SATA vs M.2 SSD

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jordancayne

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Getting very close to pulling the trigger on my components for my new computer build, just trying to get a few questions answered prior to making my purchase. To get started, I know that PCI SSDs are faster that SATA SSDs. The question is HOW much faster?

Here is the MOBO i'm going to be putting in my new computer: GIGABYTE GA-Z170X Gaming 6

I am going to be running a single GPU for the foreseeable future, so I am not too concerned about lack of PCI slots. What I was thinking of doing was using this M.2 Samsung Pro 950 256GB to put Windows 10, Photoshop, After Effects, Sony Vegas 13, etc. on for the fastest loading possible, then have a secondary SSD (Samsung EVO 850 250/500GB) to load things like games and other programs on. Would this be beneficial? I have no experience with M.2 SSDs.

I did some reading online, but as with anything else, there are lists of pros and cons out there. I would just like some guidance on this issue.

As far as storage other than the SSDs, I will have 2x 2TB HDDs.

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

NEmpire95

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First of all m.2 has the potential of reaching speeds up to 32 gigabits per second over sata III 6 gigabits which is quite a jump.
Second of all this board has Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connectors with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe NVMe & SATA SSD support). Meaning you can potentially reach those speeds with the right m.2 drive.

Would you notice a huge performance gain? Not really, If you used it as a boot drive you could potentially shave, maybe, 2-4 seconds off windows booting. For applications like Photoshop or Sony vegas you might notice a slight increase in speed. Mostly it will just look better on paper if you were to benchamark it over sata III SSD's. If you want to pay the hefty price premium the performance gain that is up to you :). I guess they are stating to get a bit cheaper for m.2 nvme drives.

If you do get one here are a couple good ones.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147467&cm_re=samsung_950-_-20-147-467-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167359&cm_re=intel_750-_-20-167-359-_-Product
 
Lots of reviews I've seen have M.2 SSDs running same as SATA ones. It's when you use PCI-e that you really see a jump. Also, I heard when it is M.2 on the mobo it gets hot and needs cooling otherwise it throttles performance.

So, if I was buying a SSD today I'd still get a SATA one.
 

NEmpire95

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M.2 is running through the pcie bus. You can also buy adapter to plug them directly into a pcie slot. I agree about getting hot as they don't have heat sinks like intel's 750 pcie ssd. I agree performance per dollar definitely favors sata ssd's currently.
 

jordancayne

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Ok, with those answers in, it seems as though while faster, I wouldn't get enough noticeable performance boost to justify the cost of the M.2

So, next question: a single 500GB SSD or 2x250GB SSDs?
 

NEmpire95

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Personally I would just get one and save yourself some trouble. Unless two 250's are alot cheaper.
 

jordancayne

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They're about the same price (within $20 USD or so.) I just see some people running two SSDs and didn't really see why. I'd rather stick with one myself.
 

NEmpire95

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Stick with one then IMHO. Also usually one ssd will be a tad faster for you than 2.

 

jordancayne

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I've always used Gigabyte and they are always exceptionally built, or mine were anyways.

The 950 Pro is an NVMe, and I've considered it. I do a good bit of video and 3D rendering, so there are a couple options I'm mulling over. The SSD question was one, and then I posted in the CPU forums about i5 vs i7.

I'm looking at having roughly 500GB worth of SSD space (programs, plus recording video directly to the PC if I ever want to stream games) plus a good chunk (4TB) of HDD just for storage.
 
Get one SSD. I'm guessing those that have two bought one then another later. Prices of SSDs have fallen so much. 3 years ago 120gb was $110. Now, you can get 250gb for $80. I'd buy a single SSD and back it up on a larger HDD that would store movies/pics/whatnot too.

Your plan of 500gb SSD and lots of storage is perfect.
 

RAJOD

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I agree, I was going to get a pcix m2 add on card. The 2,000 Mb/sec sound good. But then in real world benchmarks there realy is ZERO noticable difference in boot times (SATA faster due to set up of m2 on boot) and game and app load times all about the same. It seems the OS is the bottleneck, once you hit like 300 Mb/sec going to 2,000MB/sec really does not load things in day to day computing any faster.

About the only real benifit would be a file transfer from one M2 drive to another. That would be better but other than that cherry picked scenario most users wont feel a big difference vs older SATA based SSDs. Which is a shame. So yea not going to waste money on it.
 

Game256

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There is significant performance increase for tasks like copying/moving files and from average to non-significant performance for everything else.

However, the point is different. SSD market currently is in process of transition to M.2 PCIe SSDs and M.2 PCIe drives become cheaper. There is Intel 600p for 80$, there is much better Samsung 960 EVO that will cost about 115$-130$ for 250 Gb version. There is no point to buy a piece of technology that soon will become a half-obsolete when there is a new product almost for the same money.
 

blakedunc235

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Its still the same way. Usually the higher the capacity, the faster the drive.
 

Grumpy275

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The quick answer - How much software are you going to put on your C: Drive? That will tell you if 250 or 500 Gigs is for you Personally I would go for 500 if I can afford it. I assume from what you say you are using an HDD for storage of Data. That is what I do as well, I intend to change the Data drives to SSD as soon as the price is affordable.
I hope that helps.
 

ah

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You should go for the Evo 960, it's a little bit cheaper, and perform better. But be carefull when u put in the drive though. I lost my M.2 screw, and no store has the screw, even MSI Australia does not have it, so I ask them to contact HQ in Taiwan, so they replied yes they did, and I'm still waiting. Not sure the screw will arrive eventually.
 

Sadashiva

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Hey there Jordan,

I see you've received plentiful answers for this situation and selected the best for you.

I just wanted to confirm for you that I have the exact same board on my build I did earlier this year. I use the Samsung Evo 950Pro 256GB as my main boot with all my Adobe products and other main programs. Boot time and program operation is phenomenal and am incredibly happy with it. Instead of an SSD for my secondary drive, I just used a 1TB WD Black drive and that has worked perfectly in tandem with the M.2 drive in terms of what I save my projects on. However, since it looks like you'll have games that could be more demanding along with other programs on your 2nd drive, if you have the budget, you'll surely be happier with an SSD. If you were just saving general files and design projects (not video projects), then I would recommend a HDD like the 1TB WD Black for that and put your money into upping your core components instead. Then later down the road (as I plan to do), you can buy an SSD when the need shows up.

BTW - Great price on a great Mobo. I've really enjoyed this model myself. Just make sure to install you M.2 slot to the top slot to keep your Sata ports open. I couldn't find any documentation on this in the beginning about what would be knocked out on this board by doing that and had to discover it through trial and error. Hope this saves you a headache ;)

Happy Building!
Chris
 

BorgOvermind

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"I know that PCI SSDs are faster that SATA SSDs."
No they are not.
I use M2s in my Acer Predator 17 and they're not faster than my main system's SATA old SSD. The model of the SSD is what matters most, and there can be significant performance differences here.

Do not worry overall, I do not know of any SSD to exceed 600MB/s x-fer rate which is the limit of SATA3, so currently we don't have a problem.

And yes, I'm for using an SSD for boot disk and a WD 1TB black for storage, if space is indeed needed.
 

LogicBomb31

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The Intel 750 NVMe series (not M.2, the PCIe card with heatsink) are noticeably faster than other SSD's I've used, they blow the run of the mill SSDs out of the water. It's the high speeds yes but more importantly the controller. Intel pioneered the technology and has very good controller software with regular firmware updates making benching even better over time. And bench this bench that, 750 may get beat but put it to the real world test where it counts, Intel majorly owns this space. At a $1 a gig the 400GB model is awesome if the wallet can bare it. And this kind of speed is definitely future-proof.

I have the 1.2tb model and games load unnecessary fast, 5-7 seconds for a BF4 map, 3 seconds for a wow loading screen. A properly configured i7 rig with intel 750 NVMe should get close to my speeds.
 

uk1981

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First, I need to say I just purchased the Samsung 960 EVO 1TB model and will install it next week. So I am responding having just committed my money into the purchase.

Total performance means the least capable component in your system dictates the amount of "good" any one upgrade does. It is a weakest link in the chain dictates the snap point.

About the SSD, Samsung 950 and 960 are both excellent. The 960 is superior. And getting a larger one gets more VAND working for you. I recommend putting your money into only a 960 model and the money you would have spent on the storage drive be put into a standard 7800 rpm hard drive.

Other considerations of course are the CPU, the Motherboard, the Memory. But unless they are also top of the line, getting a 960 or even the 950 does not equate to a huge increase. But with them, it does generate a huge increase.

I hope this helps.
 

dark_83

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So, if I bought cheaper m.2 SSD (CRUCIAL MX200 M.2 or 850 EVO m.2 SSD) instead of 950 Pro which way expensive, the performance still slightly better than SATA SSD?
 


Yes. But will you notice or need it? That depends if you are a power user or not. for common users 2.5" SSDs are still gold.

If you are worried about space...get the M.2.....if you don't have enough SATA ports.
 
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