Written by Gijs

What type of SSD do you need in your laptop?

Nearly all laptops have an SSD nowadays. PCIe, NVMe, SATA, and M.2. These are all terms you may see when looking at the SSD specifications of a laptop. But what are the differences between these? In this article, I'll explain it to you and tell you what to keep in mind when purchasing a laptop.

Type of SSDs.


SSD next to a laptop.

SATA SSDs are the first generation of SSDs. They can reach a read speed of up to 570MB per second. These first-generation SSDs are generally 5 times faster than a traditional HDD. The most common SATA variant in laptops is a 2.5-inch SSD. These SSDs start your laptop within 15 seconds and load large games within mere moments.


NVMe SSD next to a laptop.

NVMe is a protocol that allows you to reach even higher speeds than with a SATA SSD. This means an NVMe SSD can reach a read speed of 2600MB per second. That's almost 5 times as fast as a SATA drive! Do you use large zip files a lot? If so, we recommend a laptop with NVMe M.2.

Types of connectors

M.2 connector

SSD next to a laptop.

The M.2 connector makes sure an SSD can reach higher read and write speeds. This means an NVMe SSD can be used optimally and reach speeds of over 2600MB per second. When a motherboard doesn't have a M.2 connector, an NVMe SSD is connected via a PCIe card that has a M.2 connector. That's why some laptops have a PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. If the motherboard does have a direct M.2, you'll see SATA M.2 or NVMe M.2.

PCIe connector

SSD next to a laptop.

Video cards on the motherboard can also be connected by a PCIe connector. When a NVMe SSD is connected to this, it is equipped with the maximum bandwidth and can get the maximum speed from an NVMe SSD. You only notice a difference in speed when you work with large files of 50GB or bigger. Starting Windows and games is just as fast as it is with a traditional SSD.


For daily use and playing games, a SATA SSD is more than sufficient. With a SATA, you get the most GB for your buck. Do you want the best of the best or do you work with huge files? If so, we recommend an NVMe SSD. Carefully consider what you want to use the laptop for.

© 1999 - 2021 - Coolblue B.V.
Customer rating: 9.2 / 10 - 23,418 reviews