Question intel 660p do Reads fill up Cache/cause slowdown?

JoshJosh5432

Junior Member
May 22, 2019
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I want a large capacity SSD to use as an external drive for Sample libraries for music composition. I would fill the drive with the files once, and then probably never write to it again, but it would have heavy read usage. Would this fill the cache and thus cause reads to slowdown or is that only an issue for writes?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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I want a large capacity SSD to use as an external drive for Sample libraries for music composition. I would fill the drive with the files once, and then probably never write to it again, but it would have heavy read usage. Would this fill the cache and thus cause reads to slowdown or is that only an issue for writes?
I believe only an issue for writes. It's a "SLC write cache" after all, not a read cache, that I know of anyways.
Ditto what Larry stated, but I would also add it will also depend on what type of external connection you are going to use. As long as you at least stick with an USB 3 Gen 2 enclosure or higher. Honestly, if you're going to write once and then just read music files from it, a good SATA SSD would fit your needs nicely, and they are cheaper.
 

JoshJosh5432

Junior Member
May 22, 2019
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Ditto what Larry stated, but I would also add it will also depend on what type of external connection you are going to use. As long as you at least stick with an USB 3 Gen 2 enclosure or higher. Honestly, if you're going to write once and then just read music files from it, a good SATA SSD would fit your needs nicely, and they are cheaper.
Thank you both for responding!

I was going to connect this drive via USB c to mac mini. the 660p 2 TB seems to be the best value of any SSD at that size, is now $195. I have not seen a 2 TB SATA drive that cheap and theoretically I should get double the speed with the USB C connection compared to SATA. External NVMe enclosures are more expensive but i still think it would be a little cheaper or the same price as getting a crucial MX 500 and down the line hopefully NVMe enclosures will come out that allow for the full speed, in which case I would get more speed boost. USB C connection would still work right?

My most demanding usage would be opening about 12 different DAW files in quick succession looking for a specific track for a client. Each file on average opens around 10 GB into RAM to run the virtual instruments.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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Would this fill the cache and thus cause reads to slowdown or is that only an issue for writes?
No.

NAND flash slows down because of the slow program-erase cycle. It's not just the delete part is slow, its that it needs a block to be deleted before it can be written. So the controller has no choice but to go through the slowest cycle. Modern controllers can be sophisticated enough and DRAM buffers/caches big enough to mitigate the issue for 99.9% of use cases.

If all you are doing is reads, than NAND is quite fast.

If you get the 660p, the Intel SSD Toolbox also has a manual SLC cache clear feature. It takes 10-20 minutes to complete.
 

Wuzup101

Platinum Member
Feb 20, 2002
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I think your use case is perfectly fine. I have a 2TB 660p in my laptop that I primarily use to dump photos to from my canon 5d4. I then edit off of that drive. It's been working out quite well thus far.

Note that the endurance issues and write speeds with QLC have been greatly overblow. There are definitely people / businesses (especially) that have use cases which these drives would not work out for; however, for most people they are great, fast, low cost storage drives.
 
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