M.2 Worth it?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by zed, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. zed

    zed
    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    I want to buy more storage, 1GB SSD prolly as its black friday and I have been running out of storage for a while

    I have M2 NVMe SSD on my other PC, ~3500 MB/sec (intel pc)

    though at the moment I have this as my main PC
    https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/PRIME/PRIME-B450M-A/

    but it only has SSD sata, ~500 MB/sec (amd pc)

    loading stuff from the slower SSD seems quicker on the amd than the intel machine, I assume cause the CPU,memory is quicker, so in the real world having 7x the transfer speed make bugger all difference
    And looking at benchmarks online it seems to make bugger all difference, a few percentage points at most.
    https://www.techspot.com/review/2116-storage-speed-game-loading/
    I dont play games, but I assume my usage is similar

    The thing is with M2 NVMe it seems like most motherboards only have the one slot, so if I buy something now I cant really transfer it over to a new PC (which I maybe getting in less than a year) like I can easily with a sata SSD as you can easily plug in multiple of those drives, also sata is ~30-50% cheaper.

    So if you were in my shoes would you get a sata SSD or a M2 one?
    And which brand looks good here
    https://www.pccomponentes.com/discos-duros/1-tb
     
  2. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,313
    Likes Received:
    2,579
    can confirm that NVME and SATA SSD have too little real performance difference on games. I use 2x SATA SSD and 1x NVME SSD.

    which one to buy? if it was me, I'll simply buy whichever cheaper hahaha.

    EDIT: this is 1.8GB file to SSD and to NVME.



    uh... seems to be the same.
     
  3. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    16,813
    Likes Received:
    4,114
  4. hoom

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,140
    Likes Received:
    694
    A big advantage of M2 is the formfactor is tiny & its not using a SATA port you might otherwise use for a big spinny storage disk. (or a SATA SSD)
    For game/level loading M2 is probably not hugely quicker than a SATA, the big speed difference is that step up from spinny storage to SSD.
     
    orangpelupa likes this.
  5. WhiningKhan

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    234
    An external USB3.1 enclosure for M2 resolves cloning issues. And it's surprisingly fast even used directly as mass storage over USB - I get 330MB/s with a 35eur WD 256GB M2 in it.
     
  6. zed

    zed
    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    I have 5 vacant SATA ports and one vacant M2 port

    Thanks guys, You've convinced me SATA is the way to go
     
  7. zed

    zed
    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    Whoops I should of replied earlier.
    After more looking it seems like there are motherboards with more than one M2 port, so with my next PC I can get a new fast M2 and then also just put my current M2 into it.

    So I did buy the M2 3500 MB/s vs sata 550 MB/s
    I'm glad I did level loading is about 20% quicker, not 7x but still any improvement is good when you're doing something a couple of hundred times a day loading 0.3 secs quicker is nice
     
    Silent_Buddha and orangpelupa like this.
  8. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,543
    Likes Received:
    3,481
    Yea my board has 1 nvme slot for a gen 3 m.2 drive and one for a sata m.2 drive. Both are full now.

    I hope they come out with a new sata spec in the future. The 600MB/s limitation is drastic now a days . Be great if they could come up with a sata solution that is around 4GB/s so your not limited to the physical space on your board.
     
  9. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    8,776
    Likes Received:
    851
    Location:
    WI, USA
    SATA Express was very briefly a thing back during the Haswell days. Seems like we are stuck with m.2 for some reason. Maybe because it's useful for notebooks too.
     
    #9 swaaye, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  10. Babel-17

    Veteran Regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes Received:
    276
    Hi zed, I'm replying to the part of your post that I bolded. I had a PC die just after I'd bought a new one, and as it has two M.2 slots I was able to use the M.2 drive from my dead PC in my new one, along with the new M.2 drive that I had in it.

    As I have PrimoCache software I was able to use the older M.2 drive as a Level Two caching device. Level One cache is based on using a portion of your regular system RAM. I then assign that Level Two cache to just the drive that has my video games. So Primo Cache now uses both RAM and the older M.2 drive to cache game levels. The caching of those levels is persistent on the M.2 drive across reboots. Game levels that were cached into RAM can be set to be prefetched on boot up. I have some SSDs that I use for games, but it's nice to have a large HDD to keep installed all my games, and to know that with PrimoCache that they will load a bit faster. Off topic but I'm really happy with that hard drive, a Western Digital 8TB Ultrastar, and it has extremely fast read and write speeds when working contiguously with files.

