USB 3.1, NVME SSD, Type C, USB C, storage enclosure
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Adds extra storage space to USB 3.1 enabled computers
USB C to M.2 NVMe PCIe Enclosure
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SmallRig M.2 SSD Enclosure SD-01 3479
SmallRig M.2 SSD Enclosure SD-01 3479
1. 10Gbps M.2 NVME&NGFF dual-protocol high-speed hard drive enclosure.
2. It is specially optimized for the camera systems and highly compatible with existing brands of cameras.
3. Equipped with aluminum alloy body and with excellent dissipation performance.
4. Compatible with SmallRig Quick Release Baseplate for M.2 SSD Enclosure 3478, easy disassembly and assembly.
5. Compatible with Windows / Mac / Linux /Android multi-platform operating system.
SmallRig M.2 SSD Enclosure SD-01 3479
SmallRig M.2 SSD Enclosure SD-01 with a wide application range and excellent performance is made of aluminum alloy as a whole and its good heat dissipation performance is ensured in addition to its small size. SD-01 is equipped with a USB-C interface with USB3.1 GEN2 10Gbps rate specification. M.2 solid-state hard drive with three different specifications of 2242, 2260, and 2280 can be installed inside, supporting dual-protocol of NVME and NGFF (SATA). The enclosure supports the intelligent dormancy function, which is energy-saving and environmentally friendly, reducing the heating of the hard drive and prolonging the lifetime.
By means of our special adjustment of the main controlling chip, this product can not only be used in daily office, audio-visual entertainment, and other scenes but also be compatible with a variety of camera devices and used as an external storage device for image equipment. SD-01 can be matched with mainstream electronic devices in the market, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, game consoles, and other devices of Windows / Mac OS / Linux / Android. In addition, it is also compatible with image devices concerning BMPCC 4K/6K/6K Pro, Sigma Fp/FP L, ZCAM E2/M4/S6/F6/F8, and Blackmagic Design Video Assist.
1. The hard drive is a precision electronic device. Please read the manual patiently before using and operating it accurately to ensure your data security.
2. Do not disassemble or repair the PCBA plate without authorization.
3. Please avoid long-term application of the product in intense wrestling, collision circumstances, high temperature, low temperature, and humid and dusty environments.
4. It is required to format the hard drive before standard application for the newly purchased solid-state hard drive.
Compatible with image devices concerning BMPCC 4K/6K/6K Pro, Sigma Fp/FP L, ZCAM E2/M4/S6/F6/F8, and Blackmagic Design Video Assist
1 x SSD Enclosure
1 x Screwdriver
2 x M2 Screw
1 x Copper Column
1 x USB-C Cable
1 x User Manual
1 x Silicone Thermal Pad
Product Dimensions: 110 x 30 x 12mm
Package Dimensions: 124 x 123 x 18mm
Product Weight: 63g±5g
Package Weight: 115g±5g
Material(s): Aluminum Alloy, Stainless Steel
© 2019-2022 Smallrig Reseller Team
2 types of M.
2 SSDs: SATA and NVMe
When talking about M.2 in storage technology, we usually talk about SSDs by referring to their form factor. M.2 refers to a form factor of solid state drives that resembles a chewing gum stick. With a small and slim design, they are ideal for lightweight and portable computing such as laptops, NUCs and Ultrabooks. They take up less space than 2.5″ SSDs or HDDs and can be up to 2TB in capacity.
Now that we have figured out what M.2 is, let’s consider the question: “Is M.2 faster than an SSD?”
The answer is no. M.2 is an SSD form factor, so this question doesn’t really make sense. However, the confusion it causes is understandable as M.2 SSDs are relatively new compared to other client-grade SSD form factors. There are two types of M.2 SSDs: SATA-based and NVMe-based. They differ in storage technology. And, depending on your needs and budget, they each have their pros and cons.
Helpful advice. Please note that an M.2 SSD is only compatible with a motherboard that supports an M.2 connector Check your computer’s motherboard to make sure it has an M.2 connector.
M.2 SATA SSD
To start off, we shipped our last SATA M.2 SSD, the A400 M.2, in December 2022. We no longer manufacture SATA-based M.2 SSDs, and all of our M.2 SSDs will be NVMe in the future. At that time, SATA M.2 SSDs used the SATA interface with a maximum transfer rate of 6Gbps. This is slow compared to newer interfaces (more on that below). SATA-based SSDs are among the lowest class of SSDs in terms of performance. They use the same interface as hard drives. However, SATA-based SSDs have 3 to 4 times the bandwidth compared to HDDs. SATA SSDs were more affordable and cheaper than NVMe SSDs. M.2 SATA SSDs were a great alternative to a 2.5″ SSD if your computer didn’t have room for a 2. 5″ SSD. An M.2 SSD that has both an M key and a B key as shown in the figure is a SATA SSD.
