Intel made a couple of storage-related announcements at Computex 2015. The largest was the introduction of Thunderbolt 3, increasing bandwidth to 40 Gb/s. Intel also addressed one of the technology's biggest weaknesses, which has slowed adoption: cable costs. Users will be able to use passive cables for Thunderbolt devices with up to 20 Gb/s bandwidth. The full 40 Gb/s requires either active copper or optical cables.
Alpine Ridge, the new Thunderbolt 3 controller, uses four lanes of PCIe 3.0 to the host chipset. Technically it has 32 Gb/s of throughput. Intel uses 40 Gb/s for marketing though, and gets there by calculating DisplayPort bandwidth in with the chipset.
In addition to Thunderbolt, Alpine Ridge also supports USB 3.1. The combination makes for an interesting mix that spans several product categories. Historically, Thunderbolt has been used mainly for DAS storage. But those new capabilities will expand the technology's utility.
Intel also announced a change for SFF-8639 to a more friendly name: U.2. This is more of a marketing term for OEMs that plan to adapt PCIe-based storage devices in 2.5" form factors. We feel it's a plug-in replacement to the stillborn SATA Express spec that is already outdated for high-performance SSDs.
SSDs are still no archival media, and they will corrupt after a year or two without power. But if you are the sort of person who travels a lot and unplugs your PC for 2-3 months at a time then it is not a real concern anymore.
I'm so out of touch that I didn't even know that was "a thing"
Really? 5 years ago? Because I've gone on vacation for about a month and my Windows wont even start anymore. And that was about a year ago. Heard a rumor that the 3D stacking technology thing managed to eliminate this problem and i was waiting for some more good news about that before buying a new SSD.
A $60 240GB SSD is the reason why you don't feel a big performance increase over your HDD.
But how old was the SSD? The model, not the particular one that you own.