Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) SSDs are the latest and greatest in storage technology.
They offer significantly faster read and write speeds than traditional SATA SSDs, and can make a big difference in the overall performance of your computer.
Browse Crucial’s range of award-winning NVMe SSDs, including the T700 with heatsink for video editing and 3D rendering, the T500 for gaming, including PlayStation 5 upgrades, and the Crucial P3 for flexible all-round use.
Upgrading an HDD to an SSD
When it comes to computer storage, there’s a simple choice between hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs).
HDDs use spinning platters and moving read/write arms to access data, while SSDs use newer flash memory for data storage.
Changing from a hard disk to an SSD offers the following advantages:
- Speed – SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs, both in terms of boot times and application loading times
- Durability – SSDs are more durable than HDDs and are less likely to be damaged by shock or vibration
- Noise – SSDs are silent, while HDDs can be quite noisy due to the spinning platters and moving heads
- Power consumption – SSDs use less power than HDDs
For a full outline of why you should look to replace an HDD with an SSD, view our article: SDD vs. HDD: Know the Difference.
NVMe vs SATA SSDs
SATA SSDs and NVMe SSDs are both solid state drives that serve the same purpose – their difference lies in the interface that they use to communicate with your computer.
- SATA SSDs use the SATA interface, which is the same interface used by traditional HDDs
- NVMe SSDs use the NVMe interface, which is a newer, faster interface specifically designed for SSDs
Newer computer motherboards are designed to support both SATA and NVMe interfaces while some older PCs might require an NVMe M.2 to SATA adapter to support an NVMe drive.
Note: if your motherboard features an M 2 slot, then this can be connected to either a SATA or NVMe SSD – but in order to work, the drive’s protocol needs to match the motherboard’s protocol: either SATA or NVMe.
Why upgrade to an NVMe SSD
NVMe SSDs are significantly faster than SATA SSDs because the PCIe bus is much faster than the SATA bus.
A typical SATA SSD has read and write speeds of around 500MB/s, while a typical NVMe SSD has read and write speeds of around 3,000MB/s.
This 5x increase in speed means:
- Faster boot times and application loading – NVMe SSDs can boot your computer up and load applications in seconds, rather than minutes
- Improved gaming performance – NVMe SSDs can reduce load times and improve overall gaming performance by providing faster access to game assets
- Increased productivity – NVMe SSDs can help you be more productive by speeding up tasks such as file transfers, video editing, and database queries
- Lower power consumption – NVMe solid state drives consume less power than SATA SSDs, which can improve battery life in laptops
NVMe SSDs are also considered to be slightly more durable than SATA SSDs and – while still more expensive – NVMe drives are becoming more affordable all the time.
Who should upgrade to an NVMe SSD
You should definitely upgrade your SATA SSD to an NVMe SSD if you use your computer for:
- Gaming: NVMe SSDs can provide faster loading times and smoother gameplay in demanding games
- Video editing: NVMe SSDs can speed up video editing tasks, such as importing and exporting footage
- 3D rendering: NVMe solid state drives can speed up 3D rendering tasks
- Creative work: NVMe SSDs can speed up creative workflows, such as graphic design and photo editing
What to look for when buying an NVMe solid state drive
When upgrading to an NVMe SSD, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Form factor – NVMe SSD drives come in a variety of form factors, including M.2, U.2, and PCIe. Make sure to choose an SSD that is compatible with your motherboard.
- Capacity – NVMe SSDs come in a variety of capacities, with Crucial SSDs ranging from 240GB to 4TB. Choose a capacity that meets your future needs, not just today’s.
- Read and write speeds – look for an SSD with high read and write speeds. The higher the speeds, the faster your computer will perform.
- Endurance – data-intensive activities (such as gaming or video production) will work your SSD harder and may make it fail more quickly. Consider SSDs with a high endurance rating.
- Warranty – make sure to choose an SSD drive with a good warranty.
Other tips for upgrading to an NVMe SSD drive
- If you can, install the NVMe SSD in a PCIe slot. This will give you the best possible performance.
- Clone your existing operating system to the NVMe SSD. This will make the upgrade process as smooth as possible.
- Update your BIOS or UEFI to the latest version. This will ensure that your motherboard has the latest support for NVMe SSDs.
- If you are not comfortable upgrading your SSD yourself, you can always take your computer to a qualified technician.
If you are looking for a way to improve the performance of your computer, upgrading to an NVMe SSD is a great option.
Like this article? Be sure to read our other SSD FAQs, including saving money by installing your own SSD, and why buying from Crucial is the smart choice.