[SOLVED] How should I upgrade storage on my new PC?(It was used for 1 year before)

dchen2105

Proper
Aug 11, 2020
181
31
120
3
I just bought a PC at a super low price. Was 1100CAD with keyboard and mouse under a year ago, bought it for 550CAD with an added in 27" monitor. Only got it so low, since the owner was moving back to China and wasn't bringing it back. Specs are as follows:

i5-9400F (97th percentie on UserBenchmark)
1x8GB RAM @ 2666Mhz (94th percentile on UserBenchmark)
RX 580 (83rd percentile on UserBenchmark)
1TB WD Blue HDD (63rd percentile on UserBenchmark)

Even disregarding the fact that it had the worst performance(compared to identical parts) out of any of my parts, it would already be the part I want to upgrade. I think I should keep it and either add a 512GB M.2 SSD(like the Kingston A2000 or Intel 660p) or get a cheaper SSD to cache for it(Like the Kingston A400, or maybe even an M.2). The BIOS showed that there were 5 open SATA III slots and 2 open M.2 slots. Going to mention that the M.2 slot furthest from my CPU says that it's a gen 3 M.2 slot. Would imagine the other one is the same(would put the drive there in case it shares bandwidth with SATA III slots). There seems to be a third M.2 slot taken by some small chip that isn't listed in the BIOS(most likely storing the BIOS).

Wondering if I should go for SSD cache for the hard drive or if I should add a seperate drive. Would rather just have the SSD cache(so that I don't need to select download drive and move OS).

Another thing, the RX 580 is starting to droop a little in the far corner. Would like to reroute cable to connect from above, to offer a little bit of support. Got the idea from a LinusTechTips video where he built a PC.

Another another thing, any advice on how to do this safely would be nice. I can do my own research, but just to confirm, for the most part, I just need to build on a non-static workstation like wood, prevent static build-up by regularly discharging to ground charge and don't touch any metal things on the motherboard with my skin oils. If you want a photo of my PC, I can provide, but I'm not going to bother unless requested.

Another(x3) thing, how would I discharge static electricity? Should I buy some sort of strap and attach a part of my body to a ground charge to be safe?

Another(x4) thing, if I bought a M.2 drive, would it come with the needed screw to keep the M.2 drive anchored to the small metal tower(Going into the hole in the mobo). I see the tower thing, but no screws. The box that the previous owner gave me came with a tiny screw that might be the right one, but only a single one.

Thanks, answers to any question would be extremely appreciated. Looking to not destroy my first piece of quality hardware(even though it cost less than my original i3-7100U laptop).
 
Last edited:

R_1

Glorious
Ambassador
Welcome to the forums :D
I would get an SSD, M.2 or SATA will likely not be noticeable to you on a daily basis. I loves me some SSD caching. I have had a crucial adrenaline since they came out, and am currently using primo cache as my caching solution under windows. it allows caching to an SSD using spare RAM and lets you use a spare SSD as a cache for HDDs. free trial available. now days there is no real reason not to use the SSD as the main drive. SSD caching was the ideal when SSD's were pricier than gold. Optane is a retake on that using an M.2 interface and made sense when M.2 were very costly.

as to the droopy card I use a stack of lego bricks to support my GPU. like a pillar in the far corner. I have seen people use rolled up paper, and action figures. they actuyall sell support shelves to keep the drooping under control.

Canned Grounding Rant-
shut down system and remove side panel. with the power cable plugged into the PSU touch a bare unpainted metal area of the case. (my favorite spot is an unpainted screw securing the PSU) once you have grounded yourself you can unplug the computers power cable from the PSU and can touch the system.
if you move your feet, or shuffle in your chair, plug in the cord, reground yourself and unplug again.
end canned rant-

that tiny little screw is the one you need to secure the drive. if you need more they can be purchased.
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
127,878
4,849
159,940
19,873
Add an SSD. Not as a cache, but as an actual drive.
250GB or larger, 1TB preferred. With a 1TB (~$100), you can migrate the entire thing to this new drive. Then wipe the HDD, and use it for whatever. Backups, video, etc.

No cache.
 

R_1

Glorious
Ambassador
Welcome to the forums :D
I would get an SSD, M.2 or SATA will likely not be noticeable to you on a daily basis. I loves me some SSD caching. I have had a crucial adrenaline since they came out, and am currently using primo cache as my caching solution under windows. it allows caching to an SSD using spare RAM and lets you use a spare SSD as a cache for HDDs. free trial available. now days there is no real reason not to use the SSD as the main drive. SSD caching was the ideal when SSD's were pricier than gold. Optane is a retake on that using an M.2 interface and made sense when M.2 were very costly.

as to the droopy card I use a stack of lego bricks to support my GPU. like a pillar in the far corner. I have seen people use rolled up paper, and action figures. they actuyall sell support shelves to keep the drooping under control.

