Performance Difference Between M.2 And Sata

By | 27/10/2022
2 Types of M.2 SSDs: SATA and NVMe

When nosotros talk well-nigh Chiliad.2 in storage engineering, we’re ordinarily talking almost an SSD by referring to its form cistron. M.2 refers to an SSD form factor that resembles a stick of chewing mucilage. Its small and slim size makes it ideal for computers that are lightweight and portable similar laptops, notebooks, NUCs and ultrabooks. They have up less room than 2.5-inch SSDs or hard drives and can go upward to 2TB in capacity.

At present that we’ve explained what M.2 is, let’s address the question,
“Is M.2 faster than an SSD?”

The answer is no. 1000.two is a form factor of SSDs so that question doesn’t really make sense. Yet, the underlying confusion behind the question is understandable since Yard.2 SSDs are relatively new when compared to the other form factors of client SSDs. At that place are two types of M.ii SSDs which are SATA and NVMe-based. They differ in storage technology and depending on your needs and budget, they each take their individual pros and cons.

Helpful Tip:
Proceed in listen that an One thousand.ii SSD is only compatible with a motherboard that supports a M.two slot. Check your computer’s motherboard to make sure information technology has an K.2 slot.



SATA M.2 SSDs use the SATA interface with a maximum data transfer rate of 6Gbps which is wearisome compared to newer interfaces (more on that beneath). SATA-based SSDs are the lowest grade of SSDs in terms of performance and use the aforementioned interface as hard drives. All the same, SATA-based SSDs take three to iv times the bandwidth compared to spinning disk hard drives. SATA SSDs are more available and affordable than NVMe SSDs. SATA One thousand.2 SSDs can exist a bully culling to a 2.5-inch SSD if you lot don’t take room for a two.five-inch SSD in your computer.

SATA has been the primary connections used for storage technology for a long time. Using SATA cables, SATA drives needed ii cables to work. 1 was used to transfer information to the motherboard and the other to become power to the PSU (power supply unit). Cablevision ataxia was one of the issues that would touch on functioning in PC cases when using multiple SATA storage drives. Slim notebooks and laptops including Ultrabooks don’t fifty-fifty take room for SATA cables which is why they utilize the 1000.2 grade factor. A SATA M.ii form factor SSD solves this trouble since it doesn’t have the two cable connections used previously in other SATA-based storage drives.

Still, just because information technology’southward an M.2 SSD doesn’t alter the fact that information technology’s a SATA SSD. The chief difference between a SATA and NVMe Yard.2 SSD is the interface engineering science and levels of functioning. A SATA One thousand.2 SSD still uses the SATA-based interface technology which doesn’t ameliorate its speed and operation unless it’southward an NVMe M.2 SSD.

NVMe logo


NVMe Yard.2 SSDs employ the NVMe protocol that was specifically designed for SSDs. When paired with the PCIe bus, an NVMe SSD offers the latest levels of performance and speed you can get. NVMe SSDs communicate directly with the organization CPU using the PCIe sockets. Substantially, information technology allows flash memory to operate every bit an SSD directly through the PCIe sockets rather than having to utilise the SATA communication driver which is a lot slower than NVMe.

NVMe M.2 SSDs are much more performance driven compared to SATA 1000.two SSDs. By leveraging the PCIe bus, NVMe M.2 SSDs have theoretical transfer speeds of upward to 20Gbps which is already faster compared to SATA G.2 SSDs with 6Gbps. PCIe buses can back up 1x, 4x, 8x, and 16x lanes. PCIe 3.0 has an effective transfer speed of up to 985 MB/southward per lane which means in that location is a potential transfer speed of up to 16GB/s. However, there’s only x2 and x4 lanes attainable when using a Chiliad.2 form factor with the PCIe passenger vehicle which translates to a maximum transfer speed of upwardly to 4GB/s.

Is NVMe faster than SATA?
Technically, yep. Modern motherboards use SATA III which has a max throughput of 600MB/south while NVMe drives provide speeds up to iii,500MB/s. The level of functioning is much greater than SATA SSDs regardless of class gene. But SSDs that apply NVMe technology exceed the transfer speed caps that limit the SATA-based SSDs.

When deciding between an SATA Thousand.2 SSD or an NVMe One thousand.ii SSD, here are some things to consider:

  • System Support
    – Older devices may not exist compatible with NVMe as they don’t accept the necessary connections to utilize the NVMe PCIe sockets.
  • Quick Start-upward
    – Easiest way to brand your computer system boot faster is to install the OS (operating system) on an SSD. Y’all’ll see the greatest speed improvements with a NVMe SSD.
  • Prioritize Storage
    – You tin use an NVMe SSD in combination with another SATA SSD. This is an affordable selection without having to intermission the bank. You can install your Bone and resources-intensive programs and applications on the NVMe SSD and use the SATA SSD to store everything else like the smaller and less resource-hungry files, docs, etc.
  • Gaming Advantages
    – You’ll see a drastic improvement in gaming load times when using an M.2 NVMe SSD. Games installed on NVMe drives will have vastly ameliorate operation overall because of the transfer speeds when recalling your games from storage.
  • PCIe Generations
    – There are generations of the PCIe bus that accept different levels of functioning. The bandwidth doubles with each generation and there are SSDs utilizing unlike generations of PCIe. The latest available is PCIe four.0 with PCIe 5.0 still on the development horizon.
  • Shared Connections
    – Some motherboards don’t take enough PCIe connections to support multiple NVMe drives. You might have to decide on using the bachelor connexion between a graphics card or an NVMe SSD. Other times, in that location may exist PCIe lanes bachelor but merely a sure type of connection will exist able to use NVMe devices at their total speed such as an One thousand.2 connection.

Helpful Tip:
Think, M.2 is only a form cistron and does not make your SSDs any faster. The level of functioning of your SSDs depends on whether the communication driver is SATA-based or NVMe-based. Check your motherboard’s requirements to see what SSDs are compatible with your computer.


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Trisha holding an external SSD and an M.2 SSD

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