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eMMC vs SSD: Which Should You Choose in 2023?

You may have heard of SSDs, but do you know about the eMMC hardware? Get to learn how to distinguish them through their uses, storage, service life, and size.

When going to buy a laptop, do you always check the specifications? Well, it is important to check the kind of storage it possesses. In some cases, it can have eMMC storage (low specification laptops), HDD storage (older laptops), or SSD storage (current laptops).

For starters, the SSD and eMMC use different capacities of the NAND flash memory. SSD stands for a solid-state drive, while eMMC stands for embedded Multi-Media Card. They differ in uses, size, device allocation, portability, service life, speed, and performance.

If you want a large storage capacity and superior performance, you better opt for SSD. As much as eMMC is effective, it doesn’t compare to SSDs. It is a bit slower, lower performing, and cheaper. In this article, you will get an elaborative comparison between the eMMC and SSDs. What will you choose?

What Is The eMMC?

What Is The eMMC

The embedded multimedia card evolved from MMC Cards. It is composed of a controller and NAND Flash Memory. Based on the parallel data transmission technology, each data channel can be read and written. However, only read or write operations can be performed at the same time, and the transmission speed is limited.

Typically, an eMMC card is similar to a normal SD card. It is considered that SD cards are an improvement from the eMMC. Most devices tend to favor SD cards rather than the eMMC. However, the eMMC specification continues to be developed.

The production of eMMC was with the motive to provide cheaper internal storage. Due to its controller, it makes it possible to use it as a system drive inside Android, Windows, and Chrome OS tablets and laptops. eMMC is mainly used in electronic devices like cell phones, lower specification laptops,  tablets, and digital cameras.

They are used in those devices because they work with little to no power drawn from the devices. You can check the specification to know whether your laptop has come with an eMMC or SSD.

If you opt for laptops with eMMC, you better invest in some cloud storage like Google Drive. The eMMC storage chips are embedded in the device's motherboard. If you plan to use your laptop for browsing, web surfing, word processing, and media streaming, you can use it, but not for powerful software.

What Is The SSD?

Solid State Drive also has NAND chips that are more powerful, faster and high quality. The multiple chips make it to be faster. In an SSD, the drive may be writing 20 NAND flash memory chips all at once. Unfortunately, an eMMC may take 20x more time.

Unlike an eMMC embedded in a motherboard, the SSD can be attached or detached via a SATA or M.2 interface.  They don’t even require too much power to write or read data, making it effective.

SSDs are found in large, fully-featured laptops and desktops. An SSD is effective if you want a powerful computer or laptop ideal for web browsing, watching movies, gaming, data storage, and other powerful software. The SSDs are also more durable, smaller, and used in lighter laptops.

Storage Capacities

Storage Capacities

eMMC Storage is developed for mobile electronic products, so the capacity is relatively small. It comes in 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB capacities. However, sizes of 128 GB are harder to find. Due to this, it can’t handle tasks with high-performance needs.

SSD: The smallest one has a capacity of 128 GB, the largest reaches a TB level (Samsung has 32 TB). It is ideal for PCs and devices.  SSDs are slower for small file storage and retrieval, while eMMC is slower for large file storage and faster for small file storage.

Speed Differences

Speed Differences

The speed of eMMC varies from version to version. The current standard for eMMC storage is v5.iA which delivers transfer speeds of up to 400 MB/S. It also operates with fewer memory gates.

 Interface Version Maximum Transfer Speed Maximum Write Speed


4.5 200 MB/s ~ 60 MB/s
5.0 400 MB/s ~ 90 MB/s
5.1 ≥ 600 MB/s ~ 125 MB/s

The speed of SSD varies greatly according to the protocol version. It has transfer speeds from 500 MB/s to over 3,000 MB/S.

Interface Version Maximum Transfer Speed Maximum Write Speed


SATA2 200 MB/s ~ 300 MB/s
SATA3 600 MB/s ~ 500/530 MB/s
PCI & M2 ≥ GB/s ~1.2 GB – 2.2 GB

eMMC and SSD Price Comparison

eMMC and SSD Price Comparison

eMMC and SSD have different market prices that range due to the manufacturers. The larger the size, the more the price.



eMMC version 5.1  


                         Capacity                    Cost $
  high low Cost per GB  
16 GB 3.50 3.40 0.2187  
32 GB 4.30 4.20 0.1344  
64 GB 7.50 7.40 0.1172  
128 GB 14.50 14.20 0.1133  

SSD price: There are different prices of the SSD drives that range from $20 to $900 for 8 TB.

  SSD  Prices
Capacity Cost  $  
128 GB $20  
256 GB $30  
500 GB $60  
1 TB $100  
2 TB $200  
4 TB $600  
8 TB $900  

Expand The Use

You may wonder whether the eMMC and SSDs can be reused. Well, eMMC is generally discarded when it becomes obsolete, for example, in broken mobile phones where the eMMC may still seem good.

It can’t be reused but degrades to an unusable state. Hence, even if one of your devices gets destroyed, it can be hard to reuse the eMMC storage on another device.

On the other hand, SSDs can be migrated to other compatible computers. It has a common size of 2.5 inches and therefore can be used on PC and laptops. Hence, you can use the SSDs as much as you want on different devices. Just ensure that they are compatible.

The Service Life

The Service Life

Currently, eMMC uses a TLC storage medium with an erasure time (PE) of about 1000 times. Due to its small storage capacity, its life is shorter than an SSD, which still uses a TLC medium.

However, there is no unified medium for SSD storage. It consists of

SLC, MLC, TLC, TLC (1000 PE) < MLC (1000 – 3000 PE) < SLC (10000 PE).

The NAND storage medium is unlikely to exhaust its service life. However, it becomes unusable due to damage to the master control.

The age limit of SSDs is estimated to be 10 years. However, it can be shorter. You can also determine how long an SSD can last based on its terabytes written over time. TBW estimates how many successful writes you can expect a drive to make in its lifetime.

Application Direction

eMMC is developed for small size mobile electronic products with low power consumption.  It is intended for use in portable devices such as cellphones, tablets, and low specification laptops.

With innovations, the eMMC is also being used in the automobile industry, Smart TVs, wearable technology, smart home appliances, single board computers, robotics, medical devices, and other control devices.

SSDs are mainly used for personal PCs or enterprise-class server data storage. This leads to a high-speed experience and faster loading. SDDs are used anywhere the hard disk drives can be deployed. They can also be used on digital cameras, music players, and other powerful devices.

Which One Should I Buy?

Which One Should I Buy

The eMMC and SSDs were initially developed for different portable devices. eMMC is mainly used for portable electronic products, mobile phones, and tablets. However, there is a faster UFS flash memory, so be careful when you buy.

SATA3 is highly recommended when purchasing an SSD. Depending on your needs, consider using M2 through the PCI-E channel. Depending on your needs, you can choose whether to buy a device with an SSD or eMMC.