Large capacity SSD for gaming, does speed really matter?

Opus131

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I'm currently using a 256GB Samsung 870 Evo paired with a mechanical 7200 RPM drive. I have my Steam folder linked to both but i'm sort of getting tired of having to move games from one drive to another and move them back when i'm playing something else.

I wanted to get a 2TB version of the 870 Evo, which is around 240 euros where i live, but i noticed there are other drives that are much cheaper, like the 870 QVO, the Crucial BX500 and even the MX500 that are all around 170-180 euros. I'm told those drives get really slow when copying large quantities of data, but, do i really care for that when it comes to games? All i'm going to do is shove my Steam folder in there and if i download a game it will probably stay there indefinitely.

Of course, there's also the question of durability, which might make it worth it to get the more expensive drive if it's a significant difference.
 

toast0

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Depends on how slow. I've got an inland 1 TB SSD that is similar speed to a mechanical disk; not sure what they did there, but latency is terrible; you can get good throughput in benchmarks with lots of queuing, but it doesn't hold up in real world use. If you get something at least decent, it probably doesn't make a huge difference in day to day use. If this is only storing steam games, I don't think durabilility is that important --- you can easily replace those if the drive goes out, and you can easily verify the files are correct in case the drive starts flipping bits.
 

Opus131

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Yeah, i'll just be putting stuff from Steam, and also Battle.net, Galaxy and the Epic Store. I can also still use the 7200 RPM drive for games where speed isn't really crucial. Between the two of them i think i'll probably rarely remove a game once installed, so there's not going to be a lot of writing after the initial install process.
 

Hallyday

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This is a good example of Samsung overpricing their drive, the MX would work just fine. Though at that point, you might as well go with an NVMe stick and not really worry about speed. Pretty sure you can get one for the kind of money you were looking to spend on that 870 Evo.
 

TheSlySyl

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It really depends on the type of game you're playing. The difference between Spinning disk to SSD is absolutely massive. The difference between SSD and NVME is lesser so. The difference between Even a relatively slow PCI-E Gen 3 SSD and a top of the line Gen 4 SSD is even harder to notice.

The differences do exist though, but I don't think you need better than an prosumer gen 3 SSD, and that's mostly for endurance and write speed reasons.

I personally have my games on a 12TB Spinner with an NVME cache, for certain games though - such as Cities Skylines, Planet Zoo/Coaster, 4x Games (late game) etc. Having a good SSD can cut loading from minutes down to seconds.

Also, given the very minute price difference between a SATA SSD and an NVME SSD, if you have the slot for an NVME SSD absolutely go an NVME drive instead.
 

TheSlySyl

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Consider Primocache as well if you want a cheaper nvme and to keep games on your spinning hard drive.
https://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/primo-cache/

I'm actually only using a 512gb nvme for my 10TB of steam games at the moment. It's way faster and simpler than moving stuff around hard drives. Also it can be fully automatic if you want it to be.
 

Shadowarez

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Consider Primocache as well if you want a cheaper nvme and to keep games on your spinning hard drive.
https://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/primo-cache/

I'm actually only using a 512gb nvme for my 10TB of steam games at the moment. It's way faster and simpler than moving stuff around hard drives. Also it can be fully automatic if you want it to be.
iv used this software in my testing absolute beastly for what it can do iv used to to negate the failings of QLC nvme drives and dramless drives every rig i sell i include this software with pro licence if the yask for these drives and a huge hdd.
 

Opus131

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That primocache software seems very interesting. Right now i'm thinking about this one. Not the fastest NVMe (again, slower in prolonged copying which we have established doesn't matter for gaming) but according to reviews is very durable and the price is very competitive:

https://www.amazon.it/SSD-PNY-CS303...d=1626985834&sprefix=2tb+,mi,186&sr=8-12&th=1

I can then use the 256GB 870 Evo as a cache for the 7200 RPM drive which would net me a total of 4TB for all my games.
 

TheSlySyl

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PNY got in trouble for adjusting those numbers lower. It's still probably more than fine, but just a warning.
https://www.techpowerup.com/283135/...r8-cs3030-m-2-nvme-ssd-endurance-by-almost-80

I am on my 6th nvme SSD and the only SSD that i've had that showed ANY endurance issues was my ADATA SX8200 (non pro) 240GB that was one of the first premium NVME SSDs around. It hit about 50% endurance use after 3+ years as my OS drive with over 60 TB of writes. I'm still using it as a cache drive. I think my wife is still using my first gen intel SSD in her system AFAIK.
 
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Zepher

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PNY got in trouble for adjusting those numbers lower. It's still probably more than fine, but just a warning.
https://www.techpowerup.com/283135/...r8-cs3030-m-2-nvme-ssd-endurance-by-almost-80

I am on my 6th nvme SSD and the only SSD that i've had that showed ANY endurance issues was my ADATA SX8200 (non pro) 240GB that was one of the first premium NVME SSDs around. It hit about 50% endurance use after 3+ years as my OS drive with over 6 TB of writes. I'm still using it as a cache drive. I think my wife is still using my first gen intel SSD in her system AFAIK.
One of my 980 Pro's is nearly down to half it's endurance after just a couple of months
Samsung-980-Pro-56-percent-Chia.jpg
 

TheSlySyl

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What the hell are you using that thing for? 900TB of writes in 6 months!?

