Which SSD for my OS and games?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by rockelino, Oct 30, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rockelino

    rockelino Notebook Guru

    Reputations:
    53
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Hi all, I bought a brand new Sager NP8153-S. No OS or HD built in. I will install 2 SSDs myself as well as the OS. My question is: I have two different kind of SSDs (both will be installed) - an Intel 600p NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD (512GB), and a Sandisk Extreme Pro 2.5" SATA (480GB). Which SSD should be the one I install the OS (Windows 10) on? According to userbenchmark.com (http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compar...-600p-Series-NVMe-PCIe-M2-512GB/3476vsm168978), the Sandisk SATA is 15% faster, but this makes no sense to me? Should I install the OS on the Intel M.2 and my games on the Sandisk? or keep both on the fastest SSD, while misc storage documents go on the other SSD? I have not received the laptop yet, so haven't done anything yet.

    BTW, GentechPC.com is THE place to buy gaming laptops - best prices and best customer service. If you see options you don't like (or don't see options you like) in the "CUSTOMIZE LAPTOP" page, you can email Ken Lee and he will take into account what you want to have/don't want in your laptop. In my case, I did not want the OS installed and did not want to buy a new SSD, so he changed those options to have a "NONE" bullet and reduce the price even more. I bought an MSI 4 years ago from GentechPC - excellent service.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  2. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

    Reputations:
    4,942
    Messages:
    12,321
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Trophy Points:
    631
    The 'right' answer here is to make the platform as fast/responsive as possible to allow it to give all it has to the workload (games) you want it to run.

    Install the O/S on the SanDisk and the games to the Intel SSD. OP'ing both by 33% or more (if you can spare the capacity).

    Installing both to any single drive will be worse than installing to two separate ones. The suggestion above will make the O/S as responsive as possible. Installing the games (and any other intensive program) to an SSD drive that is not the O/S drive will also give a further possible edge there too. Doing both will give you the fastest setup no matter what you use the computer for.

    Of course, I'm assuming the 'basics' have already been taken care of, right?

    Basics:
    i7 QC, 16GB RAM minimum (more is highly recommended) and Windows 10 x64 Pro.
     
    Starlight5 likes this.
  3. rockelino

    rockelino Notebook Guru

    Reputations:
    53
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Yes, it's Intel i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 x64 and GTX 1070. You said "OP'ing both by 33% or more (if you can spare the capacity)", what does that mean?
     
  4. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

    Reputations:
    4,942
    Messages:
    12,321
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Trophy Points:
    631
    Papusan and Starlight5 like this.
  5. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

    Reputations:
    1,454
    Messages:
    8,707
    Likes Received:
    3,312
    Trophy Points:
    431
    33% is excessive... Ignore tiller he's an OPing nut lol:p:p:p

    Jokes aside, I don't OP my SSD's they're fine.. The Sandisk already has built in OP and hence its 480GB instead of 512... I would install the OS on it as tiller recommended too..
     
  6. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

    Reputations:
    21,578
    Messages:
    35,409
    Likes Received:
    9,865
    Trophy Points:
    931
    The Intel 600p has 576GB since it has three 192GB chips, but it's formatted as a 512GB SSD, so it has 7% OP for the binary conversion + 12% for the 576GB chips for about 19-20% OP on its own. It also has a hefty 17.5 GB SLC Cache and 2GB DDR3 RAM cache as well, to help boost daily performance unless you hammer it constantly with writes. My vote is to use the 600p for OS and apps/games on the Sandisk.

    Tiller likes to OP the hell out of his drives because he uses buys the wrong drives. He expects business/enterprise class performance out of a consumer drive, although refuses to admit it :p. Some OP is fine, and in the case of the Intel for general Windows use, and even slightly heavy workload, no need to OP more than 10%. The Sandisk you could OP by maybe 20%, but honestly, not even that is necessary.
     
    TomJGX likes this.
  7. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

    Reputations:
    4,942
    Messages:
    12,321
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Trophy Points:
    631
    I see my (non) supporters are here once again in full force. :)

    Fact:
    What the manufacturer does with OP'ing isn't to give the user increased sustained performance, no. It is to get the product past warranty coverage, period.

    You don't OP to get more performance from the SSD than what it is able to give (that's not what happens).

    You OP to get a storage subsystem that you can use to it's maximum, sustained over time, (almost) no matter how you use your system.

    Just like a HDD based system is much better optimized when it is short stroked and partitioned, an SSD effectively responds similarly to OP'ing too.

    Can you run a storage system below optimum? Sure, any monkey can do that.

    But if you want to optimize a platform so that it performs when 'you' want it to (and not let it interrupt you with it's background garbage collection, TRIM and any other housekeeping needed to keep the ssd's health and performance from plummeting below hdd's levels), you OP as much as you can.

