Intel 660 2TB - yay or nope?

MorgothPl

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My 500 GB 840 is not big enough anymore, and I want something bigger. Right now, the Intel 660p 2TB is at about 990 PLN here (roughly $260) - it makes it cheapest nvme drive I can get- about $100 cheaper from MX500 2TB - and same price as 970 Evo Plus 1TB

Now, I use PC for gaming (and mostly single player games), text editing, bit of photo editing and that's all. I also hear about the cache being used with full SSD and the 660p going slower when copying large folders over 40GB (that I never do).

So, for my uses, will the speed drops be noticeable, when I don't know, installing a game, or doing some photo editing? Or should I not worry about, get that cheap drive and enjoy the wide open spaces?
 
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westrock2000

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660p will do you well for your use cases. What I typically do is leave unformatted space so the cache doesn't run out so quick.

Good idea actually. One of those insider info things like "short stroking" HDD's 15 years ago.
 

tedych

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Once I was also intrigued by the idea of leaving some unformatted space on SSDs after I saw this on a friend's computer. No more. It's almost meaningless.
If you just make sure you don't fill up the whole drive anyway, which holds true for any system drive no matter if you use HDD or ssd...
If you happen to fill it up (by accident or a "leak" in some program) you'd have a bigger problem to solve than to "live" with the reduced performance. I no longer leave unformatted space. I actually never did. People used to do it years ago when some SSDs performance was drastically affected after they were filled up but that was another problem which has by large margin already been solved.
 

Blue Fox

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Once I was also intrigued by the idea of leaving some unformatted space on SSDs after I saw this on a friend's computer. No more. It's almost meaningless.
If you just make sure you don't fill up the whole drive anyway, which holds true for any system drive no matter if you use HDD or ssd...
If you happen to fill it up (by accident or a "leak" in some program) you'd have a bigger problem to solve than to "live" with the reduced performance. I no longer leave unformatted space. I actually never did. People used to do it years ago when some SSDs performance was drastically affected after they were filled up but that was another problem which has by large margin already been solved.
Except with the Intel 660p, the amount of SLC cache (which is considerably faster), varies based upon how much space is used on the drive. Most drives are underprovisioned from the factory anyway. A 960gb drive will generally have at least 1024gb of NAND to help with speed/wear for example.
 

tedych

Limp Gawd
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Jan 18, 2013
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Almost all modern SSD use dynamic SLC cache with some minimum and are over provisioned. Also Crucials MX300 but they were known for their drastic performance hit when they are (almost) full. It's more complex than just thinking about SLC cache exhausting.
Still I think today it's useless to partition a SSD below its full capacity. It's a very bad idea to not have some free space on the system volume anyway.
There were rumors Win10 would reserve about 7GB for updating purposes, which, despite all the hate online, I think overall is a good idea. Rumors said this area would not be static and only reserved for updates but will be used internally for other tasks too.
 

noko

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My 500 GB 840 is not big enough anymore, and I want something bigger. Right now, the Intel 660p 2TB is at about 990 PLN here (roughly $260) - it makes it cheapest nvme drive I can get- about $100 cheaper from MX500 2TB - and same price as 970 Evo Plus 1TB

Now, I use PC for gaming (and mostly single player games), text editing, bit of photo editing and that's all. I also hear about the cache being used with full SSD and the 660p going slower when copying large folders over 40GB (that I never do).

So, for my uses, will the speed drops be noticeable, when I don't know, installing a game, or doing some photo editing? Or should I not worry about, get that cheap drive and enjoy the wide open spaces?
Have one, worked right off the bat in a cheapo pcie adaptor card. I think they are a very good buy, not the fastest but then again how many would really notice anyways? They are faster than the previous 600p which I also have two of those.
 

likeman

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Aug 17, 2011
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I would not bother with leaving unpartitioned space (7gb is the same as 0gb relating to SLC cache) as all free space is OP any way as long as your don't disable TRIM

You need to keep more then 50% of the drive empty to make the SLC cache stay at about half its normal size (about 100gb slc cache)

7gb op on a full drive will still have same smallest SLC provisioned as it would of there was 0gb free space remaining

The SLC cache recovers after a lot of writes have happened so with some games beening 50gb in size it might slow down a little towards the end of the install but it not affect opening the game (once drive is idle it empty the SLC cache back to the QLC nand to restore write performance)

https://www.anandtech.com/print/13078/the-intel-ssd-660p-ssd-review-qlc-nand-arrives (has a nice chart near the top that shows how much SLC cache is available as the drive is filled up)
https://images.anandtech.com/doci/13078/SLC cache.png

Its still generally faster then a sata drive witch is limited to 500mb for most of the install time (compared to a hdd even QLC drives are overall faster then a hdd even with the 100mb/s slow down when SLC cache has ran out)

but personally I would get at least a TLC based SSD as QLC is not proven yet
 
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doug_7506

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Oct 17, 2004
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I bought two of them. One is in my Razer laptop the other in my desktop. Haven't noticed any different in day to day use and the SSD in my desktop has 1.2tb of stuff in it. It's blazing fast in day to day operation
Don't over think it.
 

MorgothPl

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Ordered the SSD. Thanks for input.

Its fast, though doesn't feel that much faster IRL. But no SATA data / power cables inside case, as I removed older SSDs, make it up for any other issue
 

ochadd

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May 9, 2008
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Last SSD upgrade I noticed was X25-m to a Vertex 4 which was SATA II to SATA III. The move from SATA III to NVME improved things slightly but you need to be looking for the improvements to notice them. Cutting a load time from 7 seconds to 5 seconds is difficult to appreciate.
 
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