I'm honestly impressed.
 

jmilcher

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There’s actually plenty of real evidence and real data all over the internet on this topic. Not just opinions or anecdotal experiences but real numbers.

conclusion? Sata SSD’d that are quality to begin with, with dram cache perform with no perceivable difference compared to nvme ssd drives.

The only time this matters is when you are moving a huge set of files at once, even more so if they are mostly comprised of lots of tiny files. Then the NVMe makes a difference.

Factually, this doesn’t happen for 99% of users and definitely does not happen as a result of you loading up a game and playing it. Literally no difference for the end user.

For boot drives I use nvme gen 4x4, for my dedicated game drive it’s just a 2 TB mx500 I got for $150 on sale new on Amazon a month ago. Don’t overthink it. If a quality well reviewed sata SSD is on sale, buy it for gaming.
 

Zepher

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What the hell are you using that thing for? 900TB of writes in 6 months!?

I'm honestly impressed.
It's actually 2 months of on time and less than 2 weeks of actual use using the drive plotting plots for Chia.
 

Zepher

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And you're blaming the drive for your Chia mining. You should have known that they make drives specifically for that, with a lot of endurance.
I am not blaming anyone. I know plotting kills SSD's. I didn't pay for the drive so it doesn't matter to me.
 

Hallyday

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I am not blaming anyone. I know plotting kills SSD's. I didn't pay for the drive so it doesn't matter to me.

You made it sound like it's the drive at fault though, hence commenting after the person who talked about PNY reducing endurance on their drives. Samsung also kind of did the same with these drives - compared to their older gen. When in reality this is not bad enough to matter for the OP. In fact, I don't know why you think a 980 Pro is even relevant to this conversation. At his price range, he's looking at those two Pny drives or what I linked of such.
 

Opus131

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PNY got in trouble for adjusting those numbers lower. It's still probably more than fine, but just a warning.
https://www.techpowerup.com/283135/...r8-cs3030-m-2-nvme-ssd-endurance-by-almost-80

Man the hardware market is such a joke:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/pny-admits-reducing-ssd-write-endurance-chia-coin-boom

Nice going, libertarians.

I would ask how it is even legal to change the product without changing the name but i suspect even if it wasn't nobody would be doing anything about it.
 

chameleoneel

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There’s actually plenty of real evidence and real data all over the internet on this topic. Not just opinions or anecdotal experiences but real numbers.

conclusion? Sata SSD’d that are quality to begin with, with dram cache perform with no perceivable difference compared to nvme ssd drives.

The only time this matters is when you are moving a huge set of files at once, even more so if they are mostly comprised of lots of tiny files. Then the NVMe makes a difference.

Factually, this doesn’t happen for 99% of users and definitely does not happen as a result of you loading up a game and playing it. Literally no difference for the end user.
....for gamers. And general OS use.

But there are plenty of use cases, where fast drives are a huge asset. Such as content creation.
 

jmilcher

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....for gamers. And general OS use.

But there are plenty of use cases, where fast drives are a huge asset. Such as content creation.
So did you read my post more than 2 sentences?

Or the THREAD TITLE?

He specifically asked about gaming.
 

Denpepe

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Been using an Samsung 860 2TB QVO for a while now as a games drive, plenty fast, even the writes are decent, have a 2nd one lying around I bought on sale on Amazon, realy need to replace my spinner with that one one of these days.
 

TheSlySyl

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Factually, this doesn’t happen for 99% of users and definitely does not happen as a result of you loading up a game and playing it. Literally no difference for the end user.
Spoken as someone who is
into heavily modded games.

I sometimes end up working with hundreds of thousands of files and load times in minutes for my more extreme scenarios. Due to ridiculously inefficient coding for a couple of map-generating mods, my Minecraft server folder is in the millions of files.

Cities skylines is another scenario where the difference between regular ssd and nvme ssd cuts loading in half (and it's usually 2+ minutes for big, heavily asset filled cities.)
 
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Spoken as someone who isn't into heavily modded games.

I sometimes end up working with hundreds of thousands of files and load times in minutes for my more extreme scenarios. Due to ridiculously inefficient coding for a couple of map-generating mods, my Minecraft server folder is in the millions of files.

Cities skylines is another scenario where the difference between regular ssd and nvme ssd cuts loading in half (and it's usually 2+ minutes for big, heavily asset filled cities.)
Uh, you are an edge case dude. I highly doubt OP plans to have a minecraft/game folder with millions of files.
 

TheSlySyl

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Bethesda titles, Witcher, No Man's Sky, Civilization, Paradox sim titles and pretty much any management game with increasingly large save files and mods benefit from faster NVME SSDs.

