When it comes to the modern day computing, the visual experience is everything provided by your computer monitor. So it really does beg the question, What makes an excellent monitor ?

This article is a guide of sorts to elaborate about the various different aspects that make a good monitor.

What builds a monitor ?

A computer monitor has a display, ports for connectivity and a power supply.

Each part of the monitor serves an important purpose, let's take a look at them closely and see what matters.


The monitor's display is the main element of the monitor (quite obviously), As it's pretty much what you are looking at when you want to work with a computer. A good monitor needs to have good display characteristic.

Some of these characteristics in general are things like the display brightness, color -representation qualities, refresh rate, etc.

Here is a look into some of the more technical aspects of the monitor.


Brightness, quantified in nits, plays a pivotal role in determining the vibrancy of displayed content. This attribute becomes especially significant in well-lit environments and when dealing with HDR (High Dynamic Range) content, as it contributes to a visually impactful experience.

For optimal visual clarity, a good monitor should have the capacity to emit approximately 250 – 450 nits of brightness, striking the right balance for various scenarios.

Color Accuracy and Gamut

The accuracy of colors holds paramount importance, particularly in tasks involving precise content creation. The color gamut, elaborated through metrics like sRGB, Adobe RGB, or DCI-P3 coverage, signifies the expansive spectrum of colors a display can realistically reproduce.

For the average user seeking a commendable display, a panel featuring good sRGB coverage, ranging from above 60% to 100%, should suffice and align with budget constraints. However, those delving into professional studio work might seek the exemplary color fidelity of the DCI-P3 standard, often considered the gold standard for color reproduction.

Display resolution

In the realm of computer monitors, resolution and pixel density are pivotal factors shaping visual quality.

They come across in various ranges such as 1080p, 1440p, and 4K etc.

FHD/1080p (Full High Definition) strikes a balance between image quality and performance, with widespread compatibility and smoother gaming.

QHD/1440p (Quad HD or 2K) steps up clarity for detailed tasks, enhancing productivity while offering an approachable upgrade.

UHD/4K (Ultra HD) sets a new standard in clarity, ideal for design and content creation, though demanding more from hardware.

This comes at a cost, as display resolution compatibility also matters; higher resolutions may require scaling adjustments for optimal usage and may require a faster computer.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of a display is also a key worthy feature of a monitor.

The aspect ratio is essentially the ratio between the number of pixels on the horizontal and vertical of the monitor. This gives importance to productivity and how you can space your windows and tabs of content on-screen.

16:9 is a typical monitor ratio, whereas 4:3 would be considered a tall monitor. There also exists ultra-wide monitors with aspect ratios like 21:9.

Pixel density

Pixel density impacts text clarity and visual edges, enhancing productivity and gaming, but necessitates proper scaling settings. The pixel density is a ratio between the monitor's size in inches and the resolution.

The higher the pixel density, the crisper and cleaner things like images and text look on a display.

Refresh Rates and Response Times

The refresh rate, measured in Hz (Hertz), dictates the seamless transition of images by quantifying how frequently the screen updates within a single second. The standard refresh rate of around 60 Hz is commonplace, yet there are monitors with capabilities of 90, 120, 144, or even 240 Hz. Higher refresh rates contribute substantively to rendering smoother motion on the screen, effectively conferring a fluid appearance to visual content.

Simultaneously, response times wield their influence on how promptly pixels transition between colors, playing a pivotal role in mitigating ghosting effects – the lingering blurring that occurs during rapid image changes. The response times in milliseconds are intrinsically linked to the monitor's refresh rate, making it an attribute that changes accordingly.

Ghosting and Motion Blur

Ghosting materializes when pixels lag behind during swift changes, leading to perceptible blurring. Reduced response times are instrumental in addressing this concern, enhancing the overall clarity of dynamic visuals and ensuring crisp portrayal.

A robust display, worthy of acclaim, ought to seamlessly surmount such issues, elevating the immersive experience for the user.

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR technology represents a noteworthy advancement by augmenting the contrast and brightness levels of displayed content, culminating in a better visual engagement.

