NVMe or SATA M.2 drive?

I have a Dell XPS 15 9560 (2017 model) and it came with a 500 GB drive and that has been fine for now, but I’m down to about 140 GB now and there’s not really anything for me to delete. So i want to upgrade the m.2 drive that’s in it to a 2 TB drive but I’m not sure if the NVMe drives are going to be worth it to me.

My use cases for this laptop are office work, some video editing, and I use it as a visualized lab. pfSense router, connected to two VMs so I can monitor network traffic on one when I go to suspicious sites.

I feel like downgrading to the SATA drive might hinder that last use case substantially, but I don’t know the numbers and was wondering if anyone else had experience with it.

NVMe is clearly faster, but also more expensive.

My work laptop has a SATA-based m2 drive, and I find that it’s perfectly acceptable. Networks, not disk I/O, are usually my biggest bottleneck to productivity.

All of the things you mentioned work just fine on spinning rust HDD, so any SSD will be fine.

2TB NVMe’s are PRICEY… it depends what your budget can afford. If you want to go with 2TB’s and have a budget additional SSD is going to be the way to go. SATA SSD’s in 2TB area are in the 225ish range… NVME with that capacity are 100 dollars more. What it boils down too, how fast can your dollars go?


At that capacity, I’d go with SATA unless you have the money to spare to justify the bump to NVMe. It all depends what your priority is.

Oh I agree… personally I would with my financial situation. If I had the money… sure I’d go for some screamin speed. Once the OP makes the decision on money wanting to spend then they can start to look at read/write speeds and bang for the buck.

After having both NVME and SATA SSDs - NVMe is massively faster, but here’s the thing - I still use my hard drive for everything else but boot.
9 out of 10 use cases SATA speeds would be just fine. You can shave a second or two of loading time here and there, but nothing super substantial…

My plan for new-ish box is to do 500GB NVMe for boot and iracing… 1TB SSD for everything else. I do notice the increased speed on iRacing load times.

To be more specific the two drives I was thinking about were a WD blue, or a Samsung EVO 970 primarily because of the RW cycles. As I’m blowing away my VMs daily. Though I think that’s probably not going to be as big of a problem as I initially was considering.

I guess I could get an external SSD to store my VMs and other files, but I’d rather have it all in one devices so if I need to work remotely I have it all with me, and I don’t see a way to have a second drive in the computer.

For video editing I would want nvme, most other stuff its not really going to make a huge difference.

1 Like

I was thinking about were a WD blue, or a Samsung EVO 970 primarily because of the RW cycles. As I’m blowing away my VMs daily.

If you think blowing VMs away daily is harsh on your drive, try running a Docker-based CI/CD pipeline. We’re talking deletions and rebuilds on every code commit. That’s not an uncommon use case either, and your drive can handle it.

Both the WD and Samsung drives are some of the best you can buy. You’re more likely to swap either of them out because you’ve filled the disk or replaced the computer than because either drive failed over write cycles.

1 Like

Thanks everyone, I’ve decided on the WD blue, as it seems video editing is likely the only thing that I would notice the difference on, and it’s a secondary use case at best. Really appreciate all the feed back as always.

1 Like

I have a 500GB Blue M.2 in my desktop and I am very happy with it. It was priced very competitively and performs great!

1 Like