SSDs are fast, and we all know it. While fast charging isn’t that necessary in all games, for some online games, it’s a must. There are so many SSDs on the market, but two of them are the most common. M.2, which looks like a pack of gum, and the 2.5″ ones that look like laptop hard drives. So, the first thing you need to know before making a decision is whether the M.2 is better than an SSD.
The speed of an SSD depends on the interface and protocol, not the form factor. Most M.2 SSDs use the PCIe interface; they are generally considered faster than 2.5″ SSDs, which use SATA. However, there are quite a few exceptions.
SSD size, speed, etc., are derived from many factors, and it is not a small issue. But you won’t have to go through all of them. You can easily decide which SSD is faster and which one you should get if you know some fundamentals.
These are the basics of SSD-related knowledge, so I urge you to stay until the end!
Is M.2 really faster than a 2.5″ SSD?
First, let me clarify the difference between form factor and interface. Then you will easily understand which is faster and which one you should choose.
Form factor “
Form factor” means the size and shape of the SSD. The size of any computer component matters, even on desktops. You might think that desks have so much space that they can accommodate oversized components.
But that’s not true. Mini ITX motherboards and enclosures are designed to be compact and easily placed in tight spaces.
Therefore, there are SSDs of various sizes available in the market. What you get depends on your motherboard and the shape of the case. SSDs are available in two main form factors: M.2 and 2.5″. Let me briefly explain both
: M.2 SSDs are shaped like cards. Not so thick, of course. While the shape remains the same, M.2 SSDs are available in a few different sizes, such as 2280, 2242, 2260, etc. 2280 means 22×80mm. You know the rest.
2.5″: 2.5″ is the size of portable hard drives, smaller than typical 3.5″ desktop hard drives. 2.5 indicates the width of the SSD. They are more important than M.2 SSDs but cheaper, which is why many people use 2.5″ SSDs.
The interface means how you connect the SSD to your motherboard. There’s a lot more to the interface than that, but this is the basic concept. The interface determines the speed of the SSD, not the form factor.
There are two SSD interfaces commonly used in computers; Advanced Serial Technology Connection, SATA, and Peripheral Component Express Interconnect or PCIe. Let’s break it down a bit
: SATA: SATA
SSDs connect to the motherboard via SATA ports. The 1st generation SATA offered a transfer rate of 1.5 Gb/s. The current generation 3rd SATA or SATA has a speed of 6 Gb/s. Almost all 2.5″ SSDs connect to the motherboard via a SATA interface and offer a maximum read/write speed of 550/650 MBps. So, in general, 2.5″ SSDs offer less speed.
PCIe: SSDs that connect using the PCIe interface are NVME SSDs. You may wonder what the difference is between PCIe and NVME. Non-volatile memory express, or NVME, is the technology used in the SSD, while PCIe is the technology used in the motherboard slot where the SSD is connected. There is a more detailed explanation, but that’s all for now.
PCIe can deliver speeds of up to 24 Gb/s, four times faster than SATA. NVME SSDs offer speeds of up to 7000 and 6000 MBps. Most M.2 SSDs connect via the PCIe interface, although there are many M.2 SSDs that use the SATA interface.
This is where the confusion arises. Because most M.2 SSDs use NVME technology for ultra-fast speeds, M.2 SSDs are frequently referred to as the fastest. But little do they know that M.2 SSDs can also be SATA, which does not use NVME technology. Therefore, they are much slower.
Is M.2 better than SSD for gaming?
NVME SSDs are
faster, and faster SSDs are always better for gaming. Some games load pretty fast on hard drives. But some multiplayer titles can’t be played without an SSD, like PUBG. The match will start while you wait on the loading screen. Opting for a faster storage drive is a wiser decision for games like this.
Although most games will run exceptionally well on SATA SSDs, I recommend opting for a faster NVME SSD if you’re on the budget. If you can’t, get a fast SATA SSD. Check the specifications before purchasing.
Do games benefit from M.2?
Gaming doesn’t benefit from SSD, only the user does. If you use a fast SSD, you won’t have to wait through those boring loading screens in single-player games. You’ll spend more time playing and finish your favorite games faster.
The benefit is even more significant in online gaming. Nothing can be more boring than waiting for that squad member to charge. If you’re in a pile with your friends, they’ll wait. But if you’re playing with random, most of the time, they won’t. They either walk out of the lobby or kick you out.
Even if you’re playing alone, slow loading can be problematic. As I said, PUBG is a game that does not take slow chargers kindly.
I have first-hand experience of how the game begins: get on the plane, jump out of the plane, and die without firing a single shot. All this happened while waiting on the loading screen.
Slow hard drives can also cause stuttering, especially in open-world games. If the reason is a storage device, an NVME SSD will solve that problem. Using a fast NVME SSD is imperative for optimal performance and a satisfying experience.
Does M.2 increase FPS?
No, SSDs do not increase FPS. The graphics card, CPU, and game optimization work in unison to determine the FPS. GPU is the main factor, followed by CPU and RAM. But there’s no room to deny the need for a quality SSD.
There was a time when slow storage wasn’t a problem. But nowadays, a good and fast SSD is unparalleled for gaming. It has become so prominent that the two main consoles, PlayStation and Xbox, have used SSDs as a storage device in the most recent generation, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S. The previous generation also had upgradeable storage options.
have become an irreparable part of gaming. Any SSD can do the job, but good quality ones can complement your already amazing gaming rig in the best way. Now that you know the answers:i’s M.2 better than SSD for gaming, don’t think twice to get one if you can.