Foremost formats such as HDR10 and Dolby Vision spearhead this evolution, providing expanded color palettes and luminance ranges that translate into captivating visuals.

While the inclusion of HDR support is anticipated in a high-quality monitor, it's worth noting that this enhancement can lead to a higher budgetary consideration due to the premium experience it affords.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio, a fundamental determinant, gauges the monitor's capacity to distinctly differentiate between white and other colors against a black backdrop. This metric evaluates the visual dynamics, as a higher contrast ratio invariably contributes to the enhanced vibrancy and realism of on-screen colors.

Viewing Angles

The concept of viewing angles is in relation to the range within which a display maintains its color accuracy and brightness consistency.

In simple terms, when you're looking at a screen, distortions in colors and brightness should ideally not crop up whether you're sitting directly in front of the display or even when you're peering at it from slightly off-center angles, like when you tilt your head.

This convenient feature essentially removes the need to constantly align your line of sight perfectly with the monitor's center to enjoy a sharp and clear view of everything displayed on it.

Comparing Displays

Two giants stand at the forefront: LCDs and OLEDs. Each has its unique strengths and characteristics that define the visual experience they offer. Additionally, emerging technologies like microLED and QLED are pushing the boundaries further.

LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays)

LCDs have long been the workhorse of the monitor world. These displays rely on liquid crystal molecules that twist and untwist to regulate light passing through them. The three primary types of LCD panels are TN (Twisted Nematic), VA (Vertical Alignment), and IPS (In-Plane Switching).

The most commonly preferred type of LCD panel is IPS due to its highly favored characteristics, as it appears to balance all the various aspects of a good display.

OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes)

OLED technology is quite unique. Each pixel makes its very own light, which gives you incredibly deep black colors and really bright colors too. These displays are super thin and flexible because they don't need a big light behind them.

OLED displays excel in every field of the display criteria, Ultra bright, Extremely color accurate, Super fast refresh and sub millisecond response rates with infinite contrast.

But unfortunately, OLED displays can become the victim of burn-ins where certain parts of the display can become dim over time, which can ruin the display in local areas or the entire OLED in general.

Mini-LED Displays

Mini-LED displays are a bit of an innovation to LCDs, imagine an LCD with a contrast ratio similar to ones like OLED displays.

These displays use LCDs with a distributed backlight that uses small LEDs to achieve localized dimming, hence providing much more contrast to the picture, thus greatly improving quality.


Let's delve a bit into the various connectivity options monitors offer, ranging from the classic technologies to the latest cutting-edge:

VGA (Video Graphics Array)

VGA is among the oldest methods of monitor connections, dating back to the early days of computing. It uses a 15-pin connector and is known for its analog signal transmission. While it can still be found on some older devices, VGA's limitations in terms of image quality and resolution have led to its gradual decline in favor of newer options.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

HDMI has become the de facto standard for connecting monitors to various devices. It supports both audio and video transmission in a single cable. HDMI offers robust support for high-definition resolutions, making it perfect for TVs, gaming consoles, and modern computers.

It's widely compatible and comes in different versions to accommodate evolving technological standards. Make sure your computer is capable of providing an HDMI version equal to or greater than the monitor to make the most use of its capabilities.


DisplayPort is another powerful contender, often seen on high-performance monitors and computers. It boasts high data transfer rates and supports higher resolutions and refresh rates than HDMI.

DisplayPort is also more adaptable for multi-monitor setups and offers daisy-chaining capabilities. It has gained popularity among professionals and enthusiasts who require superior performance.

USB-C and Thunderbolt

USB-C, known for its versatility, has taken the connectivity world by storm. It's not just for data and charging; it can also carry display signals. With a compatible port, you can use USB-C to connect your monitor, transmit data, and charge your device all at once.

Thunderbolt, often found in Apple devices, takes USB-C a step further by offering even faster data transfer and more display bandwidth.

DP over USB-C

DisplayPort over USB-C is the fusion of two great technologies. It's like getting the best of both worlds – the high-performance capabilities of DisplayPort and the convenience and versatility of USB-C.

This technology is particularly handy for laptops and devices with limited connectivity options, offering a single cable solution for power, data, and display.

Power supplies:

Probably not talked about much, but still sure is important to consider is efficiency ratings.

Opting for monitors with Energy Star ratings translates to minimized energy consumption and reduced electricity bills. So it is worth checking out the monitor's power rating if you plan to use it in power constrained systems.

What is the recommended monitor ?

There are a lot of various monitors that cater to user specific needs. For example high refresh monitors for gamers, high color precision for designers and engineers, Different aspect ratio monitors for programmers etc.

Software is also very catered to the kind of monitor you view your content on, if you plan on using your monitor for entertainment, you might want to look into a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor.

This is because movies and other content are curated to be viewable in that standard aspect ratio, Also making sure that its HDR capable for the rich colors.

If you need to conduct business activities, consider a monitor that's taller like a 4:3 aspect ratio. This will help you fit more content in a tall space all in one view.

If you want to have multiple moniors along a line, why not consider a ultrawide monitor ?
You'll be able to fit all your content together in a wide immersive view.

Any other monitor related tips ?

Make sure you are looking to make the most out of the setup of your monitors with mounting accessories.

Usually monitors come with a very simple mount but are compatible with VESA mounting options.

So it might be a good investment in purchasing a desktop clamp type or swivel mount monitor stand, depending on the number of monitors you might purchase.


If you are looking to purchase a monitor, It's worth noting all the various points and aspects before consideration of what kind of monitor you want to buy. The more the extravagant features, the more it will cost for a good monitor implementing those features.

Avoid buying cheaper monitors as they do tend to become faulty after a while and have random lines and artifacts in their screens after a period of usage wear.

IPS monitors with a decent resolution for your needs is probably the way to go if you are looking for a good ratio of budget and features, but if you are willing to splurge on a monitor, getting an OLED monitor isn't a bad idea.

A good home network ensures all the computers in your home can seamlessly communicate together and with the internet without any caveats whatsoever.

Setting up a proper network ensures many things, such as enhanced security, content filtering and other data management perks, along with better quality of service for things like streaming and entertainment.

However, you don't need to break the bank to set up a complete home network. Here is a guide on some basic, affordable options to set up a network with extensive connectivity to connect every corner of your home.

What constitutes a basic network?

A minimal foundational home network should consist of

As a prerequisite, make sure your home has the necessary Ethernet cabling and routing done to each of the computers or network devices you wish to connect.

These days, basic home routers have all the aforementioned components combined into a single device. However, there are still certain advantages to a full home network stack with dedicated components to do each job.

But a dedicated network stack provides much more flexibility, each component can be tweaked to cater to personal home requirements.

What are the various options for home network on a budget?

There are many affordable options to look at for buying the bare minimum components for a basic home network. Furthermore, most of these components can be bought from simple online e-commerce websites like amazon, Newegg, microcenter etc.

How to pick the right parts

When choosing the appropriate parts for a home network, there are certain requirements to be met to have the best service experience. Choosing the correct amount of bandwidth, range coverage etc. matter very much.


Routers are essentially the devices that manage how devices communicate with the internet and act as the traffic controller for network data to go from one place to another.

Most home routers are provisioned by the internet service provider but other times they provide nothing but a direct Ethernet CAT line or Modem if using fiber optic or coaxial line.

The router should be one that can handle high data throughput and have an optimal amount of processing power to be able to handle multiple users at the same time.

All i have is a router right now, how can it do everything?

Again, nowadays, what one considers a router is actually constituted by a router, network switch and WiFi modem. This all-in-one package creates less setup hassle; however, the downside being one router won't necessarily be able to suit everyone's home network needs.

What kind of routers can I get?

There are many kinds of routers, such as basic wired routers, wireless routers that have WiFi capability, and Mesh WiFi routers which form a WiFi mesh network so you can have seamless uninterrupted WiFi connection anywhere in your home.

If your home isn't larger than 1400-1600 Sq. Feet, a mesh network might not be necessary, and A single plain WiFi router should suffice.

