Question Best NVME 4TB Drive

blade8079

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Sep 21, 2006
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Hi All,

I have a fairly old video editing rig on i9-7920 and PCIe3

I need to get a new SSD which is good for sustained writes from multiple sources over 2+TBat a time.
I copy data from multiple SD cards at the same time and good sustained write performance is most important (no overheating over 30-50 mins of copying etc), This will not be a system drive but video editing drive.
Also how much of the bottleneck will PCIe 3 be? Max Budget : $1000 USD

Thank you.

P.S. Another question: any way to add more drives to windows beyond the "z" letter? (As I copy from many cards i run out of letters quickly)
 

Tech Junky

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Well there's 26 letters in the alphabet and by default a system uses 1 = C. If you're using more than one partition or more than a single forever then a couple might be in use. There might be a reg hack to enable numbers to the mix.

As to the speed in which you're copying it looks like UHS-II @ 300MB/s or if you're bleeding edge with CFE2 @ 1700BM/s but to my knowledge not too many people would be using those since they're $500+

When you get beyond 2TB most NVME sticks are only PCI 3 speeds anyway. I've got a list of 4 / 8 TB models with the idea of using them to replace spinners in a raid setup but, the prices are a bit much. 4TB drives though hit around $500 and 8TB drive are closer to $1000.

Duration of copy does impact heat but, if it's moderate in speed they shouldn't heat up too much. One way around the heat issue is to place them in a HBA that slots into one of the PCI slots w/ a heat sink over the drive. Proper air flow in the case will help as well.

Going beyond the 2TB limit gives very few options. Now, there's still a split between the 3000MB/s NVME and 600MB/s SATA drives you can be using in a system like yours.

PCI Adapter w/ HS - https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Output-Support-Windows8-System/dp/B088H3935P - $10
https://www.amazon.com/OWC-Accelsior-PCIe-NVMe-Card/dp/B08LYWDSKJ/ - $25 / has option to include NVME

Drives:
https://www.amazon.com/WD_Black-AN1500-Internal-Gaming-Card/dp/B08HBPMPZ2/ - $550 direct to PCI slot WD

Heat sink - $5-$30 - tons of options

Bare NVME drives:
https://www.amazon.com/TEAMGROUP-Internal-Compatible-Desktop-TM8FP4004T0C101/dp/B08Z7LN8NM/ - $400
https://www.amazon.com/XPG-S40G-Gen3x4-Internal-AS40G-4TT-C/dp/B0897CV222/
https://www.amazon.com/Inland-Platinum-Internal-Compatible-Solutions/dp/B08FT8LFNM/ - $470
https://www.amazon.com/WD_BLACK-SN750-Internal-Gaming-Solid/dp/B08QZ879V5 - $500
https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Internal-Maximum-Performance-SB-RKTQ4-4TB/dp/B08D28X4HW/ - $580
https://www.amazon.com/PNY-CS3030-Internal-Solid-State/dp/B09237RYSN/r - $600

So,, I've personally used a few of these in lower capacities. I'm primarily running WD SN850's in 2 different systems and they idle around 40C which is a bit higher than other options on the list. For instance running the PNY drives usually idle in the 26-30C range. I don't bother with the HS's though as they tend to sometimes offer a benefit but, most throttling is due to the controller / flash being depleted on extended copies. When I bulk copy drives I typically get up to 2GB/s for the first few seconds and then it will drop to 500-800MB/s which is still pretty good but a limitation of a few things in the chain of data. If you're copying large single files it should go quicker vs a lot of smaller files that take CPU cycles to process.

I'm using ADL K/H CPUs and 16GB/32GB RAM and still not seeing bloated synthetic speed test speeds. Those just aren't the reality of how these thigs work. Sure i see a speed bump with Gen4 (up to 7500MB/s) over Gen3 (up to 3500MB/s) but it's not sustainable. The biggest difference I find for the cache is dependent on the controller being used. WD uses an in house controller and some of the drives above use a Phison based controller. Phison based drives tend to be a little cheaper in cost and perform well enough. Samsung to me is a bit over priced when it comes to drives for similar performance to a lower tier drive. There are others in use out there for controllers but the space is limited to a handful of manufacturers to begin with and when it comes down to it these are mostly cookie cutter devices that just get a different sticker put on the device before being packaged.

