Are you confused about whether your SSD comes with a data and power cable? Well, it depends on the kind of SSD installed in your system.
If you have a SATA 2.5″ SSD, you will require a SATA data cable to connect it to the motherboard and a power cable to connect to PSU. However, if your SSD is M.2 or NVMe M.2, you won’t need wires as they connect directly to the M.2 port on the motherboard to get power and data connections.
SSDs are becoming increasingly popular due to their reliability as the primary computer storage device. One of the benefits of SSDs is that they are much faster than traditional hard drives.
In this article, we will guide you on what cables you need for SSD and whether you require them or not.
Cables for SSD
There are two types of SSDs: the SATA SSD and NVMe SSD.
SATA SSD uses the SATA interface, whereas the NVMe works with the PCIe interface. The two main form factors for the SSDs are 2.5″ and M.2. Therefore, the type and form factor help you find out if you need any cables with your SSD or not.
SATA 2.5″ SSD
SATA 2.5″ is 2 to 3 times faster than the HDD and has a theoretical speed of up to 750 Mbps. Its practical speed, however, is 550 Mbps. This SSD has a 2.5″ form factor, the same as an HDD on a laptop.
Based on its form factor and interface, this SSD requires two cables to connect to your computer motherboard.
SATA Power Cable
As SATA 2.5″ SSD needs power, it requires a 15-pin SATA power cable. This cable comes with two ends; one plugs into the power supply unit, while the other plugs into the SATA 2.5″ SSD.
SATA Data Cable
A SATA data cable comes with two identical ends; one connects to the 2.5″ SSD, while the other connects to the SATA port on the motherboard.
The SATA data cable is often provided with the motherboard, while the SATA power cable is supplied with the PSU.
SATA Ports and SSD Speed
To get the best speed with the SATA SSD, you must connect it to the latest SATA 3 port. The speed of each newer SATA version increases the transfer speed 2x times as compared to the previous version.
- SATA 1 offers a transfer speed of 187.5 Mbps or 1.5 Gbps.
- SATA 2 offers a transfer speed of 375 Mbps or 3.0 Gbps.
- SATA 3 offers a transfer speed of 750 Mbps or 6.0 Gbps.
If you plug your SATA 2.5″ SSD into an older SATA 2 port, its transfer speed will become half of the original speed.
SATA M.2 SSD and NVMe M.2 SSD
SATA M.2 SSD uses form factor M.2 and has a SATA interface. Its practical speed is similar to a SATA 2.5″ SSD (i.e., 550 Mbps).
NVMe SSD, on the other hand, uses the PCIe interface and M.2 form factor. It is much faster than the SATA SSDs and the most expensive. The speed of NVMe SSD differs from PCIe generation to generation, with the highest speed up to 5500 Mbps.
These SSDs do not require cable and only need an M.2 port on the motherboard to connect. They receive their power from the motherboard and do not need any data cable.
As the SATA M.2 SSD and NVMe M.2 SSD use the same form factor (i.e., M.2), you can differentiate them as follows.
- SATA M.2 SSD uses B+M Key Socket.
- NVMe M.2 SSD uses M Key Socket.
Unlike HDDs, SSDs do not have spinning platters and rely on flash memory to store data. This gives SSDs many advantages in terms of speed, reliability, and power consumption. SSDs are also more durable and are not as susceptible to damage from drops or other physical shocks.
In this guide on what cables I need for SSD, we discussed the different types of SSDs and whether you need the cables for your SSD or not. We also explained the SSD drive’s form factors, interface, and speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
A 1TB SSD is more than enough storage space for most gamers. You’ll be able to store around 100 games without any problems.
But, if you’re a gaming fanatic who tends to download many large game files, you may want to consider getting an SSD with much larger storage space.
The number of SATA drives you can connect to your motherboard depends on the number of SATA ports and the number of SATA cables you have. Most motherboards have four SATA ports to connect up to four SATA drives, and some motherboards may have more than four SATA ports. If not, you can use a SATA controller card to add more ports.