It's not an edge case, giving how huge Nexus mods and the communities for these games are. When someone says "for gaming" they don't always exclusively mean FPS titles. Sim games are one of the main reasons I PC game. Tinkering with mods is fun as hell, I couldn't imagine a vanilla Bethesda game anymore after the hundreds of mods I've used on Elder Scrolls and Fallout games over the years.

Speaking of Sim Games the hardware required to play MS Flight Sim 2020 is beyond even my system, but THAT is an edge case.
 

Hallyday

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I can run FS fine with my 2080 at 3440x1440, of course it's somewhat choppy but the recent updates have upped the performance a bit. 40 FPS in FS is a lot better than 40 FPS in a fast action game. Moreover, FS is getting a MASSIVE performance boost with an engine update on 27th, you should have no big trouble running it in a week with that setup.
 

TheSlySyl

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I know my 1080ti is holding me back as well, can't wait for the update - but MSFS 2020 discussion is for another thread.
 

jmilcher

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Spoken as someone who isn't into heavily modded games.

I sometimes end up working with hundreds of thousands of files and load times in minutes for my more extreme scenarios. Due to ridiculously inefficient coding for a couple of map-generating mods, my Minecraft server folder is in the millions of files.

Cities skylines is another scenario where the difference between regular ssd and nvme ssd cuts loading in half (and it's usually 2+ minutes for big, heavily asset filled cities.)
Then you are the 1% I was referring to.
And yes I play modded games with no issue, in fact I doubt you’d be able to sit at my machine and tell me which drive you were loading a game off of.
 

Nebulous

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I have all my games (Steam, GOG, Ubi, Origin, Epic) on 2x 4TB NAS spinner drives in raid-0. No issues on quick ass loading times. I do have a 480gb XPG SSD SX8200 Pro I got fucked over with. Since I'm not gonna send the shit back decided to use it as a cache drive since that's really all it's good for. PNY is also crap for drives. I've been considering moving my games to SSD's, but because I need very large drives (5TB+), the cost is not feasable. So I'll continue to use spinner drives. They aren't too bad for games, especially if you run 'em in raid.

So XPG and PNY will not be getting my money again for their shit ass drives.
 
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Bethesda titles, Witcher, No Man's Sky, Civilization, Paradox sim titles and pretty much any management game with increasingly large save files and mods benefit from faster NVME SSDs.

It's not an edge case, giving how huge Nexus mods and the communities for these games are. When someone says "for gaming" they don't always exclusively mean FPS titles. Sim games are one of the main reasons I PC game. Tinkering with mods is fun as hell, I couldn't imagine a vanilla Bethesda game anymore after the hundreds of mods I've used on Elder Scrolls and Fallout games over the years.

Speaking of Sim Games the hardware required to play MS Flight Sim 2020 is beyond even my system, but THAT is an edge case.
I have used mods for lots of games (not just fps), but never have I had a game folder with millions of files due to mods. That's why I was saying you are in a very small minority.
 

OFaceSIG

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Until DirectStorage gets implemented and is actually used in Windows and games, SSDs for games will buy you only quicker load times. I would do it for just for that. But beyond that there will be few specific benefits.
 

Denpepe

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Is there a model out there where i can trust i'm getting what's in the specs at all or is this now the new normal?

Not sure, but a brand like Samsung that has drives labeled specifically as QVO (for QLCNand) one could assume the non QVO ones to not contain QLC but I'm not going to stick my hand in the fire for that.
 
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It doesn't matter much. I added a SATA SSD recently for my games.

Boot Drive: Samsung 950 Pro NVME 512GB
Games SSD: Crucial MX500 SATA 1TB

The NVME benches about 5 times faster (2500MB/sec vs 500MB/sec), but the difference in load times for games is only 5-10%. Story mode in GTA5 for example, 30 seconds vs 33 seconds.
 
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Opus131

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Well, it's not just that. Somebody recommended a nvme because some of them aren't that much more expensive than a regular SATA SSD.

At face value it's a solid suggestion, however, the Crucial P2 for instances, which costs about 20 euros more than the MX500 is actually slower in games than the MX500 and on prolonged writing it gets as slow as a spinner.

The question wasn't about getting an nvme because they are so much better for gaming, it was more of why not get one since they aren't that much more expensive, or at least some of them aren't. Turns out that's not that sure of a thing.
 

Hallyday

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If you want to make use of the M.2, I'd just get the Pilot-E. It's a suggested drive at that price range and often times well comparable to more expensive stuff.

Alternatively, you could just pick up a SATA drive and save a bit off your pocket. I'd personally go NVMe though.
 

Opus131

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If you want to make use of the M.2, I'd just get the Pilot-E. It's a suggested drive at that price range and often times well comparable to more expensive stuff.

Alternatively, you could just pick up a SATA drive and save a bit off your pocket. I'd personally go NVMe though.

Do i dare google to see if they changed something inside?

You know, since it seems to be a trend now (is the sardonic tone palpable?).
 

Hallyday

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I don't think that's a case with those drives, they use a typical Silicon Motion configuration. Would be worth Googling though, just to make sure.
 
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