    33% is the sweet spot for increased (sustained) performance vs. lower available capacity, but if your workload and your use case permit, even higher OP percentages are even better. In my desktop systems, I have SSD's that are regularly OP'd by 50% and even 65% on my most heavily used systems (note that these SSD's are purely used as a 'Scratch' disk) and my experience shows that the increased level of OP'ing (over and above what the manufacturer may or may not have included...) is beneficial to increased performance over time.

    To be blunt: OP'ing doesn't increase the maximum performance of the storage subsystem, it increases the minimum performance given from any particular drive.

    See:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8170/sandisk-extreme-pro-240gb-480gb-960gb-review/2


    In the last graph in the link above for the 960GB SanDisk Extreme Pro, the out of box 4K Random Write (32QD) performance doesn't even hit 10K IOPS. With a mere 25% OP'ing, it hits over 30K.

    Getting 3 or 4x the performance for the mere trade of some capacity is easily worth it for most people (even if some can't 'feel' it, in their workflows).

    Fact:
    There is no drive that uses SLC nand as cache for sale today (at least, not one that I know of).

    When the chips inside are MLC/TLC, the best you can hope for is pseudo-slc cache. Not the same thing by a long shot. The 'performance' of the Intel 600P shows that to be true beyond doubt.

    See:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-600p-series-ssd-review,4738-2.html

    (Sigh... bottom of the charts).

    What is SLC cache good for? Nothing, except your marketing department to play mind games with customers with.

    Is all pseudo-slc cache a write off? No, of course not. The proof though is not in the marketing fluff, it is in the actual (real world) usage of the product in question (the SanDisk Extreme Pro 960GB being a great example).


    In the last few weeks I had a change to see how OP'ing and short stroking dramatically change the behavior on a couple of (different) systems.

    I was offered to give my opinion of a Transformer Book T102HA with 4GB RAM, 128GB (eMMC) SSD and Win10x64 Home. I had this little system for a couple of weeks before I decided to get serious with it. I barely used it because it was barely usable, as delivered (from Asus).

    I did a clean install of the O/S, loaded up (only) the drivers necessary and then proceeded to seriously consider it as my daily driver because of it's small size/weight, pen input support, 'just' enough capacity and the ability to have my ~20GB Outlook files with me and accessible anywhere.

    The clean install gave an instant 15% increase in the usability of the platform. However, installing Office 2016 Professional (full), Adobe Acrobat Professional and my accounting software, along with a few utilities, the system was obviously much more sluggish than when I had first received it (with nothing installed...).

    At this point, I OP'd the small eMMC SSD with 33% dedicated to an 'unallocated' volume which left me with 80GB from the nominal 119GB available to the O/S.

    I also formatted the ~39GB partition and left the system idle for a couple of hours so that it could be properly and fully trimmed. After the idle time elapsed, I deleted the small partition and left it 'unallocated' and rebooted.

    Instantly, the responsiveness of the system had increased almost two fold. (And just as easily worth 'losing' ~39GB of capacity too...).

    While the increase in responsiveness was obvious and welcome, it still didn't compare to any of my other systems (for example, IE, Edge and other programs would pause/stutter/freeze just opening or closing them).

    At this point, the system had been left fully updated, optimized and OP'ed for over 24 hours. It had run 'system maintenance' a few times (both automatically and manually). The system idled between 0 and 3% when displaying the desktop, yet, it was still 'laggy'.

    I installed PerfectDisk 14 Professional and did an online and offline defrag of the files and free space.

    The little Transformer Book T102HA had 'arrived'. This was now a system that I could actually use to get work done with. :)

    I didn't end up keeping the Transformer Mini, but not because it couldn't keep up with me for the lessor tasks a 'digital notebook' would be used for. I didn't keep it because it couldn't multitask like I want and need a system to be (4GB RAM in late 2016 is for watches and 'dumb' phones).

    part two...
    I was also asked to help setup an HP notebook with an AMD A10-9600P, 12GB RAM and an 1TB 5400RPM HDD (during the same time frame). Ugh!

    The AMD processor was supposedly way above the little Atom x5-8350 cpu, but it sure didn't behave that way for me.

    See:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/93361/Intel-Atom-x5-Z8350-Processor-2M-Cache-up-to-1_92-GHz

    See:
    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2793&cmp[]=2581


    (Note: the Passmark link above shows a much more powerful (4W) Atom x5-8500 comparison to the AMD A10. There doesn't seem to be a test of the Atom x5-Z8350 processor yet).


    Again, clean install of the O/S (HP bloatware was at an all time high on that system...), drivers only, Office 2016, Adobe Acrobat Pro.

    Short stroke the HDD to 125GB for C:\Drive (~13% of the drive's capacity) and let it idle for the next 27 hours or so (after all updates completed).

    The system was obviously more responsive, but after installing PerfectDisk 14 Professional and doing a couple of defrag runs, the platform was usable***.

    *** Usable, meaning after it was booted up and left idle for a good 10 minutes (the 12GB of RAM needed time to populate itself from the slow as molasses HDD...).

    Shut down, boot up or any kind of updates/installing/maintenance requires the patience of a saint on this poor excuse for a system.

    But if it is used mainly on a desk (i.e. always 'on'), it can get work done.

    But having any system (besides an NAS) use a HDD today is a great way to waste time. ;)

    Even if I pull all the optimization tricks (hardware, software, O/S, utilities...) in my bag of tricks.

    Between the HP HDD based, w/AMD 15W TDP processor and the Asus Intel Atom 2W processor w/eMMC SSD, the later seemed like technology from the gods. The HP? A curse from a little further down... :)

    It was reversed before I OP'd and PD14Pro did their stuff.

    Yeah; that is how much OP'ing is needed.

    Even for non-'tiller workflows. ;)
     
    Starlight5 likes this.
  8. Tyresian

    Tyresian Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    58
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Is there any performance difference in keeping a drive mostly empty vs OPing to the same free space? Samsung Magician recommends a 10% OP which I've always thought was fine. From what I understand you OP to essentially better handle file fragmentation (having a bigger impact on writes than reads). I'm not genius here, it has been YEARS since I was into researching this stuff, I haven't bought and SSD in a very long time now, currently using an 840 Pro and whatever Toshiba M.2 drive came with my MSI Ghost Pro.

    Also what tool / method do you use to over provision? (I don't do any OPing on my M.2 as it has just the OS on it and maybe a few OS related installs, again I don't understand how OPing offers a performance benefit over just keeping the drive mostly empty and using TRIM)
     
  9. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

    Reputations:
    21,578
    Messages:
    35,409
    Likes Received:
    9,865
    Trophy Points:
    931
    OP'ing just ensures the free space is there for TRIM and GC operations. Doesn't hurt if you have the free space already. Just shrink your partition with windows Disk Manager. If you need more space later, just expand it. You can create a new partition on the free space, TRIM it (i.e. windows defrag optimize) and let it idle for a while then delete it later and reTRIM the primary partition. But I don't know that that is even necessary.

    I usually OP my OS drive 20% only because I have the free space. Heck I was running off a 128GB SSD for a while on my daily driver laptop, was 80-90% full most of the time and never OP'd and never a problem. On my other drives for apps, games, and general use on other systems, I maybe OP 10% and have yet to have any of these life devastating slow downs that tiller keeps eluding to, and that's across multiple desktops and laptops.
     
  10. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

    Reputations:
    4,942
    Messages:
    12,321
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Trophy Points:
    631
    Yeah, there is a difference between equal amounts of free space and OP'ing.

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


    (Yeah, same link I gave before, btw...).


    The reason to OP is so that the SSD has enough cleaned, optimized nand chips ready for anything you throw at it. Otherwise, it will be fighting what you need done with what it needs done (background (or, what should be background) cleanup routines).

    The benefits besides just increased responsiveness from the storage subsystem is lower WA, which results in a longer lasting SSD, too.

    See:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mushkin-triactor-ssd-review,4758-2.html


    The above link is an excellent example of why you want to have nand clean and ready. The performance hit is real.

    Quoting myself from the first link (above):

    Again; Samsung Magician is a (marketing) tool to promote the company. It doesn't increase performance (overall) if it's recommendations are followed (I actually recommend to uninstall it when a firmware update isn't needed (and only consider updating the firmware after weeks/months of when it is released/tested by others)...). In fact, it does the complete opposite in my experience (search in these forums for those posts...), lower performance and much less system stability too.


    And I must say this about 'performance', it isn't a BM number or 'score' to me.

    Performance = Productivity. So that means I tune my systems (and my clients) not for best 'scores', but for highest stability/reliability along with lowest latency (i.e. 'snappiness'). When my productivity is increased; it follows that the entire system is better tuned to my workflows and workloads and therefore is 'optimized'.

    A platform with any SSD I've used that hasn't been OP'd (by 25% or more) seems sluggish and laggy to me.

    Yeah; I'm a very sensitive being. ;)

    The other side of the coin is clients that couldn't see/feel the value of an SSD over a HDD, or couldn't fathom why 16GB RAM minimum on any current platform is $$ better spent than saving it (when the budget allows, of course).

    The ones that do see/feel the benefits (every single time they use the system...) can easily justify spending a few $$ more to double or quadruple their systems RAM and also 'sacrifice' a significant portion of available capacity in the name of 'snappiness'. These same clients (including me...) also upgrade their systems many times less over the same time period (3 years to a decade...) and have a much more productive/usable setup during that time frame too.

    Is OP'ing a cast in stone requirement? When you understand how storage subsystems work; yeah, it is. :)


     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page