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Head is Spinning - Looking at m.2 NVME drives


Sir Beregond
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So the more I look into these, the more my head is spinning. The one thing I seem to see is that currently until games really start making use of upcoming things like Direct Storage, there's not really a noticeable difference in loading times and such between say a PCI-E 3.0 and 4.0 drive and maybe even SATA SSD's to an extent. All are of course magnitudes better than a hard drive.

 

Anyway, since I am on X570 and am wanting to have this build long term am thinking it makes sense to get at least my main drive as a 4.0 drive so that potentially I have a fast drive for when it might matter in the future. Otherwise thinking a 3.0 drive is fine for my second m.2 slot as my secondary game drive. I want to get both as 2TB drives.

 

Anyway, the next thing I am seeing is types of drives like TLC, MLC, QLC, 3D NAND. Frankly I don't know what I should be looking at. Got the impression MLC was the way to go, but see most things seem to be TLC now. Then heard something about having DRAM cache?

 

Honestly, what should I be looking for? I game, I do streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), and I browse. It's not a file server with massive file copies or writes all the time. Just a general use computer where gaming will be the most taxing thing it does.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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6 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

So the more I look into these, the more my head is spinning. The one thing I seem to see is that currently until games really start making use of upcoming things like Direct Drive, there's not really a noticeable difference in loading times and such between say a PCI-E 3.0 and 4.0 drive and maybe even SATA SSD's to an extent. All are of course magnitudes better than a hard drive.

 

Anyway, since I am on X570 and am wanting to have this build long term am thinking it makes sense to get at least my main drive as a 4.0 drive so that potentially I have a fast drive for when it might matter in the future. Otherwise thinking a 3.0 drive is fine for my second m.2 slot as my secondary game drive. I want to get both as 2TB drives.

 

Anyway, the next thing I am seeing is types of drives like TLC, MLC, QLC, 3D NAND. Frankly I don't know what I should be looking at. Got the impression MLC was the way to go, but see most things seem to be TLC now. Then heard something about having DRAM cache?

 

Honestly, what should I be looking for? I game, I do streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), and I browse. It's not a file server with massive file copies or writes all the time. Just a general use computer where gaming will be the most taxing thing it does.

You are stressing for no reason. There is VERY little noticeable difference between them. I don't personally buy drives to worry about their benchmarks per se. I don't think I would notice a 2 second difference between NVME 4.0 and an SSD. This article comes to mind.

 

"Having a DRAM cache is also not important for game loading."

 

https://www.techspot.com/review/2116-storage-speed-game-loading/ 

Edited by Avacado
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1 hour ago, Sir Beregond said:

So the more I look into these, the more my head is spinning. The one thing I seem to see is that currently until games really start making use of upcoming things like Direct Storage, there's not really a noticeable difference in loading times and such between say a PCI-E 3.0 and 4.0 drive and maybe even SATA SSD's to an extent. All are of course magnitudes better than a hard drive.

 

Anyway, since I am on X570 and am wanting to have this build long term am thinking it makes sense to get at least my main drive as a 4.0 drive so that potentially I have a fast drive for when it might matter in the future. Otherwise thinking a 3.0 drive is fine for my second m.2 slot as my secondary game drive. I want to get both as 2TB drives.

 

Anyway, the next thing I am seeing is types of drives like TLC, MLC, QLC, 3D NAND. Frankly I don't know what I should be looking at. Got the impression MLC was the way to go, but see most things seem to be TLC now. Then heard something about having DRAM cache?

 

Honestly, what should I be looking for? I game, I do streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), and I browse. It's not a file server with massive file copies or writes all the time. Just a general use computer where gaming will be the most taxing thing it does.

 

...I'm certainly not an expert on 2.5 inch drives (nvme, other), but from what I've read, I would stick with TLC or lower, meaning avoiding QLC (for now). So a nice 2TB TLC nvme with s.th. like TLC could fit the bill.

 

If you win lotto, go for the absolute best (I have U.2 capable mobos, but there are M.2 > U.2 converters out there) ??

 

IntelP5800Xb.thumb.jpg.dc5f177ca40159682676f9cfb6635052.jpg

  

IntelP5800X.thumb.jpg.537460af0cf9395bb8746f930670f517.jpg

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35 minutes ago, J7SC_Orion said:

 

...I'm certainly not an expert on 2.5 inch drives (nvme, other), but from what I've read, I would stick with TLC or lower, meaning avoiding QLC (for now). So a nice 2TB TLC nvme with s.th. like TLC could fit the bill.

 

If you win lotto, go for the absolute best (I have U.2 capable mobos, but there are M.2 > U.2 converters out there) ??

