Question M.2 SanDisk SD6PP4M-256G-1006 - NVME or SATA?

May 8, 2021
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Hi,

I would like to know if my M.2 disk is SATA or NVME, according the specs page (https://www.memory4less.com/sandisk-ssd-sd6pp4m-256g) it says PCI Express 2.0 x2, so my first guess would be that its NVME, but my laptop (HP Open 15-5100np) on linux recognizes it as /dev/sda, and not /dev/nvme...

smartctl -i /dev/sda
smartctl 7.2 2021-01-17 r5171 [x86_64-linux-5.11.17-200.fc33.x86_64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-20, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model: SanDisk SD6PP4M-256G-1006
Serial Number: 151188400322
LU WWN Device Id: 5 001b44 e3f1ce4c2
Firmware Version: A200906
User Capacity: 256,060,514,304 bytes [256 GB]
Sector Size: 512 bytes logical/physical
Rotation Rate: Solid State Device
Form Factor: < 1.8 inches
TRIM Command: Available, deterministic, zeroed
Device is: Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is: ACS-2, ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 6
SATA Version is: SATA 3.1, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
Local Time is: Sat May 8 13:50:59 2021 CEST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

Anyone has any idea?
 
May 8, 2021
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In the same review screenshot says - SATA.

Exactly, smartctl on my linux system also reports SATA.
And NVMEs on linux are usually /dev/nvmeX... not /dev/sdX. That's why i'm a bit confused about this disk.

And i bought a 1TB M.2 disk (Kingston NV1 1TB - https://www.kingston.com/czech/en/ssd/nv1-nvme-pcie-ssd?capacity=1000gb) to replace my current 256GB M.2, and if i boot the laptop with a linux usb pen this one already appears as /dev/nvmeX.
Unfortunately i'm not able to boot it, probably my laptop UEFI bios is not compatible with it, i tried adding the boot entries to the UEFI boot table with efibootmgr, they get added apparently, but as soon as i reboot they disappear.
Then booted the laptop with Win10PE usb pen and used EasyUEFI to add the entries, but same problem, they get added at the time, but after reboot they disappear.
 
May 8, 2021
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Its seems its kind of SATA after all, or more specific AHCI:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a110-m.2-ssd,3594.html

"Drop SanDisk's A110 in and it shows up as an AHCI device, with no special drivers needed. That's a bit different from the PCIe-based SSDs you've seen reviewed in the past, which did require proprietary drivers. In contrast, SATA devices are able to use AHCI, and Windows has those drivers built-in (storahci.sys in Win 8 and msahci.sys in prior versions).

One day, NVM Express will standardize solid-state storage over PCIe, and that's good news if for no other reason than AHCI wasn't designed with SSDs in mind. The A110 doesn't interface via NVMe, though. It shares AHCI support with all of the SATA-based drives out there. And that's fine; AHCI remains viable so long as NVMe is still over the horizon."
 

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There are PCIe drives that use AHCI and not NVMe. In fact, Samsung has models that do both AHCI and NVMe. The A110 (this drive) uses the Marvell 88SS9183 controller which is in fact PCIe but uses AHCI. Such drives don't get the latency and IOPS benefits of NVMe, but do get the bandwidth benefits.

It would be incorrect to call this NVMe (it uses the AHCI protocol) or SATA (it uses the PCIe interface).
 
May 8, 2021
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There are PCIe drives that use AHCI and not NVMe. In fact, Samsung has models that do both AHCI and NVMe. The A110 (this drive) uses the Marvell 88SS9183 controller which is in fact PCIe but uses AHCI. Such drives don't get the latency and IOPS benefits of NVMe, but do get the bandwidth benefits.

It would be incorrect to call this NVMe (it uses the AHCI protocol) or SATA (it uses the PCIe interface).
Do you know which 1TB M.2 AHCI disks exist on the market?

I'm asking this because, i really would like to upgrade my laptop with more storage space, but seems my UEFI bios doesn't like nvme ones, so probably or i go with an M.2 SATA (which is slower) or i try to find a 1TB M.2 AHCI.
 

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SM951 w/UBX (AHCI version), XP941 w/UAX, Toshiba SSD w/88SS9183 (or other drives that use this controller), are up to 1TB, but these are MLC-based and may be challenging to find now. If you don't need the bandwidth/sequentials, a modern SATA drive will be just as fast or faster due to SLC caching.
 

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