Question What are the cons of having 2 x M.2-2280 SSDs on a PC ?

Aug 14, 2022
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Hi everyone! New user here.

I am planning to build a PC next month as the current one is not functioning well and quite old (6 years+).

I am thinking of having 2 x M.2-2280 SSDs on the new PC, specifically a Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVME (500GB Primary for OS) and a Samsung 980 PRO M.2 NVMe (2TB Secondary for everything else).

As such, I would like to understand if there are any cons/downsides of having 2 x M.2-2280 SSDs on a PC?

Thanks!
 
Hi everyone! New user here.

I am planning to build a PC next month as the current one is not functioning well and quite old (6 years+).

I am thinking of having 2 M.2-2280 SSD on the new PC; mainly a Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVME (500GB Primary for OS) and Samsung 980 PRO M.2 NVMe (2TB Secondary for everything else).
As such, I would like to understand if there are any cons/downsides of having 2 M.2-2280 for a PC?

Thanks!
Depends on MB and it's configuration for M.2 slots. 980 pro will be much faster in an MB with PCIe v4.0 so it would be better for OS and programs that have extensive use of disk system, Some MBs have only PCIe which is connected to chipset instead of CPU and therefore be even more of the waste. Games and programs even when installed on secondary disk still run mostly of OS disk.
So, your best combination would be to use 980 Pro for OS and games/programs and if you need a part for raw data, just partition it. As opposite of HDDs, writing speed doesn't depend on free space on a partition but on whole disk space.
 

USAFRet

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Hi everyone! New user here.

I am planning to build a PC next month as the current one is not functioning well and quite old (6 years+).

I am thinking of having 2 M.2-2280 SSD on the new PC; mainly a Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVME (500GB Primary for OS) and Samsung 980 PRO M.2 NVMe (2TB Secondary for everything else).
As such, I would like to understand if there are any cons/downsides of having 2 M.2-2280 for a PC?

Thanks!
No downsides, assuming the motherboard is capable.

But I would configure it the other way around.

500GB-1TB 980 Pro for the OS and applications, 1-2TB 970 for all the other stuff, incl games.


For games, there is no real benefit of having them on the 980 vs the 970.

See these:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YoRKQy-UO4

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DKLA7w9eeA

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ9LyNXpsOo
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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Hi everyone! New user here.

I am planning to build a PC next month as the current one is not functioning well and quite old (6 years+).

I am thinking of having 2 M.2-2280 SSD on the new PC; mainly a Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVME (500GB Primary for OS) and Samsung 980 PRO M.2 NVMe (2TB Secondary for everything else).
As such, I would like to understand if there are any cons/downsides of having 2 M.2-2280 for a PC?

Thanks!
You have a limited number of PCI-E lanes so if you have 2 x M2 drives it may limit the number of SATA ports you can use. Otherwise no real downside, I have 2 x M2 drives in my PC and 2 x SATA SSD's.
 
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Nighthawk117

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But I would configure it the other way around.

500GB-1TB 980 Pro for the OS and applications, 1-2TB 970 for all the other stuff, incl games.
That was my first thought as well, however he's probably using the 2TB 980 Pro as a game drive. In 10 years time when Microsoft Direct Storage is available that would be a more optimal config.
 
Aug 14, 2022
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Thanks everyone for the replies!

First off - the planned motherboard would be [Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard], running on [Intel Core i5-12600K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor].
Second - yes, the planned was 500GB for OS while 2TB (980 Pro) was for games incl. applications.

Lastly, quoting from above
So, your best combination would be to use 980 Pro for OS and games/programs and if you need a part for raw data, just partition it. As opposite of HDDs, writing speed doesn't depend on free space on a partition but on whole disk space.
If I am reading the replies correctly, there's no real con of having 2 M.2-2280s and instead for better usage (or at least budget speaking), 980 Pro as Main/Primary, while Secondary I would use something like Samsung 870 EVO 2.5”? Or what would be the best optimal storage system?

Thanks!
 
Thanks everyone for the replies!

First off - the planned motherboard would be [Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard], running on [Intel Core i5-12600K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor].
Second - yes, the planned was 500GB for OS while 2TB (980 Pro) was for games incl. applications.

Lastly, quoting from above
If I am reading the replies correctly, there's no real con of having 2 M.2-2280s and instead for better usage (or at least budget speaking), 980 Pro as Main/Primary, while Secondary I would use something like Samsung 870 EVO 2.5”? Or what would be the best optimal storage system?

