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eMMC vs NVMe: Key Differences

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eMMC and NVMe are two storage devices that you should know of. These devices have different performances, and speeds and are used for specific equipment

You must know the difference between eMMC and NVMe. This will not only help you in making better decisions but also help you understand the nuances of storage devices.

So, in this article, we’ll explain eMMC vs NVMe and help you decide which one is better for your needs. Here’s what we will cover:

What is eMMC?

Source: Samsung

eMMC stands for Embedded MultiMediaCard and is just like the flash storage used in smartphones and other low-cost devices. Think of eMMC as an SD card that is not free but soldered firmly to the motherboard of the smartphone. Thus, you cannot remove this storage card.

eMMC comes with a few advantages such as it being cheaper than other storage and thus it is a first choice for devices with a limited budget and space.

Just like any other device, eMMC also presents some drawbacks, which are as follows:

  • Low speed: eMMC’s data writing speed is quite low especially when you compare it with other storage mechanisms. Most eMMCs have a writing speed between 100-400 MB/s which falls short of today’s expectations.
  • Low capacity: eMMC storage can have a capacity of 4-256 GB. However, most eMMCs are in the range of 64 GB which can be quite low by today’s standards where a file can be of several GBs.
  • Low write cycles: eMMC offers write cycles between 3000-10,000 depending on the type and temperature.
  • No data protection: eMMC does not have error correction or wear levelling features to protect your data in case of any situation.

Also read: QHD vs FHD: Which one should you pick?

What is NVMe?

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express. It is a protocol that allows Solid State Drives (SSDs) to properly communicate with the computer. SSDs are like eMMC but faster and more reliable.

These storage devices are one of the most expensive of the lot. NVMe uses the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) interface that allows multiple parallel command queues to transfer data. Multiple command queues mean that the storage can handle several requests at once without having to sacrifice speed and hence the faster transfer and writing speed.

Usually, NVMe’s are used in high-performance and expensive devices such as laptops, PCs and servers. Here are some of the advantages of NVMe:

  • High speed: NVMe offers an incredible writing speed of over 3000 MB/s. Some models can also have a writing speed of up to 7500 MB/s.
  • High capacity: These storage devices can have a storage space of up to 2 TB. Thus, it is quite useful for large files and applications. More storage space gives way to overprovisioning where some space is allocated for performance monitoring and optimisation.
  • High durability: NVMe storage has a longer lifespan when compared to eMMC along with less power consumption and heat generation.

Also read: AMD Ryzen 5 vs Ryzen 7: Key Differences

eMMC vs NVMe: Which one is better?

The choice between eMMC and NVMe depends entirely on your preference, device and budget. For those people who want a cheap and small device for basic needs such as web surfing, videos, or running basic applications, then eMMCs are the best choice for you.

On the other hand, if you want a high-performing device that can handle multiple requests and offer a high-speed data transfer facility, you should go for NVMe. Usually, gamers, video editors, and other professionals choose this storage option for its reliability and speed.

Here is a quick summary of the basic differences between eMMC and NVMe:

InterfaceMMC (MultiMediaCard)PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)
SpeedSlower (up to 400 MB/s for eMMC 5.1)Faster (up to 3.5 GB/s for read, 2.1 GB/s for write)
UsageUsed in smartphones, tablets, low-cost laptopsUsed in high-end laptops, desktops, servers
CapacityUp to 128 GB or 256 GBUp to 2 TB or more
DurabilityLess durableMore durable
CostCheaperMore expensive
UpgradabilityNot user-upgradableUser-upgradable
Energy efficiencyMore energy efficientLess energy efficient

We hope that with this article you will be able to differentiate between eMMC and NVMe storage devices and can make an informed decision.

Also read: MSI vs Gigabyte motherboard: Which one is better?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: