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tthurman

Looking for recommendations: Best M2 drive (dependability\performance\value ratio)

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Haven't done a lot or research on these, but i'm looking to move to one of these @ 500 GB to replace a EVO 860.  

 

Thoughts?

My board is a Z170, so not the newest.

 

Speed up with onboard M.2 up to 32Gbit/s
With x4 PCI Express 3.0/2.0 bandwidth, M.2 supports up to 32Gbit/s data-transfer speeds. It is the perfect choice for an operating system or application drive, making your whole PC or professional apps work as fast as possible. 

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I didn't word that effectively.  What I mean is including the technical aspects, as I haven't enough experience to fully grasp the consequences of the BIOS changes.

m.2 support limits other aspects, especially in older main-boards.  For instance, on my board it appears enabling m.2 support is a trade of for SATA  3 ports support in order to enable x4 lanes, while on others the impact is still there, just less substantial.

 

Z170 Pro.jpg

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Would the throughput with your current mobo be sufficient enough to be worth sacrificing  SATA 3 ports? I didn't look at cost per GB - are they comparable to standard SSDs?

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I bought one of these about a year or so back and it's been a great performer (no complaints). I originally planned to clone my OS over to it (because it's faster than the 256GB M2 I already had), but I opted to use it as a portable DATA drive for video editing instead, using a USB3 adapter. They are kinda spendy though.

In my case, a 256GB NVME has been plenty for the OS drive. I have about 14TB of platter storage for my file pile. That combo has worked fine for the stuff I don't need quick access to (media), but the 2TB NVME USB3 drive comes in handy for moving large files between computers that have SSDs or between flash based devices. Offloading 4k GoPro footage to the SSD is fast. Editing from the USB adapter is a breeze because the project, assets, and output file is on the same drive. No bottlenecks having to access a HDD anymore. The output file is created as fast as the CPU/GPU can encode it. This is the most useful case scenario I've found for it and the USB3 adapter makes it portable. That also makes it great for transferring Media, 100GB worth of files takes a reasonable amount of time instead of hours.

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4 hours ago, Draco1962 said:

Would the throughput with your current mobo be sufficient enough to be worth sacrificing  SATA 3 ports? I didn't look at cost per GB - are they comparable to standard SSDs?

If you go 4X mode you get all those lanes bonded, similar to turbo mode on the 6700K in single core performance, the immediate trade off seems to be loosing SATA ports 5 and 6, which I don't use anyway.   What worries me is enabling M.2 support in the next field drops SATA ports 1-4, which calls to question what impact that has on the 4X lanes in the former change if I leave the latter set to SATA Express.  If it sticks the m.2 drive at SATA 6GB speeds, then why bother.

I'm still researching.

My 250GB EVO's 850's are plenty fast, but I'm looking to re-purpose those for content over the current spinners.  It may all be overkill, but I'm in the process of upgrading hardware between machines, so now's the time.

 

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Yeah, my motherboard looses a couple of SATA ports by enabling the M.2 slot as well. You should double check your motherboard documentation, but you may be able to get around this by using a PCIex16 adapter instead. It uses one of your graphic card ports which have dedicated PCIe lanes, instead of the M.2 port. However, I've read that it can be a PITA to get an OS to boot from a PCIe drive (special process/drivers). I know it can be done, I just didn't mind sacrificing 2/6 SATA ports.

BTW: what software are you using to clone your OS drive for the swap? I need to look into this at some point and would prefers not to buy another software I'll get 2 uses out of before they obsolete my purchase. Freeware preferred.

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These machines have an early release (exhaustively patched/botched)  of Win 10, so I think a fresh install in in order.  One of them is limping along after a couple RAID corruptions and multiple DISM image repairs and the others have all their content already loaded onto secondary drives.

Regardless, please let us know what you end up recommending when that time comes.

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I normally go with Samsung but just recently bought a Sabrent Q instead.

It was less than half the price and had decent reviews for performance. Who needs more than 3.5TB per sec anyway? On performance on a modern m2 pci your just not going to notice any difference. Silly to even compare.

I think the technology is considered pretty mainstream now so I don't think you have to be picky like you did back in the day.

QLC will also be mainstream soon too apparently. I replace most of my stuff every two to three years so I decided not to worry about QLC over TLC and just go for the best deal. 

A larger drive has better lifespan too and that's what I got.

Obviously if its for enterprise, a mac, for virtualization or for really important data then you know what to do. Also probably best to avoid QLC on a small drive.

So for win 10 my recommendation is to go for a deal and QLC but ensure you get a really big drive.

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In can vouch for Intel, I've loved every SSD I've purchased from them and they typically have a 3-5year warranty. I can also recommend Samsung. I've not tried Crucial, but heard good things. I usually stick to these 3, but might look at OCZ (if they're still around). I don't know about the traditional memory makers like PNY, Kingston, etc., but I'd imagine their products are fine now that SSD tech has stabilized. Same probably goes for the traditional HDD makers like Seagate and Western Digital (if they make SSD, I assume they do, but IDK).

I would stay away from no name brands at the cheapest end of the spectrum. Also be sure it has a DRAM cache, otherwise there can be a SERIOUS performance hit. It can be hard to find out, however, since this isn't a feature usually listed in the specification on the retailer's webpage. You probably have to look it up fron the manufacturers official spec sheet. Otherwise stick to the reputable brands, they are in the same price range (except the odd OEM part which is where you can find a deal, sometimes):

 

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I'm leaning towards the Intel's actually, but I'm always interested in considering more affordable options.  I bought a Gigabyte SSD a couple years back that had somewhat mixed reviews, but it's actually a solid performer.

I didn't even know Pioneer was in the game to be honest and have been surprised to see the spinner storage "old timers" seemingly so far behind the curve on solid state drives.  Guess it's not their bread and butter, but they do seem to be advancing in that arena somewhat.

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