Question Real world - how fast are M.2 NVMe's ?

Snookslayer

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I'm always late to the party. The hard disc drive took 3+ minutes to boot up the computer. My cheap SSD takes about 25 seconds.

M.2 technology came out a few years ago and more recently M.2 NVMe. So what are we talking now? 1 to 5 seconds to boot up a computer? Do you even see the Windows logo? Games that used to load in 20 seconds with an SSD, will now load in what - 2 seconds with an NVMe? What's it really like for daily use? The paupers of the world want to know.
 
One real life experience, I have one Samsung 960 evo SSD with W10 on it and Kingston A 400 also 250GB with another (insider) W10 on it.
There's little difference at booting and normal work but it's noticeable. Couple of seconds at boot time but programs are starting a bit faster. Main difference is when working with large graphic and multimedia files.
 
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vwcrusher

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Some folks recommend using an NVMe drive for data, but keeping the W10/applications drive SATA. The rationale is how fast do you really need booting to be?

Seems to make sense...FWIW.
 

alceryes

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When you improve the speed of your slowest component you will see a difference across the board. I went from a 3.5" SATA SSD to NVMe SSD earlier this year and noticed the improvement, especially when loading programs with largeish sized data files or a game.
You also have a click focus effect at play here. On a standard single-user workstation your hard drive/SSD is normally taxed when you are actively starting a program - when you click on it. You WILL notice the 2 second quicker 'snappiness' because you are specifically watching for the program to load.
Depending on what BIOS settings you have set (fast boot, UEFI vs legacy, etc.) you're looking at as quick as 5-7 seconds from a cold boot. Sometimes I don't see the Win 10 spinning dots when I boot up or restart. Some laptops, tablets, etc. come back from sleep/hibernate even quicker. If a game used to load in 20 seconds on a SATA SSD, an NVMe SSD may shave a few seconds off that, or it may not. It really depends on what is causing the 20 second delay.

If you don't particularly need the extra second here or extra few seconds there then no need to get it. The difference will only start to be extreme when you are constantly working with large data, music, video files or loading massivly large programs.

Only you can decide how much getting rid of that extra 20 seconds when loading Premiere is worth. ;)
 
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USAFRet

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I'm always late to the party. The hard disc drive took 3+ minutes to boot up the computer. My cheap SSD takes about 25 seconds.

M.2 technology came out a few years ago and more recently M.2 NVMe. So what are we talking now? 1 to 5 seconds to boot up a computer? Do you even see the Windows logo? Games that used to load in 20 seconds with an SSD, will now load in what - 2 seconds with an NVMe? What's it really like for daily use? The paupers of the world want to know.
If your current SATA III takes 25 secs to boot up (typical time), and NVMe M.2 drive might reduce that to 21 secs.
Drive speed is not the only thing going on.

Real world test I did the other day:
Adobe Lightroom, 5 RAW images from my Fuji camera.
Identical edits to all images.
Exporting as .jpg out to 3 different drives.
5 year old SATA III Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
6 month old SAYA III Samsung 860 EVO 1TB
1 week old Intel 660p NVMe drive.

Doing the same operation to each of those drives....all took the same amount of time, 15 secs.
Zero difference.


If you currently have SATA III SSD's, a change to an NVMe drive is not earth shattering, if noticeable at all.
If you're building a new system, little reason not to get NVMe drives.

The change from spinning HDD to SATA SSD was huge
SATA SSD to NVMe...not so huge.
 

alceryes

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Real world test I did the other day:
Adobe Lightroom, 5 RAW images from my Fuji camera.
Identical edits to all images.
Exporting as .jpg out to 3 different drives.
5 year old SATA III Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
6 month old SAYA III Samsung 860 EVO 1TB
1 week old Intel 660p NVMe drive.

Doing the same operation to each of those drives....all took the same amount of time, 15 secs.
Zero difference.
Hey @USAFRet. How's it going?
Did you do each of these exports separately after cold booting your computer? Even then, something around a 15 second export may be too quick to show enough of a difference.

Also, I've heard of the 660p having issues that slow it down massively after it's cache fills up. I haven't experienced this firsthand though. Check out this vid -
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OffzVc7ZB-o
 

USAFRet

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Hey @USAFRet. How's it going?
Did you do each of these exports separately after cold booting your computer? Even then, something around a 15 second export may be too quick to show enough of a difference.

Also, I've heard of the 660p having issues that slow it down massively after it's cache fills up. I haven't experienced this firsthand though. Check out this vid -
Yes, full Power OFF/ON between each iteration.
And yes, the 660p is not a hugely fast performer in the NVMe world.




However...my use case above is a very typical function, that people actually do.
People expecting "5x faster!" are often in for a let down.

If you're in the biz of moving large files back and forth between 2 NVMe drives...sure. Uber speed.
We've even had some people here wondering why copying from SATA SSD (or even HDD) to an NVMe is not 'uber fast'.
 

USAFRet

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Agreed. Only in special use cases will it be much faster.
It's just a little faster across everything you do.
Right.

Building a new system? Yes, an NVMe drive or two.
If you already have 1 or more SATA III SSD's, maybe not.
If you're just now moving from spinning drives, maybe, depending on the rest of the system.
If you have an older motherboard (Intel Z97 or earlier), do not bother with an NVMe, just go SATA III SSD.
 
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vwcrusher

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Wow, couldn't have asked for a better benchmark!
I will be building a new system once the 3700X and 3800X benchmarks are available. For storage I have specified for a boot drive, a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO, but for the data drive a Samsung 970 EVO Plus.

