NVMe vs SSD: how do they differ from each other?

Confused between SSD and NVMe? Learn about the key differences and advantages of these two types of storage devices. Discover which one is right for you and how it can enhance your computer's speed and performance. Get all the facts you need to make an informed decision about SSD vs NVMe.

Updated: 07 May, 23 by Susith Nonis 11 Min

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If you're tech-savvy, you're probably aware of the developments in computer storage technology. Many people are switching from conventional storage to NVMe and SSD memory devices, which is why we've put up this tutorial to assist you learn more about it.

Hard drives are what we mean when we talk about computer storage. Overall, there are three different types of hard drives: SSD, SATA, and NVMe. 

Each of these operates uniquely. As a result, selecting the right choice becomes a little more challenging.

In this article, We'll explain how each solution functions and how to select the most economical choice.

Before discussing NVMe vs SSD, let’s find out what they are. 

Traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) presented performance issues as technology advanced. As soon as that happened, inventors got to work and unveiled brand-new, cutting-edge HDD storage solutions. 

It evolved into the Solid-State Drive (SSD), a technology comparable to its predecessor but significantly more potent.

SSDs use flash memory to store data, with non-volatile NAND storage being the industry standard. 

SSDs transfer data using the same SATA and SAS interface technologies as HDDs because they were created to replace HDDs.

A strong Solid-State Drive and an ageing interface limit its substantial abilities. It's critical to remember that SSDs lack typical moving components like the spinning discs seen in HDDs.

In contrast, an SSD device accesses and stores data using semiconductor memory chips without moving parts.

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The solid-state drive has been updated with NVMe. The distinction is that it bypasses the SATA path and connects straight to the motherboard's CPU bus. 

In 2013, Samsung unveiled this storage innovation to provide computers with a performance boost over what SSDs could provide.

NVMe is the usual abbreviation for Non-Volatile Memory Express. The "e," which stands for "express," is important to remember. 

The Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus is referred to here. PCIe guarantees higher data throughput and lower latency rates.

Since this sort of storage is non-volatile, you won't lose your data in the event of a power loss. Important information to remember is that these cutting-edge SSDs offer read and write speeds that average 4000 MB.

Some people may find it difficult to understand the NVMe vs SSD comparison, but it's rather simple. 

Every NVMe storage device is essentially an SSD device. However, not all SSDs are NVMe drives. In other words, an NVMe drive is one kind of SSD disc, however, there are other kinds too.

Here are some key distinctions between NVMe and SSD storage memory types.


Cost is typically a key factor when deciding between NVMe and SSD. 

There are few price differences between mid-range PCIe 3.0 SSDs and their SATA counterparts due to the availability of many storage vendors.

An NVMe storage will cost about $20 more than a SATA SSD. But the price goes up exponentially when you consider how much more potent and dependable enterprise-grade NVMe devices are.

These robust devices are suitable for heavy use. However, for personal use, they might be a waste of money.

In conclusion, NVMe is the fastest storage technology. It is strongly advised that you use an NVMe SSD if you want to upgrade your storage, as only the biggest capacities of SATA SSD are truly worthwhile on a cost-per-gigabyte basis.

Physical appearance

Many people mistakenly believe NVMe SSDs can only be used with M.2 ports when considering the several types of SSDs available. Similarly, some believe that SATA SSDs are exclusively available as 2.5" storage devices. Since these memory types have similar form factors, that is not true.

SATA M.2 SSDs and NVMe 2.5" discs are both compatible. The physical variation to be aware of usually lies in the keys.

B+M keys are used in combination on SATA M.2 SSDs. NVMe M.2 SSDs, on the other hand, only have the M key.

Due to this distinction, a SATA M.2 SSD can be plugged into any M.2 socket; however, an NVMe drive cannot be used on any socket. You need a suitable socket to use the NVMe M.2 SSD connection.

The connectors of 2.5" SATA SSDs also vary since NVMe U.2 SSD connectors are not set up the same way. This results from the major distinction between the two, B+M vs M.


The most notable feature of an NVMe vs SSD comparison is certainly performance. Compared to any standard SSD form factor you might have, NVMe drives are essentially significantly faster. 

NVMe systems are, therefore, the more reliable and cutting-edge choice.

SATA SSDs are first-generation SSDs with a maximum read speed of 300MB per second, according to the storage device's state and level of fragmentation. 

The 2.5-inch SSD, the most popular SATA model, is used in laptops. Read/Write rates for the latest SATA-III type are 600 MB per second. 

The AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interact) protocol, which increases latency and creates a bandwidth bottleneck, is almost universally used by SATA SSDs to interface with SATA drives and computers.