SATA has long been the main interface used for data storage. SATA drives required two SATA cables to work. One was used to transfer data to the motherboard, and the other was used to supply power to the PSU (power supply). Cable clutter has been one of the issues that could affect PC performance when using multiple SATA drives. Thin laptops and portable computers, including ultrabooks, have no room for SATA cables and therefore use the M.2 form factor. The M.2 form factor SATA SSD solved this problem because it didn’t have the two cable connections that other SATA-based drives used to have.
However, just because it’s an M.2 SSD doesn’t change the fact that it’s a SATA SSD. The main difference between M.2 SATA and NVMe SSDs is the interface technology and performance levels. The M.2 SATA SSD still uses SATA-based interface technology. Speed and performance doesn’t improve unless it’s an M. 2 NVMe SSD.
M.2 NVMe SSDs
M.2 SSD with only the M key as shown in the figure is an NVMe SSD. M.2 NVMe SSDs use the NVMe protocol specifically designed for SSDs. Combined with the PCIe bus, the NVMe SSD delivers the highest level of performance and responsiveness. NVMe SSDs communicate directly with the system processor through PCIe slots. Essentially, this allows flash memory to act as an SSD directly through the PCIe slots, instead of using the SATA communication driver, which is much slower than NVMe.
M.2 NVMe SSDs are much faster than M.2 SATA SSDs. Using the PCIe bus, M.2 NVMe SSDs have a theoretical transfer rate of up to 20Gbps, which is already faster than M.2 SATA SSDs (6Gbps). PCIe buses can support 1, 4, 8, and 16 lanes. PCIe 3.0 has an effective transfer rate of up to 985 MB/s per lane, which means a potential transfer rate of up to 16 GB/s. However, when using the M.2 form factor with PCIe bus, only 2 and 4 lanes are available, which allows for a maximum data transfer rate of up to 4 GB/s.
Is NVMe faster than SATA? Technically, yes. Modern motherboards use the SATA III interface with a maximum throughput of 600 MB/s, while NVMe drives provide speeds up to 3500 MB/s. Performance levels are much higher than SATA SSDs, regardless of form factor. Only SSDs using NVMe technology exceed the transfer rate limits of SATA-based SSDs.
When choosing between an M.2 SATA SSD or an M.2 NVMe SSD, consider the following points.
- System support. Older devices may not be NVMe compatible because they do not have the necessary connections to use NVMe PCIe sockets.
- Quick start. The easiest way to make your computer system boot faster is to install an OS (operating system) on a solid state drive. You’ll notice the biggest performance boost when using an NVMe SSD.
- Drive resource prioritization. You can use an NVMe SSD in combination with another SATA SSD. This is an affordable option at no extra cost. You can install the OS and resource-intensive programs and applications on an NVMe SSD and use the SATA SSD to store everything else, such as smaller and less resource-intensive files, documents, and more.
- Gaming benefits. When using an M.2 NVMe SSD, you will notice a dramatic reduction in game loading times. Games installed on NVMe drives will experience significantly better overall performance due to the transfer speed when calling games from the drive.
- PCIe generations. There are different generations of the PCIe bus with different levels of performance. Bandwidth doubles with each generation, and there are SSDs using different generations of PCIe. The latest version available is PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 is still under development.
- General connections. Some motherboards do not have enough PCIe connections to support multiple NVMe drives. You may need to decide whether to use the available connection for your graphics card or NVMe SSD. In other cases, PCIe lanes may be available, but only certain types of connections will be able to support the full speed of NVMe devices, such as an M.2 connection.
Helpful advice. Remember that M.2 is just a form factor and does not make SSDs faster. The level of performance of SSDs depends on the communication driver – based on SATA or NVMe technology. Check your motherboard requirements to see which SSDs are compatible with your computer.
How to install an M.2 SSD in a laptop
Want to learn how to quickly install an M.2 drive in a laptop? We’ll tell you for 90 seconds and wait in the comments for stories about how long it took you to install
How to Install an M.2 Solid State Drive on a Desktop PC
M.2 SSD is easy to install in your desktop PC. We’ll show you how.
