Fast, Faster and beyound with NVMe


Of course your Solid state drive is working fast. But now we all can rely on a brand new level of technology that makes the data transfer from SSD or HDD (hard disk drive) even faster. This available future technology is called NVM Express or briefly NVMe. But what is it exactly, why is so innovative, better and faster? Let’s see.

Protocol NVMe is the successor to the regular protocol AHCI which most people still use in present days when it comes to SSD or HDD. AHCI is initially developed (long before the overtaking of the market by SSD) and optimized to work with much lighter components. The AHCI protocol handles queue of up to 32 commands per port in hardware. This is more than enough for any mechanical hard drive. In the same time, since the SSD is essentially a set of flash memory chips working through signals rather than mechanical processes, SSD is capable of processing way faster large amount of commands. So, what is the situation in the NVMe protocol?

Where are the benefits of NVMe over AHCI?

  • NVMe’s interface is optimized for SSD and flash memory, while AHCI developers are targeting a relatively slow mechanical HDD. As a result, NVMe runs with significantly fewer delays, also the parallel data processing is improved.
  • While AHCI supports up to 32 simultaneous queues, with NVMe their number is increased to 65,536 with the same amount of commands each. Such results are just unattainable for the mechanical HDD.
  • Needless is to explain the superiority in speed with this new protocol compared to his aging predecessor.
  • In addition to all – NVMe demonstrates serious improvements in latency thanks to the optimized design and the improved access via PCI Express.
  • NVMe is developed to affect less pressure over the CPU which makes it more energy efficient than AHCI in general.  It is worth mentioning that MSI is the world’s first brand producing motherboards with full support for NVMe protocol.
  • Various tests prove lower energy consumption of all appliances using NVMe.
  • The NVM express technology is independent of SSD’s form factor which means that it works with various SSD format PCI Express, M.2 or SATA Express.
  • The corporate segment requires the best possible support for NVMe because of the constant need for performing multiple simultaneous requests. That means that all SSD manufacturers today are focusing on this standard.

How to know the system supports NVMe?

We can safely say that Windows 8.1 and above operating systems are containing driver for NVMe. In regard to Windows 7 and the relevant server versions of operating systems, Microsoft offers a hotfix update. Modern Linux distributions also support NVMe. If you want to use NVMe, first you should check the standard of maintenance of the motherboard. If there is no such support, you won’t be able to use NVMe. You will have to check the specifications. Usually all motherboards with chipset Intel X99 or above have the suitable maintenance.

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