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g__day

Thinking about adding a 1-2 TB NVME drive - suggestions

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Hi folks,

 

I am thinking of adding a 1-2 TB NVME drive to my main rig - mainly for large scratch files, that would be later off-loaded to either 500GB SSDs or 8 TB HDDs.  I was toying with a few options without too much indepth knowledge and wonder if anyone has strong recommendations and the why.  The options I am thinking of include:

 

1. Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVMe 2TB SSD - $659 from Scorptec

2. Samsung 970 PRO 1TB - $479 - Scorptec

3. Samsung 970 EVO 1TB - $339 - Scorptec

4. Samsung Firecuda 2TB - $599 - Scorptec

 

I have had good experience with Samsung, my boot drive is a 960 Pro 512 GB Samsung.

 

It's going into a Aorus Gaming G-7 Gigabyte motherboard with 3 NVME drive slots available.

 

Many thanks,

 

   Matthew

 

 

Edited by g__day

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Firecuda?  That's a Seagate tag which they use for their SSHDs (hybrid mech/SSD).  I installed one for someone about a year ago (2.5") but wasn't overly impressed.  Generally the SSHDs aren't too much more $ than the standard mechanical ones.

 

Them 970s are a bit pricey vs the Sata 860s.  I've got numerous SSDs in use now but they're all Sata and as such hampered by the transmission speed limit.

 

My desktop is all SSD now though I've got a removable bay that I just switch off/on to offload stuff + another hotswap insert bay and the usual assortment of externals.

I was going to get an EVO but the local MSY being as they are had next to nothing so I had to settle for a QVO which is cheaper, slower and using quad-level cells has a much less write cycle lifetime.

 

But anyway, with your strategy I'd be maybe looking at benchmarks that reflect the type of work you'll be giving to them.

If your processing is purely sequential then it's an easy job since most SSDs perform well in that realm.

But if there's random access, especially writes then you'd want to look closely at that aspect of their performance.

Samsung though are generally pretty good relative to the rest so you should do well.  The PRO somewhat better than EVO but whether you can justify the extra expense?

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Intel Optane if you want low latency and high durability rather than capacity.

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How many data ports will you be losing, for how many M2 ports you plan to fill?

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Maybe This ....

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD 2TB 

$449 from  PC Case Gear

The SX8200 Pro M.2 2280 SSD is XPG’s fastest SSD to date and is designed for avid PC enthusiasts, gamers, and overclockers. It features an ultra-fast PCIe Gen3x4 interface that offers sustained peak read/write speeds of 3500/3000MB per second, outpacing SATA 6Gb/s by a wide margin. Supporting NVMe 1.3, the SX8200 Pro delivers excellent random read/write performance and multi-tasking capabilities. With SLC caching, a DRAM Cache buffer, E2E Data Protection, and LDPC ECC, it maintains high speeds and data integrity, even during highly intensive applications such as gaming rendering, and overclocking.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Tom's Hardware
"The Adata XPG SX8200 Pro comes to market as a high-performance alternative to the Samsung 970 series and boasts best-in-class power efficiency. The SX8200 Pro delivers some of the best performance we’ve seen, comes with very respectable endurance, and has a price that won’t break the bank.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recently spent a lot of time researching components

{:-)

Edited by Waltish
Grammar
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Nich - probably just filling one port for now - taskeing the drive as a large fast scratch file space this year - possible will add a second card next year if I wish to clone my boot drive to a larger NVMe drive.  I have to go back to my motherboard manual - not sure if I lose any PCIE4 slot lanes - think the NVMe lanes are distinct - not shared, and might only be an issue if I was running multiple GPUs but I only use on GTX 1080Ti.