Looking at NVMe
In this video, we’ll explain NVMe and how it differs from previous storage technologies.
Looking at NVMe
NVMe is still a relatively new technology that is changing the way PCs work.
Installing an internal M.2 drive in an external enclosure
SSD enclosures may be less expensive than you think.
How to install an NVMe SSD in a
We will show you the step by step procedure to format and clean your SSD or HDD.
Solid State Drive Types
We will look at the different types of solid state drives, what they are and how they are used.
SATA M.2 vs. PCIe M.2 SSDs: What’s the difference?
M.2 SSDs are tiny, easy to install, and super-fast, but did you know they come in two different form factors?
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What is the difference between SATA SSD, M.2 and NVMe
In fact, comparing the concepts of SSD, M.2 and NVMe is incorrect. One of them is a data drive, the other is the drive form factor, and the third is a data transfer standard in general. In order not to get confused in terms, let’s delve into these concepts. Let’s start with hard drives and their differences from SSDs, highlight the differences between 2.5-inch SSDs and M.2 drives, and also compare SATA with NVMe.
What is a hard drive, or HDD
First, let’s look at the main types of drives that can be found in servers – HDD and SSD.
An ordinary PC, like a server, consists of many components, of which four are of interest to us:
- Processor : responsible for processing information, calculations, for executing program code and the operating system, controls the operation of all other parts.
- Motherboard . A processor, RAM, video cards, controllers are installed on it, ports for connecting external memory are located on it. The motherboard powers all the components and combines them into a single whole.
- Busbars, interface, ports . They may be called differently, but the essence is the same: this is the connection that is necessary to transfer data – for example, from RAM to the processor.
- Hard disk is a data storage device that stores programs, files, and the operating system. This text is dedicated to him and his variations.
HDD, or Hard (magnetic) Disk Drive, is a classic hard disk, data storage.
The hard disk case contains magnetic platters on which data is written. They are read and written as follows: the disk rotates, and the head reads or writes data using magnetic pulses. The disk rotates the engine, and the microcircuit – the controller – runs all the work.
Data is recorded in tracks on the surface of the disc, much like vinyl records. In this case, the information is not stored in one place, but in clusters or sectors scattered across the disk, so the disk must rotate to read the data.
The faster the disk spins, the more data per second can be read or written. But here a limitation arises: if the speed is infinitely increased, then the material may not withstand vibrations and collapse from loads.
This problem was tried to be solved. For example, in 2000, Seagate released the X15 drive, which spun up to 15,000 rpm. But this is rather exotic – ordinary disks do not exceed 7200 rpm for home PCs, which gives 85-120 MB / s reading. The maximum speed of disks on home PCs does not exceed 150 MB / s.
Depending on the size, there are several form factors, or types, of HDDs:
- 3.5″ – more common in servers,
- 2.5″ – for home PCs,
- external HDD – used as an external storage medium (they also use a 2.5-inch drive, but have an external enclosure).
From left to right: HDD 3.5″, HDD 2.5″, external drive 2.5″.
What is an SSD and how it differs from an HDD
An SSD, Solid State Drive, is a solid state drive. It works on a principle different from HDD: it stores information on semiconductor chips in memory cells. These are so-called “non-volatile non-mechanical storage devices”. “Non-volatile” means that data is retained when power is lost.
SSDs consist of resistors, capacitors, a controller, DRAM buffer, NAND persistent memory chips, and connectors. In fact, this is a large “flash drive”. The main difference from the HDD is not in the components (here, the disks are largely similar), but in the absence of moving parts.
From the “static” of the SSD-drive, a number of its advantages follow:
– takes up less space,
– more reliable (does not “wear out” due to reading data),
– writes and reads faster data.
Their read speed varies from 270 to 500 MB / s, which is several times higher than that of HDD. So, the time to fully boot Windows 7 for HDD is on average 49 seconds, and for SSD – 19 seconds.
Disk interfaces: SATA and NVMe
An interface is a set of ways to connect to the motherboard, methods and rules for how a disk interacts with the rest of the PC. This includes the types of physical connectors, and data transfer protocols, and data transfer methods.
Parallel IDE connection
A good example of an interface for HDDs is IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) or ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment). Conventionally, this is a simple way to connect a hard drive to the motherboard through a cable of 40 or 80 cores.
This is how the IDE ports on the HDD look like. The IDE connector is clearly visible in the photo. Source
We mentioned that the interface also includes data transfer methods. There are several such methods for IDE. For example, PIO (Programmed input / output), when data is transferred between devices through the processor, or DMA (Direct Memory Access), when the processor is not used for data transfer.
