Need SSD opinions

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Chowda289, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Chowda289

    Chowda289 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't know that much about m.2 SSD and PCIe NVMe SSD. (I've never had an SSD in a laptop.) I'm trying to figure out which of these PCIe NVMe is worth the extra cost or if I won't notice much of a difference and should stick with an m.2 SSD. Here's what I'm looking at:

    250GB SATA III 6Gb/s M.2 SSD
    250GB Samsung 850 EVO SATA III 6Gb/s M.2 SSD
    256GB WD Black NVMe PCIe SSD
    256GB Samsung SM951 PCIe SSD
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO PCIe NVMe SSD

    Of course, the m.2 are cheaper but I'm willing to spend a little extra if the PCIe NVMe are a noticeable difference. I've tried to read benchmarks on each, and it seems that the WD Black aren't really that great. :vbconfused: (Although, it's cheaper than the Samsung SM951 and 960.)

    I don't really understand the difference between Samsung EVO and Samsung Pro either.
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I'll just say all SSDs are fast, but where NVMe is going shine when you use applications that put a heavy load on the controller. Typical notebook usage like Office, Internet and Media does not do this, so the benefits won't be very tangible, but your next laptop is likely have a NVMe controller. Perhaps it's worth spending the money since you'll be able to move it over.
     
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  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Chowda289 bigger quality m.2 SATA SSD e.g. Crucial MX300 525GB would be a much better choice than any 256GB drive, be it SATA or NVME.
     
  4. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    I don't recommend puny SSD drives (just like I didn't with HDD's back when...). At least a ~500GB SSD is required (don't forget about OP'ing too - if you want to keep it fast...).

    SSD's are not all the same. Some perform more like a mechanical drive than a solid state device. Especially the smaller ones. Why? Because they will have less nand 'channels' per controller port and therefore lower oomph. Think of it as the nand being in a raid configuration within the SSD...

    If you don't have an option to install an 2.5" SATA III SSD in your system, then I would pick the newest and biggest capacity NVMe drive you can afford/save up for. The 2.5" SSD is highly preferred if you don't want the storage subsystem to throttle and you don't want the rest of your components to throttle too from excess heat from your NVMe/M.2 connected SSD.

    Forget the benchmarks - they're meaningless (search on the forums here for posts on how NVMe feels identical to a 2.5" SATA III SSD's...).

    Tell us what your workflows/workloads are, what you expect from your storage subsystem and the complete spec's of your platform. Asking for the 'better' SSD is like asking if vanilla is better than chocolate. It depends - on your usage.

    Good luck.
     
  5. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    My 90GB Agility III failed in 2014. I wanted to get a 120GB drive as I only use the drive for the OS, but everyone told me to get the 256gb drive as it was much faster. I spent the extra $50 and got the 256GB drive, but honestly, I could not discern much of a difference between the larger drive and the Agility III. Maybe it booted slightly faster or Photoshop opened a bit faster, but that wasn't worth $50 to me. I say unless you're putting a heavy load on the controller, there's probably not much of a practical difference.
     
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  6. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    I really like the Crucial MX300 drives as well. I have the 275GB version. Also with the "Momentum Cache" feature that Crucial offers on these drives via their software, they reach incredible speeds, even faster than some NVMe drives (at least in benchmarks). This speed boost comes at the expense of a portion of your system RAM and with the risk of data corruption/loss in case of an abrupt power outage (but on a laptop with a working battery, that risk is diminished).

    http://techblog.danielpellarini.com/desktop/crucials-momentum-cache-the-true-performance-results/

    https://www.micron.com/~/media/docu...solid-state-storage/tnfd32_momentum_cache.pdf
     
  7. Mobius 1

    Mobius 1 what is quality control?

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    I'd say if you use it as an OS drive, always go for an MLC type drive and not TLC. 850 pro, 950 pro, 960 pro...
     
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  8. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Zaz, that is a fair point you make; some people just don't notice differences like this (or; $50 extra is 'too much' more...).

