SSD NVMe: what they are and what to buy

Published on Mar 22, 2018

Lately we hear more and more often to the SSD, NVMe. This new communication protocol has been specifically designed to overcome the limitations of the protocol AHCI and classical SATA interface. The SSD classic, which is the SATA III to take advantage of these latest protocols to communicate with the motherboard. In this guide we will discover all the details on these products and see what are the best models to buy, divided by price range.

The famous neck of the bottle is represented from the interface and the connector used to connect the SSD to the motherboard. Thanks to the work of numerous manufacturers, among which Intel, the barrier imposed by the SATA interface III, has finally been shattered. The storage industry is constantly evolving, and the standard SATA fails to keep pace with the speed of the SSD more modern. The interface PCI Express, or PCIe, was originally designed for video cards. However, it has attracted the interest of many producers, which have decided to adopt the standard PCIe as a connection interface for its SSD, thanks to the versatility of this interface.

This standard benefits from a link very close to the CPU, maintaining a speed above any other interface. For this reason, we developed a new protocol, or the protocol, NVMe (NVM Express), which benefits from the full potential of the PCIe interface.

The SSD “classic” are the drives that use the SATA interface. With regard to connectivity and protocol, by now we are speaking of SATA III, which can provide up to 6 Gbps, which theoretically should correspond to about 550/600 MB/s read. The form factor of these models, it is usually 2.5". This type of SSD is compatible with notebooks, and with the motherboard a bit dated. However, it is not possible to install it on the ultrabook and notebook ultra-thin.

This type of SSD, instead, it offers better performance than traditional SATA because you can exceed the limit of 6 Gbps, exceeding only 550 MB/s. To be able to install an SSD PCIe, it is essential that the motherboard is equipped with one or more PCIe slots x2 or higher dimensions. This interface offers slots x1, x2, x4, x8, and x16. Obviously, any slot with a number of contacts higher can operate in the mode below. That is a x16 slot can easily accommodate a device with a number of contacts lower, that is a x8 or x4.

The acronym M. 2 shows the new connection interface for the new generation units. It has been designed and built to replace the use of the PCIe slots. It is also able to improve the performance of both notebook and desktop PCS, provided that the motherboard supports the new interface. The newer motherboards are equipped with a slot M. 2 to connect the SSD, avoiding the solutions to SATA and PCIe.

Lately, several manufacturers are using the PCIe interface on slot M. 2, adopting the protocol, NVMe as the new standard. Many producers, inside of the equipment of SSD M. 2, insert an adapter HHL to connect the drive to the PCIe slot. In this way, the person who does not have an interface M. 2 on your motherboard, you can take advantage of the PCI Express slot.

The choice of our new SSD NVMe depends mainly on the compatibility of the drive with the motherboard. Therefore, it is crucial to purchase an SSD that is compatible with our configuration. In the event that our configuration is fairly recent, we will not have to worry about buying a SSD, NVMe PCIe card, as the motherboard will be equipped with interface M. 2.

So let's see what are the best SSD NVMe to buy. The price of each unit varies according to the amount of available storage.

It is a SSD, M. 2 PCIe third generation, 120 GB. It ensures excellent transfer speed and superb reliability in a compact form factor. This model provides approximately 3,000 MB/s sequential read and about 2,400 MB/s sequential write. The working temperature ranges from 0 °C to 65 °C.

It is a SSD M. 2 NVMe Samsung by the excellent quality/price ratio. It is undoubtedly the best in its price range, count and also the high capacity of memory. It provides up to 3,200 MB/s read and up to 1,500 MB/s write. The form factor is, obviously, the M. 2. It also comes with a dedicated software able to view all of the information and constantly update the driver.

This SSD M. 2 NVMe Corsair is very similar compared to that seen previously. The only difference is the cut of the internal memory, which is 240 GB. Also, it provides approximately 3,000 MB/s in reading and approximately 2,400 MB/s write. The working temperature given by the company is 0 °C – 65 °C.

It is a SSD, NVMe M. 2 Samsung. It is very similar to the pattern seen previously. The only difference is in the cutting of different memory, this time from the 500 GB. There is a read speed that reaches 3,200 MB/s, while write speed reaches up to 1,800 MB/s. Also for this model, there is a dedicated software that allows for the constantly monitoring of the statistics and manage the driver.

This model has a cutting memory 480 GB. It provides up to 3,000 MB/s sequential read and up to 2,400 MB/s sequential write. The temperature of the work reported in the technical specifications is 0 °C – 65 °C. The form factor is M. 2, which makes it compact and does not take up much space inside the case.

It is a SSD M. 2 NVMe next generation. It is able to provide up to 3,500 MB/s read and up to 2,100 MB/s write. Thanks to V-NAND to 48 layers, are provided leading-edge performance in a form factor very compact. Function DTG (Dynamic Thermal Guard) monitors and regulates the temperature of the unit. Also for these models there is a management software created by Samsung.

It is available in various cuts of memory, or 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB.

It is a SSD, NVMe with PCI Express interface x4 with cut memory 800 GB. It provides a read speed of 3,000 MB/s and a write speed of 2,400 MB/s, with a faster overall speed 5 times higher than to the classic SATA III. It is also equipped with a sink dedicated to high efficiency, which guarantees the optimum temperatures even in the case of sessions of gaming intensive.

You can buy it also in a version by 400 GB.

In the event that our motherboard is not an interface M. 2, we can however buy an adapter HHL to connect a SSD M. 2 to PCIe slots.

As we have seen, there is still a poor choice of SSD type, NVMe, especially the models with interface M. 2. However, the market is in continuous expansion and evolution. It will happen more and more models high-performance and accessible to all.

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