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Advantage NVMe...for all storage?

vwcrusher

4 months ago

I am in the process of specifying a system for Premiere Pro, Lightroom and some gaming. CPU will be 9900K with 32GB RAM.

The issue of storage is where I am not clear on what to do. I will use an NVMe drive for W10 and applications, but for primary data is it advised to use another NVMe, or is there no advantage? And, please, why?

Thanks!

Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

but for primary data is it advised to use another NVMe, or is there no advantage? And, please, why?

Well it's not not advised. It's just NVMe tends to be expensive relative to SATA SSDs or SATA HDDs so people don't tend to use NVMe as a drive to store data. There's no technical reason why you can't or shouldn't, the cost is just prohibitive for most consumers. Although the Intel 660p is an NVMe drive that's shocking low in price, even relative to SATA SSDs, so even that argument is starting to falter.

And personally I feel like mor more SSD space equals more happiness. I'm running several TB's of SSD space between NVMe and SATA. It's great from a performance/experience perspective, but most people aren't too keen on the idea of spending $400 on storage either. Which is why you see a lot of folks, and first-timer SSD users, spending $50 on a 250GB SSD or some such.

Otherwise, no there's not really any benefit, while the data is sitting there idle in storage, the bits don't really care if they're on a NVMe drive or SATA SSD, or even a SATA HDD. When you go to read that data at some point the NVMe will be faster, but depending on the size/amount of data in question, you probably wouldn't notice a difference between NVMe and SATA SSD. Although m2 drives do have the benefit of no cables, which is nice and neat. And the Intel 660p is a cheap NVMe drive, cheap even by SATA SSD standards, so that might be an option. I mean no reason to get a m2 SATA (or SATA 2.5") drive when you can get a faster NVMe drive for the same or less.

So yeah, if you've got the budget to spend on a ton of SSD space, and a ton of NVMe space, treat yo self I say.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the reply. So if I understand correctly, For a boot drive, yes. For data, no. And the rationale is that I would not notice the difference. Even with the type of applications I anticipate using?

I suppose my rationale for making that extra investment is the cost/benefit over the life of the system, so the extra cost of an NVMe drive is amortized over (for me typically) 6 or 7 years. So the initial price difference becomes less of a factor.

For example a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus is currently ~$250

The 1TB Samsung 960 EVO is ~$150.....about $100 difference. If I keep the system for 5 years, thats $20/year...not too much.

Does any of this make sense?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

If that is how you like to rationalize spending money that is fine. I run everything off a single 1 TB 970 Pro because I want speed and don't want to deal with multiple drives. If you are not worried about the cost I would just run a single NVMe drive and avoid having to deal with two drives.

The performance of 1 vs 2 NVMe drives isn't going to be noticeable if you are still loading applications or files all from 1 drive at a time. The only difference here would be if you were running some sort of RAID 0 (striping) or RAID 1 (potential 2x read performance?).

In applications where you have work that you don't want to lose, I'd run a second drive (such as a larger HDD) that is just used for backup. Even then I'd probably prefer this drive to be external so that it can move around and not necessarily need to be connected to the computer all the time (ie. backup every once in a while and then store the drive in a safe place).

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Does any of this make sense?

Sure, I don't think there's necessarily a wrong strategy or anything. It's just a combination of where your budget, needs and values lay. And if you have a clear idea of where that is, that answers most of your questions. And I tend to agree with your overall strategy of figuring the cost per lifetime. Because I see a lot of rather short sighted advice where people seem to cut corners now and pay for upgrades later that often doesn't end up being cheaper.

I mean at the moment I'm running 2.5TB of NVMe SSD space and 2TB of SATA SSD space. I could have spent less, I could have gotten a 2TB SATA SSD and 2-4TB HDD for much less and it would probably work pretty OK. But my budget is such that I didn't need to compromise, and my values are such that I'm done with HDDs, and my needs are... met because I don't have HDDs slowing anything down.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

If you purchased an NVMe drive, typically lower capacity to operate as a boot drive, if you want an additional high capacity NVMe drive to store your files/games/movies etc, you have to make sure your motherboard can support it. Not all motherboards have two M2 2280 slots. Those that do have two or more slots will often have one dedicated for NVMe/Sata and the others Sata only. Some very good motherboards/chipsets do indeed have two or more slots that are compatable with NVMe. You have to research your motherboard and make sure whats what. One can always use a PCIe slot to install an NVMe drive with an adapter but if you have a single slot (i.e. as is typical for an ITX board) you would be out of luck....

Advice: If your motherboard has additional slots compatible with NVMe drives, then by all means fill these up. High capacity NVMe drives are awesome, used either as single drives or in RAID configuration. If you think about it, the price gap has significantly decreased. I picked up three Intel 760p 2TB drives for a song recently, a mere $250 each. These drives are slower than a 970 EVO but faster than the 660p that people usually purchase as their go to bargain NVMe drive. I also picked up a Samsung 970 EVO 2TB for $350. The 2TB 860 EVO which is Sata III sells for around this. The price gap has decreased, and in many ways, it can be cheaper to get an NVMe drive than a Sata one - at least if you really shop around. I no longer buy Sata SSD's/HDD's - less cables to manage.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the post; The MB that I have specified is the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Elite or Pro, both of which have two NVMe slots.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Make sure that the second M2 port actually supports NVMe, some are SATA only.

Microcenter recently sent a message stating that they were selling crucial 1TB QLC NVMe for $110. This might be a great price for any data you don't heavily write on, although I'm less certain of its performance as it becomes as it fills up. It isn't clear how long there will be a premium for SATA over NVMe PCIe interfaces.

Finally, 4 pci-e lanes is a lot of bandwidth for a motherboard/chipset. Don't assume you can read/write at full speed to a bunch of NVMe drives while simultaneously dedicating 16 channels to your GPU. Expect a lot of congestion on the chipset or possibly something like a Ryzen 3 motherboard delivering PCIe2 to the GPU & NVMe cards that share PCIe3 channels.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I think it is more how you want to organize things, some people put everything on some other drive and leave the OS and only have maybe things they are using right now on there. Some have business reasons for keeping things organized. Some have tiny m.2 OS drives due to budget reasons. If you are dealing with big files and editing for example then you may want another m.2 just because its faster than sata, and over 1tb m.2 can cost more right now so you might run two m.2 1tb drives. If you have budget you might get more, and you will get the fastest drives nvme why not.

I have a 480gb m.2 and a 3tb hdd for my new PC for home stuff. I can put all my old stuff on the 3tb and still clone drives on it or whatever. None of it requires fast access so this works for me, and I can get another m.2 or sata ssd any time I might need it.

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