Question Are there NVME m.2 SSDs that also support the SATA standard?

Dec 6, 2019
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I work IT for a living and frequently get customer cast-off computers. Some of these are complete junk while others are worth looking into.

Two 7th gen Core i3 laptops recently came to me this way. The problems were minor and I returned them both to working order with minor effort. The customer didn't care and just wanted new units.

They are both HPs but slightly different. Each one has a single m.2 slot but it only supports the SATA standard and not NVME. I know many NVME slots support SATA but most m.2 drives are either SATA or NVME so an NVME drive will not work in a SATA slot.

I commonly swap computers around so always like to stay with the most current stuff I can. I found reference to SSDs supporting both the NVME and SATA standards and would like to buy one of these. I have other Intel 8th gen systems supporting NVME and maybe next year someone will drop off an 8th gen with me as trash. I would like an SSD that works for now at reduced SATA speeds but can also work in an NVME slot at much higher speeds as well.

I see reference to such a thing but cannot seem to find it. All the common SSDs are either SATA or NVME but not both.

Let me know if I am missing something or if I should just got with SATA and use this as an excuse to get the next best NVME drive next year and keep the SATAs for something else. There really isn't much of a difference in price between SATA and NVME drives.

Thanks.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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"Are there NVME m.2 SSDs that also support the SATA standard?"

No. They are either one or the other.
If the system is too old for an NVMe drive, a 2.5" SATA III SSD is just fine, and a direct drop in replacement.
NVMe would make zero performance difference.
 
Dec 6, 2019
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I recognize that NVME would only perform at SATA speeds on such an "older" system such as these 7th gens that were recently dropped off as trash. The big thing for me is that someone might drop off an 8th gen as "trash" and then I could use it in full NVME mode. I found reference that there are drives that are natively NVME but backwards compatible with SATA. I appears that most are not though.

I have a spare 2.5 inch drive as well. I wanted to utilize both bays in at least one. I guess I could get a SATA m.2 drive and use it as a secondary drive in an NVME system later on. I suspect the old 2.5 inch bays will one day be a thing of the past.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Which specific drives have you found that run at 'both'?

In an old system, its not just that a drive might run at slower speed...rather it is that even if the drive could run 'fast'...the rest of the system can't keep up.

And it is not only the drive in question, but the interface on the laptop.
A 2.5" SATA III SSD will be a 1:1 replacement for a 2.5" HDD. And show significant improvement.
 
Dec 6, 2019
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I understand that I am basically putting fancy rims and a spoiler on a Honda Civic with an NVME drive in a device that only supports SATA speeds. The reason I am even interested in this is because I have a way of coming across different computers quite frequently. I already have a couple 8th gen Intels with NVME drives in them and they are great.

I could have someone pissed at their computer ready to smash it tomorrow and I end up rescuing another 8th gen from the trash although I suspect this is probably more like 6-12 months out. Then those fancy rims and the spoliler could be moved to the Corvette and then I get real performance. The price premium for an NVME drive over SATA is not that much. Getting something like this would provide forwards compatibility with future systems as well as allow the better drive to operate at SATA speeds in the "older" 7th gen system. Let's say I get that 7th gen all setup how I like and then someone dumps a newer system supporting NVME. Then I can simply move the drive over from the SATA system to the NVME system and me good to go.

I realize that an m.2 SATA drive is the same interface as a 2.5 inch drive but in a smaller package.

I did my research and found no reference to actual drives supporting both NVME and SATA interfaces. I think the article I found was basically a bunch of crap. In terms of the riced out Honda Civic, I would have ended up with THIS had I plugged any NVME drive into a SATA interface slot. It would have been worthless! The connectors are the same but there is no universal SSD designed to run on both interfaces. https://driving.ca/toyota/auto-news/entertainment/watch-this-stanced-scion-fr-s-get-stuck-on-a-speed-hump

Further research indicates that many NVME slots support SATA as well but not all do so. It depends on the motherboard.
 
Dec 6, 2019
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Ok, here is the next question. Since the drives are one or the other, I will be stuck with SATA for sure on these 7th gen units.

What is a good 1 or 2 TB SATA m.2 SSD that won't break the bank but is an overall good value? I see no reason so pay Samsung prices for something that won't offer NVME speeds if moved to a different system. I see SATA 2.5 inch RAID adapters that take the place of a 2.5 inch drive I may try out when the time comes as well. I know I won't gain much in performance doing this but will be able to fit two drives in the place of one.

I have used the WD Blue 2.5 inchers in the past and they are great for the money. I see that these along with the 860 Evo and MX500 seem to get great reviews. The Samsung and WD are the only ones in 2TB capacity. I think I will get the WD Blue unless anyone has other suggestions.

These systems are going to be media players for the most part. The 7th gen is the first Intel that can natively decode 4K UHD video so one of these will be a media player for streaming and local content. Most of the use will be reads with few writes.

One will spend some time in a camper going down the road as well.
 
Dec 6, 2019
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I think I am going to do the WD Blue 2TB. It may not be the best or fastest but I see no reason to buy the best for this purpose and the fact it isn't going to benefit me in a future system.

I have never used one of the 2.5inch drive mounts that take two m.2 drives. They were pitched online as a RAID adapter but I would be fine if they were JBOD as well. Anyway, that project is down the road.
 

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