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39 posts

Geek


#272309 18-Jun-2020 21:57
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Hi, I'm thinking about finally putting a second SSD in my 2014 desktop (1tb for Steam etc).

 

My main question is whether it is a good idea to get a NVME one and a PCI-E adaptor. 

 

Thinking: Costs more but faster and if I rebuild later (or even buy a laptop as next PC) drive is more useful for new build.

 

Does that make sense or should I go SATA?

 

Existing motherboard: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z77-D3H-rev-10/sp#sp

 

Possible adaptor: https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/ENCOEM0009/kingshare-KS-NVX405-BM-KEY-Nvme-M2-NGFF-SSD-to-PCI

 

(I probably won't try to boot from the new drive, keep the old SSD for that, though I've heard its possible if you flash the bios)

 

cheers for any thoughts

 

PS Other specs

 

128gb SSD with OS, and 2tb HD

 

Graphics Chipset - AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series
Memory Size - 1024 MB
Memory Type - GDDR5
Core Clock - 900 MHz
Windows Version - Windows 10 (64 bit)
System Memory - 8 GB
CPU Type - Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570 CPU @ 3.40GHz

 

Have been playing with benchmarks and it says my processor etc is still pretty fine (amazed how fine really)

 

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/29436933

 

I know my graphics card is weak but my games are more Xcom than FPS...

 

 


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570 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2507810 19-Jun-2020 01:37
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Definitely go with an NVMe SSD.  The specs for your motherboard say it is using the Intel Z77 chipset, which does PCIe 3.0.  That means that you will get full throughput from most NVMe SSDs - not many are PCIe 4.0 yet.  The speed is dramatically faster than a SATA SSD.  I did this on my Windows box (2013 Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 motherboard).  Even though the motherboard only does PCIe 2.0, I am very pleased with how fast it is.  For best results, you really want the operating system on the NVMe SSD - it actually makes Windows tolerably fast.  I have a similar setup with my slightly older MythTV box (Ubunutu Linux 18.04 running on a 2012 Asus M5A97EVO motherboard).  This is also PCIe 2.0 only, but since Ubuntu has been tuned for booting from NVMe using systemd, it gains even more from a super fast NVMe SSD so boot times have to be seen to be believed.  It takes longer going through the BIOS than for the OS booting.

 

In my Windows box I originally was using a Kingston HyperX Predator SHPM2280P2 240 Gbyte NVMe SSD, and have recently upgraded that to a Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1 Tbyte NVME SSD.  The MythTV box has a Samsung 950 Pro 256 Gbyte NVME SSD.  These are (or were at the time) high end devices, near the top of the available speed range for consumer NVMe SSDs.  I consider them to be some of the best money I have ever spent.  And these days, the prices are much lower than when I originally got mine, so you can afford a much bigger one.


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  #2507812 19-Jun-2020 03:44
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For normal use you won't see a great benefit in an nvme sad. They are significantly faster than a sata drive but unless you are doing significant data transfers it's hard to see the benefit. I'm assuming you're using a decent sata sdd with a dram cache, not the cheapest POS you can find .

If you are regularly moving big files or regularly using a page file it's a totally different story.

Take a look at this video. It's a Linus video so you might find it annoying but it does show you a real world type comparison.

https://youtu.be/4DKLA7w9eeA

 
 
 
 


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  #2507816 19-Jun-2020 06:28
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Might be worthwhile if you plan to put it in a new machine in future.

 

 

 

Personally I prefer my OS / programs on a disk that's just big enough (128 - 256GB for me), so I can take small OS images to recover quickly if Windows fails. Windows boot and program load is plenty fast on a standard SSD, I would put the data I need fast access to on the fastest disk. You could partition a 1TB SSD into OS and data partitions, not sure if that's a good idea or not with regards to wear levelling and such.


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Master Geek


  #2507864 19-Jun-2020 09:05
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For a secondary drive just get a 2.5" Sata in my opinion. Cheaper, fast enough, and compatible with a wide range of hardware. I do like M.2 drives though, no  cables or case mounting to worry about.

 

 

 

As mentioned by others already there is no real world advantage for gaming with NVME, even on a boot drive the difference is nothing like the benchmarks would suggest.

 

 

 

There are a lot of comparison videos showing load times etc on youtube, basically any good SSD is close enough to the same in the tests. The exception being the really cheap Cacheless drives that you see around.

 

 

 

When I built my current PC I upgraded from a Samsung 850 evo M.2 Sata SSD to a 970 evo NVME SSD and despite the sequential speeds being up to 6 times faster in theory I really didn't notice a difference.

 

 

 

Don't get caught up in the read and write speed numbers, that's more about marketing than user experience. NVME drives are faster, but it really doesn't matter for most of us. Yes there are use cases where it matters, gaming isn't one of them.


