NVME vs. M.2 vs. SATA SSD: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
PCWorld|January 2022
KNOWING THE ADVANTAGES OF EACH CAN HELP YOU SAVE MONEY—OR SHAVE TIME OFF PROJECTS WITH LARGE FILES.
ALAINA YEE

Solid-state drives are universally faster than old-school hard-disk drives, but not all SSDs are the same. They come in different shapes and sizes, have different maximum speeds, and command different prices.

We explain each type of drive in deep detail in “What type of SSD should you buy?” (fave. co/3z0hBhD) and also highlight specific recommendations in our round-up of the best SSDs (fave.co/2Z26gQg), but that information can be harder to apply when you’re trying to buy a laptop or prebuilt PC. It’s often more important to understand what kind of SSD you’re getting so you can decide if it suits your purposes.

To make that simple, we’ve created this quick breakdown for you. Key differences are outlined below, with a full chart at the end for easy side-by-side comparisons. It’s fast reading, so you should be able to get back to your purchasing lickety-split.

KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NVME, M.2, AND SATA SSDS

Interface type

SSDs can either use NVMe or SATA as the method for communicating with the rest of a PC. SATA is slower than NVMe.

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