First of all, hard drives (HDD) have been around for almost 50 years now. Although newer protocols like SATA III have been implemented to upgrade the traditional read and write processes, HDDs still rely on spinning disks. As a result, they can only perform read and write tasks at a limited speed.
In general, SSDs have taken over HDDs as they offer significantly faster processing speeds for almost the same price. Businesses and individuals with tight budgets, limited data storage needs, or excessively large data backup service providers are the only groups of consumers still deriving benefits from HDDs.
Compared to HDD, NVMe SSD drives are based on the latest technology, offering the fastest read, write, data transfer, and I/O speeds. An NVMe SSD is almost six times faster than a SATA III SSD. Non-volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a modern protocol built specifically for the PCI Express (PCIe) to transfer data to and from SSDs. Built on high-speed PCIe lanes, NVMe is an improvement over older Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and related interfaces such as SATA and SAS.
The speed difference between HDDs and NVMe SSDs is most apparent when you’re copying large files. Using HDDs, you can only achieve a maximum speed of 30 to 150 MB/second. On the other hand, with NVMe SSDs, you can easily achieve 3 to 4 GB/second peak speeds.
HDDs are considered legacy technology. They have been around for a long time, and SSDs have replaced them. They rely on spinning disks to read and write data, quite similar to how vinyl records work (and no one uses vinyl records anymore). All of the components of an HDD are mechanical, making it limited, slow, and fragile. It has technical limitations and isn’t meant to work seamlessly with modern technology. NVMe SSD, on the other hand, is a next-gen technology, compatible with several form factors such as PCIe card slot, M.2, and U.2.
Unlike HDDs, the NVMe protocol relies on low latency and parallel data paths, mimicking high-performance processor architectures. As a result, it offers much higher performance and lower latencies than conventional SAS and SATA protocols which use several CPU cycles to ensure data availability for the apps and programs. Because the NVMe protocol is designed to handle rigorous data loads through a minimal infrastructure, it is way more efficient than HDDs to lower costs and accelerate growth.