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Observed differences using SATA and NVME SSDs

January 15, 2022 — BarryK

This post is just some observations using SATA and NVME SSDs, not quantified measurements.

I have two 1TB SSDs, that I use to backup my work. I have all my work under folder "bk" on my Lenovo desktop PC, and two backup SSDs. I use rsync to backup to the SSDs alternately, usually about once a week, and keep the SSDs in a safe.

I used to backup to an external HDD, but the SSD is considerably faster and also there is far less electric current being pulled through the USB cable -- or so I thought.

The first SSD that I used for backaup is a Western Digital (WD) Blue SATA 1TB, and I was happy with how fast it is compared with the HDD. It also runs "cool as a cucumber" -- after performing the rsync backup, cannot feel any warmth on the casing.

Recently I purchased a Samsung 970 EVO Plus m.2 m-key NVME 1TB SSD, and bought a cast-alloy housing for it. It is, as expected, fast, but here's the thing -- after performing the rsync backup, the casing feels very hot. Really hot. Here they are:


Two points to make here:

Firstly, I do not notice any appreciable difference in the time it takes to perform the backup. Possibly the usb3 cable will be the main bottleneck in both cases.

Secondly, the heating of the NVME SSD is alarming. It negates the original rationale for using an external SSD, being to reduce current drain over the USB cable.

Of course, the SATA aluminium casing has a bigger surface area, but I don't think that will account for the huge difference in the feel of heat when touching the cases.

My guess is that the NVME SSD is being deliberately run hotter, so as to get more speed, what we would refer to as "overclocking" in the case of a CPU.

Lesson learnt? The WD Blue SATA SSD is far cheaper, and I reckon this is an example where it is better to stay with an older technology.   

Tags: tech