Modern solid state drives (SSDs) are available in different form factor and even come with different interface connections. A PCIe SSD A storage device that is usually connected to a computing system via a PCIe Interface, similarly, Sata Another common interface used in a computing system for storage and peripheral connections.
PCIe SSDs are newer and more technologically advanced than SATA SSDs, but this does not mean that users should always choose PCIe SSDs over SATA SSDs. Both types of SSDs have specific advantages and users should choose the one that suits their needs. You will find both interfaces among the best SSDs available in the market. Here, we will discuss how both interfaces differ from each other for an SSD.
What is a PCIe SSD?
PCIe or Peripheral Component Interconnect Express SSDs are more desirable and expensive than SATA SSDs. The PCIe SSD has a more direct connection to your system’s motherboard. It is commonly used with devices that require a very fast data connection – such as a graphics card. However, PCIe SSDs can also be used as data storage drives.
PCIe 3.0 claims an effective transfer speed of 985MB / s per lane. Since PCIe devices can support up to 16x lanes, it has the potential to create transfer speeds of up to 15.76GB / s. The pace of migration has also increased with each passing generation. PCIe 4.0 almost doubles the speed of 32GB / s, while PCIe 5.0 quadruples it to a whopping 64GB / s, which is impossible for a SATA SSD to deliver.
Theoretically, a PCIe SSD with 16x lanes is one to 25 times faster SATA SSD, But users will not find a commercial SSD with many data lanes Which are widely available, support 2x and 4x data lanes, which can give maximum transfer speeds close to 3.94GB / s. However, if you’re playing a video game and want faster loading speed when starting a game or changing maps, both SSD interfaces offer almost the same speed. Users will only be able to notice the difference between PCIe and SATA when transferring large files which usually takes some time.
PCIe SSD can affect battery life
PCIe SSDs will not affect battery life if you do full CPU or RAM-intensive activities such as browsing the web, working in Google Docs, or sending emails. Since these activities do not involve a lot of data transfer, you will not notice much difference between SATA and PCIe SSD. However, if you are constantly reading and transferring data, PCIe SSDs will consume more power and drain battery life faster.
How is PCIe AHCI SSD different from PCIe NVMe SSD?
AHCI and NVMe are two different values of PCIe SSD. If you have to choose between these two values, it is best to go with NVMe. Using the AHCI standard, the PCIe SSD may not perform to its maximum potential because it is designed for HDD and SATA. Whereas, the NVMe standard was specifically designed to improve PCIe SSDs.
What is a SATA SSD?
SATA or Serial ATA is another connection interface that SSD uses to communicate data with your system. The SATA interface was created in 2003 and cemented its place as one of the most widely used connection types. SATA SSDs tend to work with every desktop or laptop, even if the hardware is a decade old.
SATA SSDs offer lower performance than PCIe SSDs
SATA 3.0 is the most common form of SSD, which theoretically offers a transfer speed of 6Gb / s (750MB / s). However, for some physical overheads that occur when encoding data that needs to be transferred, it provides a transfer speed of 4.8Gb / s (600MB / s). Although this speed is really fast, it is not even close to the transfer speed that PCIe SSDs provide. To get an idea for the average user, a SATA SSD can transfer data worth a whole CD per second, faster than any HDD offers.
SATA SSD is cheaper
SATA SSDs are more budget-friendly than PCIe SSDs, and the price difference between the two interfaces is significant. Nevertheless, both drives are SSDs and generally have the same capabilities, but SATA SSDs are available at about half the price of PCIe SSDs.
PCIe SSD vs SATA SSD: Which is better?
Two key factors will help you determine which SSD interface you should choose. These two factors are your budget and your performance expectations. If budget is a concern you can choose a SATA SSD, but if you need better performance for frequent file transfers then you need to go for PCIe SSD. Both SATA and PCIe SSDs offer much better transfer speeds than HDDs, so any interface would be an upgrade if you currently use an HDD.