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Question Alternative to Samsung 860 EVO with 2 TB for storage

HerrKaLeu

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Nov 23, 2016
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I'm about to replace my 2 TB 7200 rpm HDD. My OS is on an M.2 SSD and my main storage is on a 1 TB Samsung SATA SSD. So this is just my backup drive. The HDD is the loudest component in my system and is slow.
My main goal is reliability while still being fas. In the future i may recycle this SSD in a media PC and will put the OS on. Doesn't need to break speed records, but shouldn't be a dog.

Normally I would buy a Samsung 860 EVO SATA for $300 (all prices Newegg for reference) and be done with it. Now they have a budget 870 QVO for $250. But this article makes it look like it is just barely faster than an HDD (they had a 5400 rpm HDD for comparison, mine is 7200 rpm). So i think I rather pay the $50 extra to get a known 860 EVO.

In the past I stayed away from companies that just re-label, or have a spotty reputation. Samsung seemed to be vertically integrated like Intel and they just work. But it is a few years since i bought the last SSD and things may have improved and the "bad" manufacturers may have disappeared
some questions:

Are the $200 drives from Crucial, WD, ADATA any good? I realize if something cost 2/3 there is a reason.
 

HerrKaLeu

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Nov 23, 2016
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Did some more researching. It turns out the m.2 NVMe SSd are about the same price as SATA SSD. My idea now to replace my 256GB m.2 (it is not an NVMe) with a 2TB m.2 and partition the OS. Definitely would make it cleaner to not have many drives. budget choices are:
- WD blue for $230
- Sabrent Rocket q NVMe for $250
- Sabrent Rocket NVMe for $280

would any of these be bad,

The Samsung EVO cost $388, the Plus $400. that is too much for storage...

for the interim I could leave my system as is (not changing OS for the new drive) and get one of those SATA enclosures to use the m.2 and use it as an SAT drive for the time being. Next year or so I will upgrade mobo/CPU anyway and then can install a new OS and use it as an m.2 drive. Does that really work easily with these enclosures? IT also would have the advantage that if the mobo dies, i can use the SSD on an old PC without m.2 to retrieve my data. it also looks like they can be used as a transportable USB drive. Jeez, I've been using SSD for a very long time, but this is all new and things seem to have changed for the better.
Or is it a bad idea to use an m.2 SSD as an SATA drive? I realize speed will be limited to 6 G/s. It certainly would be good to be more future proof.

Edit: just saw the above WD is SATA, the Sabrent Q has the newer and slower QLC NAND. So my current preference would be the $280 Sabrent Rocket unless I'm missing something.

Edit 2: looks like those enclosures only work with SATA m.2 drives, not with NVMe drives. Is there one that would work with an PCI NVMe m.2 SSD?
 
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HerrKaLeu

Member
Nov 23, 2016
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I found this PCI card that seems to be able to hold an NVMe m.2 card. I have an mepty PCI slot, so i should be able to hold an NVMe m.2 SSD.
Is that correct? or is there a better solution?

Assuming this works, is the Sabrent rocket a reliable drive?

Edit: just found out there are the small and the large PCI cards. the small only have 1 PCI lane on my board, the larger ones can use the 4 PCI Lanes for graphics cards. Is the smaller 1-lane version slowing the SSD down? Are those cards basically just "adapters" and just route the SSD to the mobo, or do they have any active processing? I assume for the price they are just dumb.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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Are the $200 drives from Crucial, WD, ADATA any good? I realize if something cost 2/3 there is a reason.
Western Digital Blue 3D, Crucial MX500, Seagate Baricuda 120, etc. are great drives. I see some of them go on sale a little over $200 in the

The reason they "cost 2/3" is you pay a "Samsung tax", similar to paying "Apple tax". They have a good reputation after being a leader for so many years, but all the other manufacturers have caught up with them a few years ago......and in some cases have surpassed them in certain areas.
I found this PCI card that seems to be able to hold an NVMe m.2 card. I have an mepty PCI slot, so i should be able to hold an NVMe m.2 SSD.
Is that correct? or is there a better solution?

