Nothing stays still for very long in the world of Technology.  With SSD prices dropping significantly over the last 18 months, there has never been a better time to upgrade (and especially FreshStart) your hard drive.  But seemingly as fast as SSD became the new standard, we saw new technology emerge which touts itself as leaving SSDs in the dust.

NVMes (non-volatile memory express) has become the newest tech promising faster speeds.  SSDs are much faster than HDDs thanks to its use of Flash Memory as opposed to the traditional spinning magnetic disk found in HDDs.  However, it is still hampered by the bottleneck of utilizing SATA for the transfer of data.  Although SATA touts itself as having transfer speeds of several GBs per second, realistically, with the overhead it must handle, it usually tops out at around 550 Mb/Sec.  This is still plenty fast for the vast majority of PC users (even gamers), but the newer NVMe technology, utilizing your computer’s PCIe slot on the motherboard, has consistently shown speeds of a whopping 4/Gb per second!  But, as with all new technology, there are drawbacks, and even some questioning the necessity of it all.

For starters, like all emergent tech, NVMes are quite expensive right now, significantly more than SSDs.  Second, only newer motherboards allow one to boot their OS from the NVMe; most still require a traditional HDD/SSD in order to install and boot your OS.  Third, many have said that for the purpose of personal computers (or work computers which aren’t doing highly data-intensive work), the difference in speed is actually negligible, and barely even noticeable.  Much like people wondering how much more high-definition TVs and movies can get until the human eye can no longer perceive any difference in quality, it begs the question of how much faster a system can run before any increases in speed make no real difference.  Time will tell whether NVMes eventually take over the market, or become the next Microsoft Zune.

If you wish for more information on NVMes, this article from Rohit Gupta over at Western Digital does an excellent job of explaining the technology.  Be prepared for a lot of technical jargon: