Sata m 2


NVMe или M.2 или SATA в чем разница при выборе SSD

Для начала, стоит понимать какая разница между SSD M.2 и SSD 2.5 дюйма и mSATA, она заключается в разных типах подключения к материнской плате ноутбука или ПК.

Со времен создания классического накопителя SSD 2.5” прошло достаточно времени для появления новых форм-факторов, таких как mSATA SSD, M.2 SSD и NVMe. В этой статье мы разберемся с такой технологией как NVMe, чем она отличается от стандартных дисков, работающих на шине SATA, и все ли диски M.2 классифицируются как NVMe.

Прежде чем покупать ssd m2 NVMe, вам стоит разобраться какой именно тип накопителя поддерживает ваша материнская плата компьютера или ноутбука. Если с форм-фактором SATA 2.5 и mSATA все достаточно понятно, то с M.2 не все так просто.

Практически у всех материнских плат ПК версий есть выход на SATA накопитель, но не на всех есть разъем на материнской плате под M.2 накопитель. Также точно обстоят дела и с материнскими платами в ноутбуках. В более старых ноутбуках есть разъем только под SATA 2.5” накопитель и максимум что можно установить это SATA SSD накопитель, но в более современных ноутбуках появились дополнительные разъемы на материнских платах под M.2 накопитель.

Если на вашей материнской плате есть такой слот как указано на фото выше, значит вы сможете установить M.2 накопитель.

И все было бы замечательно, если бы M.2 Slot был одного типа и сами M.2 платы были только одного размера. Но давайте все по порядку, начнем с типов плат.

Типы SSD M2

Накопитель M.2 существует в четырех подтипах: 2230, 2242, 2260 и наиболее популярный 2280. Первые две цифры указывают на ширину платы, вторые две цифры на длину.

Теперь, когда вы знаете есть ли вообще слот на материнской плате и какую длину M.2 накопителя поддерживает ваша плата, переходим к типу слота.

Есть 2 типа шины на которых работает M2, это SATA шина или PCIe шина, а также есть тип слота с ключами «M» и «B».

Как правило M2 накопитель, работающий на SATA шине, поддерживает 2 ключа «M» + «B». Накопитель SSD M2 NVMe работающий на шине PCIe и AHCI будет с одним «M» ключом.

Из примера по картинке видно, что плату M2 SATA SSD с ключом M+B можно установить в большинство слотов, в то время как M2 NVMe SSD с ключом «M», установить в слот «B» физически невозможно, поэтому обращайте внимание какой именно слот установлен на вашей материнской плате компьютера. Если вам нужна более детальная информация о интерфейсе и ключах, можно посмотреть на wiki.

В чем различия M2 и NVMe

M.2 - это просто форм-фактор. Накопители M.2 могут быть в версиях SATA (например, M.2 Samsung 860 EVO) и версиях NVMe (например, Samsung 970 EVO)

Как вы можете заметить, эти две платы очень похожи внешне, но имеют небольшое различие в разъеме подключения. SSD-накопители SATA M.2 и 2,5-дюймовые SATA SSD - фактически работают с одинаковыми характеристиками. Накопители NVMe M.2 работают на шине PCIe, и это совершенно другие показатели в пропускной способности, они существенно выше чем у SATA шины.

Что такое NVMe

NVMe - это открытый стандарт, разработанный для «энергонезависимой Express памяти», который позволяет современным твердотельным накопителям работать со скоростью чтения / записи, на которую способна их флэш-память. По сути, такой подход позволяет флэш-памяти SSD работать напрямую через интерфейс PCIe, а не через устаревшую SATA технологию. Иными словами, NVMe это описание шины, которую компонент использует для электрической связи с ПК, а не новый тип флэш-памяти. Это также не связано с форм-фактором, поэтому накопители NVMe могут иметь форм-факторы карт M.2 или PCIe. При обоих форм-факторах компонент электрически подключается к ПК через PCIe, а не через SATA шину.

Современные материнские платы используют SATA III с максимальной пропускной способностью 600 МБ/с (или 300 МБ/с для SATA II). Благодаря этому соединению большинство твердотельных накопителей обеспечивают скорость чтения / записи около 530/500 МБ/с. Для сравнения: диск SATA со скоростью 7200 об/мин обеспечивает скорость около 100 МБ/с в зависимости от возраста, состояния и степени фрагментации. Накопитель NVMe, обеспечивает скорость записи до 3500 МБ/с. Это в 7 раз больше, чем у SATA!

SSD M2 совместимость

С типами, размерами и рабочими шинами M2 мы разобрались, теперь давайте разберемся с совместимостью M.2 SSD с вашим ПК или ноутбуком.

Многие производители устанавливают на материнские платы слот для M.2 с ключом «M» и с поддержкой шины на выбор – SATA или PCIe. То есть вы покупаете M.2 SATA или M2 NVMe и любой из накопителей будет работать.

Но бывают случаи, когда материнская плата работает только на одной из двух шин, и не поддерживает, к примеру новый стандарт NVMe или старый SATA. Чтобы убедиться в совместимости вашей материнской платы с покупаемый SSD M2 накопителем, покажу пример с материнской платой от Asus.

Заходим в BIOS, затем в раздел Advanced и находим строку «M.2 Configuration», далее в выпадающем меню можно увидеть, что материнская плата работает поддерживает SATA и PCIe шину, а следственно на такой материнской плате будет работать M.2 SSD как SATA, так и NVMe.

