M.2 SSDs: Common Questions and Important Differences

Crucial Employee
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SATA and PCIe, what is the difference?


PCIe and SATA M.2 drives have different controllers; whereas the PCIe is the faster of the two, the SATA will generally be compatible with a wider variety of systems. If a system has a M.2 PCIe slot,  an M.2 SATA SSD will not work in this computer, it will fit in the slot, but it will not work. There are some system that are dual typed, and will accept both SATA, and PCIe, but they are not the norm. Crucial M.2 SSDs at this time are only manufactured in the SATA type.


What’s the difference between the 2260ds and the 2280ss?


These numbers determine the physical size of the M.2 drive. A 2260 would be 22mm wide and 60mm long, were as the 2280 would be 80mm long. We offer both the 60 and 80 variants in our MX200 line of SSDs. Some system will support multiple lenghts of M.2, but they are typically designed for one.


Does it matter if the slot is single sided or double sided?


Single sided M.2 sockets only support single sided drives. Double sided M.2 sockets support both double sided SSDs and single sided SSDs.


How much does the key notch matter?


M.2 connectors can be keyed in several different ways. Almost all the sub-types will physically fit in each other’s slots, however, they will not work if they are not installed in the correct type. The 2260ds and the 2280ss are both keyed “B and M” which means they will work in B slots, in M slots, and in slots that have both the B and the M key.


Let our website do the work for you
 Always make sure to use our Crucial Advisor or System Scanner to verify compatibility of any of our SSDs. We will take all the guessing with M.2 drives out of the equation if you simply use our tools to do the work for you. If you have any further questions, be sure to contact our support.