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Despite meltdown/spectre patches, is there a big performance gain using nvme m.2 on a Z370 system?

modeonoff

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Hello, I am choosing a 1TB SSD for a workstation made of 8700K and Asus ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming board. I read that meltdown/spectre patches have performance hit on I/O such as SSD. The lost could range from about 5% to 40% in some applications. Taking this into consideration, will there be a big performance gain using the Samsung 960 EVO (nvme m.2 version) over the Samsung 860 EVO SATA III version in the system I am going to build? Thanks.
 

stdragon

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FWIW, I've got an i7-6700 with a Z170 chipset and an M.2 NVMe 950 Pro 256GB drive.

Pre-BIOS update:
Sequential MB/s - 1,723MB/s Read 938MB/s Write
Random (IOPS) - 267,089 Read 78,613 Write

Post-BIOS update (spectre microcode patch):
Sequential MB/s - 2,117MB/s Read 946MB/s Write
Random (IOPS) - 191,650 Read 79,589 Write

As you can see, that's a delta difference of 33%, which BTW is perfectly within the margins of expectations
 

USAFRet

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My sig pic is relevant here.
 

modeonoff

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Thanks. Does the result mean after the patch, better performance in sequential MB/s but poorly performance for IOPS?

Given the performance hit, is it still worth to pay more to get the NVMe m.2 version vs. SATA III version. For example, Samsung EVO 860 SATA III vs. Samsung EVO 860 NVMe m.2. version? I wonder which version has less performance hit.

Another comparison is the Samsung EVO 960 NVMe m.2 vs. the above two products.

Could anybody please recommend?
 

stdragon

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The sequential increase was unexpected in my testing, but some increase here seems to be common. Take that purely as anecdotal evidence. As for the IOPS, that's where the major hit is.

It's my limited understanding that regardless of what the IOPS are rated for, just expect -30% less of that. So if the performance penalty is too much, just factor in spending extra to get back to a level you need. Alternatively, go with AMD or disable the patch protection in Windows via registry; I don't recommend doing that in general, but I also understand why some might find the desire to do so.

Tell you what though, DB admins are feeling the pain here. Anything that requires lots of IOPS in a virtualized infrastructure is going to be noticeable once you approach IOPS load saturation. For single user usage such as gaming, doubt you'll notice anything at all in all honesty.
 

dalauder

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This is the point that matters.

Most tasks are going to be IOPS limited before MB/s, right? Do you have any guess as to what your queue depth is? If it's short, there's almost no difference in write IOPS between the NVME and SATA 3. If it's long, the NVME gets 4x the performance (or 3x after spectre for read IOPS). It depends on your workload read/write distribution as well though. If it's 90% read/10% write, then spectre-patch losses make more of a difference. But if it's 50/50 or more, then it barely matters.

Then again, how often are you limited by IOPS instead of CPU?

As far as I can tell, the benefit for the NVME is unconvincing...except...what's the total cost of your build? If it's a $2,000 build, then spend the extra $170 for the NVME drive.
 

modeonoff

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The machine will mostly be reading lots of large images and videos files. Will the Meltdown/Spectre patches affect the performance of my machine? From stdragon's tests, it seems so. In this case, does using NVME help? Will getting a drive faster than the EVO 950 help?
 

stdragon

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If your just reading large photos and videos locally on the PC, then sequential MBps will matter to you, not IOPS. At that point, it's just a matter of how fast you want to load them. If you're just viewing them or playing video back, SATA will be perfectly fine. If you're going to edit, NVMe would offer more of a technical benefit.
 

stdragon

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Also. Just wanted to point out that there's not that much of a difference in price between SATA and NVMe in terms of cost per GB. If you can swing it, just go NVMe if the MB supports it. Just my opinion.
 

USAFRet

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Samsung

250GB
NVMe 960 EV0 - $120
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E250BW/dp/B01LYFKX41

SATA III 860 EVO - $80
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-500GB-Internal-MZ-76E500B-AM/dp/B07864WMK8

500GB
NVME 960 EVO - $225
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7

SATA III 860 EVO - $140
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-500GB-Internal-MZ-76E500B-AM/dp/B0781Z7Y3S
 

stdragon

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I knew it was about $0.45 per GB for an SSD. What I wasn't aware of was how substantial the SATA variant dropped in price lately to $0.30 per GB; wow!

Depending on how big the video files are you plan on editing (due to limited NAND cache), a 2TB SSHD FireCuda might be with looking into as well.

 

USAFRet

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SSHD.
A regular spinning drive, with an 8GB SSD cache space.
The drive firmware learns what data blocks are used most, and those end up in the cache space, for fast retrieval.
Anything not recently accessed gets read off the spinning platter at normal 5400RPM speed. And all writes are at normal 5400RPM speed.

If the particular system is limited to a single drive (a laptop?), then an SSHD might be a solution.
Otherwise, just get a regular SSD.

Personally, I'm not a fan.
 

stdragon

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The FireCuda 2.5 inch drives are 5400 RPM while the 3.5 inch is spec-ed to 7200 RPM.

That said, yeah, it really depends on your usage behavior. If your work is primarily random and need to edit large video files, get an SSD. You can always store the finished work to a NAS or another internal large capacity HDD. However if you're fairly consistent about which apps you run, and photo libraries you're working on as a current project of the week or whatever, an SSHD might make for a good compromise.

Personally, I'd go with a 256GB SSD as the OS boot drive to also hold the occasional working project data, then a 6TB HDD data drive to hold non-working project data for on-demand access.
 

stdragon

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I've seen ransomware take out many TBs worth of data. More yet from a storage failure...

I always make it a point to make full off-site backups. To each his/her own on how the data is valuated. But I will say this: Murphy's law sucks! "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" :heink:
 
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