21 DEC

Tech Help - What are the benefits of M.2 storage?

Published by Richard Parry on 21st Dec 2018

The latest storage technology is M.2 – There’s a whole load of benefits for why you should use M.2 over traditional add-on or 2.5” SATA SSD’s.

In this article I am going to discuss the 2 main types of M.2 storage – SATA and PCIe.

Most modern motherboards support both SATA or PCIe M.2 storage, however, please do check with your board. Older boards will sometimes only support SATA and some server motherboards will only support PCIe. Some motherboards have dual M.2 ports, but only one may support SATA and the other PCIe, for example – So it’s important to check with the board you intend to use as to what it is compatible with – The quickest way to do this is to check the manufacturers website and usually there is a specifications tab which goes into detail as to how the M.2 slots will function.

Why we love M.2 storage;

  1. Low cost – An M.2 module is very small – There’s very little to it. As a result, it’s usually cheaper than that of a 2.5” SSD.
  2. Super simple to install – Just slot in and screw down. There’s no cabling to be routed.
  3. Because there’s no cabling airflow is improved, especially in tight setups such as in rackmount cases.
  4. For PCIe enabled M.2 slots – Speed. A typical 2.5” (or even M.2) SATA SSD will give around 400MBps Read/Write. A PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD will typically give a throughput of 3000MBps. This is a huge 7.5 times faster – imagine what that would do for an operating system load time and responsiveness, for example.


There are far more advantages to M.2 storage than disadvantages, but I wanted to list the few disadvantages;

  1. Although easy to install, if you have several add-on cards these will need to be removed to gain access to the M.2 slot
  2. M.2 SSD’s are passive cooled with no heatsinks on them. Sometimes hot graphics cards are installed, which sit directly above the M.2 SSD – This in our experience can cause premature failure of the SSD. If possible, we always recommend installing the M.2 SSD away from a hot graphics card. In the scenario where multiple GPUs are installed and it’s not possible to do this we often go back to a traditional 2.5” SATA SSD mounted at the front of the case.


We have an expansive catalogue of M.2 SSD’s, including SATA and PCIe NVMe on our site – Please visit https://www.servercase.co.uk/shop/components/ssd/m2-nvme/

If you would like to discuss your M.2 storage requirements, please get in touch and one of our solution specialists would be happy to help.

Tech Help - What are the benefits of M.2 storage?

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