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NVMe OS and Data Drive

Captain Brock

Junior Member
May 9, 2017
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0
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Greetings! I have installed Windows 7 on a GigaByte Z270 board with a 960 EVO NVMe drive (no mean feat). The OS is on a 100GB partition, with a second partition of 130GB. My question is: Shall I use that second partition on the same drive for my data drive? Or should I use a completely separate drive on another SATA channel? (It would be an 850 PRO SSD.)
The question would not arise with typical SATA SSDs, as I routinely use one drive for OS and programs, and one for data. With the speed boost of NVMe, perhaps the data drive should just be on the second partition of the m.2 NVMe drive? (Spoiler: I am leaning towards "No, use a second drive." and "Take your pick, it matters little.")
This was a very tricky install, requiring MBR format for the boot drive. Results are very good. I don't see any big increase in boot speed or OS performance, but copying huge folders is astonishing.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
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508
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What do you keep on your Data drive? How do you use what you keep there? If it's for mass storage (i.e. media), stick that on an HDD. Having that on an SSD is just a waste of money.
 
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Captain Brock

Junior Member
May 9, 2017
2
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Ah! But his is a SILENT PC, no moving parts allowed. Data consists of personal files (1.65 GB, 4100 files, 419 folders), pictures (~30 GB), and music (.wav managed at ~50 GB on the SSDs).
Now in fact there are two HDDs but they are only switched on every week or two for periodic backups.
The question is: "Is NVMe so fast that data writes may as well go across the same PCIe channel as the OS, to the second (data) partition on the NVMe drive?"
For example, when working in Photoshop or Excel, I will do frequent saves, writing to the D: drive. Or, I will load up a new folder of photos onto DATA ( D: ) from the camera. Should D: be the second partition on the same NVMe drive as the OS, or a second drive on its own channel?
Having "2x Samsung 950 PRO m.2 pcie 256GB" like bonehead would solve the issue, but I have a mini-ITX board with only one m.2 slot, and a separate physical drive will be on a SATA channel.
Probably not a huge issue to agonize over, but I value your insight.
 

Valantar

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2014
1,792
508
136
"Is NVMe so fast that data writes may as well go across the same PCIe channel as the OS, to the second (data) partition on the NVMe drive?"
Yes. Your data source will invariably be the bottleneck, especially for sequential writes.
 

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