SSDs are available in a variety of configurations, and we’re not talking about storage capacity. SATA SSDs and NVMe SSDs are the two types of SSDs available in terms of technology.
The difference in SSD configuration, like hard drives with a higher RPM, will determine how fast it is. An NVMe SSD will be four times faster than a SATA SSD on average.
Identify SATA SSD or NVMe SSD
You can check the packaging of an SSD to see if an SSD is SATA or NVMe if you’re buying a new system or new hardware for your system. They also appear to be different, but in order to identify the drives, you must first know what differences to look for.
1. Google SSD make and model
This is the most accurate method for determining the type of SSD you have. It will work even if you are unable to open the laptop or desktop chassis to inspect the hard drive.
- Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
- Go to the Performance tab.
- Select your disk.
- At the top right, note down the name of the manufacturer and model.
- Visit Google, input the manufacturer name, the model number, and add the keyword ‘specs’ after it.
- Check the official website for the manufacturer that will appear in the search results to see what type of SSD you have.
2. Use third-party apps
Assuming you’ve already purchased and installed the SSD, you can determine its type using a variety of tools. However, this method isn’t as accurate as the previous one.
- Download HWiNFO and run/install it (the app has a portable version).
- Expand Buses.
- Select PCI Bus (if there is more than one, you will have to go through each).
- Look through the devices that are connected to a PCI slot.
- Next, expand Drives from the column on the left.
- Select your disk.
- In the pane on the right, look for ‘Form Factor’ and note the value down.
- Download and run an app called SSD-Z.
- On the Device tab, note down the Speed value.
Now that you have this information, you can use the steps below to figure out what kind of SSD you have.
- If the form factor is 2.5′, you DO NOT have an NVMe SSD.
- If the form factor is M.2 and no PCI slot lists your SSD, you may have an NVMe drive or you may have a SATA drive. Here, you need to Google the speed value you got from SSD-Z as that will be the deciding factor.
- Also If the form factor is M.2 and a PCI slot is in use, it is possible you have an NVMe drive. Again, check its speed to find out.
My system appears to have an M.2 SATA SSD based on all of this information. This is only part of the truth. My SSD isn’t an M.2 model. It measures 2.5 inches in length. Even the best third-party tools aren’t very good at detecting information about SSDs.
Which SSD should you buy?
It’s now a matter of deciding which type of SSD to purchase.
Speed: Buy an NVMe SSD if you want the fastest SSD available. If you’re building a gaming PC, or if you want to use it for 3D printing or modeling, or if you want to do animation work, this is the one to get.
Cost & speed: Buy a good quality M.2 SATA SSD if you want a fast SSD but don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. It won’t be as fast as an NVMe SSD, but it will outperform a 2.5-inch SSD. Because the price difference between the two is minor, a small price increase will get you better hardware.
Most people will tell you to get an SSD, which is sound advice, but few people realize that there are different types of SSDs, and those types deliver different performance speeds. NVMe SSDs are significantly faster than SATA SSDs. The difference is similar to switching from an HDD to an SSD, possibly even better, but it’s a pricey storage upgrade.