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Solid State Drive (SSD) using M.2 Form Factor

A 2.5 inch SSD is much faster than a traditional mechanical Hard Drive and uses a SATA II or III interface. These drives are now relatively cheap and are ideal for your operating system and frequently used programs as they are so much quicker. The read speed of a 2.5 inch SATA III SSD is about 500 MB/s (Megabytes per second).

2.5 inch SSD compared to an M.2 SSD

2.5 inch Solid State Drive (SSD) and M.2 SSD.
Most of the newer motherboards support one or more M.2 sockets which support an SSD in a much smaller form factor. M.2 Connectors use the SATA III bus, PCIe 3.0 bus or USB 3.0 bus.

The two main types of M.2 SSD drive include the M.2 SATA drive and the M.2 NVMe (uses PCIe bus) drive. The M.2 SATA drive has a similar read speed to a 2.5 inch SATA III drive of about 500 MB/s. The M.2 NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) is much faster as it uses the PCIe bus and read speeds will be about 1,600 MB/s for a two-lane NVMe and 3,200 MB/s for a four-lane NVMe.

SSD Speeds

Solid State Drive (SSD) Speeds.

You can see in the graph above that the M.2 NVMe (4 lane) has a read speed twice as fast as the M.2 NVMe (2 lane) and that the M.2 NVMe (2 lane) is over three times faster than the M.2 SATA or standard 2.5 inch SATA III solid state drive.

The M.2 NVMe is significantly faster but these SSD drives will be more expensive than an M.2 SATA or standard 2.5 inch SATA III solid state drive.

Boot up times

With the operating system installed on these drives your computer will boot up very quickly (depending on your software/setup). A standard 2.5 inch or M.2 SATA SSD could boot your operating system in about 15 seconds while an NVMe SSD could boot in under 5 seconds.

Does my Motherboard support M.2?

You will need to look in your motherboard manual to determine if you have an M.2 socket and if it supports SATA or NVMe (PCIe).

Do i need to bother using the M.2 socket?

If you only have an M.2 SATA socket then it is up to you whether you use this or just use a standard 2.5 inch SATA III SSD as they both have similar performance. If your motherboard supports M.2 NVMe (2 lane or the faster 4 lane) then you will gain a significant increase in performance but it may be quite a bit more expensive than using a standard 2.5 inch SATA III SSD. Prices will no doubt drop as the M.2 NVMe drives become more popular.

MENU (Solid State Drive):
1. Solid State Drive 2. Upgrade SSD 3. M.2 SSD