SSD Strategy: Which SSD to boot from and why?

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by Colonel Panic, Oct 12, 2018.

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  1. Colonel Panic

    Colonel Panic Notebook Guru

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    Hi folks

    My 15R3 came with a Toshiba 256GB NVMe M.2 2280 SSD and a 1 TB HDD. The OS and my most played games are on the SSD and I have been happy with performance. I had offloaded some larger games onto the 1TB HDD but always wanted to get better load times and with SSD prices dropping, just picked up a 480GB ADATA NVMe M.2 2280 SSD to add to one of the open slots.

    My first question was going to be, should I leave OS only on the Toshiba 256GB SSD and put all the games on the 480GB SSD so as to separate the two if there were any performance gains...?

    The I benchmarked the two drives using CrystalDiskMark and saw how slow the Toshiba SSD is compared to the ADATA:

    ADATA:

    Seq Q32T1 2959.6 R - 1739.9 W
    4KiB Q8T8 1270.3 R - 1036.9 W
    4KiB Q32T1 322.0 R - 286.1 W
    4KiB Q1T1 61.76 R - 141.1 W

    Toshiba (OEM AW):

    Seq Q32T1 1699.7 R - 577.8 W
    4KiB Q8T8 871.3 R 409.7 W
    4KiB Q32T1 262.1 R - 215.8 W
    4KiB Q1T1 36.94 R - 91.77 W

    I am thinking I should reinstall the OS onto the ADATA and load my games there and use the Toshiba drive as a secondary drive when running out of room...

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. cruisin5268d

    cruisin5268d Notebook Evangelist

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    That is piss poor performance from the Toshiba drive.

    If you’ve got the time to spare then totally go for it. You could try cloning the drive but a clean instal doesn’t take very long these days and is a good opportunity to clean things up.


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  3. Colonel Panic

    Colonel Panic Notebook Guru

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    The Toshiba Drive is at 65% capacity. Does that make a difference? Are there any tweaks I could do to it?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Muezick

    Muezick Notebook Consultant

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    There's no way that Toshiba drive is operating correctly. Check temps, run diags. Maybe RMA it.

    Also I always recommend clean installs. Cloning drives unless you know *exactly* what you are doing, can cause issues.
     
  5. Colonel Panic

    Colonel Panic Notebook Guru

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    Is there a reference spec I can compare to? My extended warranty ends in like 8 days!!!!
     
  6. Colonel Panic

    Colonel Panic Notebook Guru

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    Sorry to keep replying to my own thread, but I will download a legit Win10 ISO from MS.com and install it fresh on the new drive. How do I get my windows key to activate it (Win10 Home)
     
  7. c69k

    c69k Notebook Deity

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    If I were in your situation I would use a program (Google has tons of such programs) which can pull activation information from current Windows 10 installation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  8. cruisin5268d

    cruisin5268d Notebook Evangelist

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    It’s stored in your MS account online. There’s no need to export the activation or anything along those lines.


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  9. Muezick

    Muezick Notebook Consultant

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    THey also use hardware profiling, so if you've activated windows (version) on that motherboard with that hardware configuration before you don't need a key, the moment it connects to the internet, with or without a Microsoft account, it will automatically activate. As a side note, the tolerance for what invalidates this hardware activation profiling is the subject of some debate, as various industry experts have noticed it voiding at seemingly random hardware swaps, where one might change everything but the motherboard and another might change only the GPU and SSD and proc activation limitations. lol

    for a laptop it shouldn't matter though, that key should always be good on that laptop, whether or not you know the actual key. I work in a laptop repair shop and we refurbish laptops constantly, once 10 is activated on a laptop it will likely always be activated if it can connect to the internet for a minute to do so.


    Edit: as for the speed of the drive, there isn't really a spec sheet that I can think of, OEM drives rarely have them, but dell can run remote diagnostics and possibly help you with updating BIOS and drivers and once that's done, after additional diagnostics, if the speed of the drive is still that slow, they will warranty the drive.
     
  10. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Unless Dell remote diagnosis borks the complete PC hardwares after simple BIOS update just after warranty runs out.
    IIRC, the toshiba NVMe drive has rated seq. Reads of 900-1100MB/s and writes of 500-800MB/s with 3 year of warranty or 30-40 TBW on 256GB drive. The rated speed might be different. I'm unsure about correct specs.
     
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