That said, the Linux Kernel 3.3 and higher natively include the Linux NVMe driver. This means you just need a motherboard with an NVMe support to start working with NVMe drives for Linux. Unfortunately, older motherboards lack NVMe support. Therefore we advise investing in the latest motherboard instead.
For this article, we are reviewing the top five best internal NVMe drives for building a Linux desktop system. But first, let’s take a peek at different form factors and features to consider before making a purchase. Scroll on!
Understanding the major NVMe farm factors
The NVMe SSDs come in three major farm factors. These are:
U.2 – Mechanically similar to the SATA Express device plug, the U.2 offers 4 PCI express lanes offering a max theoretical throughput of 4GB per second on Gen3. It is the most compact and expensive of the three. It has a storage capacity of up to 4TB.
M.2 – The most popular, M.2 utilizes PCI Express Mini Card layout and connectors. It offers similar four-lane throughput but has a significantly greater footprint on the motherboard. The maximum storage capacity for M.2 is 2TB.
HHHL – The Half Height Half Length or the AIC takes advantage of the full-sized PCIe card slots. This makes it suitable for any legacy application. Because of the greater size, they are more suitable for servers.
So which one’s better? You may ask. The answer depends on the requirements. If you need 2TB or less storage, then the M.2 is ideal for fast performance. However, if you require higher storage in a RAID array or a single storage option, U.2 offers more scalability (assuming the motherboard is compatible). HHHL, on the other hand, are ideal for servers because they offer up to 30.72 TB storage capacity.
Factors to consider before purchasing the best internal NVME drives for building a Linux System
Before settling on a particular NVMe drive, it is important to take into account the following factors. This will ensure you purchase exactly what you need.
Always make sure the size of the drive matches the available space on your computer’s motherboard. Size becomes all the more important when you are upgrading a laptop. Most drives come in 60mm and 80mm options. Also, ensure that the spreader on top of the drive and heat sink won’t interfere with the upgrade.
Bus details can sometimes be tricky. With laptops, for example, the choice is easy. Does it support PCI Express or SATA? Most slots don’t have spare NVMe slots, so you just have to swap one for a more capacious one. Some desktops, on the other hand, support both on a given slot. So know exactly what your motherboard is optimized for, before purchasing a drive.
Some older motherboards may require a BIOS upgrade to make the NVMe bootable. This happens when your desktop is getting the upgrade for the very first time. Therefore always verify with the manufacturer that it is bootable.
Good NVMe drives are not economical. That is why we recommend calculating the cost per GBs. For instance, a 500GB drive that costs $100 turns out to be approximately 20 cents per GB. This way, you can compare different capacities.
Reviews of the best Internal NVMe Drives For Building A Linux Desktop
If you are on the lookout to boost your system’s performance, below are the five internal NVMe’s that will never disappoint.
1. Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 Internal SSD
The first product on our list of the best internal NVMe drives for Linux is Sabrent’s Rocket NVMe 4.5. Offering exceptional endurance and speed for the money, it is a high-performance fourth-gen internal NVMe drive.
It is available in an M.2 2280 farm factor and comes in three different capacities to cater to a wide audience. The 1TB and 2TB capacity drives can hit sequential write speeds of up to 4.4/5 Gbps, along with 750,000 IOPS, while the smaller 500 GB model comes at 2.5 Gbps max and lower peak performance.
With world-leading endurance ratings, Sabrent’s NVMe drive will never disappoint as you constantly move large video files, toggle between multiple virtual machines, or even benchmarking your system to the death.
Our only complaint is that you have to manually register your hardware to access the 5 years warranty. If that’s not much of a hassle or you are content with an otherwise 1-year warranty, Sabrent’s Rocket NVMe 4.0 is a top of the line internal SSD drive ideal for a new build.
Buy Here: Amazon
2. Samsung 970 Evo Plus
The 970 Evo Plus is an upgrade on the popular Samsung’s 970 EVO as its premier NVMe for professionals. The V5 flash upgrade provides a nice bump in terms of performance, taking sequential read throughput up to 3.5Gbps with up to 620,000/560,000 random IOPS.