    That older M.2 drive, a 480GB MyDigitalSSD BPX, is a real trooper. It wasn't the fastest even when new, but it has a Phison controller and MLC NAND, and according to HWiNFO it still has 99% of its life left. I'd bought it in March of 2017 and used it for my C: drive, with a partition of it dedicated to some games that had long loading times, and which I got killed in a lot, lol, like Max Payne 3.

    Anyway, PrimoCache can be a little tricky to configure but the company has extensive guides, a good forum, and support which responds quickly to emails and posts in the forum. Lifetime license/updates, and it's transferable from PC to PC. I've already done that, and it was just a matter of emailing them to have them reset my license. 30 day free trial.

    It works with regular SSDs, naturally, and even just extra system ram you might have free to allocate to it. That was its original purpose. As more and more people upgrade and are loathe to ditch their older, but expensive at the time, SSDs, I can see this software becoming more popular. Ram prices recently went up, but when prices are low people become prone to loading up on it, and then finding out that Windows nowadays is pretty good these days on not bleeding it away. Resource Monitor in Windows might show them that even after using Windows for a while they'll have lots of free memory, and a real lot of memory in Standby, which afaik just Windows caching of it. Memory that's free is just sitting idle, and imo a candidate for being put to good use.

    I'd rather not directly link to it, but a search brings PrimoCache up as the top result.
     
    Rootax likes this.
  11. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    8,776
    Likes Received:
    851
    Location:
    WI, USA
    I have used Intel's Smart Response in the past to cache a hard drive with a SSD. But once 1TB SSDs got cheap I just switched to only using a SSD.

    Has anyone actually worn out an SSD? I have quite the collection of oldies. I have a few working OCZ Vertex 2 drives yet heh. One is still in a regularly used P965 Core 2 system out there.
     
    #11 swaaye, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  12. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
    Moderator Legend Alpha

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    18,906
    Likes Received:
    21,329
    I wore out an old 480 Gig SSD when I used it in my fileserver for fast write cache as well as destination for initial downloads, extractions, and organization. By wore out I mean it was throwing errors a few times a month about sector reallocations and bad writes, enough to the point where I didn't trust it with my data. It's now been replaced with a 1TB cache drive. IIRC, it was in use on the server for about 5.5 years (2013 - 2019), Seagate 600 SSD. Storage Review info on the drive itself -- https://www.storagereview.com/review/seagate-600-ssd-review

    I replaced it with a $130 in 2019 Samsung 860 EVO SSD.
     
    Silent_Buddha and swaaye like this.
  13. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    17,821
    Likes Received:
    7,884
    So far, my Crucial C300 SSD from 2010 (Crucial RealSSD C300 Review (256GB) | StorageReview.com ) is still going strong, amazingly. This was the main drive in my PC (including all of Windows caching, temp files, etc.) until about 4 or so years ago. Now it's home for my less frequently played Steam games that I don't want to uninstall since I still play them from time to time.

    It's outlasted a much newer and less used Samsung 860. All of the SSDs (a few were SLC drives) that I got before the Crucial one died years ago. I'm waiting for this workhorse to die any day now. It's lasted far longer than it has any right to have lasted. I'll be a very sad puppy when it finally gives up the ghost. I might even bury it with our dogs and cats at the pet cemetery at our family ranch. :p

    Regards,
    SB
     
    BRiT likes this.
  14. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    16,813
    Likes Received:
    4,114
    Dont !!!!
    It will come back to life and try to murder you...
     
    BRiT and Silent_Buddha like this.
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    8,776
    Likes Received:
    851
    Location:
    WI, USA
    Sounds like the Sandisk Ultra 240GB that I have which works perfectly 90% of the time, until it disappears and needs a power cycle. That is murderous tension. I have a feeling it has a defective NAND chip that triggers something because the SMART data is definitely a bit unhappy.
     
    #15 swaaye, May 4, 2021
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  16. Rootax

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,083
    Likes Received:
    1,522
    Location:
    France
    Nice post.

    I use Primocache for years now, but just as "ram" cache before my ssds.

    Two use cases for me. A cache for the os drives : a lot of apps&the os are writing temporary stuff, which are deleted a few seconds after, creating useless write. With a small read/write cache and a 10 second buffer, my os drivrs (on two pcs) are writing on disk approx. 75% of what they would do without the cache. So I kind of extending the life of them ? (I guess another component will die before the nand cells anyway :D)

    My other use case is for my data drive (games on one computer, big files on another). I've ssds on both too, but in certain situation I will read the same file over and over again, so a cache is welcome. Now, windows 10/2016/+ already have a decent caching system, but the primocache is more tuneable and you can have nice stats. "Funny fact", when I'm playing CyberPunk 2077, by hit cache rate is around 50-60%. No wonder the loading in game are quick :eek:
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...