 

IntelP5800Xb.thumb.jpg.dc5f177ca40159682676f9cfb6635052.jpg

  

IntelP5800X.thumb.jpg.537460af0cf9395bb8746f930670f517.jpg

Too rich for my blood. ?

 

33 minutes ago, BWG said:

I had a single 960 256 gb in my old rig and notice no difference vs 3x sn750 raid 0 except when moving files to my ramdrive. 

Good to know, thank you.

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27 minutes ago, damric said:

My go-to drive is the Silicon Power A80 1TB for $115. It's fast enough and very cheap. I've purchased 8 of them over the last 2 years for various builds. Also the A60 1TB is a good deal when it goes for $85. That one isn't quite as fast so I put those on the PCH.

I have this drive. I choose it after trying to find the best price/performance ratio. It's fast, no regrets. 

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  • 7 months later...

Micro Center happened to have a 2TB 970 Evo Plus on sale for $219, so I grabbed one the other day. It was normally $329. I am contemplating getting a second one as I wanted 2 drives. Its not gen 4, but frankly don't care since it'll be a gaming machine. That said, was looking around and maybe they just made it sound like a deal lol.

 

Might just look for something cheaper for the other drive.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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1 hour ago, Sir Beregond said:

Micro Center happened to have a 2TB 970 Evo Plus on sale for $219, so I grabbed one the other day. It was normally $329. I am contemplating getting a second one as I wanted 2 drives. Its not gen 4, but frankly don't care since it'll be a gaming machine. That said, was looking around and maybe they just made it sound like a deal lol.

 

Might just look for something cheaper for the other drive.

Nice grab. Forget Gen4 when it cames to Gaming. Any performance uplift will be strictly on paper only...as in you will not see a real world difference.  Got to love some of that Black Friday !

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2 hours ago, ENTERPRISE said:

Nice grab. Forget Gen4 when it cames to Gaming. Any performance uplift will be strictly on paper only...as in you will not see a real world difference.  Got to love some of that Black Friday !

I figured since I am coming from a SATA 2.5" SSD, anything is an upgrade, so I am happy.

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ill put my own two cents in here, i've got all 3 types of drives in my current rig, 2x sata SSDs, a m.2 gen 3 SSD and a m.2 gen 4 SSD

 

load times for windows have maybe a half second difference between drives. load times for games are also pretty moot, i installed metro exudos in all 3 type of drives to test, and settled that my sata 2TB SSD was more than fast enough, a second or two more at most on a loading screen.

 

M.2 drives were designed for SPACE SAVING for smaller computer builds and such primarily. benchmarks as synthetic as they are make little to no real-world difference. and the pricetag sure kicks your wallet pretty hard between the 3 of them on the shelf.

 

in the end, go with whichever ssd tickles your fancy that you have space for cause every speed jump in drives seems to be more rediculous pricing for much less actual real-world operation differences.

Edited by PCSarge
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8 hours ago, PCSarge said:

ill put my own two cents in here, i've got all 3 types of drives in my current rig, 2x sata SSDs, a m.2 gen 3 SSD and a m.2 gen 4 SSD

 

load times for windows have maybe a half second difference between drives. load times for games are also pretty moot, i installed metro exudos in all 3 type of drives to test, and settled that my sata 2TB SSD was more than fast enough, a second or two more at most on a loading screen.

 

M.2 drives were designed for SPACE SAVING for smaller computer builds and such primarily. benchmarks as synthetic as they are make little to no real-world difference. and the pricetag sure kicks your wallet pretty hard between the 3 of them on the shelf.

 

in the end, go with whichever ssd tickles your fancy that you have space for cause every speed jump in drives seems to be more rediculous pricing for much less actual real-world operation differences.

 

This all day. I will admit, I was chasing specs when I got my Gen4 drives. Do I NEED those speeds or even appreciate them ? Not at all lol. A Standard SSD or Gen3 NVme will do 99.9% of people just fine. Pricing also stinks as well on some Gen3/4 NVme drives too compared to your standard SSD, so I agree that there are some definite savings to be had.

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19 hours ago, PCSarge said:

ill put my own two cents in here, i've got all 3 types of drives in my current rig, 2x sata SSDs, a m.2 gen 3 SSD and a m.2 gen 4 SSD

 

load times for windows have maybe a half second difference between drives. load times for games are also pretty moot, i installed metro exudos in all 3 type of drives to test, and settled that my sata 2TB SSD was more than fast enough, a second or two more at most on a loading screen.

