Question Is there any reason to get a 4.0 over a 3.0 nvme m.2 for a boot drive?

hotaru251

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Oct 30, 2014
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Building a new PC (AM4 5700x as dont wanna deal with 5800x's heat) and am stuck on boot drive.

I know 4.0 faster than 3.0 but is there a meaningful benefit to getting a 4.0 drive over 3.0 for just boot drive?

(gonna have a separate game drive thats 4.0)


Also as i dont plan to do actual work on this pc does the boot drive need dram or is one that uses system ram fine?
 
Jun 8, 2022
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I have a PC that uses a Gen4 Samsung 980 Pro with DRAM for my boot drive. I don't notice a difference over my old SATA SSD.
I also don't notice any difference between it and the PC I built for my dad using a Gen3 Samsung 980 (non-Pro without DRAM). Boot time, web browsing, video playback, and productivity software all feel exactly the same to me.
I'd think the only noticeable difference would be the speed when transferring large files/folders from one SSD to another. But still, it's an SSD, so it takes a few seconds or a couple of minutes at worst.

I think DRAM on the SSD acts as a cache? It'll significantly speed up those big writes to the drive. But admittedly, I'm not savvy on this subject - maybe someone else can shed more light on this.

Summary - for a boot drive that doesn't do any gaming or work? Nah, no meaningful benefit. I'd go for a cheaper DRAM-less Gen3 drive.
 
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I'd think the only noticeable difference would be the speed when transferring large files/folders from one SSD to another.
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Even that will only be appreciable if the drive has a huge DRAM buffer because once the buffer is full transfer rate plummets.

Personally, I feel the only advantage gen 4 speed offers is for a system drive and especially when starting up the OS. The combination of really fast access times (which ALL SSD's enjoy, btw) plus high transfer speed seems to help with OS loading.
 

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