Что ж, учитывая преимущества в скорости накопителей NVMe, определенно стоит обратить внимание при обновлении ПК или ноутбука. Подходит ли более высокая цена ssd m2 nvme для вашего бюджета, особенно если ваше приложение, с которым вы часто работаете активно использует жесткий диск или требует постоянного чтения / записи жесткого диска.

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M.2 SATA SSD против M.2 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD

Мы живем в будущем. Новые технологии заменяют старые с экспоненциальной скоростью, как вы и не представляли. Чувствуется, что вчера, когда речь шла о SSD, мы слышали скептические реакции от потребителей, как будто вы продавали им змеиный яд. И все же сегодня, здесь мы говорим о nextgen M.2 SSD. Кроме того, мы видим nextgen интерфейс NVMe PCI Express, принимающий кадры на старом интерфейсе SATA.

M.2 (произносится M-dot-2) - это небольшой форм-фактор (с учетом формы и размера), который является довольно универсальным разъемом для компьютера и настоящим преемником слотов mSATA и PCIe Mini Card. Ранее известный как Форм-фактор следующего поколения (NGFF), M.2 монтируется внутри и по дизайну допускает разную ширину и длину модуля. Они включают 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 или 22110 в зависимости от материнской платы в устройстве, в котором они размещены. Первые две цифры (например, 22 мм) определяют ширину, в то время как последние цифры (например, 60 мм) определяют длину карты M.2. Наиболее распространенными форм-факторами являются 2242 и 2280.

Его разнообразные практические применения включают, но не ограничиваются, WiFi / Bluetooth / сотовые карты, NFC и, конечно же, SSD. Чтобы не укусить больше, чем мы можем пережевывать, давайте сосредоточимся только на хранилище SSD. Если вы знаете, M.2 SSD поддерживают интерфейсы передачи данных SATA (Serial ATA) и PCI Express (PCIe) или Peripheral Component Interconnect Express. Из них наиболее доминирующим является SATA SSD по одной очевидной причине: он был намного дольше.

Интерфейс передачи SATA был создан еще в 2003 году, и поэтому у него было много времени, чтобы консолидировать свою позицию как один из наиболее широко используемых интерфейсов передачи сегодня. Он использует обратный совместимый командный протокол AHCI, который также поддерживает IDE. По правде говоря, контроллер AHCI был построен с жесткими дисками с вращающимися дисками в памяти, а не с флэш-памятью, а следовательно, и с узкими местами. Новейшие SATA SSD используют интерфейс SATA 3.0, который имеет максимальную скорость передачи около 550 ~ 600 МБ/с.M.2 SATA SSD на самом деле не самый популярный выбор, поскольку не каждый ноутбук имеет соответствующие слоты M.2 на своей материнской плате. Эта корона идет на 2,5-дюймовый форм-фактор, который имитирует общий размер жестких дисков ноутбука. 2,5-дюймовый форм-фактор является повсеместным, и в настоящее время отраслевым стандартом является его популярность. Что вы должны иметь в виду, так это то, что M.2 SATA SSD имеют один и тот же NAND и контроллеры с их 2,5-дюймовыми кузенами, поэтому они не быстрее, чем последние. Для сравнения между M.2 SATA SSD и M.2 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD, PCI Express больше похож на SSD SSD на стероиды. В теоретическом безумном штрихе к финишной линии M.2 PCI Express SSD оставляет M.2 SATA SSD в пыли. Сопоставьте и сравните теоретическую пропускную способность PCI Express с избытком 20 Гбит/с до SATA III, которая ограничена 6 Гбит/с.Устройства PCIe могут поддерживать полосы 1x, 4x, 8x или 16x. Поскольку PCI Express 3.0 имеет эффективную скорость передачи данных 985 Мбайт/с на полосу, мы рассматриваем потенциальную скорость передачи данных до 15,76 ГБ/с. Однако при использовании M.2 для PCIe SSD все, что вы получаете, находится между полосами 2x и x4, что обеспечивает максимальную скорость передачи данных до 3,94 ГБ/с.

Итак, быстрее, спросите вы? Теоретически, да. PCIe обеспечивает лучшую пропускную способность, но, если это не так для массовых передач файлов, вы не заметите большой разницы. По этой причине отечественные пользователи находят M.2 SATA SSD, адекватные их повседневным потребностям. Однако вы заметите разницу в цене. PCIe SSD относительно дороже, чем их SATA-аналоги. Кроме того, большинство ноутбуков на рынке, как правило, поставляются в SATA AHCI.

Что такое NVMe?

NVMe или энергонезависимая память Express - это высокопроизводительный командный протокол nextgen, который превосходит AHCI. Он преодолевает узкие места, присущие драйверам AHCI, которые были созданы для жестких дисков и IDE. В отличие от AHCI, NVMe построена с нуля, чтобы удовлетворить требованиям твердотельных накопителей NAND Flash. Она обеспечивает лучшую пропускную способность, низкую задержку и низкое энергопотребление по сравнению с SSD SSD.

Поясним кое-что, но NVMe не является физическим интерфейсом связи, например SATA или PCIe. NVMe работает над SSD-накопителями PCIe, такими как SSD M.2 или PCI-Express, повышая производительность на целых 5 раз больше, чем у его SATA-аналога.

M.2 SATA SSD против M.2 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD Reviewed by Admin on июля 14, 2018 Rating: 5

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NVMe vs. M.2 vs. SATA – What’s the Difference?

One of the bigger breakthroughs for PC hardware in modern memory has been the solid state drive. And with data transfer speeds many multiples of traditional 7200 RPM and even 10,000 RPM drives, it’s easy to see why. Not only are boot and shut down speeds much faster with SSDs, but all aspects of the system are sped up as well. We highly recommend them. But what about NVMe SSDs, how do they differ from standard SATA drives? And do all M.2 drives classify as NVMe? Read on while we break down the differences between NVMe vs. M.2 vs. SATA.