The TP-Link AX1800 is an excellent choice for this kind of situation, having an abundance of up-to-date features, enforcing security with VPNs, and a very capable WiFi modem makes it a good choice for small homes.

However, if you are looking towards buying a Mesh Wireless router, consider the TP-Link Deco Mesh. It's an affordable entry into the Mesh WiFi network system, and should provide uninterrupted WiFi Access anywhere in your home.


As far as home networks go, not much can surpass a solid wired network inside your home.

It's much more capable of sustaining a solid network connection, and being much less of a hassle to set up stationary devices like TVs, PCs, Game Consoles etc.

The downside of wired networks is the necessity of many ports to be able to connect and handle multiple devices. Hence, the necessity for a network switch.

These connectivity devices can be a choke point if you buy one which can't handle much high bandwidth. If your Internet Service plan offers more than 100 Mbit/s (Million bits per second) of speed, you might want to consider picking up a device that handles 1 Gbit/s (Billion bits per second).

But what's the difference between a Hub and Switch?

In computer networks, data is sent to each other in the form of "Packets".

The difference in how hubs and switches work is how the data packets are transmitted from one endpoint to the other. Hubs broadcast packets to all devices and the recipient is the one that can read the packet data; however, a network switch transmits the data directly to and from the recipient, hence being able to much more efficiently handle the bandwidth between the devices.

This can have detrimental effects to how good your network experience is if you have many users and bandwidth needs to be allocated effectively to each user's needs to cut down on latency.

What kind of switch can I buy?

Network switches can be of managed and unmanaged type.

Unmanaged switches are devices that just manage the end-to-end point connections. Managed switches can allocate bandwidth much more intelligently, handle things like VLANs, prioritize Quality of service, control network access etc.

for a home network, however, an unmanaged switch should cater to the primary needs.

Depending on your needs, the TP-Link TL-SG108 and TL-SG116 are excellent choices, offering 8 and 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports each.

What other devices can help improve my home network?

If your home wasn't designed with cable networking in mind, and mostly relies on wireless networks, you should test out the wireless connectivity strength to check if every part of your home is optimally connected.

In any case, you sense a drop in the Wi-Fi signal strength, you could pick up a Wi-Fi repeater.

The TP-Link AC1900 WiFi Extender is a pretty good choice for such a case, should it prevent you from upgrading to a network if you feel that is out of budget and need.

making your own router

Another popular option for custom home network setups is making your own router with a small computer that has multiple network cards, such as a single board computer.

This can be a very affordable option that offers the most flexibility with many choices for hardware platforms, extensible software, etc.

If you are looking for an all-rounded setup, consider picking up an ARM-based Single Board Computer like the NanoPi R6S and installing software like OpenWRT for a highly configurable smart router. Possessing dual 2.5G Ethernet ports makes it suitable for high bandwidth operations as well.

There also exists software like the pi-hole, that gives you the possibility to do things like ad-blocking, your own DNS system for faster website lookups, etc.

Alternatively, you could pick up a x86 based Single Board Computer like the Zima Board, and install a custom OS like PfSense, that offers even more features like firewalls, network filtering etc.

These devices can also be configurable to show a dashboard of network statistics for diagnosing your network status etc.

There is a vast set of guides for setting up custom router setups based on your budget needs and requirements.


Your optimum home network should constitute of a solid foundation of hardware that doesn't bottleneck your experience when utilizing high bandwidth for work or entertainment experiences like streaming, gaming etc., but also be able to provide additional features to enhance your security and prevent snooping and hacking from affecting your routine.

Oh, you flourishing gig economy, what are we going to do with you

I was on fieldnation for the past year. The key word here is "was" I am here to tell you about all the corks and nuances I discovered after completing 80 WOs

Fieldnation and work market are really the same thing in my opinion. Slightly different rules, but the same buyers.

First, the good

They let you have all the freedom a gig worker could ever dream of. Take a month off or work 20 hours a day, it is really up to you. No notice to give, no asking anyone for schedules. It is all up to you.

