Best SSDs (Archive)

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footman

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Question: I have a SATA SSD and am looking to upgrade to NVMe drive. Can I simply clone my SATA SSD to the new M2 NVMe drive, or will there be issues?
 

USAFRet

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1. Assuming space requirements fit, no problem.
2. Assuming the other hardware works, no problem.

Regarding #2, what is the rest of the system? And what do you use this for?
 

footman

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I was told that it would not be possible to clone (boot drive-Win10Pro) the SATA SSD to NVMe M2 as the drivers are different! Just checking here.... SATA to NVMe potential issues! Is this true?
 

USAFRet

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What is the rest of the parts list?
SATA SSD to NVMe can be OK, if the rest of the system supports it.

"i was told..."
By whom? Did they state why, exactly?
 

CRamseyer

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To get around the driver issue you install the NVMe SSD in your system while the SATA drive still has the OS. This will load the NVMe, it's there already but not utilized in the boot files. After your OS sees the NVMe drive and you reboot its safe to clone the data. I suggest using Acronis because it's what I've always used. You can start from the GUI version inside of Windows. The software will ask you to reboot, then go to a DOS version that will automatically clone your data. At that point you just tell the BIOS to boot to the NVMe drive.

There could be some hoops to jump through depending on your existing BIOS setup. Just play around with the legacy/UEFI and compatibility settings. Most likely someone has already posted somewhere about how to boot from NVMe on your specific motherboard.
 

footman

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Cheers. Running Win 10 Pro with Gigabyte Z370 and 8700K... Having a few issues with the motherboard not being able to boot from M2 slots after a straight forward clone! I may have to contact Gigabytes support...
 

USAFRet

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For that board, things should be OK.
Right after the clone process was finished, did you remove the old drive and attempt to boot from only the NVMe drive as the first boot?
 

R0GG

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I have a Samsung 960 evo, 2x WD black and a Samsung PM961(OEM 960 Evo)
- Price and performance: Samsung PM961 and Evo 960 3.2 GB/sec real, cool price and very cool temps compared to competition
- WD black: half the bandwidth of the Samsung and they run hotter (new blue version with higher bandwidth but with higher price tag as well)
 

footman

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@USAFRET. Yes, I tried to boot from the NVMe drive after cloning and no luck, received a bios error that the computer is unable to boot from the NVMe drive, returning a message, inaccessible boot drive, rom image not loaded, rom image access denied!
 

R0GG

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I had same issue I had to re-clone but this time disconnected the other drive as windows boot manager got doubled up in Bios, see solution here Cloned os to new M.2 ssd unbootable >> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3459997/cloned-ssd-unbootable.html
and here>> Windows 10 fails to boot after HDD clone to SSD >> https://superuser.com/questions/1093305/windows-10-fails-to-boot-after-hdd-clone-to-ssd
 

AnimeMania

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SSDs have really changed interfaces over the past few years, perhaps you can write a simple article telling me what description/name of the slots on your motherboard lets you know that it is compatible with the different types of SSD.
 

envy14tpe

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I wonder if we could create a 2.5" or M.2 tier list. I feel like there are 3 segments for each. For 2.5", you got Samsung Pro level, Evo level, and then cheap level.
 

USAFRet

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He who asks the question volunteers himself to do it...:lol:

So, go for it!
 

AnimeMania

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I know very little about SSDs, so I know this is going to piss off a lot of people.
Beginners Guide to SSDs
All the different SSD types appear to be the same speed when used for games and light work loads. So for a majority of computer users it shouldn't matter which SSD you choose as long as it is functioning properly.
If you wish to better understand the articles about SSDs you can continue reading.
There are basically 2 types of SSDs SATA SSDs and PCI Express SSDs.
SATA was designed for Hard Drives. SATA SSDs on a Sata III connector can run at around 4.8Gb/s while M.2 (pronounced m dot two) SSDs can reach 31.5Gb/s. SATA SSDs should work in all 3 SATA versions, although the data rate might vary. Here are the 3 SATA versions: Sata I 1.5Gb/s, Sata II 3Gb/s, Sata III 6Gb/s.
Mini-SATA (mSATA) interface is typically found in laptops. The SSD cards are wider (29.85mm) than the M.2 cards (22mm) and tend to have 2 holes at the edges for bolting down whereas a M.2 card has a half a hole on the edge opposite the connector (in the middle) for bolting down.
M.2 SATA uses an M.2 connector with SATA interface. M.2 SATA SSDs are B+M-keyed and can fit in sockets for B-keyed and M-keyed connectors, but will not function if the connector interface is PCIe. There is information on keys in the M.2 section.

PCI Express SSD Cards tend to fit in the x4 (most SSD cards) or the x8 PCI Express slot. There are currently 4 versions PCI Express available, with PCI Express 3.0 being the one most common in current motherboards. The most common slots for PCI Express 3.0 are Pcie x1 8Gb/s, Pcie x4 32 Gb/s, Pcie x8 64Gb/s, and Pcie x16 128Gb/s. Pcie x1 is a slot with 1 lane, Pcie x4 is a slot with 4 lanes, etc.

