Difference Between SSD and NVMe and Optane

What is SSD?

A solid-state drive, or SSD, is a storage device that stores data on flash memory. SSDs came as an improved substitute for previously used HDDs. They are quite similar in function and usage. But SSD takes advantage of HDD in terms of data storage and retrieval speed. This allows the computer to boot faster and quickly loads and saves files.

SSD is composed of multiple flash memory chips made of silicon. These chips are connected with each other to form the shape of a circuit, and data is written to these specialized chips. The specialty of SSD is to provide consistent speed during data storage and retrieval. SSD is non-volatile in nature and thus retains data even after the power supply is off.

What is NVMe?

NVMe stands for non-volatile memory express, is a specialized protocol for solid-state drives (SSDs). This protocol is to ensure accelerated and consistent storage, and it has the highest response time. Given the increasing complexity and resource demands of newly launched applications, the need for NVMe is greater than ever. It is equally relevant in both user and business contexts.

NVMe is based on the idea of higher and faster bandwidth and the accessing mechanism of NVMe using a PCIe bus. The distinctive feature of the PCIe bus is its ability to manage thousands of parallel queues. Unlike other hard disks that only process a single command queue and thus result in slower data operations. It also allows for multiple data streams with maximum CPU and GPU utilization.

What is Optane?

Optane is a new storage technology introduced by Intel. The Optane memory allows the benefits of both HDD and SSD to come in an efficient and speed-ensuring combination. In some cases, Optane is already installed on laptops and computer systems, while you can also get it installed if your system is compatible with it. Intel Optane memory primarily optimizes memory functioning, focusing mainly on boosting speed. It reduces the user’s wait time while performing an operation.

The operation latency of Optane is recorded as low as ten microseconds. As for the processor requirements, it works with any Intel Core processor of the seventh generation and above. The prime technology incorporated in Optane is 3D XPoint, which is based on a specific configuration of memory cells. Like Optane, this technology is also used in servers and machine learning clusters.

Difference Between SSD and NVMe and Optane

  1. An SSD is a solid-state storage device; NVMe is a specialized protocol; Optane is a storage technology by Intel.
  2. The read/write speed of SSD is average in comparison; NVMe has a faster read/write speed; the speed of Optane is from 3,300 MBps to 2,100 MBps.
  3. The SSD cost per GB is relatively low; NVMe has higher per GB costs; Optane too has very expensive per GB costs.
  4. The maximum capacity of SSD is higher; NVMe has an average maximum capacity; Optane has a high maximum capacity.
  5. SSD has a SATA controller; NVMe does not have a SATA controller; Optane has SATA controller compatibility.

Comparison Between SSD and NVMe and Optane

Parameters of ComparisonSSDNVMeOptane
DefinitionSolid-state Drive for Storing DataData Storage ProtocolStorage Technology by Intel
Read/Write SpeedAverageFaster3,300 MBps to 2,100 MBps
CostComparatively LowerComparatively HigherComparatively the Highest
Maximum CapacityHigherAverageHighest
SATA ControlAvailableNot AvailableCompatible


  1. https://www.profesorweb.es/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ssd_vs_hdd_price_and_performance_study.pdf
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2757667.2757684