The pay can also be good, if this was all you were doing, $600-$1000 a week is not out of the question. If you are a skilled low voltage technician with a good bit of networking and host configuration knowledge.

It is also a good way to meet recurring buyers, if you impress buyers they can and have contacted me to work outside the platforms.

Now, why I "was" working on these platforms

The number one most horrible thing is the often total lack of humanity. What I mean is every single time you do a job, you are risking everything you have worked for. The rules of fieldnation are so strict, if you firesale one time, as everyone does occasionally, you can be banned forever.

This never happened to me. I actually didn't mind it, it forced me to adopt strategies that worked every time, but it leads into the real reason I have basically quit.


The amount of stress involved in lining up all these WOs, making sure you 100% will not have any issues, will never have to come back another time because you ran out of something. The talking to people who do not speak English. It is so taxing, I just hate it.

You are essentially on call 24/7 for no pay. If a WO comes up, you must apply or accept within 20 minutes to even have a chance of getting it.
They also have the "route" system. Where companies take and put you in a pool of literally 300 other techs and then they "route" them all the same WO at the same time. You must accept or decline these within 5 minutes or someone else will jump on it.

Often for routes you do not even get to read the statement of work. If you do, then by the time you hit accept it will be gone. Extremely frustrating.

So, there is the stress, there is also the distrust.

As I was saying, "if you firesale one time you can be banned" this ties into how literally no one you talk to will trust you to even be able to tie your shoes.

They will assume you are totally unqualified because, chances are the last 10 techs they had, were.

This creates two types of people:

The one who treats you like a baby and the one who looks for the slightest thing to yell LOOK, I TOLD EVERYONE THESE PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A CLUE.

Both are horrible to work for/ with.

Now let's get into actual scams.

This is the reason I have a 4.8 instead of a 5-star rating. Buyers will list a WO at an hourly rate, let's say $70 an hour, they will then say this job is going to take 4–6 hours. So, you think that is a good deal, I have no problem driving an hour for a job of that size.

Well, when you get there, it is blatantly obvious this job was never going to take more than an hour. So now you are left out to dry. You blocked off 6 hours because had you not, and it actually took that long, and you had booked something else, kiss your account goodbye.

The reason I dropped to 4.8 stars is because twice I was not having that. I just called the PM and said you need to let me expense an extra couple of hours, I drove an hour for a 20-minute job that you said was going to take all day.

Instead of telling me no, they just gave me bad ratings because that's fair, I guess.

Overall, I feel these platforms are more toxic than anything else.

A lot of the techs are not qualified, a lot of the buyers will take advantage of you. The only people raking it in are the companies running them and taking a % off the top of all transactions.

The literal destruction of American infrastructure

I said it, these platforms are devaluing American businesses. Don't believe me? Here are some of the racks I worked on over the past year.

There are many more than this, but you get the idea. I call it "ravaged by contractors".

Every year there is a cycle of release of brand-new personal computers with newer CPUs and graphics.

To keep up with the latest hardware we ought to buy brand new computers. Laptops and PCs are good for a solid 5 years for regular usage and 2-3 years for power users.

But what about your old computers? You could resell them, but maybe you want a extra PC laying around for other work, but don't want to spend more on a new computer.

An easy way is to clean up your old computer and use it as such, it's effective and cheap.

Here's a small guide on how you can do so:

Guide to upcycling:

This guide is mainly for two kinds of computers:

Note if your old computer is a Mac, this guide may not be applicable as Mac parts are non-replaceable. You might need to seek a professional technician to assist you.

List of Up-cycling Tasks:

Various tasks to look at when trying to up-cycle your old computer:

Physical Cleaning:

Most obviously you want to dust off your device a bit. Cleaning up your system can help reduce heat retention in the device and help make it run a bit faster and longer.

dusting off the components inside.

External cleaning can be done with a Dry cloth and some isopropyl alcohol.

Additionally, do not be tempted to use water, this can aid corrosion and possibly damage electronics with moisture.

As for internal cleaning, you will need some kind of duster, A plain dry paintbrush might do, canned air is probably better as you won't need to touch the electronics unnecessarily. However, note that each one has its disadvantages such as cleaning power and the ability to reach every nook and corner of the inside.

Other requirements include:

You can get a simple repair kit for opening up your electronics from ifixit.

Cleaning it is as simple as opening it up and using your duster to clean our retaining dust.

Added, if you are technically capable enough, you could also replace the internal thermal paste, which is a substance used to facilitate the heat transfer between components and thermal system.

If your computer is older than 2 years, it is highly advisable to do this, or get it done by a professional technician. Old thermal paste can become dry and cakey and lead to overheating issues.

Upgrading of components:

Depending on whether you have a laptop or a desktop, your upgradability can vary.

Laptops and Mini PCs mostly have soldered components, meaning they might not be replaceable. Typically, the more replaceable components would include the RAM and Storage.

Having a battery replacement might also be the way to go, to give your old computer an extra lease of life.

Check with your manufacturer's website or check iFixit: The Free Repair Manual for more info about your device.

An example of a laptop disassembly guide.

Desktops are usually much more upgradeable, as you can change everything from the CPU, the GPU, RAM, Storage and every other kind of component easily.

Typically, if you have an old system that's older than say 3 years, consider replacing the Storage and add more RAM, if possible, as these can help your device keep up with more modern demanding software.

If you feel your CPU is getting slower, you can upgrade it and make sure your motherboard and other components are compatible.

You can take a look at buildmypc to check your components.

PC building part picker.

Updating Software:

An important thing with old hardware is trying to get new software that has more features and optimizations compared to old versions.

Updating core drivers and software helps with system speed and stability.

But keep in mind, the newer the software releases, the more it is made for newer hardware in mind.

Things like OS driver updates etc. aid with stability and speed and help with battery life too.

If you have an older computer that you want to use for something more dedicated, you could go with a factory reset. This will clean the computer of all unnecessary things and keep it snappy.

If your computer feels sluggish, A new SSD with a fresh OS install will make it much faster.

Wrapping it up:

Overall, it's completely possible to make use of your older computers by freshening them up with some software and hardware upgrades.

If you feel like you might not be technically proficient enough to do it on your own, consider giving it to a technician who might do everything needed for you without the hassle.

Modern technology has bought us a variety of storage technologies. Evolving from magnetic media to super-fast solid-state drives with no moving parts.

Flash media has become the staple for storage options everywhere from mobile phones, to portable computers, to enterprise servers.

But not all flash storage is the same, let's see the difference:


Basics of flash storage media:

Flash storage works on the principle of holding data with transistors, and keeps the data on the transistor in a non-volatile manner by holding the charge floating.

flash transistor

Electricity flows from the source to the drain. When data to be written, current is also applied at the control gate. This causes the electrons to get trapped in the floating gate.

writing operation

For erasing, the control gate potential is reversed.

erasing operation

These transistors are used in combination to store larger amounts of more useful data.

The common technologies used are nand flash, which uses a combination of transistors that form a nand gate and store data on it.

Typically, 1 bit of data is present in a single data cell, this is termed SLC, or Single Layer Cell. but many more bits can be there in a single cell as well, such as MLC or Multi-Layer Cell (2 bits per cell).

TLC which is Triple Layer Cell (3 bits per cell), and QLC which is Quad Layer Cell (4 bits per cell).

Each one of these has a cost, as well as speed and durability factors.

From SLC to QLC the cost reduces, but so does the write speed and the durability.

Flash storage being solid state technology, has no moving parts and has none of the issues associated with things such as mechanical failure.

Different flash storage technologies:

Flash storage comes in a variety:


SD or Secure Digital is a proprietary technology that utilizes Flash memory in a compact standard package that communicates to the host via SDIO (Secure Digital Input Output).

Typical SD card.

SD cards are cheap and reliable for long term storage. their speed of communication is dependent on the specific communication revision they are based on.

In increasing order of speed there is SD-HC, SD-XC, SD-UC, and the fastest SD cards can almost reach 1 GB/s.

A lot of the speed and various parameters depend on the spec of the SD card's protocol, you can find more info about the parameters here.

