Question Upgrading to NVME

Feb 4, 2021
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I recently rebuilt my rig and my new mobo has a M.2 slot. I ordered a 1Tb WD Black m.2 ssd for it, now I am wondering what the best setup for it is. I currently have windows running on a regular 240gb ssd and maybe a half a tb of games on a 2tb hybrid drive.
Should I load Windows and the games on the m.2? Should I make a partition for windows on the m.2 if I do? Or leave windows on the ssd and load the games separately on the m.2? Just curious about options. Thanks in advance
 
Feb 4, 2021
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The mobo is a Gigabyte A520M AORUS Elite. The ssd is a corsair force LE it has 136gb of free space out of 233 total. Cssd-f240gbleb/rf2 I assume is the model number.
 

USAFRet

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You can do this multiple ways.

  1. Leave the OS where it is. Use the new drives for games.
  2. Move everything from the 240GB to the new drive, and use the 240GB for other things.
Not a HUGE difference either way.
 
If you care about performance, put all frequently used things on the 1tb ssd/
You should be able to clone your windows C drive to the WD 1tb ssd.
Macrium reflect is a popular utility.
WD may have something similar.
When done, you can repurpose the 256 gb ssd as you wish.
I think space management is easier with a single large partition.
But, opinions differ.
 

USAFRet

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To migrate from the current 240GB to the 1TB:

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Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
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Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
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Feb 4, 2021
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So will there be any actual benefits to migrating the OS to the M.2 drive performance wise? There seems to be mixed reviews. The way I understand it is the read/write speeds on the M.2 are 6x faster than the standard ssd so leaving windows where it is would bottleneck the M.2?
 

USAFRet

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So will there be any actual benefits to migrating the OS to the M.2 drive performance wise? There seems to be mixed reviews. The way I understand it is the read/write speeds on the M.2 are 6x faster than the standard ssd so leaving windows where it is would bottleneck the M.2?
The sequential speed of the NVMe is much better.
The small 4k sector transfers are about the same(ish).

The SSD benefits over the HDD due to the near zero access time.
Between SSD types, the difference is smaller.

In daily use, the NVMe will be faster. But not "6x faster"

See this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3AMz-xZ2VM
 
Jan 19, 2021
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So the increased read/write speeds going from 500ish on the 2.5 ssd to 3000ish on the m.2 ssd doesn't really matter?
It does, at the very least, matters when you download games. If you have a fast internet connection - say fiber - it's gonna much, much faster on the Nvme according to my experience.
 

USAFRet

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So the increased read/write speeds going from 500ish on the 2.5 ssd to 3000ish on the m.2 ssd doesn't really matter?
In some use cases, it matters.
Others, not.

Transferring a 5GB file between 2x NVMe drives? Much much faster.
Opening a game level? A couple of secs at most.

In my personal use:
Samsung SATA III SSD and Intel 660p NVMe
(The intel is not the fastest NVMe, but the sequential is 3x the SATA III)

Adobe Lightroom.
5 files, multiple edits to each.

Writing out the batch of 5 to each drive took the same 15 secs. No matter if it was the 660p, a 1 year old Samsung 860, or a 6 year old Samsung 840.
There are many other things going on besides the raw drive speed.
 

USAFRet

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It does, at the very least, matters when you download games. If you have a fast internet connection - say fiber - it's gonna much, much faster on the Nvme according to my experience.
No it won't.

Either type drive is much faster than a residential internet connection. Yes, even the SATA III drives.

A SATA III at 550MB/s is 4 times faster than a gigabit fiber connection.
 
Jan 19, 2021
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No it won't.

Either type drive is much faster than a residential internet connection. Yes, even the SATA III drives.

A SATA III at 550MB/s is 4 times faster than a gigabit fiber connection.
My bad then. I mixed it up with HDD vs SSD download, that was what I tested
 
Feb 4, 2021
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Hmmm... I suppose I'll just leave Windows on the ssd then and use the m.2 for game storage and downloads.
My games are installed on a 2Tb HDD at the moment, I dont suppose I'll be able to simply cut and paste the files on to the m.2 drive without reinstalling them?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Hmmm... I suppose I'll just leave Windows on the ssd then and use the m.2 for game storage and downloads.
My games are installed on a 2Tb HDD at the moment, I dont suppose I'll be able to simply cut and paste the files on to the m.2 drive without reinstalling them?
There are 2 schools of thought on games in particular.
OS on the fast drive, or games on the fast drive.
Either way has some small advantage.

Personally, I'd leave the OS where it is, and use the new drive for games.

If these are Steam games, you CAN move them easily.

Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder


To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
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Other game platforms have a similar function, but I don't have those installed to document.
 

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