If you have an older computer that is starting to slow down, one easy way to get more speed out of it is to replace the drive. We recommend Solid State Drives for their speed, reliability, and warranty. When researching SSDs, you will find that there are different types. In today’s post, we discuss NVMe SSDs and what makes them different from SATA SSDs.

NVMe Drives

NVMe is short for Non-Volatile Memory Express and was first introduced in 2013. Non-Volatile means the information on it is not erased when the computer is turned off. The ‘e’ means that the data travels on the PCI Express (PCIe) interface on the motherboard. This interface is a direct connection to your motherboard, bypassing the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) controller.

NVMe SSDs are faster than SATA SSDs. The current generation, PCIe 3.0, has a max speed of 985 megabytes per second on each PCIe lane. NVMe drives can use four lanes, which translates to about 3.9 gigabytes (3,940 megabytes) per second. SATA SSDs have a max transfer speed of about 560 megabytes per second.

NVMe Designs

NVMe SSDs have several form factors. The most common is the m.2 style stick (shown in cover photo). These are 22mm wide and can range from 30-100mm long. They can lay flat on the motherboard, which makes them ideal for laptops or small form factor desktops.

Another option is the PCIe 3.0 form factor. This NVMe drive looks like a miniature graphics card and stands up in the PCIe slot. This type of drive will be found in full-sized desktops or higher-end workstations/ server setups.

Which Should You Buy?

The answer to this question comes down to intended use and budget. NVMe drives prices are starting to drop, but depending on the size drive you have can still be expensive. A SATA SSD can still get you to your login screen in under a minute when you start the computer. If you do photo or video editing, gaming, or database work, having the extra speed may come in handy.

You should also consider your computer’s compatibility. If it does not have an m.2 slot or available PCIe slot, a SATA SSD might make more sense for your configuration. If you have any questions about these drives or want more information, feel free to give one of our stores a call!

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