Re SSD Transfer Protocols: Differences Between AHCI and NVMe

There are two most popular transfer protocols for SSDs. One is AHCI and the other is NVMe.

Table of Contents

There are two most popular transfer protocols for SSDs. One is AHCI and the other is NVMe.

SSD protocol comparison between AHCI and NVMe
SSD protocol comparison between AHCI and NVMe

AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface)

AHCI (Serial ATA Advanced Master Interface/Advanced Host Controller Interface) is an interface standard developed by several companies under the guidance of Intel. It allows storage drivers to enable advanced Serial ATA functionality.

When using SATA SSDs, make sure to enable AHCI mode in the motherboard Settings.


This is because the AHCI mode greatly reduces the number of useless seek times and data search times of SSDs. In this way, the performance and effect of SSDs in multi-task scenarios can be fully realized. After AHCI mode is enabled, the SSD read and write performance increases by about 30%.

NVMe (nonvolatile memory express)

The NVMe protocol is a transport specification based on non-volatile memory. The NVMe specification was developed by a working group of more than 90 companies, led by Intel, including Micron, Dell, Samsung, Marvell, NetAPP, EMC, IDT, and others.

NVMe Protocol SSDs
NVMe Protocol SSDs

The purpose of this specification is to make full use of the low latency and parallelism of PCI-E channels, as well as the parallelism of contemporary processors, platforms, and applications, greatly improve the read and write performance of SSDS at a controllable storage cost, reduce the high latency caused by AHCI interfaces, and completely liberate the extreme performance of SSDS in the SATA era.


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