NVMe Vs SATA SSD – Which one is the fastest?

Last Updated on 22 January, 2023 by Sourav Roy

When it comes to NVMe vs SATA SSD, it can be rather hard to choose what’s right. There’s a lot of information on the web about this debate, most of which is needlessly complicated. For a general user, the SATA probably seems like the prime choice, considering the pricing. It isn’t always, though.


In this post, I’ll tell you why that’s the case. Once you’re done reading what I have to say, you’ll know exactly what to pick. One of these wins over the other, but there are some nuances you need to consider to ensure you get the right SSD. I have collected all the important facts and handy pieces of less-known information, simplifying them with the help of my team to make you the perfect guide. So, without further ado, let’s get started.



These are the kind of SSDs you usually see in most laptops and desktops. The biggest thing that sets them apart from their NVMe counterparts is the drivers. SATA SSDs use AHCI drivers. These drivers don’t allow them to run at their full potential since they’re meant for HDDs that use spinning disk technology. These SATA SSDs do have their pros, though.

Advantages Of SATA SSDs

  • They cost less.
  • They’re more compatible with older hardware.
  • More storage options are available at lower prices, unlike NVMe SSDs.
  • They have support for older operating systems.

Disadvantages Of SATA SSDs

  • They’re outdated.
  • They have much less speed compared to NVMe SSDs.
  • M.2 variants of SATA SSDs heat up more than 2.5″ ones.

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NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSDs are improved iterations of SATA ones. They’re meant to be used with the PCIe bus to avoid bottlenecks caused by SATA interfaces. An SSD on a SATA bus will run with a very limited speed, even if it’s advertised to run faster. NVMe SSDs, on the other hand, aren’t limited by such things because they use the PCIe bus instead. Hence, they’re far faster and can have incredible bandwidth potential.

Advantages Of NVMe SSDs

  • They have lower latency, meaning that they can provide data at more consistent speeds.
  • They have better queue management.
  • Great for running programs that are more data-intensive.
  • They can be found in more compact form factors.
  • These drives have the fastest performance out of all types of storage drives.

Disadvantages Of NVMe SSDs

  • They don’t have support for older hardware.
  • NVMe laptops are less common, so it can be harder to find one with the specifications you want.
  • Only works on Windows 8.1 and newer operating systems.

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NVMe Vs SATA SSD: Quick Comparison

I’ll sum up everything I’ve said for your convenience. Here’s a comparison table containing the most important differences between both types of SSD.

Lower prices.More expensive.
Ideal upgrade for older rigs.Doesn't support hardware on older rigs.
Full support for less recent operating systems.Supports fewer operating systems.
Outdated technology.NVMe is far more recent.
Offers affordable prices for a good mix of space and speed.Options with more space are incredibly expensive compared.

Considering everything so far, NVMe SSDs are a clear winner. They’re perfect for anyone who wants the absolute best performance. SATA SSDs are still good, though. If you’re on a budget and are a casual user, you’ll be better off getting the latter. When gaming or doing general tasks, you won’t get as much of a noticeable boost.


Frequently Asked Questions

While going through options for SSDs, you might come across other terms and have some questions. I’ll try to address some of the most important ones in this section.

What is M.2?

M.2 is the newest form factor for SSDs.

Do only NVMe SSDs use M.2?

No. M.2 is a form factor used by both NVMe and SATA SSDs. NVMe options have more availability in this form factor, but there are several decent SATA options out there. Like the SAMSUNG 860 EVO M.2 SATA.

Do laptops have support for NVMe SSDs?

Yes, they do. High-end laptops generally come equipped with such SSDs.

Does Windows 7 support NVMe SSDs?

No. Windows 7, being a really old OS, doesn’t have any native support for NVMe. There are ways to get it installed on an NVMe drive, but there’s more value to upgrading to a newer OS entirely. The process for setting up Windows 7 on an NVMe drive is long and complicated.

How fast are both SATA and NVME SSDs compared to HDDs?

SATA SSDs are 5x faster than HDDs. On the other hand, NVMe SSDs can run even faster- they’re more than 25x faster than HDDs.

How hard is it to find compatible motherboards for NVMe?

It’s very easy. You simply need to have a PCIe slot, which is always present on any motherboard made after 2004. So, you won’t need to worry about compatibility issues.

Is it a must to have an SSD?

It isn’t. However, having at least a 128GB one is important. If an OS is installed on an HDD rather than an SSD, the user will face incredibly slow boot times. Navigating through Windows will feel laggy as well.

Does fast storage improve gaming performance?

No, not in a significant manner. You can still get good performance playing a game stored on an HDD. The only thing impacted by storage is the loading times for the game, not actual gameplay.

Is M.2 NVMe faster than regular NVMe?

No. As I said earlier, M.2 is simply a form factor. It doesn’t impact speed.

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Last Word

There you go. NVMe vs SATA SSDs- you’re very informed with the subject now. Knowing the pros and cons of both types of SSDs, you can make the perfect choice for yourself regardless of any technical jargon thrown your way by a salesman.

Still a little confused? I’d recommend just going for NVMe SSDs if you’re not on a tight budget. It’ll help you in the long run. Having an NVMe SSD on a laptop is especially a good idea.

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