GRC & Minimus Servers Blog

NVMe Vs SATA SSDs: Is it Time to Switch?

Posted by Christiaan Best on August 24, 2016
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As NVMe approaches price parity with SATA SSDs, we have been receiving a growing number of requests for Minimus servers with NVMe SSD’s. While designing these servers, we’ve learned some interesting facts about NVMe and why it may be time to ditch SATA. Here is what we found:

  • NVMe is better for almost every application and never worse.
  • The price premium for NVMe over SATA has dropped significantly, and is as low as 10% now.
  • If you’re currently using SATA SSD’s and drive performance matters, you should switch. The performance boost is significant.

As a bit of background, SATA was originally designed for spinning disks. With the advent of solid state drives, the SATA protocol has become a limiting factor. The Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) standard improves upon SATA and is specifically designed for solid state drives. NVMe allows parallel I/O with better bandwidth and lower latency.  

Drive IOPS (4kB R/W) Max Sequential Read / Write Rate
Spinning disk ~100 ~ 200 MB/Sec
SATA SSD 99,000 Read
18,000 Write
520 MB/Sec Read
475 MB/Sec Write
NVMe SSD 430,000 Read
  50,000 Write
2600 MB/Sec Read
1000 MB/sec write

 Table 1: IOPS and max throughput yield enormous improvements.

For certain types of applications, there is a significant increase in speed (by orders of magnitude).

The exciting news is that NVMe is almost...

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Topics: Servers, Storage, NVMe, SSD