Question Questions related to storage about SATA, NVME, and M.2


May 26, 2019
I plan to build a new gaming PC sometime this year after the CPU and GPU stock issues get resolved. The primary use for this system will be PC gaming and the secondary use will be for basic drone video editing (not Hollywood-level video editing). I already purchased most of the PC components this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Recently, I read over a few things related to SSD storage that I never saw before buying my PC parts. The article covered SATA, NVMe, and M.2. I read other articles related to the mentioned topics to get a better understanding, but they were a little confusing to me and I would like to get confirmation of or correction to my understandings of the mentioned subjects and figure out if I need to return my SSD and/or motherboard and purchase different models. The topics I have questions on are as followed:

A. I have used SATA III for both 2.5 inch SSDs (e.g. Samsung 840 Pro and 850 Evo) and 7200 rpm HDDs (e.g. Seagate Barracudas)
B. SATA is also used on M.2 form factor SSDs
C. SATA III maxes out at 6 GB/s and is generally slower than NVMe
D. SATA is an older standard than NVMe and intended for HDDs, but was adapted for 2.5 inch SSDs
2. NVMe
A. A newer standard than SATA and may replace SATA in the future
B. Significantly faster than SATA in terms of transmissions and processes such as read and write procedures
C. Recently has been applied to M.2 form factor SSDs
3. M.2
A. M.2 is a form factor specifying the general dimensions, features, and capabilities of an M.2 SSD
B. In relation to form factor, an M.2 SSD is labeled by its length and width [e.g. 2240 = 22mm x 40mm (smaller size) and 2280 = 22mm x 80mm (larger size)]
C. In general, the larger the dimensions of an M.2 SSD, the more storage capacity and/or features it has
D. An M.2 connector is a connection port on the motherboard designed for an M.2 SSD and often has adjustment capabilities to accommodate larger or smaller sized M.2 SSDs
E. Depending on the motherboard or system, an M.2 Connector can support SATA, NVMe, PCIe, and/or USB
F. An M.2 connector is significantly faster than SATA III and is limited either by the capabilities of the NVMe M.2 SSD or the limits of the connected motherboard or system

4. Additional Questions (Links provided)
A. I purchased a 1 TB ADATA XPG Gammix S50 SSD for my Windows Operating System, games, and primary applications. The packaging lists NVMe 1.3. Am I correct in my understanding that this SSD uses NVMe for its functions?
( XPG GAMMIX S50 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4x4 NVMe 1.3 Internal SSD (AGAMMIXS50-1TT-C): Computers & Accessories )
B. For the motherboard, I purchased a Gigabyte X570 UD Ultra Durable Motherboard (Socket AM4). In one section of the overview of this motherboard on Newegg, it states "Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2 Connector." Am I correct in understanding that this motherboard supports NVMe M.2 SSDs through its M.2 connector?
GIGABYTE X570 UD AM4 ATX AMD Motherboard -
C. Will the mentioned SSD and motherboard meet my needs in terms of gaming and basic video editing or should I return them for something else. I do not plan to overclock.

Again, some of the items mentioned above are new to me and I want to confirm that I understand the specifications and features correctly when I do research for a new PC build in the future.

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.


3. M2
A. M.2 is a form factor specifying the specific dimensions of cards. It is only a physical specification. The spec has nothing to do with features and capabilities and/or SSDs.
D. An M.2 connector is a connection port on a motherboard or add-in card designed for attaching a device to said motherboard and often has adjustment capabilities to accommodate larger or smaller sized M.2 cards. Cards may contain circuitry for SSDs or other devices such as video ports or more additional SATA ports.
F. As mentioned earlier the M.2 specification is a purely physical specification. As such is not inherently faster or slower than any other card. It's the firmare and/or software that run on the card and the motherboard bus utilized that determines the speed.
M.2 is nothing but a form factor, SATA and PCIe NVMe are the interfaces (its a little more complicated but to keep it simples just think of it this way)

M.2 slots on the motherboards can sometimes support both SATA and PCIe type drives in the same slot, other times the slot just supports one or the other. You have to check the motherboard specifications and it will tell you about each slot and its capabilities.
-Side note many times putting a M.2 drive in will disable certain SATA ports (the traditional ports you use for SATA cables) on your motherboard.

M.2 NVMe PCIe speed drives come in both PCIe 3 and Gen 4 . Gen4 drives are backwards compatible with PCIe3 slots and PCIe3 Slots will work with Gen4 drives (not worth the extra cost since you are still limited to PCIe3 speeds).

As far as what you purchased it shouldn't be a problem as long as you are using a Ryzen 3000 or later CPU.