The rationale is that I don't really care if the system boot time is a few seconds slower, but I do care about access time and editing some of my 24000 images. But based on the above perhaps an additional 970 Plus for the boot drive as they are not that much more expensive...no?

My priorities are Lightroom and some gaming.
 

vwcrusher

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That's completely opposite. NVMe is needed for it's speed with OS and programs, data can be stored even on HDDs without noticing much difference.
Thanks for the reply; then I am confused, as from what I have read (including the above), if I am accessing many images from the data drive to load, edit, move around, what ever, why would it not be a faster process utilizing an NVMe drive?
 
Thanks for the reply; then I am confused, as from what I have read (including the above), if I am accessing many images from the data drive to load, edit, move around, what ever, why would it not be a faster process utilizing an NVMe drive?
Most of what you describe is happening in cache and RAM while disk activity is in the background. Cache contents not in RAM are in OS partition and data will flow at speed of slower one anyway. Ideally you should have both (or all) drives of same speed, only than you would achieve maximum transfer.
On the other hand, windows practically all the time and programs you work on access disk with OS on it and that's when speed counts most.
 

vwcrusher

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Most of what you describe is happening in cache and RAM while disk activity is in the background. Cache contents not in RAM are in OS partition and data will flow at speed of slower one anyway. Ideally you should have both (or all) drives of same speed, only than you would achieve maximum transfer.
On the other hand, windows practically all the time and programs you work on access disk with OS on it and that's when speed counts most.
Then utilizing NVME PCI drives for both OS/Apps and data maximizes the advantages of these drives, providing fastest speed....yes?

While on the subject, additional reading seems to indicate that for those applications I use PCI 4.0 will not provide any discernible improvements?
 
Then utilizing NVME PCI drives for both OS/Apps and data maximizes the advantages of these drives, providing fastest speed....yes?

While on the subject, additional reading seems to indicate that for those applications I use PCI 4.0 will not provide any discernible improvements?
Yes.
There's only one NVMe SSD I know of that ca use V4.0. I haven't seen real tests because MBs with PCIe v4.0 are not yet publicly tested. So any advantages are inconclusive. Will have to wait for them.
 
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vwcrusher

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So then the question is the extra cost of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus worth it.....for the 500G: $20. for the 1TB: $50?

Will I ever notice a performance or reliability difference?
 

DMAN999

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I highly doubt you will notice any real difference in performance unless you have 2 nvme drives and transfer files between them regularly.
So that means it is up to you to decide if the extra cost is worth it to you.
Personally I bought a Crucial MX500 500 GB m.2 SATA II instead of an nvme PCI-e drive because at the time the price difference was over $100 so it was definitely Not worth it for Me.
And I also have a few SATA III HDDs so when transferring files to them they dictate my max transfer rate.
 
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So then the question is the extra cost of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus worth it.....for the 500G: $20. for the 1TB: $50?

Will I ever notice a performance or reliability difference?

I can notice the speed difference between a sata 3 ssd and 2 x raid 0 sata 3 ssd's pretty easily in both boot up and application launch, but on the stopwatch those time differences might not seem too much. I imagine with an nvm ssd the difference would be even bigger, but still might not look super impressive on the stopwatch. I say go with the nvme ssd's.

I'm running a single ssd for my boot drive and 2 x raid 0 ssd's for all my programs and games and pagefile.sys so you could go sata 3 for boot and nvme ssd for programs/games.
 

vwcrusher

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I can notice the speed difference between a sata 3 ssd and 2 x raid 0 sata 3 ssd's pretty easily in both boot up and application launch, but on the stopwatch those time differences might not seem too much. I imagine with an nvm ssd the difference would be even bigger, but still might not look super impressive on the stopwatch. I say go with the nvme ssd's.

I'm running a single ssd for my boot drive and 2 x raid 0 ssd's for all my programs and games and pagefile.sys so you could go sata 3 for boot and nvme ssd for programs/games.
thanks for the reply....at this point I think I will stick with NVMe for both boot/app and data drives, at least until I see some benchmarking of the 3700X/3800X.
 

TJ Hooker

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I can notice the speed difference between a sata 3 ssd and 2 x raid 0 sata 3 ssd's pretty easily in both boot up and application launch, but on the stopwatch those time differences might not seem too much. I imagine with an nvm ssd the difference would be even bigger, but still might not look super impressive on the stopwatch. I say go with the nvme ssd's.

I'm running a single ssd for my boot drive and 2 x raid 0 ssd's for all my programs and games and pagefile.sys so you could go sata 3 for boot and nvme ssd for programs/games.
If the differences aren't significant with a stopwatch I find it hard to believe they'd be noticeable without one. If it just 'feels' faster that's probably largely placebo. Which matches up with benchmarks of SSD RAID0 that show little to no improvement (sometimes even a small detriment) in real world performance compared to a single drive.
 
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If the differences aren't significant with a stopwatch I find it hard to believe they'd be noticeable without one. If it just 'feels' faster that's probably largely placebo. Which matches up with benchmarks of SSD RAID0 that show little to no improvement (sometimes even a small detriment) in real world performance compared to a single drive.
I haven't measured the difference with a stopwatch maybe they are reasonable, I just know by how fast the programs pop up with windows software raid 0 vs a single drive.
Real world benchmarks I've seen were using hardware(maybe fakeraid?) raid 0 and I agree that's noticabely slower in real world. The AMD hardware raid 0 on my motherboard was 50% slower for random 1Q1T 4k reads compared to no raid/windows sofware raid 0. Windows software raid benches 5-10% faster for 4k 1Q1T reads vs a single drive and is obviously much faster for any file bigger than 8k or so.
 

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