[SOLVED] Adding 2nd M.2 SSD suggestions

vegasjon777

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Sep 17, 2015
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I am considering installing a 2nd M.2 SSD vs a SATA3 SSD. My MB is an ASUS Strix Z-370 e-gaming and the current M.2 is a Samsung EVO 1TB V-NAND. Will the 2nd M.2 have poorer performance due to less lanes available to the i7 8700 CPU? Should I just go with a SATA SSD instead?

Win 10
Corsair 3600 32GB ram
NVidea RTX 2080 Super
 

Darkbreeze

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I think there is some confusion in your understanding. M.2 is the form factor, not the bus type. There are BOTH PCIe NVME and SATA M.2 drives. So you can have a SATA SSD that is still an M.2 drive. And that's the short version. There are actually a few more potential variables that could be involved depending on the type of device, but for desktops that is pretty much the gist.

If you install another PCIe NVME M.2 drive, it is probably going to steal some PCI lanes from the SATA headers anyhow, so regardless of whether you use a 2.5" SATA SSD or an M.2 SSD of either NVME or SATA design, you are probably still going to use the same number of the same lanes anyhow. For the sake of reducing cable management and potentially having a much faster throughput between your existing NVME drive and the new drive, it is probably wiser to go with an NVME M.2 drive if it is supported by your hardware. But either of them will work and you likely won't see that great of a difference in 90% of what you do unless you often perform rather large sequential single file transfers from one drive to the other. Maybe some, again, depending on how it is used but MOST configurations would see similar performance for most tasks with either style.

If aesthetics are important, then that's a point in favor of M.2, whether NVME or SATA.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I think there is some confusion in your understanding. M.2 is the form factor, not the bus type. There are BOTH PCIe NVME and SATA M.2 drives. So you can have a SATA SSD that is still an M.2 drive. And that's the short version. There are actually a few more potential variables that could be involved depending on the type of device, but for desktops that is pretty much the gist.

If you install another PCIe NVME M.2 drive, it is probably going to steal some PCI lanes from the SATA headers anyhow, so regardless of whether you use a 2.5" SATA SSD or an M.2 SSD of either NVME or SATA design, you are probably still going to use the same number of the same lanes anyhow. For the sake of reducing cable management and potentially having a much faster throughput between your existing NVME drive and the new drive, it is probably wiser to go with an NVME M.2 drive if it is supported by your hardware. But either of them will work and you likely won't see that great of a difference in 90% of what you do unless you often perform rather large sequential single file transfers from one drive to the other. Maybe some, again, depending on how it is used but MOST configurations would see similar performance for most tasks with either style.

If aesthetics are important, then that's a point in favor of M.2, whether NVME or SATA.
 

vegasjon777

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Sep 17, 2015
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Hi and thank you for the clarification! That was a great explanation also! Im not worried about the astetics- I current have 3 2.5' SSD's and 2 hard drives plus the M.2 . So I was going to either replace a HD with the SSD or get an M.2 if the performance justified the cost difference. I'm using this as a high-end flight sim with a serious amount of graphics content, and I think the hd it was installed on was pretty slow fetching the data. Im getting 116/106 read/write on that drive. The M.2 is benching at 1385/1112 r/w. I think even with the 2.5' SSD I would get close to 500 r/w speeds I'm guessing. Thanks again for the information- it was very helpful!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Is this going to be for the new Microsoft flight simulator? Are you going to be putting the game files on this SSD? Because if so, THEN it might also make sense because the flight sim uses a lot of detail and the fast read speeds on the NVME M.2 drive COULD be beneficial in that regard, not to mention loading times for maps, levels, details, textures, etc.

If you can make the loading of those things smooth and closer to seamless, then that alone might be worth any additional cost so long as you aren't liable to run out of lanes which you shouldn't be if you are going to replace an existing drive. Even at 2x speed if you are limited on lanes or if the design limits the second NVME drive, it would still be much faster than a SATA drive for those purposes, again, IF the game files are going on the new drive.
 

vegasjon777

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Sep 17, 2015
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I am currently in the Alpha for MS2020 and the performance so far as been great. I also have P3Dv5 installed on a dedicated SATA SSD. My P3D v4 was my largest install, at over 3 TB with all the scenery and addons. That is the one I'm looking to reinstall on a faster drive hoping for a performance boost.
 

Andyme177

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Apr 26, 2020
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an M2.0 (M key) NVMe is said to be the faster of the m2 SSD. the more cache it has the faster it loads the programs you use a lot too.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I am currently in the Alpha for MS2020 and the performance so far as been great. I also have P3Dv5 installed on a dedicated SATA SSD. My P3D v4 was my largest install, at over 3 TB with all the scenery and addons. That is the one I'm looking to reinstall on a faster drive hoping for a performance boost.
Man, that's large though. It's going to be very expensive to get an NVME M.2 drive of that size. It's literally over 800 dollars for a 4TB NVME drive. If you need a drive that large then I think I'd stick with a standard SATA SSD. The performance should still be pretty good although obviously it's not going to be anywhere near that of an NVME drive.
 

Andyme177

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Apr 26, 2020
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save money go with a 2.5" SSHD hybrid drive with flash accelerated memory each time you load the sim it will get a faster response I have a 2TB as my main drive works great I use chrome and school stuff the most so those load the fastest of all my programs.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
An SSHD will not be as fast as a SATA SSD, which itself is not as fast as an NVME SSD.

Plus, there are practically ZERO hybrid drives of that size on the market anyhow.

In fact, there is ONE, which costs about 1400 dollars. You'd be better off with a 4TB NVME drive than trying to do a hybrid drive. That's seems like a senseless recommendation to me if we're being honest.

https://pcpartpicker.com/products/internal-hard-drive/#t=1&A=3200000000000,16000000000000
 

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