    On the other hand, I have upgraded many 128/256GB SSD's for clients and the best example of what they noticed? A 3.0, 64GB USB key filled with ~32GB of their digital lives would copy to their SSD in around 25 minutes on the smaller and/or TLC drives - where on the larger, MLC, SSD (512GB/1TB) that same copy on the otherwise identical machine would copy in a tic over 5 minutes.

    You may still argue that a 5x improvement on a 'one time' operation still doesn't justify a higher cost - and for many, you would be correct.

    My argument is that those improvements (even if not always 5x...) are always present on a larger drive - whether they are noticed by the owner/user or not. Especially when that larger drive is OP'd as I recommend (33% is still the sweet spot).

    A few clients that did not notice the improvements by simply using the upgraded system were pleasantly surprised when they (okay; 'I'...) made them compare to another otherwise identical system I hadn't upgraded for them yet.

    Those small milliseconds add up over the day to something worth more than $50 or double or even 10x that difference. It really depends on your workflow. :)

    Another point to consider is that a 2014 256GB SSD was much closer to a 120GB SSD's performance than a current 128/256GB SSD's performance is to anything 512GB and larger (yeah; the performance spread is that much).

     
  9. Chowda289

    Chowda289 Notebook Enthusiast

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    @tilleroftheearth: OPing?

    Wow, lots of information. I feel a little overwhelmed now. :confused:

    Well...first and foremost, I'm going to be using it for work (which I do online and with many spreadsheets and documents and internet tabs open at a time.) I'll be using it with media and programs as well. I haven't gotten to game in several years, so I want to get back into that. I really like MMORPGs, but I have no idea what I would play. Oh, it will be an OS drive too.

    I can't really afford anything higher than around 250GB right now. Initially, I was looking at 128GB drives...so I'm pushing my budget. Basically, I'm trying to figure out what to get in the laptop I'm going to purchase (and it'll help me decide where to purchase from too.) I should have the option to put in a 2.5" SSD, if I want...the model has space for one or a mechanical drive. I thought it was better to have an m.2 SSD or NVMe rather than a traditional 2.5" SSD...am I wrong?

    As far as space goes, I'm not too concerned. I have several portable hard drives that I can use. If anything, I can always buy another drive during Black Friday or the holidays. My plan is to buy more RAM on BF or CM.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  10. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Lot's of reading for you. :)

    Your platform needs to be at least an current i7 QC or better ('u' processors need not apply - unless you're looking at 8th gen platforms...), 16GB+ RAM system with Win10x64Pro to make the most of the storage subsystem. CPU+RAM=Work Done. Compromise there and any ancillary components below won't make much difference in the end.

    If you really can't afford more than an ~250GB SSD today? Keep saving. Yeah; that's how important the size of an SSD is.

    If you want anywhere close to their famed performance promises. (They're still far short of what the marketing claims...).

    I'd rather buy an 1TB/2TB HDD instead of an small SSD (and short stroke it to ~100-150GB for the C:\).

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/why-over-provision.760922/#post-9766709

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/why-over-provision.760922/#post-9767845

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/which-ssd-for-my-os-and-games.797667/#post-10375989

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/which-ssd-for-my-os-and-games.797667/#post-10376834

    Do note that I've increased my recommendation to 33% OP'ing (i.e. use just 67% of the formatted, actual capacity the drive offers...) and not 30 like those older links show.

    With your workflow, a larger than 512GB, OP'd drive is exactly what you need to have what SSD's promise; faster than HDD performance. Especially if you also use Acrobat and/or view or create PDF files - a properly sized and setup SSD is worth 10x it's $$$ in time saved and offering a flow to your workloads that doesn't interfere with your (thinking) process...

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ing-programs-and-winrar.787721/#post-10193062

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ograms-and-winrar.787721/page-2#post-10202719

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ograms-and-winrar.787721/page-2#post-10203225

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/m2-or-2-5-ssd.785293/#post-10157604

    See:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/nvme-ssds-not-all-theyre-cracked-up-to-be.788103/

     
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