The cables you’ll need for your SSD depend on its connection. For example, if you have a SATA III SSD, you’ll need a SATA data cable and a power cable. If you have an M.2 SSD, you won’t need any cables, as they connect directly to your motherboard.
If you want to learn about the different types of SSDs and their connections, keep reading!
So, what cables do I need for SSD?
As I told you, different SSDs use different types of connections. Let’s see the different types of SSDs and the cables they use.
There are three main types of SSDs: SATA, M.2, and NVMe M.2.
1. SATA SSD
SATA SSDs use the SATA interface to connect to your computer. They usually come in 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch form factors and use two cables: a SATA data cable and a power cable. They support speeds up to 6 Gbps and are the most common type of SSD.
Related Article: How To Identify SATA 1 2 3? [Solved]
SATA Data Cable
The SATA data cables are flat with two identical L-shaped connectors. One end of the cable plugs into your SSD, and the other plugs into your motherboard’s SATA ports. When connecting your SSD, make sure to use the correct SATA port. What I mean is that if your motherboard supports SATA III (6 Gbps), make sure to use a SATA III port.
If you don’t use the correct port, your SSD will work, but it will be limited to the transfer speed of the port. For example, connecting a SATA III SSD (6 Gbps) to a SATA II port (3 Gbps) will limit it to 3 Gbps.
SATA data cables come with the motherboard (usually 2), but if you need more, you can buy them online or at a computer store. They’re cheap, usually around $5 for a pack of 2.
Related Article: Which SATA Port To Use? [Solved]
SATA Power Cable
The SATA power connectors are 15-pin power cables that plug into your SSD and are a part of your computer’s power supply unit. They are very easy to spot as they have a distinct shape and have the words “SATA” printed on them.
Related Article: What Does A SATA Cable Look Like?
M.2 SATA SSD
M.2 SATA SSDs are the next type of SSD. They use the M.2 interface and connect directly to your motherboard. They come in different sizes, but the most common ones are 2280 (22 mm width, 80 mm length) and 2260 (22 mm width, 60 mm length).
While they use the SATA interface, they do not use the traditional SATA data and SATA power cables. Instead, they use a small piece of hardware called an M.2 connector.
M.2 connectors are small connectors on your motherboard that provide both data and power to your M.2 SSD.
The transfer speeds of M.2 SATA SSDs are the same as regular SATA SSDs, up to 6 Gbps for SATA III.
M.2 NVMe SSD
The last type of SSD is the M.2 NVMe SSD. These SSDs also use the M.2 interface but with the NVMe protocol instead of SATA. This allows them to achieve much higher speeds, up to 32 Gbps.
The NVMe protocol is a newer protocol specifically designed for SSDs. It uses the PCI Express bus instead of the SATA bus and is much faster.
Like M.2 SATA SSDs, M.2 NVMe SSDs don’t need any SATA cables and use an M.2 connector to connect to your motherboard. The only difference is that they use a different type of M.2 connector that supports the NVMe protocol.
Here is a picture of an NVMe M.2 connector.
Related Article: How Many NVMe Slots Do I Have? [Solved]
what cables do I need for SSD FAQ
Do You Need Two Cables For An SSD?
If you use a SATA SSD, you will need two cables, a data cable and a power cable. If you are using an M.2 SSD, you will not need cables as they connect directly to your motherboard.
Do SSDs Come With Cables?
No, SATA SSDs usually don’t come with cables. The SATA data cable usually comes with the motherboard, and the SATA power cable is a part of the computer’s power supply. If you are using an M.2 SSD, you will not need cables as they will connect directly to your motherboard.
What Connectors Are Used For SSD?
There are many types of SSDs, but the most common ones are SATA, M.2, and NVMe M.2. SATA SSDs use the SATA interface to connect to your computer and usually come in 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch form factors. M.2 SSDs use the M.2 interface and connect directly to your motherboard. NVMe M.2 SSDs use the M.2 interface and connect to your motherboard using the NVMe protocol.
Does An SSD Need A SATA Cable?
If it is a SATA SSD, it will need a SATA data cable and a SATA power cable. So the answer is yes, a SATA SSD needs cables.
Are SATA 2 And SATA 3 Cables The Same?
Yes, SATA 2 and SATA 3 cables are the same. The only difference is that SATA 3 cables have a clip that helps to keep the data cable in place.
Related Article: Does My Motherboard Support Nvme SSD?
As you can see, finding out what cables an SSD need is not as simple as it seems. It all depends on the type of SSD you are using.
The most common types of SSDs are SATA, M.2, and NVMe M.2.
SATA SSDs use the SATA interface and connect to your computer using a data cable and SATA power cable. These cables are usually included with the motherboard and the computer power supply.
M.2 SSDs use the M.2 interface and connect directly to your motherboard using an M.2 connector. These connectors are small and are a part of your motherboard.
NVMe M.2 SSDs use the M.2 interface and connect to your motherboard using an NVMe M.2 connector. These connectors are similar to the M.2 but are designed for the NVMe protocol.
So when you are looking for an SSD, make sure to check its type and what cables it needs before making your purchase.
I hope this article helped find out what cables an SSD needs. If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Nick Ryley is a computer architect and the owner of The Pc Geekz.
His love for playing games got him interested in computers in the first place. He wanted to be able to build a gaming PC that could run all the latest games at max settings, and this has him pursuing a major in computer architecture!
He started this blog to help people out and answer some of the most common questions about computer building