Assuming this works, is the Sabrent rocket a reliable drive?
Then you are looking at close to another $80, and you're not going to notice any "real world" difference with it being a program/storage drive.
Did some more researching. It turns out the m.2 NVMe SSd are about the same price as SATA SSD. My idea now to replace my 256GB m.2 (it is not an NVMe) with a 2TB m.2 and partition the OS. Definitely would make it cleaner to not have many drives. budget choices are:
- WD blue for $230
- Sabrent Rocket q NVMe for $250
- Sabrent Rocket NVMe for $280

would any of these be bad,

The Samsung EVO cost $388, the Plus $400. that is too much for storage...

for the interim I could leave my system as is (not changing OS for the new drive) and get one of those SATA enclosures to use the m.2 and use it as an SAT drive for the time being. Next year or so I will upgrade mobo/CPU anyway and then can install a new OS and use it as an m.2 drive. Does that really work easily with these enclosures? IT also would have the advantage that if the mobo dies, i can use the SSD on an old PC without m.2 to retrieve my data. it also looks like they can be used as a transportable USB drive. Jeez, I've been using SSD for a very long time, but this is all new and things seem to have changed for the better.
Or is it a bad idea to use an m.2 SSD as an SATA drive? I realize speed will be limited to 6 G/s. It certainly would be good to be more future proof.

Edit: just saw the above WD is SATA, the Sabrent Q has the newer and slower QLC NAND. So my current preference would be the $280 Sabrent Rocket unless I'm missing something.

Edit 2: looks like those enclosures only work with SATA m.2 drives, not with NVMe drives. Is there one that would work with an PCI NVMe m.2 SSD?
So are you planning your current 256GB NVMe drive with a 2TB NVMe drive, or are you looking at installing the new one on the add-in card? So many different directions going on to be sure.
 
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HerrKaLeu

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Nov 23, 2016
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Thanks for the reply. My current m.2 256 GB SSD is a PCI, drive, but not an NVMe (back then NVMe was an expensive option). My idea is for the time being I keep the OS on that SSD. Just don't want to fiddle too much (this PC is used by me and my wife to remote into work PCs.. so there is little tolerance to screw things up). thsi new 2 TB SSD will be used for storage. so yes, this is a bit overkill.
but in a year or so i plan to upgrade the PC. then i will use this NVMe SSd for the OS. So I don't want to buy an "outdated" SATA SSD right now. I know, this is speculation... but a Sabrent NVMe SSD would be a bit less than a Samsung EVO even including this PCI adapter.

As for the cheaper SSD, I looked at many tests and the new Samsung Q whatever and the cheaper Crucial seem to be quite slower. Not sure if that would be noticeable, though. The WD Blue 3D may be a good budget option.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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Thanks for the reply. My current m.2 256 GB SSD is a PCI, drive, but not an NVMe (back then NVMe was an expensive option). My idea is for the time being I keep the OS on that SSD. Just don't want to fiddle too much (this PC is used by me and my wife to remote into work PCs.. so there is little tolerance to screw things up). thsi new 2 TB SSD will be used for storage. so yes, this is a bit overkill.
but in a year or so i plan to upgrade the PC. then i will use this NVMe SSd for the OS. So I don't want to buy an "outdated" SATA SSD right now. I know, this is speculation... but a Sabrent NVMe SSD would be a bit less than a Samsung EVO even including this PCI adapter.

As for the cheaper SSD, I looked at many tests and the new Samsung Q whatever and the cheaper Crucial seem to be quite slower. Not sure if that would be noticeable, though. The WD Blue 3D may be a good budget option.
M.2 drives are either PCIe (NVMe) or SATA. If it is installed in the motherboard you have in your signature, it's a NVMe drive.

It's a decision on what you want to do (or which route you want to go). You can always buy the PCIe adapter and add in another NVMe drive, or you can just buy a SATA 2.5" SSD. I think with your current build, if it were me deciding on what to buy, I'd buy the cheaper SATA SSD for around $200 and call it a day (leaving the OS on the NVMe drive). But ultimately, you have to decide on what upgrade route you want to do.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Not all PCIe m.2 drives are NVMe, some of the early ones were AHCI. Do you know what model of SSD you have now? That would tell us more about it. Also, the sabrent NVMe drives are pretty nice, as long as you don't get the QLC versions. The one you linked is a nice one, and they also have PCIe gen 4 drives available.
 

UsandThem

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Not all PCIe m.2 drives are NVMe, some of the early ones were AHCI. Do you know what model of SSD you have now? That would tell us more about it. Also, the sabrent NVMe drives are pretty nice, as long as you don't get the QLC versions. The one you linked is a nice one, and they also have PCIe gen 4 drives available.
It looks like you're right (if the drive they are talking about is the one in their signature). It looks like it was the AHCI version according to the model number. https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-SM951-MZHPV256HDGL-256GB-Internal/dp/B00VELDBJ6

It still would be good for an OS drive. Not the fastest one anymore, but still 2x - 3x faster than SATA SSDs. If I was facing the decision, I'd still just just get a SATA SSD for the secondary drive. The problem is their motherboard is a mATX H170 motherboard with one M.2 slot, and if they buy a NVMe drive and put in an adapter, it might have issues with a GPU installed since the H170 chipset is limited to one x16 configuration (instead of it being able to be split like on the Z170 chipset).

Maybe I'm wrong about the H170 lane issue (I'm sure someone else here has a H170 motherboard), but that's the way it appears to me based on this: Pudget chart

66.jpg
 
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HerrKaLeu

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You guys give me a lot to think about. I looked up the old SSD order and the SSD I have is this (but the 256 GB version, somehow my Newegg invoice links to the 128 GB version). IIRC back then the same SSD also had a more expensive NVMe option. but it definitely is PCIe. and i agree, it is good enough for OS.
I don't have a discrete graphics card, and don't plan on one. The board has HDMI and Display port to drive both my 4K monitors.

I keep my hardware for a long time and re-use it in streaming PCs. So a 2 TB SSD will have many many years of use for me. Now it may be a storage drive, later an OS drive and so on. what I tend to like about m.2 (even with PCIe) is that it avoids 2 cables and makes the PC cleaner. I also would hope with the PCIe card i can use that SSD in another PC if this PC explodes and i need to retrieve my data. Admittedly, an SATA 2.5" SSD would be a bit better for that. But it isn't that my PC explodes daily. Maybe I'm jsut so excited about this new technology....

some question on the NVMe. I hope that will help me making up my mind:
- can the m.2 SSD be used as a boot drive if used via the PCI card?
- Can the "short" PCIe card be used in the larger Graphics PCI slot? I read some mobo manufacturers limit some slots to Graphics card only. I'm a bit afraid to buy one for the long slot since that may limit me. i realize some boards limit the short cards to 1 Lane.
- Can a PCIe card that can holds 2-3 SSD be used efficiently? I mean is it slower to put 2 SSD on one card as opposed to using 2 cards? Just thinking ahead for possible future uses.
 

UsandThem

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some question on the NVMe. I hope that will help me making up my mind:
- can the m.2 SSD be used as a boot drive if used via the PCI card?
On newer chipsets it will work fine (including your H170 motherboard).
- Can the "short" PCIe card be used in the larger Graphics PCI slot? I read some mobo manufacturers limit some slots to Graphics card only. I'm a bit afraid to buy one for the long slot since that may limit me. i realize some boards limit the short cards to 1 Lane.
The only NVMe adapter cards I've used have been x4 cards, so they can be installed in PCIe x4 or x16 slots......just not in the tiny x1 slots.
- Can a PCIe card that can holds 2-3 SSD be used efficiently? I mean is it slower to put 2 SSD on one card as opposed to using 2 cards? Just thinking ahead for possible future uses.
I've only personally used cards that held a single NVMe drive, so I can't say for certain on that. I know they're out there, so maybe someone else here has had experience with that and can chime in.
 

HerrKaLeu

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Nov 23, 2016
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On newer chipsets it will work fine (including your H170 motherboard).

The only NVMe adapter cards I've used have been x4 cards, so they can be installed in PCIe x4 or x16 slots......just not in the tiny x1 slots.

I've only personally used cards that held a single NVMe drive, so I can't say for certain on that. I know they're out there, so maybe someone else here has had experience with that and can chime in.
Thanks. I ordered the Sabrent NVMe with an x4 expansion card for one drive.
 
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Insert_Nickname

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The only NVMe adapter cards I've used have been x4 cards, so they can be installed in PCIe x4 or x16 slots......just not in the tiny x1 slots.
You could use a PCIe x16 to PCIe x1 adaptor* in addition to a PCIe x4 adaptor if you really need to install in a PCIe x1 slot. But it would limit bandwidth to either 500MB/s (PCIe 2.0) or 985MB/s (3.0), and is quite expensive, so it would need to be for a special reason. But it is possible.

*
https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/Slot-Extension/PCI-Express-X1-to-X16-Low-Profile-Slot-Extension-Adapter~PEX1TO162
 

Blazer7

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Jun 26, 2007
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- can the m.2 SSD be used as a boot drive if used via the PCI card?
It depends on the system. It can be used as a boot drive as long as it is recognized by the BIOS/UEFI as eligible. That said, it is good strategy to update your mobo's BIOS/UEFI to the latest ver from the start.
- Can the "short" PCIe card be used in the larger Graphics PCI slot? I read some mobo manufacturers limit some slots to Graphics card only. I'm a bit afraid to buy one for the long slot since that may limit me. i realize some boards limit the short cards to 1 Lane.
I run into trouble when tried to use my 3rd PCIe x16 for the nvme adapter card. The drive would occasionally disconnect. Once I moved the card to the 2nd PCIe x16 all problems were solved.
Your mobo is much newer than mine and supports nvme so you stand a very good chance of having everything working out of the box.
 

UsandThem

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Dang, it looks like they got all of their answers to their questions, and then nuked their account.

As Bob Dylan once sang about, "The times they are a changin' ". :oops:
 
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HerrKaLeu

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Nov 23, 2016
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Dang, it looks like they got all of their answers to their questions, and then nuked their account.

As Bob Dylan once sang about, "The times they are a changin' ". :oops:
Not really, I tried to change my username and recreate the account.... but that didn't work and i re-activated and requested a re-name.

Anyway, on topic:
I got the Sabrent NVMe SSD and the PCIe adapter. Works flawlessly. The adapter is the 4x installed in a 16x slot. It doesn't work in the 1x PCIe port, though. so make sure you have enough slots available. and the PC is silent now that I took the HDD out!

It is fast. I copied all files from my SATA 2.5" SSD to the new NVMe and in the task manager the SATA was reading at almost 100% and the NVMe reading was only at 40%, so the NVMe was actually held back writing by not enough data read from the SATA.

With current prices, unless you have legacy drives, for a new PC I even question the need for other drives. A new PC could have an m.2 in the board m.2 slot, and add PCIe card for an added m.2. that is unless you need more than 2 TB and so on. It sure makes the case cleaner and you don't need to add cables. We got rid of DVD, got rid of HDD.

Attached the benchmarks. i assume the larger drives have a natural advantage due to more parallel lines. But the 1TB SATA drive is quite a bit slower than my old 256GB PCI (no NVMe) drive. The Sabrent has 5-6 times the speed of the SATA.... maybe in real life it isn't noticeable, but you don't get 5 times the speed often unless you do major upgrades.
 

