Single-sided vs Double-sided m.2

Difference Between Single-Sided and Double-Sided M.2 Storage

If you’re looking to buy a new computer, it can be confusing trying to figure out which type of storage device you should choose. There are tons of options, and not all of them work with every computer.

In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of single-sided and double-sided M.2 storage to help you figure out which will be best for your needs.

We’ll start with what M.2 storage is, then we’ll look at how the different types of M.2 storage differ from each other and how they interact with computers.

Modern computers are fast, really fast, in fact, but you can still improve your system’s performance by swapping out an older hard drive for a faster solid-state drive (SSD).

But with so many different types of drives to choose from, how do you decide which is best for your computer? Read on to learn about single-sided and double-sided m.2 SSD storage options.

A solid-state drive is similar to a standard hard disk drive (HDD) in that it uses moving parts called heads to read and write data, but it lacks moving parts like mechanical arms. This makes them lighter, more compact, and significantly faster than HDDs, and that speed comes at a price.

Most budget SSDs use lower capacity chips than their HDD counterparts; double-sided m.2 SSD use even smaller chips than normal SSDS.

Single-sided vs Double-sided m.2

An m.2 SSD connects directly to your motherboard via a PCIe interface and can be installed in any available PCIe slot or port. Because of its direct connection, there’s no need for an additional SATA controller card or cable, so installation is as simple as inserting it into an open slot on your motherboard.

A single-sided m.2 SSD has chips only on one side of the drive, while a double-sided m.2 SSD has chips on both sides of the drive.

Perhaps the most obvious difference between single-sided and double-sided solid-state drives is their physical appearance.

Single-sided models are used on one side of a circuit board while double-sided models include memory chips on both sides of a PCB (printed circuit board).

While single-sided designs tend to be more compact than double-sided ones, they offer no real benefit in terms of transfer speeds or input/output operations per second (IOPS) as a result.

The main difference between single-sided and double-sided M.2 solid-state drives is that a single-sided drive has one side for you to mount on your computer, while a double-sided drive has two sides, one side of which is exposed once it’s installed in your machine.

The second difference is that, because single-sided drives need only one side to be mounted, they’re about 30 percent thinner than their double-sided counterparts. This makes them easier to install into thin laptops and ultrabooks.

However, if you have enough room inside your case to fit a thicker drive, then opting for a double-sided model will give you twice as much storage space without increasing its footprint at all.

You can also choose from different form factors when buying an M.2 solid-state drive: 2280, 2260, 2242, and 2230. These sizes refer to how wide each drive is.

As such, 2280-sized drives are approximately 80 mm long and 42 mm wide; 2260-sized drives measure approximately 60 mm long and 42 mm wide; 2242-sized drives measure approximately 42 mm long and 42 mm wide, and 2230-sized drives measure approximately 32 mm long and 42 mm wide.

What is a Single-Sided M.2

A single-sided M.2 SSD simply means that there is only one side of the drive that has chips for storage and does all the computing whiles the side is just a flat board. These boards are a bit cheaper than their double-sided cousins.

However, they do not have as much storage space as their double-sided counterparts, nor do they offer any type of data redundancy. If you want to store large amounts of data, or if you value your data highly, it might be worth investing in a double-sided model instead.

What is a Double-Sided M.2

On a computer, a double-sided drive is one that has chips on two physical sides of the drive on which data can be stored. Although more expensive than single-sided drives, these drives also offer faster performance by allowing for two simultaneous reads or write operations rather than just one for single-sided units (SSDs).

In addition to greater speed, double-sided drives are also capable of storing larger amounts of data than their single-sided counterparts.

The downside to using a double-sided drive is that it requires more space and airflow from your motherboard to function properly.

This means that there are fewer options available when it comes to installation in laptops with space. It’s important to note that not all manufacturers produce both types of storage devices, some only make one type or the other.

Samsung 970 Evo plus single or double-sided

The 970 Evo Plus is a great all-around drive that offers strong performance at a reasonable price, making it an excellent choice for many users who don’t need anything as powerful as Samsung’s flagship drives.  It’s a single-sided drive.

In other words, there’s only one circuit board inside. This means you can install it in any orientation on your motherboard or in your computer case, you don’t have to worry about which side faces up.

In addition to being more versatile, single-sided SSDs are usually cheaper than their double-sided counterparts because they require less material to manufacture and fewer components overall.

Considerations for selecting an m.2 SSD

You’ll need to decide whether you want a single-sided or double-sided m.2 drive. This is an important decision to make because there are advantages and disadvantages to each type of drive: 

A single-sided drive will fit in more devices because it only has one set of electrical contacts on one side of its circuit board. It also allows for easier mounting and installation. 

A double-sided drive offers twice as much storage space as a single-sided drive, but it requires special considerations during installation due to having two sets of electrical contacts on both sides of its circuit board.

It also requires more physical space inside your computer case than a single-sided drive does. So before you select an m.2 SSD, think about how you’re going to use it, and where, to determine which kind of drive is best for your situation.


The transition to solid-state has revolutionized personal computing, but it’s also created a new set of questions as manufacturers race to find ways to satisfy consumer demand while driving costs down.  One of these is whether or not single-sided drives are worth buying over double-sided models.

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