Can You Use A Laptop SSD In A Desktop

Like many things in life, personal and business computing needs often evolve. From one context to the other, this evolution leads to the question: can you use a laptop SSD on a desktop?

Yes, it is possible to use a laptop SSD (solid-state drive) on a desktop computer. However, a simple yes or no answer might not be enough to determine if doing so will meet your or intended use.

In this article, we will look at key factors that influence the usability of an SSD on a desktop. Beyond answering the question, we’ll also look into other things you need to consider before committing to an upgrade.

What Types of SSD Are Available On The Market?

Knowing that it is possible to use a laptop SSD on a desktop is one thing. However, identifying the exact one that will fulfill your current need is a different ball game. And that’s why we’re going to talk about the different types of SSDs available on the market.


This is the most widely used SSD for, both, desktops and laptops. In terms of design, SATA SSDs look pretty much like a hard drive; this is the main thing that makes them compatible for seamless use in most desktops.

Using this type of SSD, you can enable your desktop to reach up to 4 times the speed of a PC hard drive.

With this type of SSD, there is a possibility that you’ll find different speed grades on the market. In most cases, you will have the option to choose between SATA 2 and SATA 3. When you look at the core specification, what you’ll find is data transfer speed differences. These are usually measured in gigabit per second (Gbps).

Examples of SATA SSD


For high-end storage, this is another type of SSD you can find on the market. The term PCIe stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect Express. Based on my personal experiences and research, I can say that this is the fastest type of SSD you’ll find on today’s market.

One key difference between this type of SSD and SATA is that you need to buy a compatible motherboard to use the SSD on a desktop. Also, the board needs to have PCIe slots for the whole upgrade to work.

Examples of PCIe SSDs

SSD Design Factors To Consider

Design is one factor that determines the usability of SSDs on a desktop. Knowing that all the drives are rarely the same, I recommend considering the interface or compatibility of the desktop you want to use, as this will determine the most suitable SSD.

Design is mainly about the shape, size, and connection interface of the SSD you want to buy. These are the core factors that influence its compatibility with a desktop.

Below are the most common designs found on today’s market.

2.5 Inch Serial ATA

2.5 Inch Serial ATA

This is a SATA SSD that seems to be very popular on the market. For seamless connection, you can make use of the same connecting cables and interface used in all SATA SSD compatible devices.

In most cases, this one is shaped like a conventional laptop hard drive. However, if you want to buy this for usage on a desktop, check if a bay adapter is required for easy and compatible installation.

SSD Add-In Card

This is the type of SSD that you can plug straight into your PCs motherboard. Among other benefits, the SSD Add-In Card promises great speed. From experience, I have found it to be faster than what you’ll get from most SATA SSDs.

Since high-speed data transfer generates a lot of heat, this SSD is built with an extra surface area that allows for better cooling. For easy installation and usage on a desktop, you’ll need an empty PCIe 4x slot.

M.2 SSDs


Returning to what I said earlier, size is one of the key differentiators. After that, it’s about the compatible connection interface.

While SSDs are rarely the same size, most models will be 22mm wide and 80mm long. For a stress-free upgrade, check your existing motherboard’s anchor points. This will help ensure compatibility with a long or short M.2 SSD.

If you need 1 – 4TB data storage capacity, this is the best SSD for that purpose. (Think high-end gaming or video editing.)


The answer to the question is undoubtedly yes, you can use a laptop SSD on a desktop. However, you have to consider some factors (which we discussed above) before embarking on a mission to upgrade your computer.

If, after considering various SSDs and going over your specs, you still can’t make a choice, consider asking a technician or someone else who is knowledgeable. Good luck!

Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

1 Comment

  1. I know it’s used on desktop computers but this is the first time I’ve heard of ssd on laptops. Interesting

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