Canned Grounding Rant-
shut down system and remove side panel. with the power cable plugged into the PSU touch a bare unpainted metal area of the case. (my favorite spot is an unpainted screw securing the PSU) once you have grounded yourself you can unplug the computers power cable from the PSU and can touch the system.
if you move your feet, or shuffle in your chair, plug in the cord, reground yourself and unplug again.
end canned rant-

that tiny little screw is the one you need to secure the drive. if you need more they can be purchased.
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
127,878
4,849
159,940
19,873
Drives:

SATA III, 2.5":
Crucial MX500
https://www.newegg.com/crucial-mx500-1tb/p/N82E16820156174

Samsung 860 EVO
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-860-evo-series-1tb/p/N82E16820147673

M.2 NVMe:
Intel 660p
https://www.newegg.com/intel-660p-series-1tb/p/N82E16820167462

Crucial P1
https://www.newegg.com/crucial-p1-1tb/p/N82E16820156199

Samsung 970 EVO
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-1tb/p/N82E16820147691


Migrating the contents of your current 1TB HDD to a new SSD is pretty easy.
Your system will love you for it.
 

dchen2105

Proper
Aug 11, 2020
181
31
120
3
Keep in mind that I'm in canada, so prices are different. What would I do with the hard drive if I replace it with an SSD? Could I just leave it in there and store whatever small files/games in there? Like Minecraft, documents, pictures ect? On my previous computer, I only used 300GBs, but of course it wasn't really fit for playing games. How come the Kingston A2000 isn't recommended? It's about 5 CAD more than the Crucial P1, but it uses TLC instead of QLC.

I don't really care too much about loading times, so is getting a dedicated SSD more cost effective in terms of it's performance boost? If I did an SSD cache, I would only spend about 30 CAD, compared to $140 for a 1tb NVME SSD.
 

dchen2105

Proper
Aug 11, 2020
181
31
120
3
Welcome to the forums :D
I would get an SSD, M.2 or SATA will likely not be noticeable to you on a daily basis. I loves me some SSD caching. I have had a crucial adrenaline since they came out, and am currently using primo cache as my caching solution under windows. it allows caching to an SSD using spare RAM and lets you use a spare SSD as a cache for HDDs. free trial available. now days there is no real reason not to use the SSD as the main drive. SSD caching was the ideal when SSD's were pricier than gold. Optane is a retake on that using an M.2 interface and made sense when M.2 were very costly.

as to the droopy card I use a stack of lego bricks to support my GPU. like a pillar in the far corner. I have seen people use rolled up paper, and action figures. they actuyall sell support shelves to keep the drooping under control.

Canned Grounding Rant-
shut down system and remove side panel. with the power cable plugged into the PSU touch a bare unpainted metal area of the case. (my favorite spot is an unpainted screw securing the PSU) once you have grounded yourself you can unplug the computers power cable from the PSU and can touch the system.
if you move your feet, or shuffle in your chair, plug in the cord, reground yourself and unplug again.
end canned rant-

that tiny little screw is the one you need to secure the drive. if you need more they can be purchased.
So I should go for a SATA 2.5" SSD over M.2? Also, what would you recommend? I was thinking about the Kingston A400, since I was doing research on budget SSDs to repair my brothers' laptop(going to buy around black friday). How much of a difference is there between a SATA III vs an M.2 SSD? Would I need to buy an expensive M.2 to notice the difference? Also, should I go for 500gb or 1tb? I think 500gb is adequate, since I have a hard drive to fall back onto if the SSD is full. Can always move files between.

Edit: and are you sure that it's not worth getting a ESD mat? I think I might just buy something like this: 8.23 CAD Anti-Static Wrist Strap. I plan on repairing my brothers' laptop as well, so this could mitigate some of the risk. A wooden desk should be fine, especially since I'm not putting the motherboard right on the desk, it's staying in the case. If I go for a SATA III SSD, might as well reroute the GPU power to make it hang from above. If this stops the slight drooping of the board, won't add a support column.

Thanks so much!
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
127,878
4,849
159,940
19,873
The difference is not SATA vs M.2, but rather SATA vs NVMe.

SATA drives can be had in either 2.5" format of M.2 format.
MX500, WD Blue, 860 EVO are available in both formats.

The easiest solution is a 2.5" format SATA III drive.
500GB or 1TB.
 

dchen2105

Proper
Aug 11, 2020
181
31
120
3
The difference is not SATA vs M.2, but rather SATA vs NVMe.

SATA drives can be had in either 2.5" format of M.2 format.
MX500, WD Blue, 860 EVO are available in both formats.

The easiest solution is a 2.5" format SATA III drive.
500GB or 1TB.
Seems like the difference between the MX500 and the Samsung Evo 860 are negligible. The MX500 is only 5 CAD more expensive than the WD Blue, but benches in at about 10-15% better performance. If I go for 1TB, the MX500 is certainly the better choice, costing the least out of all 3 options(While being just marginally worse than the Evo). At 500GB, I think the MX500 still wins over the WD Blue. Thoughts?

EDIT: But then the Crucial P1 jumps out of nowhere, costing less than both the MX500 and WD Blue, and outperforming both at nearly double the speed!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
127,878
4,849
159,940
19,873
"double the speed" is a bit misleading.
Yes, the raw sequential numbers are larger than a SATA III SSD. That does not necessarily translate into a better user facing performance.

But, at similar price, no reason not to get an NVMe like the P1.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY