M.2, U.2 or 2.5 best NVMe ssd on z270 or AM4?

JoseJones

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I'm trying to figure out which NVMe ssd is best for boot-up time, loading games and general over-all experience to go along with the new z270 or AM4 motherboards. I have never had an ssd yet so, I'll have to wait and see what the benchmarks say to help chose Intel or AMD. I planned on a z270 but, since the AMD Rysen CPU demo I am willing to go AMD. Which system makes the best use of the new NVMe interface?

I was under the impression that the new z270 and AM4 CPU & motherboard platforms have improved NVMe performance and interface compatibility with NVMe 1.2 and later specs so, we will need to test the Samsung 960 with the new z270 and AM4 CPU & motherboard platforms to see if NVMe SSD's work better on one system or the other. So, testing on platforms older than the new z270 and AM4 may not reveal the NVMe performance benefits.

Any chance that HardForum could do some testing to show which system makes the best use of the new NVMe interface?

I was considering the Samsung 960 Evo 500G
 
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ir0nw0lf

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Does the price matter at all, IE a lot or a little? I think people keep going gaga over the 950/960 line, from what I read.
 

arestavo

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For a gamer, it doesn't matter at all.

Seriously, a quality SATA III SSD is just as fast as the fastest M.2 NVME drive on the market for game loading times and Windows boot times. SSD is what, 550MBps and the top end NVME drives are getting close to 3,000? Tests have shown it makes no difference for games or for Windows booting.

If you have a database server or if you copy files to and or from an array that can make use of the extreme IOPS and read/write speeds then it's worth it.

If you a gamer, then get the most storage in the format that you can afford (yes, HDDs are still slower due to seek times) - because IOPS and MBps means jack shit at this point in time, and they're selling people these fast drives because people just don't know any better.

Here's my test of a M.2 NVME 950 Pro vs a SATA III 850 EVO SSD. Scroll to the bottom of the first post to see some links for professional reviews - https://hardforum.com/threads/nvme-...a-iii-ssd-game-load-time-comparisons.1911914/
 

JoseJones

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I was considering the Samsung 960 Evo 512g.

I was under the impression that the new z270 and AM4 CPU & motherboard platforms have improved NVMe performance and interface compatibility with NVMe 1.2 and later specs so, we will need to test the Samsung 960 with the new z270 and AM4 CPU & motherboard platforms to if NVMe SSD's work better on one system or the other.

1114HoH-2.png

ssd-interface-comparison-v2-en.png


6468_18_defining_nvme_hands_on_testing_with_the_1_6tb_intel_p3700_ssd.png
 

LigTasm

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IMO I like m.2 the best just because of the simplicity. Its small, no cables, doesn't get in the way of anything and you don't have to mount it remotely in your case. Since m.2 covers the same specs as U.2 and SATA III combined, to me it seems like the superior option.


For a gamer, it doesn't matter at all.

Seriously, a quality SATA III SSD is just as fast as the fastest M.2 NVME drive on the market for game loading times and Windows boot times. SSD is what, 550MBps and the top end NVME drives are getting close to 3,000? Tests have shown it makes no difference for games or for Windows booting.

I have to disagree with some of this, in certain games like DA:I and battlefield there is a massive difference between my X400 and my 950 Pro is load times, I'm talking about shaving 20-25 seconds. It seems some engines like Frostbite manage to take advantage of the fast sequential reads for loading the environments. For 99% of tasks you can't really tell the difference though, you're right about that.
 

arestavo

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IMO I like m.2 the best just because of the simplicity. Its small, no cables, doesn't get in the way of anything and you don't have to mount it remotely in your case. Since m.2 covers the same specs as U.2 and SATA III combined, to me it seems like the superior option.




I have to disagree with some of this, in certain games like DA:I and battlefield there is a massive difference between my X400 and my 950 Pro is load times, I'm talking about shaving 20-25 seconds. It seems some engines like Frostbite manage to take advantage of the fast sequential reads for loading the environments. For 99% of tasks you can't really tell the difference though, you're right about that.

And I have to disagree with you about DA:I because I tested Dragon Age Inquisition with a RAM drive, M.2 NVME drive, SATA III SSD, and on my RAID 6 with spinners. I did not test any Battlefield games.

Of course, I tested on the SAME computer rig, so all the same hardware was used throughout. If you upgraded the CPU and or RAM when you installed the NVME drive then that's why you saw a difference - if you did, you increased the CPU performance which is what is holding back game load times now that seek times have plateaued.

For your pleasure, here is a copy/paste of what I found with DA:I (other specs are in modsrigs link in sig) -


Dragon Age: Inquisition 1080P
1920X1080 and in-game settings manually set to max.
Timer started when Continue was pressed and stopped when game loaded.

8 Hard Disk RAID 6 Array (WD Black 5TB 128MB Cache 7200RPM drives) (18.1TB of 27.2TB free)
25.16
12.87
13.00

512GB 950 Pro NVME in PCIE 3.0 X4 slot (with passive heatsink) (boot drive, ~75GB free)
13.09
12.52
13.06

512GB 850 Evo (empty except for DA:I)
16.13
12.59
13.02

42GB RAM drive (3200MHz DDR4 16-18-18-32)
12.96
13.08
13.07


Dragon Age: Inquisition 4K
3840X2160 and in-game settings manually set to max.
Timer started when Continue was pressed and stopped when game loaded.