M.2 PCIe uses an M.2 connector which uses 4 lanes of the PCI Express. The M.2 SSD is plugged directly into the M.2 connector and bolted down. M.2 modules can vary in length and width. The majority of M.2 SSDs are 22mm wide, but can vary in length. They can be 30mm., 42mm., 60mm., 80mm., and 110mm. Most common are 42mm and 80mm long. Typical number notation for M.2 SSDs are width+length, so a 2242 is 22mm wide and 42mm long and 2280 is 22mm wide and 80mm long. M.2 modules can have several different keys/notches, but the 3 that are important for SSDs are B, M or B+M. This is very important since they must match your connector. B has a gap on the right side followed by 6 pins. M has 5 pins on the left followed by a gap. B+M has 5 pins on the left followed by a gap then a bunch of pins then a gap on the right side followed by 6 pins. M.2 SSDs can be problematic, so be sure to read your motherboard manual carefully be make sure the SSD you purchase is compatible in interface, length and key type. M.2 NVMe SSDs for PCIe 3.0 x4 lane are M-keyed.

A U.2 connector uses 4 lanes of the PCI Express. The U.2 SSD is plugged into the U.2 connector via a cable. U.2 connectors are rare on mainstream motherboards, tending to reside in server motherboards. U.2 SSDs can be added to motherboards without U.2 connectors via adaptors that can plug into a M.2 connector.

There are two common host controller interface and storage protocols/standards for the transfer of data. The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) was designed for Hard Drives and works fine for SATA SSDs, but is too slow for the faster PCI Express SSDs. NVMe (non-volatile memory express) was designed to be used with SSDs and can access multiple memory chips on an SSD or multiple SSDs at the same time. NVMe solid-state disks can handle 65536 parallel I/O requests compared with only 32 I/O requests processible by SATA 3.0. You switch on AHCI or NVMe via the motherboard.

There are two types of memory used for SSDs, flash memory and 3D XPoint. Here are 3 types of 2D NAND flash memory. Single-level cell (SLC) stores 1 bit per cell and offers the highest endurance. SLC can be ten times more expensive to manufacture than MLC.
Multi-level cell (MLC) stores multiple bits per cell, though in actuality this usually means 2 bits per cell. MLC provides higher storage capacity, but lower endurance than SLC. When run in single bit mode to mimic SLC (called Pseudo-SLC, pSLC, MLC+), it can have increased endurance, reduced error rates and better SSD longevity over SLC.
Triple-level cell (TLC): Stores 3 bits per cell and provides higher storage capacity, but offers lower endurance than SLC and MLC.
3D NAND is when you stack the 2D NAND on top of each other like floors in a Skyscrapper. Each floor is referred to as a layer, ie. 64-layer 3D NAND. 3D NAND when compared to 2D NAND, has a lower cost per gigabyte, reduces power consumption, has a longer life span, has higher reliability, and possibly a higher data write performance, but at a higher manufacturing cost.

Optane Memory shuttles data between the RAM and the SATA devices (SSDs, hard drives) storing often used data on it's small (16GB to 1.5 TB) but extremely fast 3D XPoint non-volatile memory. The computer sees the optane SSD and the SATA device it is accelerating as a single device.
 

USAFRet

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Unfotunately...a bit misleading...:(

M.2 drives can be either SATA III or PCIe.
A SATA based m.2 drive, such as a WD Blue, will run at exactly the same speed as a 2.5" SATA III WD Blue.

The m.2 is just the form factor. Not the performance indicator.
 

heffeque

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My MSi PS42 has a PM981 and it's blazing fast. Amazon lists it at $179, which is less than the Adata XPG SX8200 ($190). Is the Adata actually faster than the PM981?
 

Alpha Gametauri

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Now we play the waiting game to see how Samsung's new 4TB QLC SSD's stack up against these, 10 bucks they hit WELL into the quadruple digits.
 

ALEX0264

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I disagree with not considering an SSD less than 250GB. My system has a 120GB M.2 EVO running Windows 7. With 10GB sectioned off by Samsung magician, and probably 20 programs installed, I'm using approximately 50GB of space. No problems whatsoever.
 

USAFRet

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Can it work? Yes.
But it takes a lot more personal management of that space.

Every day we get people here whose 120GB is out of space.

And with 250GB SSD prices the way they are, it makes little sense to go smaller.
 

ALEX0264

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True, I guess most people aren't happy tweaking page files and other little bits.
 

heffeque

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Mi grandma has an M.2 120 GB SSD. I told here that for 60 bucks she can have a 256 GB MX500, which isn't noticeably slower on day to day use, and that way she won't to have to tweak page files, but she insists that an M.2 120 GB SSD is better, and that she enjoys tweaking page files.
 

Co BIY

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This may require an update.

Samsung 860 EVO 500G is now listed at $99.99 on Amazon. Crucial MX500 500G also $99.99.

WD Blue 500G and SanDisk Ultra 3D 500G are at $94.99.
 
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