What is NVMe?

The Samsung 960 Pro is was fastest NVMe drive on the market…until the 970 Pro replaced it.

First, a quick note about SSDs – they’re fast. So fast in fact, their limiting factor is not their own hardware, but rather the SATA III connection that hard drives have traditionally used. Enter NVMe. Standing for “Non-Volatile Memory Express,” NVMe is an open standard developed to allow modern SSDs to operate at the read/write speeds their flash memory is capable of. Essentially, it allows flash memory to operate as an SSD directly through the PCIe interface rather than going through SATA and being limited by the slower SATA speeds.  Put another way, it’s a description of the bus the component uses to communicate with the PC, not a new type of flash memory. It is also unrelated to the form factor, which is why NVMe drives can come in both M.2 or PCIe card form factors. With both form factors, the component is connecting electrically to the PC via PCIe rather than SATA. Yes, it’s confusing, but stick with us.

Are all M.2 drives NVMe?

No. Remember, M.2 is just the form factor. M.2 drives can come in SATA versions (like the Crucial MX500 M.2 for example) and NVMe versions (like the Samsung 970 Pro/EVO), which describes the bus they use to electrically communicate with the other PC components. SATA M.2 SSD drives and 2.5” SATA SSDs actually operate at virtually identical spec. NVMe M.2’s on the other hand, definitely do not, as we’re about to discuss.

How does NVMe speed compare to SATA?

Modern motherboards use SATA III which maxes out at a throughput of 600MB/s (or 300MB/s for SATA II, in which case, it’s time to upgrade). Via that connection, most SSDs will provide Read/Write speeds in the neighborhood of 530/500 MB/s. For comparison, a 7200 RPM SATA drive manages around 100MB/s depending on age, condition, and level of fragmentation. NVMe drives, on the other hand, provide write speeds as high as 3500MB/s. That’s 7x over SATA SSDs and as much as 35x over spinning HDDs!

So which option is best for you? Well, given the speed benefits of the NVMe drives, they’re definitely worth a look if the higher price works for your budget, especially if your application is hard drive intensive or requires constant hard drive reads/writes. But if regular home office work or light gaming is more your goal, standard SATA solid states will likely be plenty fast. As always, we’re available to assist and point you in the right direction via phone at 804-419-0900 or email at vmsales [at] velocitymicro [dot] com.

Edit: Since this blog was originally posted in 2017, prices on flash memory have continued to drop. SATA SSDs are now only marginally more expensive than HDDs at lower capacities so if you haven’t upgraded yet, the time has never been better!

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M.2 SATA SSD vs M.2 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD vs NVMe

As humans and avid tech consumers, this right here is Tomorrowland. We are living in the future. New technologies are superseding the old at an exponential rate as you wouldn’t imagine.

It feels like yesterday when talking of SSDs solicited skeptical reactions from consumers like you were selling them snake oil. And yet today, here we are talking about the nextgen M.2 SSDs. On top of this, we are seeing nextgen the NVMe PCI Express interface taking potshots at the elderly SATA interface.

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But where are my manners! Pardon me. Allow me to introduce these terminologies along with their genealogies. After all, before we broach the subject that is M.2 SATA SSD vs M.2 PCI Express SSD and to a lesser extend NVMe, we need to know what the hell we are talking about first. So here goes:

What is M.2 SSD?

M.2 SSD module showing size provisions

M.2 (pronounced M-dot-2) is a small form factor (referring to shape and size) which is quite the versatile computer connector and the true successor to mSATA and PCIe Mini Card slots.

Formerly known as the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), M.2 is internally mounted and by design allows different module widths and lengths. These comprise 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 or 22110 depending on the motherboard in the device in which they are housed.

The first two digits (e.g 22mm) specify the width while the last digits (e.g 60mm) specify the length of the M.2 card. The most common supported form factors are 2242 and 2280.

Related: How to migrate Windows 10 to an SSD drive without Reinstalling

Its varied practical uses include but are not limited to WiFi/Bluetooth/Cellular cards, NFC, and of course, SSDs. Not to bite more than we can chew, let’s concentrate on just SSD storage.

If you must know, M.2 SSDs support transfer interfaces SATA (Serial ATA) and PCI Express (PCIe) or Peripheral Component Interconnect Express. Of these, the most dominant is SATA SSD for one obvious reason: it’s been around much longer.

M.2 SATA SSD vs M.2 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD

M.2 SATA SSD

M.2 SSD chip sized alongside laptop DDR4 RAM chip

The SATA transfer interface was created back in 2003 and as such has had a lot of time to consolidate its position as one of the most widely-used transfer interfaces today. It employs a backward compatible command protocol AHCI which also supports IDE.

In truth, the AHCI controller was built with hard drives with spinning disks in mind rather than flash memory hence some bottlenecks. The newest SATA SSDs use SATA 3.0 interface which is capped at a maximum transfer speed of about 550~600MB/s.

M.2 SATA SSDs are actually not the more popular choice as not every laptop has the corresponding M.2 slots on their motherboard. That crown goes to the 2.5-inch form factor which mimics the common size of laptop hard drives.

The 2.5-inch form factor is ubiquitous and currently the industry standard hence its popularity. What you should keep in mind though is that M.2 SATA SSDs share the same NAND and controllers with their 2.5-inch cousins so they are no faster than the latter.