8 Hard Disk RAID 6 Array (WD Black 5TB 128MB Cache 7200RPM drives) (18.1TB of 27.2TB free)
20.11
20.08
19.29

512GB 950 Pro NVME in PCIE 3.0 X4 slot (with passive heatsink) (boot drive, ~75GB free)
22.24
19.68
19.63

512GB 850 Evo (empty except for DA:I)
18.09
19.63
18.71

42GB RAM drive (3200MHz DDR4 16-18-18-32)
21.82
18.96
19.73
 
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LigTasm

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And I have to disagree with you about DA:I because I tested Dragon Age Inquisition with a RAM drive, M.2 NVME drive, SATA III SSD, and on my RAID 6 with spinners. I did not test any Battlefield games.

So you disagree with my disagreement which is why I disagreed in the first place :D ? Try one of the huge maps like emerald graves or hissing wastes, haven loads pretty fast no matter what you're using. Video hardware also makes a difference in that particular game, AMD cards are much slower to load for whatever reason and mantle is nearly unbearable.
 

arestavo

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So you disagree with my disagreement which is why I disagreed in the first place :D ? Try one of the huge maps like emerald graves or hissing wastes, haven loads pretty fast no matter what you're using. Video hardware also makes a difference in that particular game, AMD cards are much slower to load for whatever reason and mantle is nearly unbearable.


Not really, I just disagree with the difference in your DA:I load times - mostly because I don't know what changes were made. My testing was done over three days total, and no Windows updates or hardware changes were made.

I completed all of my testing with a GTX 980 Ti, and have a GTX 1080 now (and you did say different GPUs may impact load times) - since I'm bored and don't have tons of new and exciting games to play (I do, FF XV! Haven't even got to ride a Chocobo yet!) I'll test it out on my rig again for fumsies in the hissing wastes and report back.

Edit: forgot that I'm using my 850 EVO on my Xbox One S now, but I can still test the other 3.
 

LigTasm

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Not really, I just disagree with the difference in your DA:I load times - mostly because I don't know what changes were made. My testing was done over three days total, and no Windows updates or hardware changes were made.

I completed all of my testing with a GTX 980 Ti, and have a GTX 1080 now (and you did say different GPUs may impact load times) - since I'm bored and don't have tons of new and exciting games to play (I do, FF XV! Haven't even got to ride a Chocobo yet!) I'll test it out on my rig again for fumsies in the hissing wastes and report back.

The only change I made was the 950 pro - note that I was not booting off of either drive when I did this, I don't know if that makes a difference. Regardless, I agree that buying a PCI-E drive for the sake of game loading times is silly. I just like the m.2 form factor for convenience, and the 512GB/1TB SATA drives are getting really cheap.
 

arestavo

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The only change I made was the 950 pro - note that I was not booting off of either drive when I did this, I don't know if that makes a difference. Regardless, I agree that buying a PCI-E drive for the sake of game loading times is silly. I just like the m.2 form factor for convenience, and the 512GB/1TB SATA drives are getting really cheap.

I agree, if you can afford it and properly cool it, NVME drives aren't a bad choice. They just don't bring value to the table for a gamer - when price parity is reached WITH heatsinks (or heatsinks are no longer needed to keep NVME drives from throttling), then you might as well go with a NVME drive.



Here's what I found:

Turns out my original testing was from the Emerald Graves (just started exploring, Hissing Wastes is fully explored, if that matters), so the numbers that I previously posted should reflect that.

The driver revision may be different as I'm running 373.06 currently. DA:I wanted to download an update, and there have been several Windows updates since I last completed testing back in September.

Consecutive loads without exiting the game first would shave loading times a bit (~2 seconds) - so I exited and reloaded the game for each game save load.

Dragon Age: Inquisition 1080P Hissing Wastes
1920X1080 and in-game settings manually set to max.
Timer started when Continue was pressed and stopped when game loaded.

8 Hard Disk RAID 6 Array (WD Black 5TB 128MB Cache 7200RPM drives) (18.1TB of 27.2TB free)
14.49
14.76
14.22

512GB 950 Pro NVME in PCIE 3.0 X4 slot (with passive heatsink) (boot drive, ~138GB free)
14.10
14.17
13.98

42GB RAM drive (3200MHz DDR4 16-18-18-32)
14.31
14.11
14.50

I just did one test at 4K since the 1080P results were just as consistent as the originals (and I want to play some damn games, not test!) -

42GB RAM drive (3200MHz DDR4 16-18-18-32)
18.82
 
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JoseJones

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Jun 6, 2012
Messages
602
I was considering the Samsung 960 Evo 512g.

I was under the impression that the new z270 and AM4 CPU & motherboard platforms have improved NVMe performance and interface compatibility with NVMe 1.2 and later specs so, we will need to test the Samsung 960 with the new z270 and AM4 CPU & motherboard platforms to see if NVMe SSD's work better on one system or the other. So, testing on platforms older than the new z270 and AM4 may not reveal the NVMe performance benefits.
 
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