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The difference between SATA and NVME

STORAGE

Stuart Wilson

12/14/2021 1 min read

What is M.2 NVMe and how does it work?


Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a communications interface and driver that defines commands and features for SSDs. It increases the efficiency, performance, and coordination of a broad range of enterprise and client systems.

NVMe works with PCI Express (PCIe) to transfer data to and from SSDs. It communicates between the storage interface and the System CPU using high-speed PCIe sockets. In effect, this allows the drives to act more like the fast memory systems they are, rather than the hard disks they imitate.

Input/Output tasks performed using NVMe drivers are faster, consume less power, and transfer more data than older storage models and drivers, such as AHCI. This is because NVMe allows many entries per I/O Submission Queue.

When the NVMe drive completes a command, it puts an entry on a Completion Queue and generates an interrupt. After the driver completes processing a group of Completion Queue entries, it signals this to the NVMe device.

What is SATA and how does it work?

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) is a type of rewritable mass storage device or hard drive. It connects the data cable and power cable directly into the motherboard and solid-state drive. Currently, it is the most widely used interface for hard disk drives.

SATA has excellent transmission speeds and storage capacities. Each drive has its own independent bus, meaning no competition for bandwidth. They also use small, thin cables, which allows for better airflow inside the computer.

SATA 3 hard drives are the latest version, but the same physical look of the SATA connector itself. They have increased speed and additional features, allowing for faster and more reliable storage. SATA 3 is the most common SATA interface used today.

Is NVMe faster than SATA SSD


Yes. SATA was designed for older data storage devices such as HDDs, so its data transfer speed is limited. NVMe SSDs yield a 4x or more increase in speed compared to SATA SSDs:

  • SATA 3 SSD – read/write speed up to 550MB/second

  • NVME SSD – read/write speed up to 3500MB/second

With the true read/write speed potential of NVMe, the differences in speed may not be that noticeable for gaming, or even everyday tasks. But for video editing and photo editing, NVMe drives offer much better results.

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