Traditional SSD drives connect to your computer through the same interface as a mechanical drive (SATA). Even the most modern type of SATA (SATA3) is limited to a maximum of 6gb/sec (same as 600MB / sec). As modern SSD chips began to be able to exceed this speed a new interface was developed.
The M.2 interface is a new connector type that is physically on the surface of some new motherboards. It can be run with drives that are one of two different modes (SATA or PCIe). If the M.2 drive is a SATA mode drive the data is still routed through the motherboards SATA controller and it is still limited to 6gb/sec (600MB/sec)
If the drive is a PCIe type M.2 drive, it becomes part of the native PCIe bus on the system and has a maximum potential throughput of up to 39gb/sec (3900MB/sec). To get this higher transfer rate, drive needs to be PCIe type and Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 is required.
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