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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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The Sabrent has 5-6 times the speed of the SATA.... maybe in real life it isn't noticeable, but you don't get 5 times the speed often unless you do major upgrades.
you don't really notice it, unless its a heavy operation which you don't really see in normal consumer level tasks.
The biggest difference i saw was a few seconds even in PC Gaming large map loading, which is honestly something i can afford if it will free up PCI-E Lanes.
You also have to note, while the nVME is fastest, it also takes up precious PCI-E lanes on your cpu, so for gamers who like to run the gpu unleashed at a full 16x pci-e lanes, it only leaves room for 1 nVME (non HEDT) after that, which means if you add another, it will take away 8 from your PCI-E video card.
 

HerrKaLeu

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you don't really notice it, unless its a heavy operation which you don't really see in normal consumer level tasks.
The biggest difference i saw was a few seconds even in PC Gaming large map loading, which is honestly something i can afford if it will free up PCI-E Lanes.
You also have to note, while the nVME is fastest, it also takes up precious PCI-E lanes on your cpu, so for gamers who like to run the gpu unleashed at a full 16x pci-e lanes, it only leaves room for 1 nVME (non HEDT) after that, which means if you add another, it will take away 8 from your PCI-E video card.
Good points. i use iGPU.

Obviously if you have a sufficiently sizes SATA SSD, you wouldn't run out and buy a new NVMe. But my take is, once you buy a new one anyway, I rather pay a bit more to get the better. Cry once.... there sure will be an application in 2-3 years that makes me wish I had a faster device :)
 

Insert_Nickname

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You also have to note, while the nVME is fastest, it also takes up precious PCI-E lanes on your cpu, so for gamers who like to run the gpu unleashed at a full 16x pci-e lanes, it only leaves room for 1 nVME (non HEDT) after that, which means if you add another, it will take away 8 from your PCI-E video card.
This is a complete non-issue. The performance penalty between PCIe 3.0 x16 and x8 is between 1-2%. With an RTX2080TI. With a mainstream card, I doubt you'd notice.

https://www.techpowerup.com/review/nvidia-geforce-rtx-2080-ti-pci-express-scaling/6.html

Both SATA and NVMe M.2's have the additional advantage of tremendously simplifying cable management.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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This is a complete non-issue. The performance penalty between PCIe 3.0 x16 and x8 is between 1-2%. With an RTX2080TI. With a mainstream card, I doubt you'd notice.
If your picky about the last seconds in map loading that forces you to go nVME, then your going to be anal about not getting the full 16x on your GPU.

If your not picky about that 1-2% difference then again, you wont be picky about that having a nVME for games over a regular SATA.

Its ultimately the dog which chases its own tail.
 

Insert_Nickname

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If your picky about the last seconds in map loading that forces you to go nVME, then your going to be anal about not getting the full 16x on your GPU.

If your not picky about that 1-2% difference then again, you wont be picky about that having a nVME for games over a regular SATA.

Its ultimately the dog which chases its own tail.
Too true.

If you're chasing that last 10%'s worth of performance, you'd better ensure your wallet is able to handle it... :D

I admit I'm a bit biased in favouring storage performance, but storage has always been the weakest link in the average PC. High performance NVMe drives have finally put that to rest.
 

HerrKaLeu

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Nov 23, 2016
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Too true.

If you're chasing that last 10%'s worth of performance, you'd better ensure your wallet is able to handle it... :D

I admit I'm a bit biased in favouring storage performance, but storage has always been the weakest link in the average PC. High performance NVMe drives have finally put that to rest.
+1

The cost isn't really an issue. My alternative SSD would have been a WD blue 2.5" for $225. The NVMe was $280 plus the $10 card (which you wouldn't need if the m.2 wasn't already used). So it was 25% more cost for 500% performance increase. There is not much hardware where you get such good cost/performance upgrade ratio.

Now if we could resolve the internet speed issue in this country....still on DSL and fiber will be coming "some time"
 

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