 

Rybags - Seagate Firecuda is apparently a new line of NVMe drives - not sure how it fits in with the Evo and Pro series.  Link here https://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Hard-Drives-&-SSDs/SSD-mSATA-&-m.2/77501-ZP2000GM30021?gclid=Cj0KCQiAkKnyBRDwARIsALtxe7iYWmDQUK7GXKVPM__Wa9NA_cWCutqj8pZzaINyYcYcpipw5aCspvgaAmGuEALw_wcB

 

Edited by g__day

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Ah, OK.  Didn't realise they'd reused the name.  Wonder though who supplies the flash chips?

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Just checked - looks like they of course do share lanes - suggests I should use the middle slot with the heat sink to keep all Sata ports actived.  Noticed when I was reading the manual it suggests when you are installing RAM for a 44 or 28 PCIE lane CPU and you are only using 2 sticks it recommends using slots 6 and 8 - whereas Scorptec built mine using slots 2 and 4 - wonder if that has any performance impact?

Edited by g__day

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I have the sx 8200 pro, I really enjoy mine.  Really as long as it is pci gen3 4x nvme or up you will not be able to tell any of them apart.  Gen4 is great because the read goes up, which to me is more important.  But the price/performance is key too.  They all write about the same unless there is really large files... I want the read speed after write is done.   Below is a decent list:

 

https://www.gamingpcbuilder.com/best-m-2-nvme-ssd/

 

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The sx8200 is the one I'm looking at. The seem to go on special for around $70 off every now and again. 

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The Adata 8200 PRO is probably the best value high end drive per GB if you want a large drive.

 

The MP600 1TB is a PCI-E 4.0 SSD

At this stage the PCI-E 4.0 SSD controller is not as good as the best ones used on PCI-E 3.0 drives so while its max read\write speeds are impressive it struggles under more difficult workloads.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-force-mp600-m2-nvme-ssd/2

sSKpbmqecuCCAz6VNvadQc-650-80.png7pCFBSmfx5Vf27DcywWgnc-650-80.png

B2G6YnVgpUG6edekqnPrCd-650-80.pngMqX9hG4sy3qgzwgkMzb9Vd-650-80.png

 

So if you don't need high capacity for the scratch and latency matters more than max read\write speed.

280GB Intel 900P Optane $569

Edited by Dasa
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So I ended up just going for an 970 EVO Plus - for $319 from Scorptec.  - issue one - tried the bottom of three slots - which disappeared two of my drives - an SSD and a 8 TB HDD.  Shifted it to the middle slot and now all 10 drives appear okay.

 

Synthetic benchmarks are all excellent - devices showing as using PCIe x4 lanes CrystalDiskInfo and achieving 3,500 MB/sec read write sequential speeds in CrystalDiskMark.

 

Issue 2 - copy 4 x 5 GB video files - saw-tooth pattern - starts at 900 MB/sec - after 4 seconds goes down to 100 MB/sec - halts for a second or two - back up to 600 MB/sec - down to 200 - up to 400MB - wonder what is going on here?  Real sawtooth pattern appearing.  Tried copy 2,000 small image files ~ 600 GB - the thing flew - took 2 seconds.

 

Any suggestions - on live chat to Samsung tech support who aren't getting very far so far.

 

Edited by g__day
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You'll probably get sporadic perceived performance thanks to Windows caching.

Sort of funny that - a fast drive such as that would barely benefit from write caching at times.

Also there might be local caching on the drive itself.  Generally a decent sustained write operation like copying 10s of Gig worth of file/s should see it start fast then settle to something slower.

 

For a "proper" test you'd probably want a fresh bootup so you know there's no cached data to give false results.

Choose 50 Gig or so worth of decent sized files and see how quickly they copy from one drive to another.

If you have some insane amount of system Ram like 24 Gig or more then maybe double that copy amount.

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I'm sure I read a tute somewhere or other about tweaking Windows caching..............could have been Atomic..............maybe not.

By memory it was a bad idea to turn it off completely but there was a way to curtail it somewhat.

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You can change it through Properties/Hardware - generally I do it for externals as the default is to optimize for quick removal which = no write caching.  But it's not good for performance when writing lots of small files.

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What happens if you put the files on each HDD then copy them from all HDD at once to one of the SSD then the other to try rule out one of the individual SSD as the problem.

Also is CPU usage showing anything while copying?

Edited by Dasa
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I am actually beginning to fear its the internal cache design between the EVO and Pro models - and that the sales person didn't understand when I said I need high "sustained" read and write speeds of large video files - that this might mean I must buy the PRO model.  If I read it right teh EVO model has a triple cache of TLC NAND - and when this runs out it writes it to slower internal NAND.

 

https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Samsung-970-Pro-NVMe-PCIe-M2-1TB-vs-Samsung-970-Evo-Plus-NVMe-PCIe-M2-1TB/m497261vsm693540

 

Have written to Scorptec Technical support to ask further what is going on here - has what has been sold to me not really fit for clearly expressed purpose!

 

* * * * * * *

 

Interesting results when I transfer just one 7 GB file - speeds fly at 1-2 GB/sec - until the file gets to 99% complete - then with 0 bytes left to transfer - it halts for 5 - 10 seconds, then completes.  Same results transferring from the EVO to the Pro or the Pro to the EVO.  To me this definitely starting to look like a internal caching limitation!

Edited by g__day

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Tried with my system although I only have one NVMe drive

 

I get some weird behavior as well.

Copying a group of videos from a SATA SSD and a HDD to the 970 EVO sometimes maintains 500-700MB/s (max for the drives it is coming from) and other times it quickly drops to ~400BM/s  with 7 files totaling 20GB on each drive.

 

Edit:

Ah could be because I left files in the recycle bin from first try and so my SSD was almost completely full since it had under 100GB free before I started.

 

Edit 2:

Ok freed up 160GB and this time I placed 5 MP4 files totaling 32GB on the SATA SSD a SATA HDD and USB HDD.

This time it maintained full read speed from all those drives with the 970 EVO doing it easy.

Edited by Dasa
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It's fairly common for transfers to get to near finished then just sit there apparently - just the cache destaging (generally the Windows one).

 

Maybe you could get some more unadulterated test results by disabling Windows write caching for the volumes to be tested, at least then it should make the progress meter a bit more accurate.

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RAM drive is a good idea so this is how my 970 evo went

 

3 mp4 files 22GB in total

1.25GB/s

 

2264 photos 11-12MB .NEF Total 23.3GB

1.04GB/s

 

2236 jpg Total 15GB < this is where the Intel optane would shine

721MB/s

 

This was with copy paste which should write all the files in sequence which I think is easier on the drive than multiple copies at once.

They all finished as soon as the counter ended although the other day when I was copying from multiple drives at once the 970 evo disk activity continued for a few seconds after the window closed.

 

As you can see it is normal for write speed to drop but it usually takes ~10-20GB written before this drop and down to 100MB with large files seems a bit extreme unless you are transferring heaps of tiny files.

While the Optane powers on with no drop.

arWwQgWYBVsn5x4VdYubHY-3440-80.png

Edited by Dasa
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I was the @#$%$#@ Virus Scanner - doing a file scan on every copied file!

 

I created a 10 GB RAMDrive and sawa  5.8 GB file copy in 4 seconds to and from it from either NVMe drive in but then I tired a 6.5 GB file and it took 4 seconds again to copy but 18 seconds to complete and I thought WTF! 

 

I tried a few other files in the 4.4 to 6.2 range - many went slow finalising the copying them to or from a RAM Drive. or to an NVMe drive.  So I disabled Avast file protection scanner (which scans all files when they are moved apparently) for 10 minutes and some benchmarking show these drives can really fly - it was the trusty Virus scanner stuffing things up.

 

So many thanks all - problem solved and a very happy me!

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Thought it might have been something like that which is why I asked what the CPU usage was 🙂

Glade you got it sorted.

Edited by Dasa
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