Skip to content

Why Is M 2 Cheaper Than Ssd? (Fact Checked)

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on February 11, 2023
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    Fun Fact
    The reason M.2 drives are often cheaper than solid-state drives (SSDs) is because M.2 drives use a smaller amount of NAND flash memory chips compared to SSDs. This means that manufacturers can produce M.2 drives at a lower cost, which is reflected in the price.

    Additionally, M.2 drives are often used in laptops and other devices where space is limited, so the smaller form factor is more appealing to manufacturers and consumers, leading to a greater demand for M.2 drives and potentially lower prices.

    As computer technology continues to evolve, storage options have become more plentiful and diverse, with both pros and cons to each type of storage device. The M.2 and the solid state drive (SSD) are two of the most popular options, but you may have noticed that the M.2 is often cheaper than the SSD. Why is this the case? Is the M.2 a lower-quality option, or is there some other factor at play? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the cost difference between M.2 and SSD storage and provide a fact-checked answer to the question, “Why is M.2 cheaper than SSD?”

    1 Understanding M.2 and SSD

    A. Definition of M.2 and SSD:

    M.2 and SSD are two common storage solutions for computers, but they are not the same thing. M.2 is a form factor for solid-state drives (SSDs) that offers a smaller and more flexible solution for storing data. It is also known as a Next-Generation Form Factor (NGFF). On the other hand, SSD stands for Solid State Drive and refers to a type of storage device that uses NAND flash memory to store data. Unlike traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs do not have any moving parts, making them faster, more reliable, and more durable.

    B. Key differences between M.2 and SSD:

    1. Size and form factor: M.2 drives are much smaller in size compared to traditional SSDs, and they can be easily integrated into slim devices such as laptops, ultrabooks, and mini-PCs. They are also lighter and consume less power, making them ideal for mobile devices. On the other hand, traditional SSDs come in larger form factors, such as 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, and are often used in desktop computers and servers.

    2. Interface and data transfer speeds: M.2 drives use the PCI-Express interface to communicate with the computer, and they can reach much higher data transfer speeds compared to SATA-based SSDs. The maximum speed of an M.2 drive can reach up to 4GB/s, while SATA-based SSDs are limited to 6GB/s.

    3. Capacity: M.2 drives come in different capacities, ranging from 120GB to 4TB. They are also available in different lengths, with longer drives offering more storage capacity. SATA-based SSDs, on the other hand, have a fixed form factor, and their capacities range from 120GB to 2TB.

    In short, M.2 drives offer several advantages over traditional SATA-based SSDs, including a smaller form factor, higher data transfer speeds, and more flexible capacity options. Whether you choose M.2 or SATA-based SSD, the key is to find the right storage solution that meets your needs and budget.

    2 Factors affecting the price of M.2 and SSD

    Technology advancements
    One of the key factors that affect the price of M.2 and SSD is technology advancements. As new technologies are developed, the cost of producing M.2 and SSD decreases, making them more affordable for consumers. This is because new technologies allow for more efficient and cost-effective production processes, leading to lower costs for manufacturers and ultimately, lower prices for consumers.

    Production costs
    Another factor that affects the price of M.2 and SSD is production costs. The cost of production depends on the materials and components used in the manufacturing process, as well as the cost of labor. These costs can vary greatly depending on the region where the product is manufactured, the cost of raw materials, and other economic factors. For example, if the cost of raw materials increases, the cost of producing M.2 and SSD will also increase, leading to higher prices for consumers.

    Market competition
    Finally, market competition is also a key factor affecting the price of M.2 and SSD. Competition between manufacturers drives innovation, which in turn leads to lower prices and improved products. With more companies entering the market and competing for market share, prices are likely to decline as competition increases. This is because companies will have to offer more competitive prices in order to remain relevant and attract customers.

    It is important to note that these factors do not operate in isolation, but rather in conjunction with each other. For example, technology advancements may lead to lower production costs, which in turn drives competition and ultimately results in lower prices for consumers. The interplay between these factors is what determines the price of M.2 and SSD, and it is important to understand how these factors interact in order to understand why prices change over time.

    3 Performance comparison between M.2 and SSD

    Speed and Bandwidth

    When it comes to performance, one of the most important factors to consider is speed and bandwidth. In general, both M.2 and SSDs offer faster read and write speeds compared to traditional hard drives. However, there are some key differences to consider.

    M.2 drives often have a faster maximum bandwidth because they use the PCI-Express interface. This allows them to transfer data more quickly, which can result in improved performance for demanding applications such as gaming or video editing.


    Latency is another important factor to consider when comparing M.2 and SSDs. Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for the drive to respond to a request. Lower latency generally means better performance, as the drive is able to respond more quickly to requests from the computer.

    M.2 drives tend to have lower latency compared to SSDs, as they use a direct connection to the motherboard and bypass the SATA interface. This allows for faster communication between the drive and the rest of the system, resulting in improved responsiveness and lower latency.

    Endurance and Reliability

    Finally, endurance and reliability are important factors to consider when comparing M.2 and SSDs. Endurance refers to the lifespan of the drive and how long it can be expected to last under normal use. Reliability refers to the drive’s ability to maintain its performance and avoid data loss or corruption over time.

    Both M.2 and SSDs offer improved endurance and reliability compared to traditional hard drives, as they have no moving parts and are less prone to physical damage. However, there are some differences to consider.

    M.2 drives are often more durable, as they are less susceptible to physical damage due to their compact size and lack of cables. Additionally, they often have improved error correction and data protection features, which can help to improve reliability and reduce the risk of data loss.

    Ultimately, the choice between M.2 and SSD will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific needs and requirements of the user. It’s important to carefully consider the trade-offs between speed, latency, endurance, and reliability when making a decision, in order to choose the right drive for your needs.

    4 Popular brands and models of M.2 and SSD

    Comparison of Popular M.2 and SSD Brands:

    When it comes to choosing the right M.2 or SSD for your needs, there are several top brands to consider. Samsung, Crucial, Kingston, Western Digital, and Sandisk are some of the well-known and highly-regarded M.2 and SSD brands in the market.

    Samsung has been a leader in the SSD market for years, offering high-performance drives with fast read and write speeds, as well as advanced features like hardware encryption. Crucial has a reputation for producing reliable drives with a good balance of speed and affordability, while Kingston is known for their budget-friendly options that still deliver decent performance.

    Western Digital has a strong presence in both the M.2 and SSD markets, and their WD Black series of drives are highly-regarded for their speed and reliability. Sandisk, a subsidiary of Western Digital, is also a popular choice for those looking for high-performance drives with an emphasis on affordability.

    Comparison of Popular M.2 and SSD Models:

    When it comes to choosing between specific models, it’s important to consider factors such as speed, capacity, and reliability. Some popular M.2 and SSD models include:

    Samsung 970 EVO Plus: This drive is one of the fastest M.2 drives on the market, offering read and write speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and 3,300 MB/s respectively.

    Crucial MX500: This drive offers fast read and write speeds, along with good reliability, making it a popular choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option.

    Kingston A2000: This drive offers fast performance and a good balance of affordability, making it a popular choice for those looking for an entry-level SSD.

    WD Blue SN550: This drive is a popular choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option that still offers decent performance, with read and write speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s and 1,950 MB/s respectively.

    Sandisk Ultra 3D: This drive offers fast read and write speeds and a good balance of affordability, making it a popular choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option that still delivers decent performance.

    In summary, when it comes to choosing the right M.2 or SSD, it’s important to consider factors such as brand reputation, performance, and affordability. The popular brands and models listed above are a good starting point, but it’s always best to do your own research and find the right drive that fits your specific needs and budget.

    5 Advantages and disadvantages of M.2 and SSD

    Advantages of M.2 and SSD

    M.2 and SSD offer several advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDD) when it comes to performance and reliability. One of the key advantages of M.2 and SSD is their speed. These drives are much faster than HDDs, making them ideal for high-performance computing applications that require quick read and write speeds. For example, you can expect faster boot times, quick data transfers, and faster application launches when using M.2 or SSD.

    Another advantage of M.2 and SSD is their reliability. Since these drives have no moving parts, they are less prone to failure compared to HDDs. Additionally, M.2 and SSD are more resistant to physical damage, making them ideal for use in mobile devices or other applications where the drive may be subject to movement and shock.

    M.2 and SSD are also more energy-efficient than HDDs. This means that they consume less power, which is particularly important in applications where battery life is critical.

    Disadvantages of M.2 and SSD

    Despite the many advantages of M.2 and SSD, there are also some disadvantages to consider. One of the key disadvantages of these drives is their cost. M.2 and SSD are typically more expensive than HDDs, especially when it comes to large-capacity drives.

    Another disadvantage of M.2 and SSD is their limited write endurance. Unlike HDDs, which have an essentially unlimited write endurance, M.2 and SSD have a limited number of write cycles before they may begin to degrade in performance. This is why it is important to choose the right drive for your specific needs.

