PC ComponentsStorage

How Much Faster Is M2 Than SSD?

Computer Drive

The speed of processing tasks and loading programs depends on the theoretical top transfer speed of the solid-state drive, which varies with design and type. If you have a SATA SSD installed in your system, you might wonder if it is faster than an M.2 SSD and worth upgrading.  

Quick Answer

The M.2 PCIe SSD can transfer at a speed of 4GB per second, while a standard SATA SSD has a maximum theoretical top transfer speed of 600 MB per second. The PCIe support M.2 SSD to use NVMe protocol, which allows faster data transfer compared to SATA SSDs.

This article will define how much faster M.2 is than SSD. We will also discuss three methods to check solid-state drive speed on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

How Much Faster Is M2 Than SSD?

The M.2 SSD has a maximum speed of 4GB per second, which is six times faster than the SATA SSD, which only transfers data at 600MB per second.

The PCIe support enables M.2 SSD to use non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol that also supports PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0, and USB 3.0 slots. Data transferred through these protocols have reduced latency and increased input/output operations per second.

Regarding size, M.2 SSD has a smaller form factor and stores more data than SATA SSD, making them an ideal option for thin handheld devices like tablets.


The largest M.2 SSD supports a maximum of 2 terabytes of storage capacity, lower than the 2.5-inch SSDs drives.

Benefits of M.2 Over SATA SSDs

Each hardware component is designed to outperform its predecessor, and the same goes for M.2 SSDs for the following reasons.

  • M.2 SSDs have a thin form factor that offers a cleaner PC setup with fewer cable connections.
  • The M.2 SSDs can be plugged directly into the PCIe of your motherboard, which consumes less room and requires no dedicated tray for holding it.
  • M.2 SSDs offer reduced latency and better performance than SATA SSD, resulting in low power consumption.
  • M.2 NVMe SSDs are best for workloads that require a lot of hard drive reading and writing by clocking in 1GB per second speed on the low end. 

Checking SSD Speed on Computer

Now that you know how much faster M.2 is than SATA SSD, our three step-by-step methods will help you test the speed of the SSD installed in your system. You can decide to upgrade your SSD to a faster one based on the results.  

Method #1: Testing SSD Speed on Windows

The Command Prompt can test the SSD Speeds on the Windows operating system by following these easy steps:

  1. Press the “Windows” key on the keyboard and type “Command Prompt” in the search box.
  2. Right-click on the “Command Prompt” icon and click on the “Run as Administrator” option.
  3. Launch “Command Prompt,” type the “winsat disk -ran -write -drive c:” command.
  4. Press the “Enter” key, and the SSD speed will appear in MB/s next to the “Disk Random” section.
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If you have multiple SSDs attached to your computer system, you can type the name of the other drive’s partition next to the “winsat disk -ran -write –drive” command instead of typing “C” in the end.

Method #2: Testing SSD Speed on Linux

The Terminal is an integrated program in the Linux operating system that performs the same as Window’s Command Prompt, and you can use it to test hard drive speeds following these methods.

Step #1: Testing the Write Speed

Navigate to the Terminal from the menu on Linux and open it. Type the “sync; dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=1M count=1024; sync” command next to the “$” sign and press “Enter” key. The write speed of your SSD drive will appear on the Terminal in MB/s.

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Step #2: Testing the Read Speed

You can also test the read speed of your M.2 SSD using the Terminal. To do this, type the “sudo /sbin/sysctl -w vm.drop_caches=3” command and press the “Enter” key to clear the cache from temporary files

Once the temporary cache is cleared, type the command “dd if=tempfile of=/dev/null bs=1M count=1024” and press the “Enter” key. The reading speed of your SSD will appear on the Terminal below the command.

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Method #3: Testing SSD Speed on macOS

You can check the reading and writing speed of the storage hardware using a third-party application on macOS following these easy steps:

  1. Download and install the Novabench benchmark software for macOS.
  2. Run the Novabench software from the applications on your macOS.
  3. Click on the “Start Benchmark Tests” option to run a complete hardware test of your system.
  4. Wait for a few minutes for the test to complete.
  5. Under the “Disk Score,” you’ll find your SSD drives “Write Speed” and “Read Speed” in MB/S.
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In this article about how much faster is M.2 than a SATA SSD, we mentioned the statistical figures to compare the speeds of both storage drives. 

We have also discussed some effective methods to test the solid-state drives’ reading and writing speeds on different operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. 

We hope that you can now clearly tell the difference in speed between an M.2 and SATA SSD and can quickly monitor the speed of the SSD installed in your system.

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