SD card's best applications include photography storage, some Industrial applications which use them as ROM storage.

SD cards have relatively average durability for a flash storage medium, usually using TLC flash which can be the reason for their overall lower write speeds. Best used for long period storage which doesn't involve writing to it often.


Multi-Media Card is a technology that is widely used for media storage. As of today, the most common form factor of MMC is eMMC or embedded MMC.

standard eMMC module found on an electronic device

eMMC is a standard maintained by the JEDEC association

It's more durable than SD, and is much faster in comparison.

However, since it is soldered to the motherboard of the device, eMMC cannot be replaced by end users.

It's used in a number of places such as smartphones, tablets, portable computers etc., Mostly applications range from portable device storage as it has better read and write endurance.

There have been many improvements and successors when it comes to a compact flash storage module, one of which is UFS (Universal Flash Storage) which comes with greater improvements too such as faster read and write speeds.

eMMC has the advantage of having an integrated controller that can do things such as wear leveling, to make sure that memory corruption doesn't become prevalent with constant writing.

This does make them more durable than SD cards, but they are still not as durable over the long run.


Solid state drives are the flash memory-based counterpart of spinning hard drives (or) HDDs, they are very power efficient, have very high storage density.

standard PCIe NVMe SSD

There are many types of SSDs, mostly differentiated by their protocol of communication,

The main protocols include:


SATA SSDs use the older protocol that hard disks used for communicating with the CPU.

Some SATA protocol based SSDs use the SATA3 connector and the m.2 connector.

Modern SSDs are fast enough to saturate the bandwidth offered by that protocol.

These SSDs have all the features offered by flash storage technology, like longer endurance and high storage density, and are slightly more expensive typical hard disks.

These primarily target replacing hard disk drives.


PCIe SSDs are part of the NVMe standard or (Non-Volatile Memory express), which uses high bandwidth PCIe lanes on your computer and is the fastest storage option when it comes to SSDs.

Modern PCIe SSDs use around 2x PCIe Lanes, but their speed can vary depending on the flash used and the controller bottlenecks.

Some PCIe SSDs use some extra DDR memory for caching, (the same kind your PC has) to offer a boost to speeds.

Another speed deciding factor can be the variant of PCIe generation. PCIe Gen 4 is the current fastest generation that is widely prevalent. However, the cost of the technology has it yet to be accessible to everyone.

As of now PCIe gen 3 SSDs are the sweet spot as of now when it comes to fast SSDs and reasonable cost.

SSDs overall have the best endurance when it comes to any type of storage medium, and are the fastest when it comes to reading and writing.

Other Flash Storage packages:

There are a lot of storage devices that use flash technology, for example USB flash drives.

assortment of USB flash drives

These are the most popular portable version of flash media, Used for mass exchange of offline data.

These come with the same kind of flash technology as SSDs but in a small form factor, and communicate in a different way.

Similar to an SSD, these flash drives operate based on what version of USB they use such as a slower USB 2.0 flash drives vs a much faster USB 3.0 flash drive (which can almost be as fast as a SATA SSD).

Another common thing to note about both SSDs and USB flash drives since they use similar technology, is that the durability is proportional to their storage size, so a 16 GB flash drive has 2x the Durability compared to an 8 GB flash drive.

Applications of various media:

Different flash media have their applications in various places, from handheld electronics to powerful data centers and home computers.

eMMC and UFS power mobile smartphones, and small laptops. SSDs power most laptops these days. They also have started to become more popular in the datacenter space for high storage density, and Low power consumption.

For the daily user, you will most likely look into having SSDs for large local storage. If you need a large amount of storage prioritizing over speed, you might want to look into purchasing SATA based SSDs.

If you need a fast disk for your personal computer or desktop, an NVMe PCIe gen 3 SSDs should be suitable and provide the speed needed.

Wrap up:

In total, flash media is a technology that has had a warm welcome and has changed computer technology for the better.

making computers faster, more power efficient, and has more improvements for years to come.

And why should you know how to use one ?

Digital voltmeters (or) Multi-meters, are a essential tool that belongs in every electronic, or electrical engineer's arsenal of tools.

