What is the biggest SATA SSD size?

Solid state drives (SSDs) have become increasingly popular in recent years as a replacement for traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) due to their faster speeds, lower power consumption, and lack of moving parts. SATA SSDs connect to a computer’s motherboard via the Serial ATA interface and come in a range of storage capacities. But what is the absolute largest SATA SSD currently available? Let’s take a look at some quick answers before diving into more details.

Quick Answers

– The largest consumer SATA SSD is currently 16TB.

– Enterprise SATA SSDs go up to 64TB.

– The 16TB maximum for consumer models is due to limitations of the SATA interface.

– Newer interfaces like PCIe allow even larger SSD capacities.

– Large SSDs are expensive but provide massive storage in a small form factor.

Current Largest Consumer SATA SSD

The current record holder for the largest consumer-grade SATA SSD is the 16TB Micron 5300 series drive. Announced in May 2022, this SSD packs a whopping 16,000 GB of storage into the standard 2.5″ drive form factor.

To achieve this massive capacity, Micron utilizes 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory. TLC (triple-level cell) flash stores three bits of data per memory cell, allowing for increased density compared to SLC or MLC flash. Stacked in a 3D fashion, this enables the large number of NAND dies required to hit 16TB in the same 2.5″ area.

The Micron 5300 is rated for sequential read speeds up to 550 MB/s and sequential writes up to 500 MB/s, which are solid though not record-breaking performance figures. Power consumption is relatively low, with an active power rating of under 5W. The drive is aimed at consumers and professionals needing copious amounts of storage space.

At the time of writing, the 16TB Micron 5300 has an MSRP around $2500. While clearly an expensive drive, this works out to around $0.16/GB which is quite low for such high capacity SSD storage. The previous largest consumer SATA SSD was also from Micron at 15.36TB.

Larger Enterprise SATA SSDs

While the consumer SSD capacity record currently sits at 16TB, even larger SATA SSDs are available for enterprise use. These professional-grade drives are more expensive but push the boundaries of SATA storage space even further.

For example, Micron’s 5300 line mentioned above also includes an enterprise version supporting up to 64TB of space in the standard 2.5″ form factor. This absolutely massive drive achieves its huge capacity through greater use of 3D NAND layers and more dies. It also incorporates technologies like power loss signal and adaptive read management to ensure data integrity for crucial business workloads.

Other SATA SSD manufacturers like Samsung produce similar large enterprise drives in the 30-60TB range. These types of drives are designed for data centers running heavy workloads that require substantial capacity, like databases, analytics and virtualization. The high cost limits them to major corporate or scientific buyers with big budgets.

SATA Interface Limitations

While 64TB is currently the top end for enterprise SATA SSDs, the SATA interface itself poses a limit to how high capacities can go. SATA has been around for many years, with the current SATA 3.0 standard capping out at 6Gbps bandwidth. This is shared across all connected SATA devices.

As SSD performance has increased over the generations, SATA has started to become a bottleneck. Even the earliest SSDs could saturate a SATA connection. There is also a limit to how many NAND channels can effectively share the bandwidth. This restricts the number of dies an SSD controller can incorporate, which in turn limits maximum drive capacities.

That is why the consumer SSD capacity champ is “only” 16TB, while even higher capacities are possible with enterprise SSDs better optimized for SATA limitations. However, to continue pushing SSD capacities higher in the future, newer interfaces like PCI Express (PCIe) will be required. PCIe 4.0 and upcoming 5.0 provide much greater bandwidth to enable more NAND dies and channels.

Higher Capacities with PCIe SSDs

With the bandwidth constraints of SATA, PCI Express (PCIe) has become the interface of choice for new high-end SSDs. Cutting-edge consumer PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe drives now reach capacities up to 4TB. But by fully unleashing the parallelism of SSD architecture, PCIe allows enterprise drives with staggering capacities.

For example, the Nimbus Data ExaDrive DC100 offers 100TB in a standard 3.5″ drive form factor. This expedition-class drive achieves its massive 100TB capacity through very dense integration only possible with PCIe. Other PCIe enterprise SSDs from vendors like Samsung, Kioxia and Western Digital also reach drives up to 30-60TB.

These cutting-edge PCIe drives leave SATA SSDs completely behind when it comes to maximum capacity. They also provide incredible performance, with up to 10X the sequential throughput and IOPS compared to the best SATA SSDs. Of course, their sky-high prices also restrict them to only the most demanding data center workloads. But it demonstrates the future of SSD capabilities unleashed.

Benefits of Large Capacity SSDs

While 16TB consumer SATA SSDs seem excessive for typical desktop usage, and 100TB enterprise drives are complete overkill for most, these massive capacity solid state drives do provide some tangible benefits.

Firstly, they allow for tremendous storage density in a small physical space. Installing petabytes of storage capacity in 1U of rack space is possible with the largest SSDs, something difficult with mechanical hard drives. This density can greatly simplify storage infrastructure for companies with massive data requirements.

For smaller use cases like creative professionals, a 16TB SATA SSD provides tons of space for video, photo and audio assets in a compact 2.5″ form factor. Transferring all this data to a new computer is also faster with an SSD. Large SSD capacities unlock new potential workflows.

Secondly, compared to HDDs, SSDs also provide improvements in performance, power efficiency and ruggedness regardless of capacity. While not always cost effective for backups or archives, large SSDs bring these advantages to environments requiring both substantial capacity and the strengths of solid state storage.

Cost Comparison to Hard Drives

Drive Type Capacity Price Price Per GB
16TB Micron 5300 SATA SSD 16TB $2,500 $0.16
16TB Seagate Exos HDD 16TB $340 $0.02

The main tradeoff with large capacity SSDs is their cost premium over traditional hard disk drives. As the above table shows, a 16TB SATA SSD is over 7X more expensive than a 16TB HDD in terms of cost per gigabyte. This gap widens even further with the largest enterprise SSDs versus HDDs.

However, over time SSD pricing tends to come down dramatically. And for workloads needing substantial capacity along with SSD performance and resilience, the premium can be justified. In the future, capacities of 16TB and higher in SSDs should become more affordable for the mainstream.


In summary, the current largest consumer SATA SSD available is the 16TB Micron 5300 series drive. Enterprise SATA SSD models scale even higher, up to 64TB. However, interface limits mean future SSD capacity growth will be driven by PCI Express and similar high-bandwidth interconnects.

While SSDs with capacities in the tens of terabytes range are still expensive, they provide unparalleled storage density and excellent overall drive performance. As costs inevitably decrease, gigantic SSDs will become viable options for more and more use cases needing both substantial space and solid state benefits. The era of enormous yet lightning fast storage is just getting started.