SATA SSD vs NVMe SSD: Speed , Storage. Which is Better


👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 Feb 13 2021    📁 Fix    📜 0 comment

Table of Content

Knowing the types of storage you have in your system is very important as it directly impacts the performance of the system. A few years ago, many High-performance systems used to have HDD and at the time it is okay. Only performance system used to have SSD. But today we do high-end tasks even in day to day life and we are indeed in need of high-speed storage devices like SSD.

Not every SSD performance is the same and it depends on the task you perform. Here, we talk about the speed, storage of SATA SSD and NVMe SSD. Also, talk about which would be the best choice for you.

Before deep dive into types of SSD. Let's look at SSD

SSD

SSD stands for Solid State Drive, and it is the successor of HDD. There are lots of advantages of having SSD over HDD.

1) Performance of SSD is better than SSD.

SATA SSD

SATA stands for Serial ATA introduced in 2003 which is a storage connection interface. It is the replacement of PATA technology.

Why SATA replaced PATA?
1) Maximum Throughput of PATA is just 133 MB/s.
2) PATA cable width is larger than SATA.
3) In PATA, data transfer parallel but due to cross-talk between lines in the cable decreases the performance and increase in data corruption rate.
4) PATA cable cost more than SATA cable.
5) Power consumption of PATA is more than SATA cable
sata-cable-in-sata-port

There is 3 noticeable revision of SATA SSD available as listed below.

  • SATA I: SATA 1.5Gb/s is a first-generation SATA interface running at 1.5 Gb/s. The interface offers up to 150MB/s(ie. 1.5 Gb/s) bandwidth throughput
  • SATA II: SATA 3Gb/s is a second-generation SATA interface running at 3.0 Gb/s. The interface offers up to 300MB/s(ie. 3.0 Gb/s) bandwidth throughput
  • SATA III: SATA 6Gb/s is a third-generation SATA interface running at 6.0 Gb/s. The interface offers up to 600MB/s (ie. 6 Gb/s) bandwidth throughput

Note that Gb and GB are different.GB stands for gigabytes, Gb stands for Gigabits.

1 GB = 8 Gb.

SATA II is backward compatible with SATA I. Similarly, SATA III is backward compatible with SATA II and SATA I. If you use SATA III SSD in SATA I interface then you will aspect throughput to be 600MB/s but its throughput will be up to only 150 MB/s.Because here interface we used is SATA I and its maximum throughput is just 150 MB/s

The cable used in all SATA I, II, and III SSD are similar and can be used interchangeably. Note. Performance varies in various types of SATA but not in the cable.

In today's modern desktop computer we found SATA III SSD. And these are generally 2.5 inch SATA SSD. 3.5 inches is also available which not common. But the connector for both of them is the same.2.5 inch SSD is lighter, smaller, and cheaper than 3.5 inch SSD.

2-5-inch-SATA-SSD

Before discussing NVMe SSD, let's know about M.2 Port.

M.2 Port

There is one interface found directly connected to the motherboard which looks like below. It is attached parallel to the motherboard. This M.2 port/socket support SATA SSD and Some support NVMe SSD but not both. Those SSD which is inserted into M.2 Port are available in various form like

1) 2230 ( 22 mm width and 30 mm length)
2) 2242 ( 22 mm width and 42 mm length)
3) 2260 ( 22 mm width and 60 mm length)
4) 2280 ( 22 mm width and 80 mm length)

types of m.2 ssd
 
Longer the length, the better the performance, so 2280 performs better than 2260 SSDs.

Actually, M.2 SSD is targeting laptop motherboard because here all peripheral in the laptop is attached in a compact form.M.2 SSDs uses either PCIe bus (called as NVMe SSDs) and SATA Bus (SATA III SSD).

Under certain configuration these M.2 slots can be used for Bluetooth, Wifi, USB 3.0 but, it is specially designed for data storage devices.

M.2 SATA III SSD vs General SATA 3 SSD
Their transmission speed is the same ie 600 MB/s.M.2 SATA SSD is smaller than SATA 3 SSD. SATA 3 SSD uses SATA cable and SATA bus for data transfer. M.2 SATA-3 SSD does not use any cable but directly uses the SATA bus.

So, go with M.2 SATA SSD, if performance, physical space is your top priority.

What to do if no M.2 Slot?
Ans: You can buy PCIe M.2 adaptor and attached it in a PCIe slot like you installed any other peripheral and on that adaptor attached M.2 SSD.

NVMe SSD

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express is an interface protocol specially designed for SSDs.They use PCIe buses for data transfer. Some of the PCIe versions in the motherboard: PCI-E X16, X8, X4, and X1, etc.NVMe SSD uses PCIe X4 SSD.

PCIe is having a very high data transfer rate because data send/receive from/to is directly connected to the CPU.PCIe can provide more bandwidth via fast signaling and multiple lanes. Whereas data transfer by SATA bus is not connected directly to CPU, first data is sent to RAM then to CPU.So, due to direct connection to CPU, SSD based on PCIe (ie. NVME SSD) performs better than SATA based SSD.

Overall comparison of SATA SSD and NVMe SSD are given below

SSD Read Speed Write Speed
SATA 1.0 150 MB/s 150 MB/s
SATA 2.0  300 MB/s 300 MB/s
SATA 3.0  600 MB/s 600 MB/s
SATA M.2 600 MB/s 600 MB/s
NVMe M.2 + PCIe 3.0 X4 3500 MB/s 3100 MB/s
NVMe M.2 + PCIe 4.0 X4 4950 MB/s 4250 MB/s