    Finally, M.2 and SSD are not as widely available as HDDs, and the selection of drives available may be more limited in some regions. This can make it more difficult to find the right drive for your needs.

    So ultimately, M.2 and SSD offer several advantages over traditional HDDs, including faster performance, improved reliability, and better energy efficiency. However, they also have some disadvantages, including higher costs and limited write endurance, which should be taken into consideration when choosing the right drive for your needs.

    6 FAQ

    Why is M 2 cheaper?

    Yes, M.2 drives are generally cheaper than solid-state drives (SSDs) due to a few key factors. Firstly, M.2 drives use a smaller form factor and therefore require fewer NAND flash memory chips to operate, reducing the overall cost of production for manufacturers. Additionally, the smaller size of M.2 drives makes them more appealing for use in laptops and other space-constrained devices, leading to increased demand and therefore, lower prices.

    It’s worth noting that while M.2 drives may be cheaper, they are not always the best choice for all applications. In some cases, SSDs may offer better performance or reliability due to the increased amount of NAND flash memory they contain. Ultimately, the choice between M.2 and SSD will depend on the specific requirements and needs of each application and user.

    Is m 2 cheaper than SSD?

    Yes, M.2 drives are often cheaper than solid-state drives (SSDs). This is due to the smaller form factor of M.2 drives, which requires fewer NAND flash memory chips to operate and therefore costs less to produce for manufacturers. This cost savings is often reflected in the lower prices for M.2 drives compared to SSDs.

    However, it’s important to note that price is not the only factor to consider when choosing between M.2 and SSD. Performance, reliability, and compatibility are also important considerations that may affect the overall cost-effectiveness of either option for a particular application or use case.

    Why are SATA SSD still so expensive?

    SATA SSDs can still be relatively expensive due to a few factors. Firstly, the manufacturing process for SATA SSDs is more complex compared to other types of storage, such as hard disk drives (HDD). This complexity increases the cost of production and ultimately affects the price of SATA SSDs.

    Additionally, SATA SSDs use older technology compared to newer types of SSDs, such as NVMe or PCI Express (PCIe) SSDs. These newer types of SSDs offer improved performance, but also tend to be more expensive. As a result, SATA SSDs may appear less expensive in comparison, but are still relatively expensive compared to other types of storage.

    Finally, the high demand for SSDs in general, combined with the limited supply of NAND flash memory chips, can also drive up the prices of SATA SSDs. This dynamic is likely to change as technology advances and the supply of NAND flash memory chips increases.

    Overall, while SATA SSDs may still be relatively expensive compared to other types of storage, they offer significant performance improvements compared to traditional HDDs, making them an attractive option for many users and applications.

    Is m 2 much better than SSD?

    It depends on the specific use case and requirements. M.2 drives, also known as M.2 SSDs, are a type of solid-state drive that use the M.2 form factor. M.2 drives are often faster and more efficient than traditional SATA SSDs, as they use a faster interface such as PCI Express (PCIe) or Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe).

    However, not all M.2 drives are the same, and the specific performance benefits can vary based on the drive’s specifications, such as its capacity, read and write speeds, and the type of interface used.

    In comparison, SATA SSDs offer a more consistent and widely supported form factor, and are a popular choice for users looking for an affordable upgrade from a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). SATA SSDs can also offer significant performance improvements compared to HDDs, but may not match the performance of the fastest M.2 drives.

    So, to answer the question, M.2 drives can offer performance benefits over SATA SSDs in certain cases, but it ultimately depends on the specific use case and requirements. It’s important to consider factors such as performance, compatibility, and budget when choosing between M.2 and SATA SSDs.

    7 Conclusion


    In this article, we have explored the reasons behind the difference in prices between M.2 and SSD storage devices. We have covered various aspects such as manufacturing costs, performance, capacity, and compatibility.

    Final thoughts and recommendations for consumers: It’s important to consider all factors before making a purchase. Price should not be the only determining factor as M.2 drives may be cheaper, but they may not always be the best choice for your needs. If you require higher performance, increased durability, and greater compatibility, then an SSD may be a better investment.

    Emphasis on the importance of considering all factors: It’s also essential to keep in mind that the capacity and type of SSD you choose can greatly impact its performance. So, it’s important to assess your needs and budget, and then make an informed decision based on the available options.

    In conclusion, it’s crucial to weigh all factors carefully before making a purchase. Both M.2 and SSDs have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for your needs requires a thorough evaluation of your requirements and budget.