PCIe NVMe SSD

For comparison’s sake between M.2 SATA SSD vs M.2 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD, PCI Express is more like a SATA SSD on steroids. In a theoretical mad dash to the finish line, an M.2 PCI Express SSD leaves an M.2 SATA SSD in the dust. Compare and contrast theoretical PCI Express bandwidth in the excess of 20Gb/s to SATA III which is capped at 6Gb/s. But even so, it’s not so cut and dry as it seems. Let me explain.

PCIe devices can support 1x, 4x, 8x, or 16x lanes. Since PCI Express 3.0 has an effective transfer speed of 985 MB/s per lane, we are looking at potential transfer speeds up to 15.76 GB/s. However, when using M.2 for a PCIe SSD, all you get is between 2x and x4 lanes, which translates a maximum transfer speed closer to 3.94 GB/s.

So then, is it faster, you may ask? Theoretically, yes. PCIe allows for better throughput but unless it’s for massive file transfers you won’t notice much difference. For this reason, domestic users find M.2 SATA SSDs adequate for their everyday needs. What you will notice though is the price difference. PCIe SSDs are relatively more expensive than their SATA counterparts. Also, most laptops on the market tend to come in SATA with AHCI flavors.

But, what is NVMe?

NVMe or Non-Volatile Memory Express is a nextgen high-performance command protocol which supercedes AHCI. It overcomes the bottlenecks inherent in AHCI drivers which were built for HDDs and IDE. NVMe is expressly built from the ground up to cater to NAND Flash-based SSDs, unlike AHCI. It offers better throughput, reduced latency and low power consumption compared to SATA SSDs.

Let’s clarify on something though, NVMe is not a physical connection interface like SATA or PCIe. NVMe runs on top of PCIe SSDs such as M.2 or PCI-Express SSDs improving performance by as much as 5 times that of its SATA counterpart.

Consider yourself updated

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FAQs for SATA and M.2 SSDs

Kingston solid-state drives are the ideal performance upgrade for consumers and organizations alike. Available in a wide range of models and capacities, Kingston SSDs extend the lifecycle of PCs and provide improved speed, performance and reliability when compared to traditional hard drives.

Backed by a two-, three- or five-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston® reliability, Kingston solid-state drives provide data security combined with future-proof performance for complete peace of mind.

If you have any questions about Kingston solid-state drives, read on for the answers. If your question isn’t covered here, please visit the product pages listed below or contact a Kingston representative.

SSD is short for solid-state drive. An SSD is built using NAND Flash or DRAM memory chips in place of the platters and other mechanical mechanisms found in hard disk drives (HDDs).

How much faster is an SSD?

This is a difficult question to answer, as no two systems are the same and performance can be affected by the OS, any drivers loaded, applications in use, the speed and configuration of the processor and many other factors. Several test web sites and magazines have tested SSDs against HDDs and found SSDs to be much faster. For example, if we compared random read performance, SSDs are more than 20000% faster than high-performance HDDs.

It is worth noting that SSD drives are not affected by the physical limitations of hard drives. HDD platters are circular in design (like a CD) and data held at the centre of the circle is accessed at a slower rate than data on the edges. SSDs have a uniform access time across the entire drive. HDD performance also suffers from data fragmentation, whereas SSDs performance is not significantly impacted even if the data is not stored contiguously.

IOPS (Input/output Operations per Second) is the unit of measurement to show the number of transactions per second a storage device (HDD or SSD) is capable of handling. IOPS should not be confused with read/write speeds and pertain to server workloads.

What does wear-levelling mean? Is it important?

SSD drives use NAND Flash memory as the storage medium. One of the disadvantages of NAND Flash is that Flash cells will eventually wear out. To extend the memory’s useable life, the SSD’s memory controller employs various algorithms that spread the storage of data across all memory cells. This prevents any one cell or group of cells from being “over used.” The use of wear-levelling technology is widespread and is very effective.

Why does my SSD have less capacity than some others?

To increase performance and endurance, some SSD manufacturers will reserve some of the drive capacity from the user area and dedicate it to the controller. This practice is known as over-provisioning (OP) and will increase the performance and longevity of the SSD. All current Kingston SSDs feature over-provisioning, and the capacities are 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB and 3.84TB. Learn more about over-provisioning. 

Will my SSD wear out or lose performance the longer I use it?

The NAND Flash used in USB, SD cards and SSDs all have endurance limits meaning one cannot continue to write to them forever. Flash based products will eventually wear out however with features like wear-levelling and over-provisioning an SSD will typically last longer than the system it was installed into. We measure drive endurance in TBW (Terabytes Written) and depending on drive capacity one can write hundreds of terabytes, up to petabytes. Performance of the SSD will remain the same throughout the life of the drive. Learn more about TBW.

What are SMART attributes?

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology and is a part of the ATA standard. SMART attributes are used to measure drive “health” and enabled to warn the user (administrator, software program, etc.) of impending drive failure. Learn more about S.M.A.R.T.

Can an SSD be used in an external enclosure via USB or e-SATA?

Yes. Kingston SSDs can be used in USB, e-SATA, Thunderbolt and Firewire external enclosures. Note if the user chooses to enable a password via the ATA Security command, the drive will not be accessible via external enclosure.

HDDs are based on magnetic spinning platters, a technology that has been in use since the mid- 1950s. The data is written to and read from these spinning platters or disks via moving heads. HDDs are mechanical devices with many moving parts and are more prone to mechanical failures and failures due to environmental conditions such as heat, cold, shock and vibration.

Why do SSDs cost more than HDDs?