Here's the SN850 Gen4
1655047058084.png

PNY CS3030 Gen3
1655047382958.png

You can see Gen4 is about double the speed of the Gen3 which makes sense with the specs for the generations. Now, taking into account my copies I mentioned before. Even copying from the Gen3 drives I should be able to hit ~3GB/s but in reality it's typically about 1.5GB/s. for short bursts vs bulk copies.

This should give us a place to start diving into things deeper.
 

blade8079

Member
Sep 21, 2006
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Thank you for a very informative answer!

Definitely a lot to explore but, like you've mentioned, not that many 4TB models to choose from.

I actually copy about 90mb/s from each card but i have about 10-20 at a time and have to connect to different usb 3 hubs in order not to saturate usb 3 on a single port.
I was also looking at a heatsink firecuda 530 4tb one-seems like a good plug and play solution. I have one last pci-e left so want to maximize its usage. I might wait for gen 5 drives and pick up a 6 or 8 tb one as well. Still thinking.

WD AN1500 looks like an interesting choice as well.
PNY seems good for idle temps but i think the sequential write performance is worse than firecuda and WD.

Will have to do some digging on that.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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Seagate has reliability issues....

The all in one card from WD is interesting to say the least out of the make your own and slap it into a slot.

If you're thinking PCIE5 you'll need a system rebuild to ADL or later CPU since those slots aren't available with your setup. The new drives haven't been released yet but, they will require active cooling on them due to the speeds / controller. They're only worthwhile for bulk transfers exceeding what you're doing or high transactional date like DB lookups / writes.

100MB x 20 is only 2000MB/s and a Gen3 would work well. There's still about a 50% premium to move to Gen4 and 4TB are going for $600 plus.

Now, since we're talking about larger cumulative data are you just copying them and editing or planning on making a library out of the files?

if you're thinking long term storage then adding a Raid to your setup might be something to think about using the existing PC w/ Linux can accomplish this if you think you'll be doing a rebuild anyway. Going with some new drives at 10-1TB x 4 would net you ~450MB/s in a Raid 10 which gives you speed and redundancy. If you went R0 though you would be pushing 800MB/s+ but, if one fails things are toast.

I run a R10 w/ 5 drives with one of them being an active spare that will takeover in the event of a failure w/o any intervention on m part other than replacing it and adding it back into the array. This gives me that 450 number over the network using Ethernet + 5GE card/adapters on each side.
 

blade8079

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Sep 21, 2006
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Thanks again!

Interesting - never heard anything bad about firecuda, but will do some research on these reliability issues.

I only use for copy and edit and then backup to a regular seagate exos drive before deleting.
The only reason why I was referring to new gen drives is to hopefully get a higher capacity one like 8tb let's say. I know speed-wise I will cap out at like 30% of its performance but it will still give me lots of storage on a single pci slot. I think the new pci5 drives should be backward compatible with pci3 and I hope that maybe they will have an all-in-one solution like wd an1500. I can also repurpose it for a new rig a few years down the road. Current 8tb offerings are sketchy and I would be afraid to commit my data to them.

I currently have a mix of 960 pro and 970 evo plus 2 tb. The 970 with heatsink sometimes reaches over 72-73C in long copy sessions in hwmonitor. It idles around 40 i think, but then, again, 970+ is a very hot drive to begin with and likes to run hot. If only samsung made pro drives in 4tb and 8tb versions. They might be a bit slower than the rest but very reliable.
 

aigomorla

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I copy data from multiple SD cards at the same time and good sustained write performance is most important (no overheating over 30-50 mins of copying etc), This will not be a system drive but video editing drive.
This is your bottle neck, and not the nVME.
Honestly, depending on what USB your running, that is gonna be your bottleneck.
I highly doubt your gonna get anywhere close to full saturation on them, even then on a x299 platform unless your running a dedicated usb3.2 card your at the mercy of USB3.1 unless your board is an older x299, which then you might have 3.2

Then again, sustained access off multipul sd cards, i think you'll have overhead issues on that before you run into a bottleneck on the nVME side even on nVME Gen.3.

