If you are reading this, you are probably looking for the answer to this question. Don’t worry, I will help you find which SSD is compatible with your pc.
Now, SSD comes with different form factors, sizes, and interfaces. The most common SSD form factor is SATA 2 or SATA 3 ( SATA Express ).
There are also m2 SSD’s which use the PCIe bus or m-key SATA SSDs for laptops that use the m-key SATA interface. But let me tell you something important before buying an SSD: not all PCs can handle an SSD, so if you already own a computer then check first if it has compatible PCIe slots or SATA connectors before buying one.
If your current motherboard doesn’t support any of these standards just buy a new one that supports them both otherwise you will be wasting money buying SSD hardware that can’t be used by your pc because it doesn’t have the required SATA ports or PCIe slots.
There are SSD’s that use SATA 2 and SATA 3 interfaces which are backward compatible with SATA 1, SSD’s that use m2 SATA connectors are also compatible with SATA 6gb/s standard but only if the m2 SATA port is connected to a PCIe bus via PCIe x4 slot so they work at full speed.
M2 SSD’s require pciex4 motherboard expansion cards for proper operation. Also keep in mind that there are SSD’s that support nvme interface, these types of ssds require motherboards with UEFI bios to work.
Are SATA SSDs slower?
Now SATA 2 SSD’s are slower than SATA 3, this happens because their spindle speed is only about 300-400mb/s while SATA 3 SSD’s can reach up to 6gb/s or even more. Also, SATA 3 SSD’s seem to be faster than SATA 2 due to the data transfer rate which is roughly at 560 mb/s but it isn’t exactly true.
This happens because sata3 motherboard implementations don’t saturate the link with a single device and performance will drop as you connect more devices on it ( up to 1 device).
For example: if you put one Samsung 860 pro 256GB on a Samsung b350 pc mate motherboard that supports SATA 3 it will show that the SSD is around 560mb/s read speed but if you connect another Samsung 860 pro SSD on the same pc it would drop to around 150mb/s.
Now, SATA 2 SSD’s are good enough for almost everyone due to their good price per performance ratio so they are better than HDD’s in terms of price and performance, but there are SATA 3 SSDs which are even faster than SATA 2 SSD’s yet cheaper so these types of SSD are recommended for gamers or professionals who need high write speeds because SATA 3 allows higher max burst write speed.
Also, keep in mind that some motherboards have PCIe SATA ports that can be used as SATA ports depending on the data controller, these PCIe SATA SSD’s don’t require an SATA 3 motherboard and can be used as SATA 2 SSD due to their PCIe SATA controller which has a max speed of 5gb/s ( same as SATA 2 )
There are also m2 ssds with nvme interface but those types of SSD work only if you have a PCIe slot that supports pciex4 or pciex8 but keep in mind that nvme requires at least 4 lanes so if you have a pciex16 slot then it won’t work. Also, there are HDD’s that support nvme but they are too slow for gaming or heavy load applications because SATA SSD’s won’t bottleneck a PCIe SSD.
SATA SSD vs m2 SSD SATA SSD is compatible with almost every pc but they have limited speeds due to the SATA interface while m2 SSD’s are compatible only with UEFI motherboards and PCIe 3.0 x4/x8 slots, they usually come in 256GB or 512GB capacities while SATA SSD range from 128GB to 2TB but keep in mind that PCIe SSD isn’t as cheap as SATA SSDs so if you don’t need a high capacity at a low price then go for a SATA SSD. It isn’t important which type of interface you use ( SATA SSD vs m2 SSD ) but what’s important is whether your motherboard supports them or not because if you buy SSD hardware that can’t be used with your pc then it would just waste your money.