Although the SSD market is growing and gaining more popularity, it is still relatively new. As with any new technology, it is only a matter of time before sales increase to a level that will allow manufacturing costs to reduce. In the last few years, the price gap between SSD and HDDs has gotten much smaller.

Are there any trade-offs when choosing an SSD over an HDD?

The only factor in favor of HDDs is the price per Gigabyte. HDDs are currently sold in capacities of 500GB and above, while SSDs are sold in capacities of 120GB and above. Kingston currently offers SSDs from 120GB to 3.84TB.

Traditional HDDs are best if mass storage is in the Terabytes is your primary need, while SSDs are excellent if performance is more important. It’s common to use an SSD as a boot drive to hold OS and applications and an HDD to hold data files..

Can I transfer data or OS from an existing HDD to a new SSD?

Yes. Kingston offers SSD drives in upgrade kits that include all the necessary items required to replace a notebook or desktop HDD with a Kingston SSD, including software to easily transfer the OS and important data. Please note that SSD-only SKUs do not include the software. If you need to clone your HDD to a new SSD you will need the bundle kit.

Does an SSD require defragmenting like an HDD?

No. SSDs never need to be defragmented. Defragmenting an SSD can reduce the life of an SSD. If your system is set up to defragment automatically, you should disable or turn off defragmentation when using an SSD. Some operating systems will defragment automatically, so this feature should be disabled for Kingston SSDs.

What is M.2? Is it the same as NGFF?

M.2 was developed by the PCI-SIG and SATA-IO standards organizations and is defined in the PCI-SIG M.2 and the SATA Rev. 3.2 specifications. It was originally called the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), and then formally renamed to M.2 in 2013. Many people still refer to M.2 as NGFF.

The M.2 small form factor applies to many add-in card types, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite navigation, Near Field Communication (NFC), digital radio, Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig), Wireless WAN (WWAN), and Solid-State Drives (SSDs).

M.2 has a subset of specific form factors strictly for SSDs.

Why would I want to install it?

All M.2 SSDs flush-mount into M.2 sockets on system boards. The M.2 form factor introduces a path to higher performance via a smaller footprint and is the future path for SSD technological advancement. In addition, no power or data cables are needed, making cable management unnecessary. Like mSATA SSDs, M.2 SSDs just plug into a socket and the physical installation is complete.

What are single-sided and double-sided?

For certain embedded applications where space is limited, the M.2 specifications provide for different thicknesses of M.2 SSDs – 3 different single-sided versions (S1, S2 and S3) and 5 dual-sided versions (D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5). Some platforms may have specific requirements due to limited space below their M.2 connector.

Kingston M.2 SSDs conform to the dual-sided M.2 specifications and will fit in the majority of system boards that accept dual-sided M.2 SSDs; please consult with your sales representative if you require single-sided SSDs for specific embedded applications.

What systems does it work in?

There are many notebooks and motherboards that support the M.2 SSD. Please consult your system-specifications and user manual to check for compatibility before purchasing an M.2 SSD.

What are the different M.2 SSD dimensions?

For SSD-based M.2 modules, the most common sizes are 22mm wide x30mm long, 22mm x 42mm, 22mm x 60mm, 22mm x 80mm and 22mm x 110mm. The cards are referred to using the above dimensions: the first 2 digits define the width (all 22mm) and the remaining digits define the length, from 30mm to 110mm. So, the M.2 SSDs are specified as 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.

The picture below shows a 2.5-inch SSD and a 2242, 2260 and 2280 M.2 SSDs:

Why are there different lengths?

There are 2 reasons for the different lengths:

  1. The different lengths enable different SSD drive capacities; the longer the drive, the more NAND Flash chips can be mounted on it, in addition to a controller and possibly a DRAM memory chip. The 2230 and 2242 lengths support 1-3 NAND Flash chips while the 2280 and 22110 support up to 8 NAND Flash chips, which can enable a 2TB SSD in the largest M.2 form factor.
  2. Socket space in the system board can limit the M.2 size: Some notebooks can support an M.2 for caching purposes, but offer a small space that will accommodate only a 2242 M.2 SSD (2230 M.2 SSDs are smaller still but not needed in most cases where 2242 M.2 SSDs will fit).
Is an M.2 SSD the same as an mSATA SSD?

No, they are different. M.2 supports both SATA and PCIe storage interface options, while mSATA is SATA only. Physically, they look different and cannot be plugged into the same system connectors.

M.2 2280 (above) compared to mSATA. Note the keys (or notches) that will prevent them from being inserted into incompatible sockets.

The M.2 form factor was created to provide multiple options for small-form-factor cards, including SSDs. SSDs previously relied on mSATA for the smallest form factor, but mSATA was unable to be scaled up to 1TB capacities at a reasonable cost. The answer was the new M.2 specification that allows for different M.2 SSD card sizes and capacities. The M.2 specification allows system manufacturers to standardise on a common small form factor that can be extended to high capacities where needed.

Do I need a special driver to use M.2 SSDs?

No, both SATA and PCIe M.2 SSDs will use the standard AHCI drivers built into the OS. However, you may need to enable the M.2 SSD in the system BIOS before being able to use it.

Why would I need to enable my M.2 SSD within the BIOS?

In certain cases, the M.2 SSD socket could share PCIe lanes or SATA ports with other devices on the motherboard. Please review your motherboard documentation for additional information as using both shared ports at the same time could disable one of the devices.

What do the different module keys mean?

The M.2 specification defines 12 keys or notches in the M.2 card and socket interface; many are reserved for future use:

Currently defined M.2 keys (only B and M apply to M.2 SSDs)Source: All About M.2 SSDs, SNIA, June 2014.

