Adding SSD to Older System

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by christpunchers, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. christpunchers

    christpunchers Limp Gawd

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    I’m trying to squeeze another year or two out of my existing system.

    I’m already maxing out my two SATA3 ports with two SSDs. I want to add another SSD. Is there any good PCI-E based SSD I could get that offers good performance? Won’t be using it for OS, just for games.
     
  2. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    I'm slightly confused; your motherboard has 4x internal SATA3 headers. 2x are from the Z77 chipset (white), 2x are from the Marvell controller (navy blue). Obviously the Intel controller is better, but the Marvell controller isn't incapable. The 4x lighter blue ports are only SATA2, but they're still really fine just for loading games.

    With that said, I'm going to quote myself (again):

    the point of diminishing returns has easily been hit in terms of drive speed for consumer use. A huge bulk of the perceived speed increase in SSDs came from a reduction in access times versus conventional hard drives, not from the actual transfer time of data. Modern, SATA SSDs are 4-5x faster than modern 7200 RPM HDDs (550+ MB/s vs 150 MB/s), but they are orders of magnitude faster in their access times (an 850 Pro is 0.04 ms access time, whereas modern HGST 7200 RPM drives are in the 12 MS range, or 300x slower). The incredible reduction in seek time is what truly fueled the "life changing" experience of SSDs, since data from all across the drive was seemingly instantly accessible rather than having to wait on the drive to physically spin itself around to get data from different parts of the disk.

    Moving to modern NVMe SSDs is a huge increase in the first metric - 2 GB/s instead of 550 MB/s - but that performance increase is *not* reflected in their access times. This is hammered home to me in the fact that Storagereview, one of my favorite websites for truly in-depth reviews of storage infrastructure, *didn't even bother testing access times* when they reviewed the 960 EVO drive. The access times on modern SSDs are already so close to zero as to be indistinguishable from each other, and a non-factor in their performance.

    That's not to say NVMe drives aren't faster - they are and the differences are measurable for sure. They just aren't as big a deal and are *not* the second coming of the revelation that was the replacing of mechanical drives with SSDs.
    The point of it is you can use the SATA3 ports on the Marvell controller, or the SATA2 ports on the Z77 chipset. Either way, for your gaming needs, they'll still 'feel' fast, since their latency will still be super low.
     
  3. christpunchers

    christpunchers Limp Gawd

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    I have all the ports hooked up to various HDDs and SSDs already. I just want to add another SSD, hence why I wanted to look into the PCI-E route.
     
  4. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Limp Gawd

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    Your best bet is to ditch the two undersized SATA SSDs for a single larger SATA unit. I get that you're out of SATA ports and want to go PCIe/NVMe for the simple fix, but it's an unnecessarily expensive solution and having data/apps spread across multiple drives is typically suboptimal.

    It's amazing how often I have to link to this. It should be in a FAQ (that probably no one would read anyways). There is no real-world benefit for NVMe over SATA for desktop/gaming applications.
     
  5. Denpepe

    Denpepe Gawd

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  6. lightsout

    lightsout Limp Gawd

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  7. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Those cheap little single lane adapters don't provide enough juice for full performance of 1 ssd let alone 2.

    Get something with a stronger chip and more lanes.

    Something like this might work on the cheap. https://www.amazon.com/Syba-SD-PEX5...+sata+card&qid=1539195252&sr=8-19&ref=sr_1_19

    Or you could go the PCIe to M.2 adapter route.

    If you go the 2nd route make sure the adapter has a B key since those adapter cards are not always backwards compatible and you can use it with the cheaper M.2 SATA. The M key is for the more expensive NVMe drives. Most of the ones I saw on Amazon that had a B key though require the use of attaching a cable to a SATA port.

    This might work, I would verify first though if the SATA ports are needed. https://www.amazon.com/GLOTRENDS-mSATA-Adapter-Card-SATA-Based/dp/B07954WVSB?crid=2IYBW7HAYDFN5&keywords=pcie+m.2+adapter&qid=1539196070&s=Electronics&sprefix=pcie+m.2+,electronics,205&sr=1-9&ref=sr_1_9
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  8. christpunchers

    christpunchers Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for all the tips. I’m not sure if it’s good for me to consolidate my two smaller ssds into one larger SSD. It would mean reinstalling windows. I’m too lazy for that. And throwing away an extra 250gb.

    If I get one of those m2 pcie adapters, would my gpu be in pcie x8 mode instead of x16? I’m running a z77 board + a pcie soundcard.
     
  9. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    Your board has 4x x16 PCIe slots. They can be dual x16, x16/x8/x8, or x8/x8/x8/x8 configuration.
     
  10. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

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    You can get a standard PCI card with SATA ports if you don't want to risk messing up your video setup. Some SSDs come with(or at least used to) a utility that will migrate your OS from the old drive to the new one. If you did that, you could put the new presumably larger OS drive back on the port the original was on and then put the old drive on the new add in port.