9 Differences Between NVMe and SSD

One who is new to computing will not know what is the difference between an SSD and an NVM Express though both these play a significant role in storing digital data but in a different way.

If you have to make a choice between the two, it will be quite hard for you to make one without knowing the differences between them.

Well, assistance is on your way in this article that enlists all the major differences between them and some additional bits of information to decide which is better to use.


  • The Solid State Drives are usually flash storage devices that are non volatile in nature and come with Integrated Circuits and flash memory. NVM Express is typically a protocol that allows faster access to data.
  • The read and write speed of an NVM Express is much higher at 2000 MB per second as opposed to 600 MB per second of the SSDs.
  • The SSDs can operate at a low power due to its design but the NVM Express consumes a lot of power to operate.
  • Though data is encrypted in it, the SSDs are considered to be less secure than the NVM Express that offers much better data encryption.
  • The SSDs typically carry out a single query or command at a time but the NVMe can execute several queries and commands simultaneously making them faster due to reduced latency while fetching results.

The 9 Differences Between NVMe and SSD

Differences Between NVMe and SSD

1. Full Form and Definition

The full form of SSD is Solid State Drive. SSD is a storage solution that stores data as a secondary storage device.

On the other hand, the full form of NVMe is Non Volatile Memory Express. This is an open logical-device interface specification. In simple terms, it is an interface protocol and not a device.

2. Characteristics

SSDs are typically non-volatile, flash-based storage devices that use flash memory and Integrated Circuits or ICs to store data persistently.

SSDs are a part of hardware and can be used in almost all electronic devices such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

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NVMe, on the other hand, is a software interface or a protocol. It allows accessing the data stored in a computer at a high speed. You can install this software on your computer.

3. Age

The SSDs are types of storage that were invented before the NVMe. The first SSD was introduced by SanDisk in 1991 and could store only up to 20 MB of data.

In comparison, the NVMe technology is more modern and advanced. The first NVMe interface was developed by NVM Express, which is how it got the name, but was introduced almost a decade later in 2011.

4. Speed

The read and write speed of an SSD is 600 MB per second which is much slower than the NVMe.

On the other hand, the read and write speed of the NVMe is 2000 MB per second which is more than double the speed of an SSD storage device.

5. Power Efficiency

The design of the SSD enables it to function at low power. On the other hand, the NVMe consumes a lot of power while operating as well as when it is in the standby mode.

6. Security       

The SSDs are considered to be less secure in spite of the fact that the data can be encrypted in it.

On the other hand, the NVMe is considered to be more secure than the SSDs because it comes with security solutions of the industry standard and allows far better encryption of data.

7. Cost Efficiency

In terms of cost, the SSD storage devices are far cheaper in comparison to the NVMe.

On the other hand, the NVMe is far more expensive in comparison to the SSD devices.

8. Compatibility

You can use the SSD storage devices with almost every device since it is more compatible.

On the other hand, you will not be able to use NVMe on any device because it needs an M.2 port and will not fit well into a SATA port.

9. Command Execution

The SSDs can only execute one command or query at a time. This increases latency and makes it a bit slow in performance.

On the other hand, the NVMe can handle multiple commands and queries at the same time. This makes an NVMe faster when it comes to fetching results.

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Which is Better – NVMe or SSD?

The simple answer to this would be – it depends.

If an SSD is useful to you it may not be for others and if NVMe is useful to someone, it may not be in your case.

Therefore, the answer to this question lies in the distinctive features of each as well as your needs.

The SSDs or Solid State Drives are considered to be a suitable replacement for the Hard Disk Drives or HDDs with a spinning disc in computer systems and a big development in the storage media.

Since this does not contain a movable disc inside, it is much faster and has much lower latency as well.

The SSDs do not need a spinning disc because it mainly consists of Not And or NAND memories.

It is its design that enables it to offer a higher performance and increases the level of performance of the system overall.

Another big reason to favor an SSD by the computer users is its higher durability in comparison to the HDDs.

Once again, the primary reason for it is the absence of movable parts inside it.

Therefore, it is more resistant to shocks and also does not emit any noise while operating.

The earlier SSDs used SATA interface because the HDDs used the same interface of which these were the drop-in replacements.

This reduced the cost of it but at the same time it also reduced the full potential of the SSDs in terms of speed.

This was because the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA interfaces were typically designed for HDDs.

Later on, the SSDs were designed with a Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCIe interface.

This increased the speed and allowed faster transfer of data between the motherboard and the device.

However, PCIe had its own challenges in spite of the fact that it enhanced the performance significantly.

It typically did not have any specific protocol or standard to ensure effective management of transfer of data. This is where the NVMe comes in.

NVMe or Non Volatile Memory Express is a specific interface protocol which is highly scalable and can offer higher performance.

It is primarily designed to support the PCIe SSDs enabling these devices to work as flash memories and not imitate HDDs while using the Small Computer System Interface or SCSI or SATA interface.

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Therefore, in short, an NVMe drive is better in the sense that it allows access a lot faster.

This is because it can communicate with the computer directly and also offers a lot more bandwidth.

As for the SSDs, you will get different types of them such as:

  • 2.5” SATA
  • M.2 SATA
  • mSATA and
  • Card-format PCIe.

Out of all these types, the NVMe happens to come with the fastest read and write speeds being a newer protocol.

While the mid-range and low level NVMes may have a speed of up to 3500 MB per second, the costlier and high-end ones can attain a read and write speed as high as 3 GB/s and 1 GB/s, respectively.

And, if you are looking for lower latency, as said earlier, you should choose an NVMe because it comes with a controller that can process 2000 extra commands to and from the drive.

The performance can be optimized by using an NVMe drive that uses a PCIe bus instead of a SATA.

Typically, when it comes to choosing between NVMe and SSD, it largely depends on your needs.

If you work with large files, NVMe is a better option.

Also, if you are building a storage intensive server or a high-end gaming computer and do not have any budget restrictions, you should choose an NVMe drive. And, an SSD is best to use if you do not need much storage space.

Therefore, to sum up, choose an NVMe if you want:

  • A large storage space
  • A newer protocol
  • A high performance
  • Reduced latency
  • A faster data transfer rate
  • A lighter and smaller option
  • To increase battery life of a laptop or other portable devices and
  • A more responsive storage option.

An SSD is good for those looking for a cheaper storage solution.


So, these are the major differences between an SSD and NVMe that were unknown to you for so long.

You will surely find it easier to make a choice between the two when it is needed, thanks to the additional knowledge you have gained through this article.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, a UOPEOPLE graduate is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin