SSD Form Factors: 2.5-inch, mSATA, M.2

Unsure which type of SSD to get? There are three form factors (types) of Crucial SSDs. Take a look at the difference.

The standard form factor for SSDs is 2.5-inch, which fits inside a computer’s hard drive bay. Since many users often replace their hard drive with an SSD, a 2.5-inch drive allows you to remove your existing hard drive and install an SSD using the same connection.

A smaller form factor for SSDs is called mSATA. Crucial mSATA SSDs are one-eighth the size of our standard 2.5-inch drives, and are designed to plug into an mSATA socket on a system’s motherboard.

The other small form factor for SSDs is called M.2, which is about the size of a stick of gum. Crucial M.2 SSDs are designed for space-constrained tablets and ultrabooks.

To determine which type(s) of Crucial SSDs are compatible with your system, use our System Scanner tool and find out in just a few clicks. Here’s more information to get you started.

  2.5-inch SSD mSATA SSD M.2 SSD
Specs & features Same Same Same
Installation SATA cable (located in hard drive bay) mSATA socket (located on motherboard) M.2 socket (located on motherboard)
Best for Laptops, desktops, servers Ultrathin laptops, Intel® NUC systems, mini ITX motherboards, desktops with an mSATA socket Tablets and ultrabooks
Target application Primary or secondary storage Primary storage in systems noted above; secondary storage (cache drive) Primary storage in tablets and ultrabooks