Specifically, for M.2 SSDs, there are 3 commonly used keys:

  1. B-key edge connector can support SATA and/or PCIe protocol depending on your device but can only support up to PCIe x2 performance (1000MB/s) on the PCIe bus.
  2. M-key edge connector can support SATA and/or PCIe protocol depending on your device and can support up to PCIe x4 performance (2000MB/s) on the PCIe bus, provided that the host system also supports x4.
  3. B+M-key edge connector can support SATA and/or PCIe protocol depending on your device but can only support up to x2 performance on the PCIe bus.

The different key types are often labelled on or near the edge connector (or gold fingers) of the M.2 SSD and also on the M.2 socket.

Note that B-keyed M.2 SSDs have a different number of pins at the edge (6) compared to M-keyed M.2 SSDs (5); this asymmetrical layout prevents users from reversing the M.2 SSDs and attempting to plug a B-keyed M.2 SSD into an M-keyed socket, and vice versa.

What is the benefit of having both B+M key?

The B+M keys on an M.2 SSD allow for cross-compatibility on various motherboards if the appropriate SSDs protocol is supported (SATA or PCIe). Some motherboard host connectors may be designed only to accommodate M-key SSDs, while others may only accommodate B-key SSD. The B+M keys SSD was designed to address this issue. However, plugging an M.2 SSD into a socket will not guarantee it will work, as that will depend on having a shared protocol between the M.2 SSD and the motherboard.

How do I know which length M.2 SSDs my motherboard supports?

You should always read the motherboard/system manufacturer’s information to confirm which lengths are supported, but many motherboards will support 2260, 2280 and 22110. Many motherboards will provide a multiple retaining-screw offset, allowing a user to secure either a 2242, 2260, 2280 or even up to 22100 M.2 SSD. The amount of space on the motherboard will limit the size of M.2 SSDs that can be secured into the socket and used.

When “socket 1, 2 or 3” is referenced, what does that mean?

Different socket types are part of the M.2 specification that requires support for specific device types within a given socket.

Socket 1 is designed for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, NFC and WI Gig

Socket 2 is designed for WWAN, SSD (caching) and GNSS

Socket 3 is designed for SSDs (both SATA and PCIe, up to x4 performance)

Are M.2 SSDs hot-pluggable?

No, M.2 SSDs were not designed to be hot-pluggable. Please install and remove M.2 SSDs when the system is powered off.

Are M.2 SATA SSDs faster than standard 2.5-inch SATA or mSATA SSDs?

Performance would likely be similar; it would also depend on the specific controller inside the host system that the SSDs were using as well as the internal layout and controller of each SSD. The SATA 3.0 specification supports up to 600MB/s whether in a 2.5”, mSATA or M.2 SSD form factors.

What would happen if I connect a PCIe M.2 SSD to an SATA-only M.2 port or vice versa?

If the host system doesn’t support the PCIe protocol, the PCIe M.2 SSD will most likely not be seen by the BIOS and therefore would be incompatible with the system. Similarly, with a SATA M.2 SSD installed into a socket supporting PCIe M.2 SSDs only, the SATA M.2 SSD would not be usable.

What would happen if I connect a PCIe x4 M.2 SSD to a port that supports only PCIe x2 speeds?

The PCIe M.2 SSD would only be able to operate at PCIe x2 (2-lane functionality) speeds within that motherboard. If you purchase a motherboard that supports PCIe x4 speeds, your x4-capable M.2 SSD should work as expected within that environment. In addition, there are PCIe limitations on system boards where the total number of PCIe lanes could be exceeded, limiting the PCIe M.2 x4 SSD to either have 2 lanes or even none.

M.2 is the physical form factor. SATA and PCIe refer to the storage interface, the primary difference is performance and the protocol (language) spoken by the M.2 SSD.

The M.2 spec was designed to accommodate both a SATA and PCIe interface for SSDs. M.2 SATA SSDs will use the same controller currently on a typical 2.5” SATA SSDs. M.2 PCIe SSDs will use a controller specifically designed to support the PCIe protocol. An M.2 SSD can only support one protocol, but some systems have M.2 sockets that can support either SATA or PCIe.

Does an M.2 SSD support both SATA and PCIe?

No. An M.2 SSD will support either SATA or PCIe, but not both at the same time. In addition, system board sockets will be designated by manufacturers to support either SATA, PCIe, or in some cases, both. It is important to check your system’s manual to verify which technologies are supported.

Are M.2 PCIe SSDs faster than M.2 SATA?

The PCIe interface is faster, as the SATA 3.0 spec is limited to ~600MB/s maximum speed, while PCIe Gen 2 x2 lanes is capable of up to 1000MB/s, Gen 2 x4 lanes is capable of up to 2000MB/s, and Gen 3 x4 lanes of up to 4000MB/s.

Are Kingston SSDs built using NAND Flash or DRAM Memory?

Kingston SSDs are built using NAND Flash Memory.

What Operating Systems (OS) are supported?

Kingston SSDs are OS independent and will run on any system supporting a standard SATA interface.

Do Kingston SSDs require any special drivers?

No additional drivers are required.

Can a Kingston SSD be used in any system?

Kingston SSDs can be user-installed in any system that supports the SATA II or III interface. (SATA 3Gb/sec. and 6Gb/s)

Can Kingston SSDs be used for RAID?

• Yes, the A, E, DC, KC, HyperX, S, V and UV Series SSDs can be used in RAID configurations; however, Kingston recommends using the E and DC Series SSD for RAIDs on servers. Learn more about RAID.