On another note...

i dont recommend any of the listed nVME's except that one drive from Inland Platnium because of its sheer TBW.
If your using the nVME as a cache drive, and your going though 2TB's each dump... your nVME wont last very long when most of them have a 500TBW capacity.

I would recommend probably a U.2 nVME on a pci-e adapter, possibly a Toshiba Kioxia / Sumsung P900 series, or a Intel 3dXpoint drive which have enterprise level endurance like that Inland drive, and were designed to do exactly what your are asking.

Even then, id probably still instead go massive insane crazy on the ram. I believe the x299 has a max of 8 ram slots, with 32gb ram sticks each as support to give u a total of 256GB.

I would probably use a Ramdisk software like ImDisk, and set a partition of 230GB.... and just accept 230GB as the cache dump and transfer drive, but that route probably might not work out well for you if you have files larger then 230gb+, and this route can also get very expensive with the price of 32gb DDR4 sticks.
 
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Shmee

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Since you are on X299, have you considered using one of the X16 cards that allows you to put 4 m.2 x4 devices on it? You could use this in RAID mode, but you don't have too.
 

Tech Junky

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Correct, but the CPU mentioned in OP implies it :p
i9 7920
I guess so. X299 isn't talked about much so it didn't stand out to me as being a one off from normal desktop CPU's. Easy enough to do when Intel makes 50 SKU's per generation or more these days.
 

Tech Junky

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X299 does open some doors then for bifurcation cards where you can take multiple drives and put them onto a single slot.

Comparatively though the price per TB is still the same though. The perk is being able to use a single PCIE slot for 4 drives or 8 drives if you want to use a PLX on the card to double the density.

https://www.amazon.com/Highpoint-SSD7140-PCIe-8-Port-Controller/dp/B08KH54GXD - $730 + drives / 14GB/s
https://www.amazon.com/HighPoint-Technologies-SSD7540-8-Port-Controller/dp/B08LP2HTX3 - $100 + drives / 28GB/s

4 drive options are dirt cheap w/o the PLX chip being needed.
https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-M-2-X16-Expansion-Card/dp/B084HMHGSP - $75 Gen4
https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-M-2-X16-V2-Threadripper/dp/B07NQBQB6Z - $50 Gen3
 
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Justinus

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If you're ok using a U.2 riser card (or M.2->U.2 adapter, or if your board happens to be a rare one with a U.2 port) you could look at a 7.68TB Samsung PM9A3 for around $1000. Samsung PM9A3 MZ-QL27T60 7.68TB PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 2.5" SSD — ServerPartDeals.com (The price from this supplier tends to waver back and forth between $950 and $1050)

It's rated for 14,000TBW, so you'll get a massive amount of mileage for the money. It does not use pSLC caching, it's all direct-to-TLC writes so you have no cache to exhaust during long, large transfers. The 4000MB/s sequential write is achieved by using many, many dies instead. Also has power loss protection, is rated for very low error rate, etc. etc. Not sure what speeds you'll see connected to PCI-e 3.0, but I'd expect on the high range of the scale.

I have a 1.92TB M.2 version only rated at 2000MB/s write (due to fewer dies, and lower power budget compared to U.2 and the 7.68TB model) and I see all 2000MB/s write sustained indefinitely in testing on a PCIE 3.0 slot (so long as I can keep the controller cool).
 
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aigomorla

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14PBW! will definitely last you a long time.

I guess so. X299 isn't talked about much so it didn't stand out to me as being a one off from normal desktop CPU's. Easy enough to do when Intel makes 50 SKU's per generation or more these days.
i still have a delided IHS direct watercooled system running with this chip clocked at 4.98ghz on all 12 cores on a EVGA Dark running @ 1.311vcore.
So im sort of experienced with this chip and the X299 platform. :cool:
I wanted to change my platform to a TR40X, but never got to it, because i could not get the 3000 series TR cpu at that time to upgrade.
These guys were harder to get then Ryzen 5000 series at that time.

And now i am just gonna wait on the new HEDT platforms to see what my options are as were just about reach the starting line for next gen HEDT, or see what non HEDT options are out if HEDT is truly dead.
 
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