Information is transmitted through the IDE interface in parallel, when each bit of data goes along its own signal line – over a physical channel. Therefore, for the interface, the connection goes through a 40- or 80-wire loop. Data is transmitted in portions equal to the number of channels.
From the minuses of the solution: parallel channels influence each other, which leads to distortion of messages. This problem is solved in the SATA interface, which has become an evolution of the parallel IDE.
SATA 9 serial communication interface0031
SATA, or Serial ATA (SATA), is a serial way to transfer bits of information. With it, the bits go one after another, one bit at a time.
The motherboard may have multiple SATA connectors. This allows you to connect multiple hard drives that will work at the same time, which was not possible in the IDE.
This is what SATA connectors look like.
SATA interface transfers data faster than IDE. SATA has fewer pins and chips, and they’re less likely to overheat.
The SATA connection interface has become more common in SSD drives. Initially, the interface was developed for HDDs, the head of which can access only one cell of one plate (pancake) of the disk. Therefore, SATA devices have only one channel and a low data transfer rate. This read speed is offered by different SATA specifications:
- 1 – 150 MB / s;
- SATA 2 – 300 MB/s;
- SATA 3 – 600 MB/s.
This is the theoretical maximum speed, and it is several times lower than the speeds of the NVMe standard, which we will talk about later.
NVMe, or Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification, is a specification for storage access protocols. Allows SSDs to read and transfer data through the PCIe slot, which we’ll cover below.
NVMe can provide write speeds up to 3.2 GB/s, which is 6 times faster than SATA 3. This performance is achieved due to several features:
- To execute a command, NVMe accesses RAM only once, when SATA – twice.
- Threads are parallel.
- There are mechanisms for working with queues and interrupt handling – commands with a high priority will be processed faster.
PCIe and AHCI data transfer protocols
Now let’s talk about data transfer modes based on the considered interfaces. Here, PCIe and AHCI are of greatest interest.
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, or PCIe, is a serial I/O bus. Physically, this connection, “adapter”, in the form of a slot or connector for connecting devices directly to the motherboard.
Top slot – PCIe x4, center – PCIe x16, bottom – PCIe x1. Source
PCIe has a direct channel for “communication” with the processor and RAM, as well as independent channels for receiving and transmitting data, or lines.
A line is a kind of connection between devices in the form of four wires: two for transmitting, two for receiving data. They transmit data like a two-lane highway: in one direction and the other at the same time. This is called duplex mode. Two signal wires with opposite polarity allows you to deal with interference.
PCIe transfer rate depends on version and number of lanes. For example, the theoretical speed of PCIe 3.0 is 986 MB / s with one lane, and with two – 1970 MB / s.
Note . The PCIe bus is designed to connect peripheral devices – not only hard drives, but also GPUs or network cards.
PCI Express is a way to connect to the motherboard and transfer data. This is what the NVMe protocol/interface uses.
Despite the name, AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is not an interface in the truest sense. It is rather a mechanism or mode that improves upon the SATA standard.
For example, AHCI has hot-swappable disks without shutting down the server and hardware queuing of NCQ commands, which is achieved by optimizing the movement of the read head. Since there is no problem with the same head for SSDs, it is generally accepted that AHCI mode is more suitable for HDDs.
The difference between SATA in AHCI mode and NVMe
The NVMe protocol is designed specifically for SSDs to unlock the potential of SSDs. The fact is that their potential speed with a SATA connection is limited by the SATA 3 protocol, namely, 600 MB / s for reading. Physically, drives are able to work ten times faster. To bypass the limitation, there is NVME, with which the SSD speed reaches 3. 2 GB / s.
SATA in AHCI mode is designed for HDDs. The mode speeds up file launch, IOPS, and improves performance by about 20%. You can work in AHCI mode with SSD drives, but there will not be a big increase in speed.
Types of SSDs
Now that we’ve covered SSDs, interfaces, and connection modes, let’s look at the types of SSDs. They differ according to the following criteria:
- size and shape;
- data transfer method – SATA or NVMe;
- interfaces that we have already written about.
SSD 2.5″ SATA
This is an SSD in a plastic case with connectors for SATA connection via SATA cable. The picture shows that the board with chips is installed in a plastic case, in which there is a lot of empty space.
