How many SSDs or hard drives can you have at most in a PC?

There are many types of solid state drives, from those that go in M.2 ports to external ones, through those that connect to SATA ports. Unfortunately its storage capacity is limited and surely more use will be wondering How many SSD can I install in my computer?. Well, it depends and we are going to describe the factors of it below so that you know to what extent you can expand this storage on your computers.

Having more storage on a computer never hurts if we have the space, bays and connectors for it. So the limiting factor is always there. Obviously in a laptop we can install fewer units than in a desktop tower. However, we must bear in mind that there are a number of limiting factors. Especially the number of interfaces that the motherboard of our computer supports, as well as the bays that our tower has available in the case that we want to install a SATA SSD. However, there are elements that are not usually taken into account and that are important when making that decision.

How many SATA hard drives and SSDs can I install?

Well, it depends on the type of computer you are using, if it is a laptop, it is most likely that you will not have a single free bay and, therefore, you will have to replace your hard drive or DVD reader with a SATA SSD in it. Although there are some models that use M.2 modules with a SATA interface, although they are becoming more and more obsolete in favor of the NVMe type that make use of the PCI Express interface.

  • Look at the number of 2.5-inch bays your motherboard supports, that’s where you should install the SATA SSDs if they are of that type.
  • Hard drives typically use 3.5-inch bays, although there are exceptions.
  • Keep in mind that each new drive will consume both a SATA data connector and a power connector on the motherboard.

Don’t forget that SATA drives are much slower and perform worse than NVMe drives under PCI Express. So we recommend you bet on them if your computer is very old and does not have M.2 type connectors. Especially if your hard drive is hundreds of GB, you see that it is going to die and you do not need a very high storage capacity.

And in the case of M.2 SSDs?

The answer here is simpler as it depends on the number of M.2 slots on the motherboard, however there are a number of things to keep in mind.

  • Not all M.2 slots use PCI Express at the same speed. One way to tell which is faster is to trace the connections all over the PCB on the board and see where they end up. If they do it in the processor socket then they are higher speed, if they do it in the chipset socket then they are of lower speed.
  • Keep in mind the previous point to know which unit to buy in terms of speed. It is a waste to pay more for more speed and not be able to take advantage of it.
  • Not all M.2 ports on a board are for installing an SSD. Keep this in mind, since it may be to place some expansion such as an additional WiFi card.

M.2 NVMe SSD

Finally, remember that there are expansion cards that allow us to use conventional PCI Express ports. In case you need an additional drive and your board doesn’t have additional M.2 NVMe connectors or just doesn’t have them. Which is ideal for computers with some experience.