Thanks!
Yes 980 Pro is PCIe v4 and so twice as fast, with large cache and better durability specially in large sizes.
For pure storage even HDD is acceptable let alone a SATA SSD. In that case, only M.2 advantage is lack of cables.
 

USAFRet

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There is no "optimal" configuration.

Everyone is a little different.
I have 6x drives, all SSD.
Each has their own main use. Photo/CAD/video/games...

Other people recommend one large drive for everything.


But also, there is no real benefit to having applications (apart from games) on a different drive than the OS.
 
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Nighthawk117

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I agree with @USAFRet, I would put all applications on the OS drive and games on the secondary drive. If you ever need to reinstall Windows, you have to reinstall your apps anyway regardless of what drive they are on. It's only Steam and Origin libraries that are easily transportable. You can also backup your OS drive, and if you ever need to restore it all your apps will be there.
 
I agree with @USAFRet, I would put all applications on the OS drive and games on the secondary drive. If you ever need to reinstall Windows, you have to reinstall your apps anyway regardless of what drive they are on. It's only Steam and Origin libraries that are easily transportable. You can also backup your OS drive, and if you ever need to restore it all your apps will be there.
If you have to reinstall windows you would also have to reinstall games/programs as a part of them is still in OS disk, registry etc. Only portable programs/games could work.
Nothing beats a proper backup
 

Nighthawk117

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If you have to reinstall windows you would also have to reinstall games/programs as a part of them is still in OS disk, registry etc. Only portable programs/games could work.
Nothing beats a proper backup
For all but portable applications yes including Steam, but for Steam game libraries themselves, it's very easy to reinstall Windows on a machine and point Steam to games folder on another drive. It will just rediscover the old games.
 
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For all but portable applications yes including Steam, but for Steam game libraries themselves, it's very easy to reinstall Windows on a machine and point Steam to games folder on another drive. It will just rediscover the old games.
Steam is just one of many gaming platforms and games, it's much better to maintain a proper and often backup of whole disk and if necessary you can have everything back in few minutes. An incremental backup every day or so takes minutes, makes a 1. 2 or 3GB (depending on changes in between) and can be automated. Even in case of bad malware or disk disaster backup is much more secure.
In the age of small, slow and expensive mechanical HDDs and even SSDs just for OS it made sense to divide games between disks but not any more.
 
Thanks everyone for the replies!

First off - the planned motherboard would be [Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard], running on [Intel Core i5-12600K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor].
Second - yes, the planned was 500GB for OS while 2TB (980 Pro) was for games incl. applications.

Lastly, quoting from above
If I am reading the replies correctly, there's no real con of having 2 M.2-2280s and instead for better usage (or at least budget speaking), 980 Pro as Main/Primary, while Secondary I would use something like Samsung 870 EVO 2.5”? Or what would be the best optimal storage system?

Thanks!
Working with the 2 disk you picked the config you started with should work fine.
Unless your a serious power user I doubt you would see a diff flipping things around.
500GB for the OS and apps and 1TB for storage.
Pcie3 vs pcie4 don't worry about it.
 
But also, there is no real benefit to having applications (apart from games) on a different drive than the OS.
There si some drawback, OS drive has IO operations which some application may be starved of some resources, for example in my case (Matlab and AI) i see a major improvement if i use a separated m.2 compared with the OS drive even tho my os drive should be a lot faster then my 2nd drive
 

geofelt

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Keep it simple.
Use a single m.2 for all.
Windows does things mostly one at a time so there would be no real performance difference.
A single C drive space is easier to manage.
If/when you run out of space, you will have room for a second m.2 or sata drive.
At some point, adding m.2 drives will deactivate sata ports.
Download and read your motherboard manual for these kinds of restrictions.

Opinions will vary on this.
 

USAFRet

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There si some drawback, OS drive has IO operations which some application may be starved of some resources, for example in my case (Matlab and AI) i see a major improvement if i use a separated m.2 compared with the OS drive even tho my os drive should be a lot faster then my 2nd drive
OK, maybe I should have qualified that...

"In some fringe use cases, there may be a benefit..."

But is that big IO load the application or the data?
 
OK, maybe I should have qualified that...

"In some fringe use cases, there may be a benefit..."

But is that big IO load the application or the data?
I dont know much why it does that, but when i train a AI made by me it takes about 20-30% longer on the OS drive, or maybe RAID 0 has benefit on this case but i dont think so bcuz sequential write/read is slower then os drive, max IOPS are lower then os drive but it behaves like that, i did not investigated much the issue i just take it as it is, OS is interfering with thta AI training.
OP our advice is get a faster smaller drive for OS and the second large one can be slower, games will not feel the difference.
 

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