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  #2507929 19-Jun-2020 10:55
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Your motherboard won't support the high speed NMVE M.2.
(It only supports the sata interface ones) These are more expensive(& now uncommon) than a standard 2.5in Sata SSD.
And have same performance.

So you would be simply wasting money going M.2./MSATA. (Paying 20% more for same performance)

Get a standard 2.5in SATA SSD is definately your best option here.



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Geek


  #2507951 19-Jun-2020 11:17
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yes the motherboard doesn't have the slot but I think it is possible to use NVME using the spare PCI-E and an adaptor card.

 

But I think I'll go SATA - thanks all for thoughts.

 

Good idea re backup of boot drive (my boot SSD is small so I'll look into that).

 

 


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Uber Geek


  #2508047 19-Jun-2020 12:54
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You probably know this, but just in case, you won't be able to boot from your PCI-e NVMe adapter with a machine that age. 


 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek


  #2508539 20-Jun-2020 02:00
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timmmay:

 

Might be worthwhile if you plan to put it in a new machine in future.

 

 

 

Personally I prefer my OS / programs on a disk that's just big enough (128 - 256GB for me), so I can take small OS images to recover quickly if Windows fails. Windows boot and program load is plenty fast on a standard SSD, I would put the data I need fast access to on the fastest disk. You could partition a 1TB SSD into OS and data partitions, not sure if that's a good idea or not with regards to wear levelling and such.

 

 

It has no effect at all on wear leveling.  That is done by the firmware on the SSD and operates on an SSD block level.  All blocks on the SSD are treated the same - it does not matter what the PC OS is doing with them, they are just fixed size blocks to the SSD firmware.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2508540 20-Jun-2020 02:03
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wratterus:

 

You probably know this, but just in case, you won't be able to boot from your PCI-e NVMe adapter with a machine that age. 

 

 

There may be BIOSes from that age that do not boot NVMe, but if you read my post you will see that my two motherboards (2012 and 2013) worked just fine.  Including booting from NVMe devices.  So a 2014 motherboard with a later chipset is unlikely to be missing NVMe support.  And even if it is, you can just boot from another device, but tell the boot code to boot a partition on your NVMe device.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2508541 20-Jun-2020 02:25
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concordnz: Your motherboard won't support the high speed NMVE M.2.
(It only supports the sata interface ones) These are more expensive(& now uncommon) than a standard 2.5in Sata SSD.
And have same performance.

So you would be simply wasting money going M.2./MSATA. (Paying 20% more for same performance)

Get a standard 2.5in SATA SSD is definately your best option here.

 

The OP was looking at using a PCIe adapter card to provide his M.2 NVMe slot.  That is what I use on my two NVMe M.2 equipped boxes.  It works just fine, at the speed the motherboard provides its PCIe at.  So all you need is an unused PCIe x4, x8 or x16 slot to put the adapter card in.  M.2 slots provided on modern motherboards work exactly the same way as an adapter card - there are 4 PCIe lanes connected directly to the M.2 pins.  That is all an adapter card does - connect the PCIe slot pins to the correct M.2 pins so that 4 lanes of PCIe are available on the M.2 socket.  So there is literally no difference between using an adapter card or putting your M.2 device in a motherboard's builtin M.2 socket.

 

The slightly longer wires required to connect up the adapter card cause no problems whatsoever - PCIe is a self clocking serial protocol and can be sent over many meters of the right sort of cable (USB 3 cable) without any problems.  It is completely different from PCI, which was a parallel connection and suffered from clock synchronization problems rapidly if you tried to extent it up a card even a centimeter or two.  I have an 8 DVB-T2 tuner PCIe x1 card operating on the end of a 1 meter USB 3 cable from a PCIe x1 to USB adapter plugged into the PCIe x1 slot under my video card.  I ran out of PCIe slots except for the one hidden by the heatsink on my Nvidia video card, so after researching the subject, I found it was easy to just extend PCIe signals way out the back of my PC and run the card there.  The PCIe x1 to USB adapter I bought is specially designed to have a low profile and fit under video card heatsinks as this is a common problem.  It you want to see how this looks I have a set of photos of what I did on my web server:

 

http://www.jsw.gen.nz/mythtv/frankentuner


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  #2508547 20-Jun-2020 07:36
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fe31nz:

wratterus:


You probably know this, but just in case, you won't be able to boot from your PCI-e NVMe adapter with a machine that age. 



There may be BIOSes from that age that do not boot NVMe, but if you read my post you will see that my two motherboards (2012 and 2013) worked just fine.  Including booting from NVMe devices.  So a 2014 motherboard with a later chipset is unlikely to be missing NVMe support.  And even if it is, you can just boot from another device, but tell the boot code to boot a partition on your NVMe device.



Why would you bother? Unless OP is doing something that would benefit from the extra speed what's the point?

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