 

M.2 drives were designed for SPACE SAVING for smaller computer builds and such primarily. benchmarks as synthetic as they are make little to no real-world difference. and the pricetag sure kicks your wallet pretty hard between the 3 of them on the shelf.

 

in the end, go with whichever ssd tickles your fancy that you have space for cause every speed jump in drives seems to be more rediculous pricing for much less actual real-world operation differences.

This really helps. Thank you. As I am eliminating having any mechanical drives in this build, the m.2 drives did appeal so that I could then just use 2.5" SSD's for any storage I need past the first two drives. So in a way I am using it for physical space saving, not to mention saving on cable clutter as well.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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Just ordered this yesterday,cyber sale price was $89.99 regular listed was $119.99, and now it's listing at $129.99 lol. Got this one 'Cause it was 1000 MB/s faster(possibly) than the WD Blue SN550 and Crucial was also a well known name to me. Plus,it has a slightly better warranty.Both have 5 year,but the Crucial has a max 600TBW while the WD SN550 has a max 400TBW. Including the WD warranty specs if anyone needs them for various drives.Edit: The WD Black SN750 is listing for about $95 and has the same warranty specs & speeds as the crucial if anyone's looking. 🙂 I just needed to upgrade the 120Gb drive my OS is on.

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Screenshot_561.jpg

Edited by schuck6566
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4 hours ago, schuck6566 said:

Just ordered this yesterday,cyber sale price was $89.99 regular listed was $119.99, and now it's listing at $129.99 lol. Got this one 'Cause it was 1000 MB/s faster(possibly) than the WD Blue SN550 and Crucial was also a well known name to me. Plus,it has a slightly better warranty.Both have 5 year,but the Crucial has a max 600TBW while the WD SN550 has a max 400TBW. Including the WD warranty specs if anyone needs them for various drives.Edit: The WD Black SN750 is listing for about $95 and has the same warranty specs & speeds as the crucial if anyone's looking. 🙂 I just needed to upgrade the 120Gb drive my OS is on.

Screenshot_560.jpg

Screenshot_561.jpg

Yea, I'm a huge fanboy of Crucial too. I have 2 MX500 and 2 MX1000 plus a 1GB NVME P1. They are solid, affordable drives with comparable performance to that of Samsung etc...

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2 hours ago, Avacado said:

Yea, I'm a huge fanboy of Crucial too. I have 2 MX500 and 2 MX1000 plus a 1GB NVME P1. They are solid, affordable drives with comparable performance to that of Samsung etc...

i have an MX300 1TB, an MX500 2TB and a few older ones in my storage pile from cruicial

 

also glad to be of help beregond. glad my knowledge is still useful.

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As a fellow SSD lover here, personally I noticed a pretty noticeable difference going between various SSD's, 2.5" and NVME.  And even from one NVME to a faster NVME I noticed a difference too.  Outside of benchmarks, and IMMEDIATELY using 2 different drives, you probably won't notice a difference.  But my rig sure feels a lot snappier with this Gen 3 NVME I have now over the older NVME I had before.  I can only imagine that a Gen 4 would feel even faster.

My (current) drives for comparison would be a Crucial BX500 1-2TB (I have many of both), RAID0 BX500's (up to 4), Silicon Power 1TB NVME rated at like 1800MB/s reads (forget model), and now my Mushkin Pilot-E 1TB NVME rated at something like 3600MB/s reads I think.  And yes, my fastest NVME is absolutely noticeable to ME in a few select environments, and I'd imagine an even faster NVME would still be noticeably faster yet.  Everyday usage it feels snappier too.

But....it all depends on your use too.  Really, so long as you're avoiding mechanical drives as best you can for OS and game storage, I doubt you'll have a "bad" time even with an older NVME.

As always, just grab the fastest drive with good warranty that your budget allows you to, and quit worrying about it. 🙂  Gen 3 or Gen 4, either will be very fast and snappy.  And outside of a very select few gaming titles and overall "snappiness" of the system, you absolutely will not notice a difference even from a regular 2.5" SSD.

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Speaking of Crucial, I have pretty much exclusively used Crucial SSD's for my 2.5" drives going back to my old 128GB M4. Been nothing but happy with them. Will take a look at the NVME's then too. But will definitely keep using them for any add on 2.5" SATA drives.

 

EDIT: I also see the 970 Evo Plus 2TB I bought last week actually went down in price to $199, so thinking of returning and then rebuying... Not sure what MicroCenter allows on that front.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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Never has an issue with Crucial drives myself, they are solid and realistically priced. I am not using one myself in my current build right now but I have an MX500 SSD that I am using in my brothers build. It is his first PC 🙂

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