This throughput rivals Samsung’s wildly acclaimed workhorse 970 pro SSD. What’s more, it comes at a much lower price than Samsun 970 pro.
For this model, Samsung has coupled the latest 9x layer VNAND Flash with multiple firmware optimizations instead of going with the same controller as its predecessors. Hence further improving the overall random read performance. It also increases the sequential write speeds of the drive up 800Mbps to a staggering 3.3Gbps value. Therefore it can handle any tough workload easily.
To ensure you get the best out of the purchase, Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus comes with a 5 years warranty. That said, with better performance, lower MSRPs, excellent software suite, endurance, and efficiency, the Evo plus is a big plus in every way.
Buy Here: Amazon
3. Adata XPG SX8200 Pro
If there’s one model that can rival Samsung’s Evo Plus, it is Adata XPG SX8200 Pro. That is why it is number three on our list of the best internal NVME drives for building a Linux system. Boasting best-in-class power and efficiency with respectable endurance and a price that won’t empty your wallets.
The model comes in four different capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1Tb, and 2Tb. Armed with an upgraded SMI SM2262EN controller, it improves efficiency and performance over the previous SM2262 incarnation. It boosts the performance up to 3.5/3 Gbps in sequential read/write load and up to 390K-380K in random read/write IOPS. However, the throughput varies on smaller models. For cooling, the drive comes armed with a DIY metal black heat spreader.
Additionally, it supports the NVMe 1.3 specs, has a RAID engine, LDPC ECC to preserve data integrity and comes with end to end data protection. Last but not least, the drive leverages SLC caching to improve further the native TLC write performance.
All in all, if you are searching for the latest high-performance Nvme on a modest budget, Adata XPG SX8200 Pro is an absolute steal.
Buy Here: Amazon
4. Silicon Power P34A80
NVMe drives can be quite expensive. Not everybody can afford to spend upwards of 200 bucks on storage capacity alone. And let’s get real. Not everyone needs it either. For such people, Corsair’s Force Series MP300 is a good option.
This model comes with reading speeds extending up to 1.58 Gbps, and a maximum writes speed of 920Mbps. It provides not the best but decent performance when it comes to running memory-intensive software, copying files, and installing programs.
Because of its standard M.2 2280 farm factor, mounting it on a new system is fairly straightforward. Moreover, the high-density 3D TLC NAND offers the right mix of endurance, efficiency, and value. And like other products on the list, it comes with a 5-year manufacturer warranty.
That said, Silicon Power P34A80 is cheap but good. Therefore, if your budget is under $70, we suggest you consider this little powerhouse.
Buy Here: Amazon
5. WD Blue SN550
Whether you are updating your over cramped SSD or just want a reliable NVMe for the latest gaming rig, WD’s Blue SN550 fits the bill. An up to 2.4 Gbps throughput performance and fairly low MSRPs are two main advantages this model has over the cost of the comparative competition.
The drive comes in three capacities: 250Gb, 500Gb, and 1Tb. Unfortunately, there’s no 2Tb model that may disappoint some high-performance users looking for maximum storage.
Fitted with a 96 layer Sandisk NAND and a SanDisk NVMe controller, it has 600 TBW endurance and IOPS numbers up to 400K for the 1 Tb model, which is quite a feat. Furthermore, a smaller 2280 farm factor means it is compatible with most ATX motherboards capable of M.2.
Lastly, the 5 years warranty is in line with what other top brands are offering. Therefore, WD Blue SN550 is an excellent purchase to upgrade your system.
Buy Here: Amazon
NVMe SSDs are becoming increasingly popular because of falling prices. Many budget NVMe drives even match SATA, as you must have noticed with some of the products reviewed above. So these are the best NVMe drives for building a Linux desktop system to consider for a nice performance boost. We hope you learned a thing or two from this article. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Till next time!