SSD drive in a plastic case. Source
This was done for a reason: this format allows you to put a 2.5 ”SSD instead of a 2.5” HDD in the same seat. In addition, the “extra” space protects the board from damage and allows you to passively cool the device.
In the same 2.5-inch form factor, there are SSD drives not only with the SATA interface. For example, WD Gold WDS384T1D0D 3.8TB, 2.5 inches, works via PCIe x4 interface.
Western Digital SSD. Source
This is an enterprise drive because the PCIe interface provides fast data access. SSD form factor 2.5″, but with a connector not on SATA, but on U.2, which connects to PCIe and uses 4 lanes.
.Connection also takes place via a cable – for example, this one. Source
M.2 is the SSD form factor. This is the same SSD, but without a plastic case: just a board on which the chips, controller, buffer memory are located.
They have several sizes: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110. The first two digits are the width in millimeters, the rest are the length. The width of all boards is 22 millimeters, and the length varies from 30 millimeters to 110 millimeters.
SSD M.2 drives are connected to special slots, without power cables or flat cables. Powered by the motherboard.
M.2 SSD example. Source
Interaction with the motherboard and processor goes through different buses and standards: SATA, PCIe and NVMe. Through the same M.2 slot, a disk can transfer data in different ways: over the old and slow SATA bus or the more modern PCIe.
Therefore, when it comes to M.2, they simply mean the form factor. How it will connect and how fast it will work depends on the M.2 key – M.2 SATA or M.2 NVMe.
Note . M.2 is not always about SSDs. This is just a form in which other modules can exist – for example, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, other technologies.
M.2 SATA is the same 2.5-inch SSD, but in the M.2 form factor. It connects via SATA.
An example of an M.2 SATA drive. Source
They almost always have two “cuts” on the board – keys M and B. It is quite easy to distinguish them: the “cut” of key B is on the right, and M has it on the left (if you look at the board from above).
M.2 SATA speed is limited to the latest version of SATA 3, 600 MB/s.
M.2 NVMe, or M.2 PCIe NVME
This is the same M.2 SSD, but with an NVMe connection interface that transfers data through the PCI Express bus.
NVMe M.2 disk example. Source
As you can see in the picture, such a board has one key – M. Therefore, M.2 SATA SSD can be connected to any M.2 connector, but M.2 NVMe compatibility is not so high. Versions with key B are almost never found.
Such drives can achieve high read speeds because there is no interference in the form of SATA bus bandwidth. The response when accessing M.2 NVMe devices is also much higher. For example, the read speed of a Samsung 970 EVO Plus MZ-V7S250BW 250GB, M.2 2280, PCI-E x4, NVMe drive (pictured above) is 3500 MB/s, and 2300 MB/s for writing.
At the same time, the Kingston 120GB A400 (SA400M8/120G) SSD in the same form factor that works on SATA 3 has lower IOPS characteristics – 500/320.
The same SSD from Kingston.
Comparison of M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe
The caveat is that these speeds are theoretical. In practice, most operations occur with small files, so it is not the sequential speed of reading files that is important, but the speed of working with random blocks. NVMe has a slight advantage over SATA here. The boot speed of OS and programs with NVMe is not much higher than with SATA. NVMe drives are a good choice when working with large files, such as video.
M.2 SATA also has advantages – they do not heat up, which means they do not require additional heatsinks for cooling. Although the M.2 SATA slot itself is usually located next to the video card.
At the same time, the situation is opposite for M.2 NVME: the power consumption of NVME devices exceeds SATA by several times and they get very hot. As a result, the controller may overheat and the performance of the drive will deteriorate. As a solution, you can buy NVMe devices with a complete heatsink or install an aluminum bar for passive cooling.
You can compare M.2 NVMe and M.2 SATA drives, but not M.2 and NVMe. NVMe is a data transfer standard, while M.2 is an SSD form factor where NVMe is supported. They are logically and physically different things.
When choosing an SSD drive, you need to focus on the selected motherboard, read/write speed requirements, and financial capabilities.
Choose from dozens of disks and assemble a custom server for your needs.
- SATA SSD is a SATA SSD designed for HDDs.
- M.2 SSD is a type of solid state drive. They can be connected both via SATA and via the faster PCIe bus.
- NVMe is a fast data transfer protocol over the PCIe bus. The protocol is designed for SSD drives.
If we combine these concepts, it turns out that NVMe is not a device, but a protocol specification for transferring data via a PCIe interface from an M.2 SSD drive. Therefore, for example, the phrase “NVMe drive” is incorrect.