M2 vs SATA: What Storage Type Is the Best for Your Needs?

M2 vs SATA: What Storage Type Is the Best for Your Needs?

02:22 AM March 19, 2019

As computer technology attains a more advanced stage of development, the need for smaller components with corresponding high storage capacity increases. The computer industry is familiar with SATA and M.2, though the latter was recently introduced.

Both provide a broad spectrum of benefits for users depending on personal computing requirements. In this case, we’re examining which of the storage types suits your individual needs.

What is M.2?

The M.2 SSD specification Is a solid-state drive, commonly pronounced as M-dot-two, and it is formerly known as the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF). The specification is a multi-purpose connector designed for internally mounted computer add-in cards, and to enhance high-performance storage in thinner and lighter devices such as a tablet or Ultra Book computer.


M.2 SSDs are intended as replacement for the mSATA standard, and they have a relatively smaller size compared to mSATA. Apart from the size factor, M.2 series have faster speeds and a larger storage capacity than mSATA. M.2 is capable of reaching a speed of 32gigabytes per second, while SATA ‘s maximum is 6 gigabytes per second, which is quite an interesting feature. Meaning that the M.2 SSDs can process 5 to 6 times faster than a SATA 3 SSD.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The dimension of M.2 SSDs can be determined by reading the four- or five-digit number in its name. For example, an M.2 Type-2280 means 80 X 20mm (length X Breadth). Actually, the Type-2280 is the most common of the M.2 series. Though the M.2 series exist in several capacity sizes ranging from gigabytes (GB) to terabytes (TB), it also takes up to a capacity of 2 Terabytes in storage size.

An M.2 SSD module supports both SATA and PCIe, while a M.2 module may only be inserted in either one of the two interfaces, so the choice of module strictly depends on the type of motherboard. M.2 series don’t only support SATA, they also support USB 3.O, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and near field communications (NFC).

What is SATA?

SATA, an acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, is a bus interface that connects SSDs, hard disk drives (HDD), and optical drives. Just as M.2 SSD was designed as an alternative to SATA, SATA was also an alternative to PATA, Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment.

The succession in storage type is basically due to the size and speed of the data transfers as stated above. SATA successfully replaced PATA because of its user-friendly features. It had a faster speed and better performance. It also has a slimmer and simpler cabling design. SATA’s speed is 60 MB per second whereas PATA is 133 MB per second.

A major feature of SATA is the hot-plug support. It allows users to attach or remove a SATA storage device when the system is active, without resulting in any side issues. SATA is directly compatible with previous standard’s drivers.

SATA cables are long, 7-pin cables.


Related Articles

Facial Recognition: Coming to a Gadget near You

Cool Tech Gifts: Tech Gadgets That Fill a Real Need

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Choosing Between M.2 and SATA?

M.2 and SATA have many similarities in features, however each storage has a unique feature when compared to the other. Both are Solid State Drives, but M.2 supports storage and non-storage usage, while SATA is only for storage purposes. Meaning, if a user wants a device storage that is multi-purpose, it is preferable to pick an M.2 storage device.

Faster speed:

For a user that requires a faster processor with efficient performance for gaming, photoshop, and other software, a M.2 storage device is the best recommendation. As stated above, M.2 is 5 to 6 times faster than SATA. SATA’s maximum speed capacity is 6 gigabytes per second, while that of M.2 is at 32 gigabytes per second.

Size of Storage Device:

The physical size is another point of consideration. If the user requires a small size storage device with high performance, then M.2 is the right choice to make. M.2 was specifically designed to reduce the overall size of storage devices. The reduction was achieved by making the M.2 cards narrower with a dimension of 22 mm width, compared to the 30mm width of SATA. There is also a possibility to increase the length of M.2 to 110mm to provide more space and improve capacity. M.2 cuts the cord completely, though SATA storage device has slimmer cables than PATA M.2.

Improved Power Consumption:

Solid state drives provide a significant improvement in the reduction of energy consumption and enhanced battery life. As computer technology advances, more computer systems are designed to sleep whenever the system is closed or turned off, so the data can remain active and easy for data recovery when the system is turned on.

Our Verdict

To conclude the analysis, after reading all of the above information, one should be fully aware of the benefits and limitations of each storage device: M.2 and SATA. M.2 offers several benefits spanning from faster processing speed to smaller component size, with additional high-performance capacity. It appears reliable for a variety of computer tasks, such as easy booting, gaming, and video-editing. However, the choice of storage device is dependent on the user’s need for performance or computing functionality. It is advisable for anyone who intends to run heavy task programs on the computer system to go for an M.2 SSD rather than SATA.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
TAGS: hard drives
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.