Can Kingston SSDs be connected to SAS-based systems?

It is very common that SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) based systems and controllers also support SATA devices. Kingston recommends that users check with the system or controller documentation to make sure that both SATA and SAS drives are compatible. If they are, Kingston SSDs may be successfully used.

Do Kingston SSDs use Garbage Collection?

All Kingston SSDs use an intelligent and efficient garbage collection process that improves drive life with little impact on Flash endurance and is invisible to the user. Learn more about SSD garbage collection.

Do Kingston SSDs employ wear-levelling?

Kingston SSDs integrate advanced wear-levelling techniques that incorporate a block picking algorithm capable of extending flash endurance and optimizing drive life. This unique wear-levelling ensures that the individual Flash memory blocks are consumed at a very balanced rate, not to exceed a 2% difference between the most often written blocks and least written.

©2019 Kingston Technology Europe Co LLP und Kingston Digital Europe Co LLP, Kingston Court, Brooklands Close, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, TW16 7EP, England. All rights reserved. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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NVMe vs SATA vs M.2 SSD: Storage Comparison & Differences

At one point, mechanical hard drives were the single major bottleneck of every computer system. Mechanical hard drive speeds are capped at around 150 MB/s and a new approach was necessary.

From the introduction of the first SSD (solid-state drive), it was evident that it was going to be an industry changer. Today, we have advanced even further with the mass adoption of NVMe drives.

The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the development of storage options, from traditional SATA storage and its mechanical beginnings to SATA SSDs. Then dive into the NVMe interface and PCIe SSDs that offer unmatched performance.

The article describes different types of flash-based storage and provides an in-depth look into NVMe and Intel® Optane™, which is changing how modern data centers approach storage.

Traditional SATA Storage

Serial ATA (SATA) was introduced in the year 2000 as a successor to the Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA). SATA uses the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) to access data. One of the most significant features brought by AHCI is Native Command Queuing (NCQ), explicitly designed to speed up mechanical hard drives and enable hot swapping.

Note: Hot swapping is the process of removing or switching hard drives without powering off the system. Very useful for enterprise use cases.

However, it would prove that AHCI is one of two factors limiting the progress of SSDs. Namely, AHCI can work on one queue at a time, and store up to 32 pending commands. What seemed like a sensible number for slow-moving heads in mechanical hard drives is just a fraction of what NAND storage can process.

The second factor limiting transfer speeds is latency due to SATA’s indirect connection to the CPU. Since its launch, the SATA host controller interface was upgraded several times, boosting transfer rates from 150 MB/s to up to 600 MB/s. That is the maximum theoretical top speed of most high-quality solid-state drives over AHCI (in real-world workloads, most top off at 550 MB/s).

Note: The SATA Express protocol breaks through the 600 MB/s barrier. It still uses the SATA physical connector, but thanks to its use of two PCIe lanes, it performs better than regular SATA 3.0. However, its bulky connector and no drive support meant it was never really adopted by the market.

The U.2 interface is an upgraded alternative. It uses twice as more PCIe lanes than SATA Express, four (4) in total. It has established itself as an excellent option for dedicated server hosting.

Although 550 MB/s is a lot faster than a 7200-RPM hard disk drive, with the right interface and physical protocol, flash storage devices could do much better. The solution – PCI Express, a general-purpose connection bus lane with a direct connection to the CPU that offers read/write speeds of up to 1 GB/s on a single lane. PCIe was already in use for components such as GPUs, and it fit the bill perfectly. In parallel, NVMe was being developed as the interface for accessing data on PCIe SSDs.

Types of SSDs

Computer engineers had to work with obsolete physical standards and interfaces that were inadequate for SSDs. Over time, new protocols and standards were developed to get the most out of modern storage devices.

The existence of multiple physical and interface standards for flash-based storage has led to some confusion. SSDs come in all shapes and sizes, and their performance may vary. Let us take a closer look at the various types of SSDs and their corresponding interfaces.

2.5-Inch SSD (Supports the SATA Controller and AHCI)

The oldest type of SSD uses the SATA host controller interface, allowing theoretical transfer speeds of up to 600 MB/s. This is the cheapest and most available SSD on the market.

mSATA SSD (Supports the SATA Controller and AHCI)

Roughly the size of a credit card, these solid state drives are smaller than 2.5-inch SSDs. mSATA SSDs are usually found in portable devices, such as laptops, netbooks, and tablets.

M.2 SSD (Supports PCIe NVMe, AHCI, and SATA)

M.2 is a physical standard that defines the shape, dimensions, and the physical connector itself. When it comes to storage devices, it usually comes down to offering the most significant capacity in the smallest possible form-factor and at the highest possible write and read speeds. The “stick of gum memory,” or M.2, currently offers just that.

It offers by far the smallest form factor, connects seamlessly without any cables, and the bus itself powers the drive. M.2 is backward compatible with SATA/AHCI, and some M.2 ports support SATA only. Most commercially available NVMe drives use the M.2 port.

U.2 SSD (Supports PCIe NVMe, AHCI, and M.2)

The U.2 interface is an upgraded version of SATA Express. It uses up to four PCI Express lanes and was launched for enterprise use cases. U.2 SSDs are compatible with M.2 ports and can be plugged into an M.2 port using an adapter. Most importantly, NVMe solid-state drives may be manufactured as U.2 drives.

A U.2 SSD is enclosed in a 2.5-inch case, just like a traditional SATA SSD. That offers superior physical protection and cooling when compared to M.2 drives. These drives also support hot swapping, an option not supported by M.2 drives.

What is NVMe?

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, a host controller interface designed explicitly for PCIe SSDs. It features a low latency of under 250 microseconds. In simple terms, non-volatile memory does not lose its data when it is powered off, and its content is accessed in a particular way. This interface introduced an entirely new way of accessing data, allowing superior command queuing for solid-state drives.

NVMe makes use of four (4) PCI express lanes for data transfer, allowing speeds up to 4000 MB/s making it five times faster than SATA flash-based drives.

NVMe Command Queuing Done Better

Command queuing is the number of data requests a drive can process at a time. As mentioned above, the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) can handle 32 pending commands in a single queue, while Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) can process 256 commands in a single queue. Although that makes perfect sense for a mechanical hard drive with slow-moving parts, modern flash-based memory can do so much better. That is where the NVMe interface can help.

Unlike AHCI, NVMe allows up to 64 thousand queues and each queue can have up to 64 thousand commands at the same time. In return, that means NVMe needs fewer CPU cycles compared to SATA or SAS. For example, when it comes to video rendering, the faster your storage feeds your CPU, the faster it will render.

NVMe chunks up a single task into smaller actions and runs them in parallel, thus speeding up the process. It processes data much like multi-threaded CPUs that create smaller actionable items similarly. This translates to up to 440,000 random read IOPS and 360,000 random write IOPS performance at a queue depth of 32.

Note: IOPS stands for inputs/outputs per second. IOPS is a unit in which drive performance may be measured. Unlike transfer speeds, this unit is measured in integers. Bear in mind that IOPS numbers may vary depending on the workload and, much like transfer rates, vendors usually speak of maximum theoretical scores.

Command queuing, and IOPs scores are even more impressive when it comes to Intel Optane NVMe drives based on 3D XPoint technology.

Intel Optane (Supports PCIe NVME, M.2, and U.2 Form Factors)

Developed by Intel, this top of the line solid-state drive with support for NVMe addresses the gap between RAM and flash-based storage. It offers DRAM-like performance, but at the same time being less expensive per MB of storage. It features very high data density and low latency, much like DRAM, but saves and accesses data like flash storage, making it the most efficient option on the market.

The read/write speeds of Intel Optane is on par with what you can expect from NVMe SSDs. However, Optane has several other strong points:

  • Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS). Intel Optane delivers excellent performance with up to 550,000 IOPS and impressive 500,000 IOPS in 4K random reads and writes. Of course, this may vary depending on the workload, but this SSD is becoming famous for its quality of service.
  • Very Low Latency. This might not be so significant for home users, but enterprises can benefit from the low latency times of Intel Optane memory. Read speeds are consistently high, regardless of the write operations that may be running in parallel. According to Intel, read response times are below 30 microseconds on average while maintaining a 70% read and 30% write workload.
  • Reliability. It is predictably fast making it ideal for critical workloads. It maintains up to 63x better read response times than flash-based drives. Additionally, the Intel Optane DC series is designed to handle a high number of read/write cycles, displaying high endurance in Intel’s benchmarks.
  • Endurance. Due to its unique nature, Intel Optane SSDs have very high endurance of up to 60 Drive Writes per Day (DWPD). A traditional SSD with over-provisioning applied could potentially offer up to 10 DWPD, six times less than Intel’s Optane solution. Excellent storage endurance is one more reason why Intel Optane is excellent for high performance caching, which is one of the most demanding write workloads with approximately 3+ DWPD.

Note: Drive Writes per Day (DWPD) is the most common unit in which storage drive endurance is measured. DWPD is the number of times you could overwrite the drive’s entire storage capacity each day of its life. A crucial parameter for enterprise write workloads.

NVMe and Intel Optane are sure to establish a firm foothold in the data center industry. As an interface standard, NVMe resolves many of SATA’s shortcomings and enables enterprises to eliminate bottlenecks and accelerate applications. Most importantly, it provides more CPU headroom so it could support more users and apps.

The latest iteration of NVMe has introduced visualization enhancements. It defines how NVMe drives are used in a shared storage environment in which primary and secondary storage controllers exist. Besides that, NVMe is already being applied in a RAID level 0 setup for specific use cases where fast throughput is vital.

When it comes to Intel Optane, the future looks even brighter. According to benchmarks, it performs much like traditional RAM, making it remarkably fast. Servers can benefit the most from Intel’s breakthrough in storage memory. It can be used for caching, fast logging or for extending your pool of DRAM. Intel Optane offers a high-quality service with less random moments of underperformance, making it an excellent option for critical latency-sensitive workloads.

For example, Intel Optane is excellent for heavy workloads such as machine learning. It can be used in a shared memory pool with DRAM at the application or OS level, thus providing more memory at bargain prices. For data center servers, it comes in U.2 and PCIe NVMe form factors.

Summary: NVMe vs SATA Storage

The excellent performance of NVMe PCIe solid-state drives combined with the cost reduction we have seen during the past two years has been fueling the rise in NVMe usage in the enterprise setting.

Even though traditional SATA and SAS solid-state drives hold a large partition of the market, we can expect them to be pushed aside by NVMe and Intel Optane as prices go down. Flash-storage is also getting more endurable, so it would not come as a surprise if NVMe takes over a portion of the market that typically belongs to mechanical hard drives.

In conclusion, NVMe and Intel Optane will most likely be the winners in the long run. Data centers are quick to adapt and are adopting this emerging technology and offering it at fair prices. One of the cheapest tickets to the world of Intel Optane is the affordable Intel Xeon E-2100 platform for data centers.

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