Solid state drives have improved a lot in the last several years and prices have gone down considerably. Currently, there are several different types of SSD interfaces available. There can be confusion as to what the differences between these types are. SATA (2.5 inch and M.2) and PCIe NVMe based SSDs are popular drives Crucial sells, and people are often not sure which drive is right for them, or which will perform best for their system.
SATA SSDs have been around the longest and are the most widespread interface for connecting drives. Most systems can utilize these drives and they are a cost effective replacement from a traditional hard drive with added speed. They are also super easy to install. These drives have a maximum speed of 6 Gbps because of the SATA III interface, although real life performance can vary. We sell our SATA drives in a 2.5 inch and M.2 form factor. The 2.5 inch drive utilizes the SATA cables to connect to the motherboard. Our M.2 form factor is installed in to a SATA M.2 slot on your system. Regardless of the form factor, SATA drives are limited to SATA III speeds, as this is the fastest this technology can go. Overall, this is a great drive for most customers.
NVMe PCIe drives use M.2 lots that have PCIe lanes going to the slot. Our PCIe drive, the P1, is two to three times faster than the standard SATA III drives. Our P1 drive has speeds that reach 2,000 MB/s read, 1,700 MB/s write, as it utilizes PCIe NVMe Gen 3 speeds. PCIe drives allow more bandwidth through faster signaling and multiple lanes. These speeds are a huge step up from the speeds offered by SATA III SSDs. If you are looking for the absolute fastest speeds, our P1 SSD will be the drive you will be wanting to look at. Our P1 is also cost effective as we only have a slight premium on this drive compared to our SATA interface drives. Like anything, we recommend checking to make sure your system is compatible with this drive before purchasing.
For most people a standard SATA SSD will have all the speed you could ever need, but for those speed hungry folks it might be worth it to purchase a NVMe PCIe drive. You can’t go wrong with either of these drives and the increase in speed will keep you and your system happy for a long time.