With its improved efficiency, the more recent NVMe protocol enables faster data read and write speeds. 

The fastest NVMe drives, typically only offered through OEM or very large enterprise customers, read at 3 GB/s and write at 1 GB/s, according to Enterprise Forum. 

Mid to low-level NVMe drives offer Read/Write rates as high as 3500 MB per second. That is nearly five times as fast as SATA-III SSDs' performance.

The NVMe controller has a lower latency and can process two thousand more commands to or from the drive than an AHCI controller. 

Make sure an NVMe disc uses PCIe as a bus rather than SATA to get the most performance possible.


Regardless of physical type, NVMe works with all major operating systems and directly talks with the CPU. On the other hand, SSDs are made specifically for a single device and are incompatible with other devices or operating systems.

Knowing your needs will help you decide between SSD and NVMe. In general, NVMe costs more than SATA-III. Due to the high cost of SATA-III hard drives, this is a serious issue.

If you frequently need to work with huge files, NVMe can be useful. Thus, NVMe is frequently preferred over SATA-III in data-driven industries like video companies. 

When you don't require a lot of storage, SSD works well. For example, a laptop with 2TB of storage will suffice for your daily needs, including gaming and storing videos, photos, etc. 

However, if your budget is unrestricted and you're building a high-end gaming PC, managing massive amounts of data, or creating a server that requires a lot of storage, we strongly advise that you pick an NVMe drive.

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Investigating the NVMe vs SSD storage debate further will help you comprehend the advantages NVMe offers over conventional SSD storage. These are some of the main benefits of using NVMe storage:

Power efficiency

NVMe does not contain spinning or other mechanical components, unlike conventional hard disc drives. 

Instead, NVMe storage drives access and store data using semiconductor modules, using less power.

An NVMe storage device typically uses 0.0032 W of electricity while on standby. Additionally, 0.08 W of electricity is used while in use.

On the other hand, standard SATA SSDs use 0.279 W of power when in operation. They consume only 0.195 W while at rest.

Improved security and internal encryption

The absence of encryption in most SSD discs is probably one of the most alarming flaws.

However, this factor is essential for enterprise users because data is sensitive and must be kept secure. Users who want to protect their data while using their devices for personal purposes must follow the same rules.

NVMe drives provide consumers with robust data encryption using XTS-AES 256-bit Encryption. Additionally, they interface quickly with TCG Opal 2.0 security management programs. 

NVMe drives encrypt your data, making it inaccessible to anyone without authority. So, if you choose NVMe drives over traditional SATA SSDs, you can be confident that your data is completely secure.

Less space necessary

An NVMe drive measures 80mm x 22mm x 3.5mm, while the typical 2.5" SSD measures 100.1mm x 69.85mm x 7mm. 

As a result, compared to conventional SATA SSDs, NVMe drives are substantially smaller and lighter.

Most modern motherboards available today have multiple M.2 ports for connecting storage devices. And you probably won't even notice the weight difference if the boards have two or more NVMe drives placed on them.

This exemplifies one of the key benefits of using NVMe drives over SATA SSDs. As a result, one device can include many NVMe drives. Because of the size of SATA SSDs, you'll need a large case to fit many drives, which reduces portability.

Faster load time

It is clear that NVMe drives outperform SATA counterparts regarding sequential read and write speeds. This is because they eliminate the requirement for conventional SATA cables, which are essential to HDD operation.

Instead, NVMe drives connect directly to the PCIe bus on the motherboard, resulting in extremely fast load times.

NVMe read and write speeds range from 1100 to 2000 MB per second. You can anticipate a six-fold gain in sequential read and write performance with higher enterprise-grade NVMe devices.

SATA SSDs, on the other hand, typically have read and write speeds of 300 and 500 MB per second. As a result, your website will load more quickly, and your clients will have a better overall experience.

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It can be difficult to compare NVMe vs SSD storage, especially if you're new to the web hosting industry. But if you have the right information, you'll soon have what you need to make a wise choice.

Although SATA is less expensive than NVMe, it is primarily used in older PCs. NVMe, on the other hand, is a brand-new protocol that enables excellent performance, has very little latency, and has a significant amount of storage.

You should look into the NVMe options if you're searching for a quicker, more responsive storage solution. Although it may be costly, the investment is worthwhile. 

The dominance of NVMe storage expands to include more than one application thanks to cutting-edge solutions like NVMe-oF and Parallel I/O.

We hope this in-depth article has clarified the differences between NVMe and SSD.

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Susith Nonis

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.