PC Building

SSD SATA vs SSD NVMe, What’s the difference?

“just because it is a M.2 drive it doesn’t mean it is NVME.”

I’m building a new PC and need a refresher on SSD’s in 2019.

Firstly lets explain a few tech terms.

SATA is a computer bus interface that connects host bus adapters to mass stroage devices such as hard disk drives, optical and ssd’s. SATA 3.0 can achieve speeds of up to 6 Gbps or 600 MB/s. SATA 2.0’s speed is up to 3 Gbps or 300 MB/s.

Traditional spinning hard drives of 5200 RPM connected via SATA 3.0 achieve speeds of around 250 MB/s and 7200 RPM 350 MB/s.

M.2 is a form factor. M.2 drives can come in SATA and NVMe.

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express. It allows flash memory to operate as an SSD directly through the PCIe interface rather then going through SATA. NVMe is a communications standard/protocol developed specially for SSDs. NVMe is realllllly fast!

SSD drives are available in different form factors such as 2.5 inch and M.2. I knew you could buy them in 2.5 inch however I have learnt you can buy them in M.2 size. I repeat, just because it is a M.2 drive it doesn’t mean it is NVME.

When buying an SSD decide if you want to use SATA or NVME. There is a speed increase for NVME, see below.

Let’s look at a few different Samsung SSDs:

Samsung 860 EVO Series 1TB M.2 SATA SSD.

$219 AUD. $0.21 per megabyte. 

Theoretical speed: Up to 550 MB/s sequential read speed. Up to 520 MB/s sequential write speed.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD.

$329 AUD. $0.32 per megabyte.

Theoretical speed: 3500 MB/s sequential read speed. 2700 MB/s sequential write speed.

SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 1TB 2.5″ SATA SSD.

$215 AUD. $0.20 per megabyte.

Theoretical speed: Up to 550 MB/s sequential read speed. Up to 520 MB/s sequential write speed.

 

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