But almost everyone should know how to use one, as their implications have a wide variety of utilities that helps solve basic electrical issues without needing the assistance of a dedicated electrical or electronic engineer on site.

Standard basic multi-meter/voltmeter.

These days multi-meters can do things like measure current, voltage, resistance, continuity, etc.

Let's take a look at what those things are, and how we can use a multi-meter in real world applications.


Multi-meter parts

Multi-meter anatomy

A multi-meter has a couple simple parts,

Every Multi-meter has a voltage and current rating according to how much it can withstand when measuring.

Polarity is the direction in which electric current flows, from positive to the negative end. The Red color probe is for positive terminal (+), and the Black color probe is for the negative terminal (-).

Probe polarity does not matter for AC current.

Different operational modes

Before we can see how to use the multi-meter we need to know how electric current works in a very simple fashion, let's take a sample analogy:

in a very simple way, to measure the voltage you have to measure the points across the appliance to see how much voltage is being applied to it.

To measure the current, you have to measure in-between the point where current exits the appliance and goes to the ground (-)

Measuring voltage with a multi-meter

Rotate the function dial to choose the appropriate setting, with the probes in the right points:

Voltage measuring mode

turn the function dial to the option shown above according to the appropriate icon,
The icon with the wavy line for AC current, the dotted line for DC current.

Once you have chosen the appropriate function, probe across the appliance you want to measure voltage across like a battery:

measure the battery voltage with the appropriate DC current mode

Measuring current with a multi-meter:

Rotate the function dial to choose the appropriate setting, with the probes in the right points:

Current measuring mode

turn the function dial to the option shown above according to the appropriate icon,
The icon with the wavy line for AC current, the dotted line for DC current.

Once you have chosen the appropriate function, probe in line with the appliance you want to measure current with like in-between a light bulb and a battery.

measure current usage with the appropriate DC current mode

The current measurement is made by letting electricity pass from one probe through the other, technically creating a short, and it's advisable not to directly connect your multi-meter directly to the power supply or inline without any appliance.

This will inevitably cause the multi-meter to short the current from the positive to the negative, blowing the multi-meter fuse, and causing damage to the instrument itself!

Do not probe power supplies directly in current mode, it will short circuit and cause damage

Testing continuity with a multi-meter

Rotate the function dial to choose the appropriate setting, with the probes in the right points:

Continuity testing mode

with this mode selected, you can check if there is a path of conductivity between two points, and if it is conductive, you will hear a shrill sound made by the multi-meter indicating it.

To self-test if this mode is working properly, you can touch the probes together and make sure the sound is made.

Use this to check if wiring in houses have breaks in them for example or if you are testing if connections exist on electronics circuit boards.

Measuring Resistance with a multi-meter

Rotate the function dial to choose the appropriate setting, with the probes in the right points:

Resistance testing mode

With this mode selected, you can measure the resistance across two points in a circuit. This is very important when working with electronics and design testing. But it can also help if you are trying to do wiring jobs with signals like speakers where combined speaker resistance is important.

pretty much anywhere resistance is important, and needs to be measured, this function can be used.

Using a multi-meter in real life

As seen with the different modes, a lot of functionality is available in a single multimeter, but how does one make use of these functions in day-to-day work?

Most likely you will make more use of Voltage, Resistance, and Continuity settings, and only ever use the Current measuring setting.

Some places you might use these functions are:

Voltage measurement:

Resistance measurement:

Continuity testing:

Wrap up

In summary, digital multi-meters are super versatile, offer a lot of useful functionality for electronics problem solving. It shows why it's a staple part of every electronics or electrical engineer's toolkit.

There are a lot more features in some multi-meters, and only the common features have been discussed here.

To learn more about using a multi-meter, check out the manual guide presented by the manufacturer of your multi-meter.

If you are looking to get a new multi-meter, here are some recommendation links for some simple multi-meters.

Fluke multi-meters, very accurate, good quality, should last a lifetime
Basic Multi-meter, good enough if you are a beginner with electronic instruments.
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