SSDs are Solid State Drives that provide much faster data transfer rates than hard disc drives.
Before we go into the question, let’s discuss the SSD interface. An interface is a slot or location on a motherboard where an SSD may be attached to the system, either through a cable or directly via PCIe.
When it comes to interfaces, they may be classified into two types:
Physical Interface: Those interfaces or form factors by which components connect to the system, or more precisely, the motherboard. For instance, SATA and PCIe.
Logical Interface: Those architectural algorithms that operate inside those components to improve performance. For instance, NVMe.
Now, let us resume the question.
When we refer to a standard SSD, we refer to one having a SATA interface, which is the logical interface via which the SSD will connect to the motherboard through a SATA cable or via PCIe (M.2 comes under PCIe Interface). Thus, the question arises as to what NVMe SSD signifies.
Thus, NVMe SSD refers to a solid-state drive having an NVMe logical interface paired with an M.2 physical interface or form factor. NVMe is a Logical Architectural Algorithm that operates inside the SSD and utilises the M.2 interface to give the fastest data transfer rate possible.
NVMe SSDs are those that employ the NVMe Logical Interface Technology and the M.2 Physical Interface (since M.2 is the fastest physical interface technology available to date) to provide faster data transfer rates than standard SSDs that connect through the SATA interface (SATA SSDs use the SATA 3 connector).
It differs from standard SSDs, i.e. SSDs using a SATA interface, in that it supports higher data transfer rates than standard SATA SSDs. The maximum data transfer rate for read/write operations on a SATA 3 SSD is 530/500 MB/s. The writing speed of the NVMe M.2 SSD is very fast, reaching up to 3500 mb/s.
A conventional SSD connects through the SATA interface and is consequently restricted to the SATA transfer speeds. It’s about six times quicker than a standard hard disc. PCIe, which is faster than SATA, is used by the NVMe SSD. Depending on the disc, an NVMe SSD maybe three to four times faster than a conventional SSD. It’s impossible to detect a significant difference in load times, bootup/shutdown durations, game start timings, or anything for regular work. If you often deal with huge files, such as video editing, you may notice a difference.
NVMe enables the device to be directly attached to the host computer’s PCIe lanes, allowing for faster transfer rates than SATA 3, limited to 6Gbps. It was much slower in practice. This was OK for spinning hard drives, but SSDs have reached a point where the SATA connection becomes a bottleneck for increased transfer rates.
Along with the increased data transfer speeds enabled by the underlying technology, NVMe removes some of the wasteful protocol overhead associated with SATA, which was built for the era of much slower rotational discs.
Finally, NVMe drives in the consumer space are frequently provided in a form factor that eliminates the need for the drive’s oversized packaging and instead allows for the direct connection of a small and simple “M.2” circuit board to the motherboard, thus eliminating the drive’s packaging, cabling, and physical connector costs.