NVMs vs. M.2 vs. Sat SSD Differences

Citius Altius Fortius (faster, higher, stronger) is the motto of the Olympic games. In the technology world, the race is always on to combine Citius Fortius Nano (faster stronger smaller). 

This is best exemplified by the competition in the markets to introduce new and enhanced storage devices—be it NVMe vs SATA or NVMe vs M.2.

What is a Solid State Drive (SSD)? 

A modern-day storage device that has no moving parts within it is an SSD.

A NAND flash memory and a flash controller are the two components which make up an SSD.

They are configured and optimized to deliver high-speed read and write outputs.

Sata SSD
Example of Sata SSD

SATA Drive Performance

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) is an older generation technology used for making SATA SSD disks and storage to be used in computers and other devices.

Most discussions around SSDs begin and end with “NVMe vs. M.2 vs. SATA SSD Major Differences: Which is Faster”.


NVMe SSD Performance

Example of NVMe SSD

The NVMe SSD technology is a more recent interface that was developed specifically for usage in SSDs. 

An NVMe SSD uses the bandwidth of the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe), a general-purpose interface standard available on motherboards for connecting high-speed components like graphics cards and SSDs.

A typical NVMe SSD consists of numerous information buses, which allows for substantially faster data rates than SATA SSDs.

An NVMe SSD is situated immediately on top of the PCI Express that is coupled to the CPU. As a result, the Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPs) are four times quicker, rivalling the fastest SAS option available. 

A SATA SSD is nowhere near an NVMe SSD as it is 10 times faster in searching for data.

The NVMe SSD can reach continuous read-write speeds of up to 2,000 MB per second unlike the SATA SSD III, which is limited to 600MB per second.

With continuous developments happening within the NAND technology, better speeds with NVMe SSDs are most likely on the horizon.

In standby mode, NVMe SSDs use a tiny amount of power. The power consumption will be under 2mW thanks to some NVMe SSD vendors’ adoption of the L1.2 low-power sleep mode.

M.2 SSD Performance

Example of M.2 SSD

A new form factor of SSDs called M.2 SSD allows connections directly to the motherboard of a computer without the use of any additional wires.

Additionally, because M.2 SSDs are much smaller than a conventional 2.5-inch SSD, they are increasingly used in gaming setups to reduce redundant weight and save on space.

Most M.2 SSDs can store up to 8 TB of data, which is almost equal to conventional SSDs despite their smaller size.

An M.2 SSD is very flexible and can be integrated or paired with an NVMe SSD or a SATA SSD as the need may be. This is made possible by the PCIe-based modelling of an M.2 SSD.

The combination of an NVMe SSD with an M.2 SSD generates 5x more performance than a SATA SSD with M.2 SSD device.

Instead of getting into an NVMe vs M.2 or NVMe vs SATA comparison – a majority of high-performance compute requirements and professional gaming needs are fulfilled using the NVMe + M.2 form combination.

From transcoding, compression, decompression, and high-density data transfers—all such actions are best served with either an NVMe SSD or an M.2 SSD or their combination.

NVMe, M.2 and SATA: What kind of SSD should you use for website?

Internal SSD drive

There are a few factors you need to consider when deciding which hard drive is best for your web hosting.

When comparing the different features and components of your computer, think about your budget, capacity needs, and speed-attributes.

1. Technical Constraints

Make sure your device can work with NVMe SSD before purchasing a hard drive. Older (2009-era) products may not be compatible with the required component changes.

Next, confirm that you have enough PCIe connections to support multiple PCIe devices.

Not enough lanes or lanes of the wrong kind means that you might need to find a different drive or that only certain lanes will be able to connect with the NVMe drive.

2. Budget

SSDs and SATA drives are typically cheaper options when compared with NVMe drives.

However, if you’ll be making a lot of large file transfers or want to have the highest speeds for gaming, there are so many expensive options that it can get confusing.

If you do go with an NVMe drive, then we recommend making sure it has all of the latest features and tech.

3. Drive Capacity

The storage capacity of a SATA drive usually varies from 500GB to 16TB. Most M.2 drives top out at 2TB, although some may be available at 4TB and 8TB models at much higher prices.

4. Drive Speed

When choosing a PC drive, remember that both 2.5 inch SSDs and SATA M.2 disks provide the same processing speeds, so to get more performance you may want to consider NVMe-connected drives on your setup instead.

NVMe SSDs are much faster than SATA drives, but upgrading the processor might be necessary to keep up.

Also consider checking read and write speeds of different models in order to make an informed decision on the type of drive you want.

5. Pricing

As of 2021, a 1 TB capacity SATA SSD or a SATA storage device was about US$100 per unit.

An NVMe PCIe was at US$115 with 1TB space while a PCIe 4.0 would cost between US 120 to US$200 per unit with 1TB storage space.

Production and tech developments over the last few months have meant that form factors do not make much of a difference – for example, a 2.5-inch SATA SSD could sometimes be less expensive than an M.2 SSD.

There are times when a SATA SSD and an M.2 SSD cost almost the same.

All in All

The interface that is used by NVMe SSDs employs a PCIe SSD interface, whereas SATA SSDs use a SATA interface.

This is the primary distinction between NVMe SSDs and SATA SSDs.

The M.2 SSD form factor, on the other hand, is frequently utilized to add high-performance storage to high-end gaming rigs, ultra-portable laptops, and tablets.

SATA SSDs and PCIe SSDs are available in M.2 SSD form factors.

NVMe vs. M.2 vs. SATA SSD – Which is Faster?

NVMe drives are more efficient than SATA drives to access non-volatile memory. This is still true even if both SSDs have an M.2 form factor.

Your NVMe drive’s transfer rates are first influenced by the generation of PCIe connector it uses, then by the specific model.

However, there is no competition between NVME and M.2, according to this. The most recent form factor for SSDs is M.2, and NVME refers to the interface.

It is incredibly simple to install and gives you a storage device that is lightning-fast and virtually footprint-free.

How they are used and what combination of drives is integrated will determine the answer to this question.

NVMe VPS Hosting
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Should I upgrade from SSD to NVMe Drive?

NVMe hosting offers advantages over the typical SATA-based hosting solutions – HDD and SSD alike.

1. NVMe Hosting Provides High Performance

NVMe drives support up to 64,000 queues and each of these queues can be as high as 64,000. Compare this to SATA which only has access to one queue and a maximum size of 128 entries.

Furthermore, NVMe can handle as many queues as there are in the system (which is variable depending on configuration) and what the expected workload entails.

NVMe also uses a “scatter/gather” I/O system which means it can quickly adapt and prioritize tasks in response to the changing needs of the user.

By making use of this technique, applications are able to execute concurrent I/O requests.

2. Highly Energy-Efficient

NVMe delivers high performance and low power consumption, a perfect combination for every web hosting provider.

Compared to older storage, NVMe is much greener.

It is well-known that an SSD uses less energy than a HDD. NVMe-based SSDs use even less energy than SATA-based ones.

3. Better User Experience

Having better hosting speed and performance will generally lead to a better user experience.

With improved latency, you should presume it would be more likely that users enjoy a better experience.

As such, it’s unsurprising that it’s quickly becoming a popular choice for enterprise and large scaled businesses.

Get 50x improved read and write speeds with our VPS equipped with NVMe SSD drives.

Contact us now to get a faster and better web hosting experience.

V13 Hosting

Related articles:

Why Upgrade to NVMe VPS Hosting?

Why Choose Managed NVMe Virtual Private Server?

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