NVMe vs SSD: Is NVMe Faster Than SSD?

The Solid State Disk (SSD) has greatly improved the computer performance, and more and more users would consider giving up Hard Drive Disk (HDD) and turning to SSD. In recent years, a newly raised hard drive called NVMe SSD seems to be a strong competitor of SSD. What's the difference between these two kinds of hard drives, and in what ways do NVMe hard drives outperform SSDs? In this article, we will thoroughly introduce NVMe SSD and common SSD and help you make the decision.

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Updated by Gemma on Sep 22, 2022

SSD, shorts for Solid State Disk, now has greatly improved than it was first released. Other than ordinary SSD, the most commonly mentioned new SSDs in the market are NVMe SSD and M.2 SSD. Actually, M.2 is not a new SSD type, it is the name of the connector. The ordinary SSD should be called SATA SSD technically because it has a SATA connector and needs to use a SATA cable to connect it to the motherboard. While M.2 SSD has an M.2 connector, the merits of an M.2 connector is that it doesn't need a cable. If your motherboard has an M.2 connector, you can connect your SSD directly to the motherboard. 

When users are searching NVMe vs SSD, they actually want to compare NVMe M.2 SSD with SATA SSD. In this article, we will compare these two kinds of SSDs from the aspects of size, connector, speed, and price.

What's the Difference Between NVMe M.2 SSD and SATA SSD?

In this part, we will briefly introduce the differences between these two SSDs so that even if you are a novice user, you can make a quick decision after reading this content.

Size

NVMe M.2 SSD: A 22mm wide rectangular SSD. NVMe M.2 SSD doesn't have a certain length, the length could vary from 30mm to 110mm. The most common sizes of NVMe M.2 SSD are 42mm, 60mm, and 80mm, they are also called 2242, 2260, and 2280. Nowadays, NVMe M.2 SSD is mostly applied to laptops.

SATA SSD: Generally there are two kinds of SATA SSDs, 2.5 inches, and 3.5 inches. As the SATA SSD is larger, it is mostly applied to desktops.

NVMe M.2 SSD vs SATA SSD size

Connector

In the overview part, we have mentioned that M.2 and SATA are two different kinds of SSD connectors. So when comparing NVMe M.2 SSD and SATA SSD, the connector is also a prominent difference. The picture below shows the two kinds of connectors. And you can check on your motherboard to see which kind of hard drive connector it has.

NVMe M.2 SSD connector and SATA SSD connector

Speed

The advantages of NVMe M.2 SSD are mainly due to the NVMe transmission standard and M.2 interface, and it is precisely because of these two factors that its extremely fast transmission speed. The SATA SSD uses the AHCI transmission standard, and each command needs to read the register 4 times, which consumes a total of 8000 CPU cycles, resulting in a delay of 2.5μs.

In conclusion, NVMe M.2 SSDs run about twice as fast as SATA SSDs. If you need to run games or some large software that has require on the running speed of your computer, and your computer motherboard has an M.2 hard disk interface, it is recommended that you choose an NVMe M.2 SSD.

Price

At the very beginning, NVMe M.2 SSD is way more expensive than the SATA SSD. At that time, NVMe M.2 SSD was another generation of SSD, and its performance, especially speed, had improved a lot than the SATA SSD. Recently, the prices of NVMe M.2 SSD and SATA SSD are pretty much the same.

I've searched both the 2 TB NVMe M.2 SSD and SATA SSD on Amazon, the price difference between the two is only a few dollars. So if your computer's motherboard has an M.2 connector, choose the NVMe M.2 SSD would be better.

SSD price comparison

How to Clone from SATA SSD to NVMe SSD?

According to the above comparison, you could draw a conclusion that now NVMe M.2 SSD is a better choice than the SATA SSD. If you want to upgrade your SSD from the ordinary SATA to NVMe without data loss, the best way is to clone the SSD. Cloning disk is to make an exact copy of the data and even the partition of a disk to a new disk. If the source disk contains a system partition, after cloning, the target disk is also able to boot successfully.

Clone one SSD to another requires you to connect both the source SSD and the target SSD to one computer. If you're using a desktop, you need to prepare a screwdriver to open the mainframe case so that you could install two SSDs. If you're using a laptop, you need to prepare a USB adaptor to connect the two SSDs.

Besides the connection tool, another tool you need is cloning software. Here we recommend you to use EaseUS Todo Backup. It is designed for both backup and clone, and can be applied to protect your data in all situations. The most acclaimed advantage of Todo Backup is that it has a good clone quality that helps users greatly save the time and energy. Also, the operation is simple and smooth enough so that you can get started with it in minutes. If you're ready, download the tool from the button below, and see how to use EaseUS Todo Backup to clone a SATA SSD to NVMe SSD.

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Step 1. Connect the New Second Hard Drive to the PC

Preparations before cloning start:

1. To connect the target disk to your PC, you may need a screwdriver, a Power Splitter Adapter Cable, a SATA cable, or a USB to SATA adapter. 
2. Make sure the target HDD/SSD has an equal or bigger capacity than the used space of the old drive.
3. Check whether the style of the new disk is the same as that of the old disk. If not, Initialize a new HDD/SSD to MBR or GPT.
3. Download a Disk Cloning Tool – EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is the cloning software that integrates multiple functions, including , etc. In the disk clone field, this tool stands out due to the following aspects:

  • Support system/disk clone, backup, restoring , and system transfer.
  • Covers as many as disk cloning demands, such as update hard drive to a larger one, clone OS, etc.
  • Disk cloning has the highest success rate among all similar products on the market.
  • Supports all kinds of disk types, including IDE, EIDE, SATA, ESATA, ATA, SCSI, iSCSI, USB 1.0/2.0/3.0.
  • Supports cloning of basic/dynamic disks and MBR/GPT disks.

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Step 2. Step by Step Guide

System Clone: Choose System Clone > choose the destination disk > click Next to start. In Advanced options, you can choose the option of Create a portable Windows USB drive to clone the system to a USB drive.

Disk/Partition Clone: Choose Clone > Select the resource disk or partition > Select the target disk > Click Next to start.

Step 3. Boot from the Clone Hard Drive

Case 1. If you want to keep both the old disk and the new disk

  • Restart PC and press F2 (F8,F10, DEL...) to enter BIOS settings.
  • In the Boot option, select new HDD/SSD as the new boot drive.
  • Exit BIOS and restart the computer.

Case 2. If you want to only keep the new disk

  • Unplug the old disk and make sure the new disk is well connected.
  • Connect the new disk and make sure it can be detected by the computer
  • Restart your computer.

Wrap Up

If you don't know which SSD you want, a NVMe SSD or a ordinary SSD (SATA SSD), you can think about what you care the most. The merits of SATA SSD is that the connector is the same with old Hard Drive Disk (HDD), so no matter your motherboard is old or new, you can connect it directly. By comparison, NVMe M.2 SSD is at a leading position. It runs faster, smaller in size, and is not so expensive. In general, you should buy a NVMe M.2 SSD if you have an M.2 connector on the motherboard.

What's more, if you're going to clone a SSD, make sure you follow the guide in this article, otherwise, there might be data loss.

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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