are vertically stacked to make the largest storage size possible, for consumer applications. Smaller, faster and more expensive drives exist, but those make use of a different type of NAND cell (SLC, for example). These drives are typically used as enterprise solutions, like server drives which require constant read/write access.

For the average consumer, who now knows that V-NAND and 3D NAND mean the same, an affordable, fast SSD will be more than enough for everyday use (unless they are a professional who have frequent read/write uses on an SSD like video editors and audio professionals).

About The Author

Milan Zagorac

Milan has always been interested in writing and technology, but managed to pick up a love for music, literature and sports along the way. Essentially a jack of all trades, his interest in all things tech as well as love for the written word, keeps him well occupied.

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