NVMe drive for new build...

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by kur1j, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. kur1j

    kur1j Gawd

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    Debating on new drive for a brand new 3900x build.

    Would like to stick with a 1TB+ drive.

    Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB - $217
    Corsair MP510 1TB - $125
    ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB - $129
    Samsung 970 PRO Series 1TB - $297

    The appealing thing with the MP510 is I can get a 2TB drive for ~$260. However, whats odd is that the performance of 2TB variant on the datasheet is actually lower than the 1TB. https://www.anandtech.com/show/13438/the-corsair-force-mp510-ssd-review There is no real tests though...

    The only thing that is really appealing about the 970Pro is that it will sustain write speeds but I think the EVO Plus at the 1600MB/s AVG write speed when its getting full compared to the 500-600MB/s after the SLC fills up.

    I do feel like I have a use case that would merit one that can support faster writes...being that I do work with a decent amount of 4K RAW video from my Sony A7rii that can get large...quick depending on the length of video, so sustained write would be beneficial I feel.

    I've also thought about getting a smaller SSD (e.g. a 512GB 970 Pro) and then get a 2TB Intel 660p for storage. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Niner21

    Niner21 Limp Gawd

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    I just got my first NVMe drive after doing a "refresh" on my setup. I went with the Western Digital Black drive for my boot drive and am very happy with the performance so far. My previous boot drive was a Western Digital 240GB SSD. I did a lot of homework on the NVMe drive and decided the WD Black drive was the best choice foe me. With your selections your looking at I think any would be fine, but if I had to choose I would go with the Samsung or Corsair.
     
  3. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    The 2TB has ~10% performance hit because it exceeds the amount of maximum CEs the controller can handle. The Phison E12 is 8-channel with 4 CEs per channel for a total of 32 CEs. The NAND used is Toshiba's 64L 3D TLC (BiCS3) at 256Gb/die (32GiB/die). Single-sided drives like the WD SN750 and Samsung 970 EVO use 512Gb/die at 2TB but the E12 drives (which are double-sided at 1+ TB) do not. Therefore, 64 * 32GiB = 2TiB (for the 2TB SKU) which means two dies per CE; this increases controller overhead.

    The 970 Pro is a MLC-based drive and is ideal for sustained and steady state workloads. This is not for the general user. In fact, a TLC-based drive using SLC cache (which is the native TLC in single-bit mode) will be faster and more efficient than a MLC drive in many cases as consumer workloads are more bursty in nature. But even among these drives there is a decent variation in performance depending on what you're doing with the drive.

    These drives will, as you say, drop down in speed after the SLC cache is exhausted, but that doesn't tell the whole picture. Some drives have a static SLC portion (or entirety) which is better for steady state or sustained performance, as on the SN750 and 970 EVO/EVO Plus, some have a relatively small dynamic like the E12, some have a gigantic cache like the SM2262EN (SX8200 Pro, EX950) drives. The latter batch can hit a second performance drop down to folding speeds which makes for very inconsistent performance under heavier workloads and when the drive is fuller, for two examples.

    The Intel 660p is a different beast again as it's QLC-based with a very large dynamic cache that then becomes entirely static at 75% drive usage. Exceeding this cache forces QLC folding speeds of ~80 MB/s. And of course in all these cases, latency can become an issue when the controller is managing SLC and background tasks depending on the controller. For example, the SM2262/EN is dual-core and optimized for low queue depth and random 4K, while Samsung's penta-core Phoenix controller is more robust and leverages a static + dynamic SLC cache for better consistency.

    The 970 Pro is NOT what I would suggest for OS/primary/boot usage, it's better as a workspace drive, but if you want a solid TLC drive for that (workspace) I would suggest the SN750, 970 EVO/EVO Plus, or alternatively an E12 drive like the MP510. The SX8200 Pro for its part would be a better OS drive. Be mindful that these drives won't hit their performance peak until 1TB due to controller saturation (as explained above), however you get sufficient benefit from 2 CEs per channel (16 dies = 512GiB raw NAND) for OS usage so that would be a minimum. Also keep in mind that some of these drives are single-sided or double-sided depending on capacity, with thermals and power usage secondary facets.

    I have a lot of SSD resources on my Reddit profile (and subreddit) if you want to know/learn more but I can also answer questions here or in PMs. The above is a very quick summary of the things you need to consider. Since you're going for Zen 2, are you also going X570? Because if you're going with X470 or older you will have issues with multiple NVMe. If you're going X570 you should be fine with a dual-NVMe setup: e.g. 500GB SX8200 Pro for boot/OS, 1TB workspace drive as suggested in the paragraph above. Lastly, the E16 drives (PCIe 4.0) use 512Gb/die NAND at 2TB so do not have the performance drop but are very expensive and have a massive SLC cache which is not as good for that kind of workload, so I'd stick to 3.0 for now.
     
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  4. Azrak

    Azrak Gawd

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  5. Nasgul

    Nasgul [H]Lite

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    That's what I'd do. Except, I paid $125 for my WD.Black and it's only 500GB a while back and for storage I got a 5TB Toshiba X300 which was only $99.99 with a coupon.

    The MP510 is 960GB but for the speed (same as my WDB) and the price, it's a great and probably the best choice. If you get the M510 in 480GB the Write speed drops 1,000MB/s, why? I don't know but they all do apparently.
    I used to like WD but last two Blue HDD I bought, have had nothing but problems, I'm on my 2nd RMA. and I hate paying $12 each time I have to return one.
     
  6. Ranulfo

    Ranulfo [H]ard|Gawd

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    WD is making people pay $12 for RMAs? For shipping?
     
  7. jmilcher

    jmilcher [H]ardness Supreme

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  8. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's several different write speeds for NVMe drives depending on their mode. First there's the SLC cache, a temporary buffer where the native TLC NAND acts like SLC - that is, in single-bit mode - which performs better at the cost of capacity since SLC mode is three times less dense (1-bit vs. 3-bit). Second, there's the direct-to-TLC mode, which is when the SLC cache is exhausted and the controller writes directly to the TLC. Lastly there's folding mode, this is when the drive runs out of free TLC and is forced to convert SLC to TLC; all incoming writes must go to SLC first and then be folded (compressed) into TLC. Folding used to require controller intervention which counted as a user I/O operation, however now it is done on-die, which means folding occurs at-speed in the background during direct-to-TLC mode. Folding is one-half the speed of the native TLC but the drive in direct-to-TLC mode is not twice as fast because there's still juggling going on in the background.

    The maximum speed of the drive is dependent on the NAND speed (e.g. 667 MT/s typically for 64-layer NAND) and the controller's ability to access multiple dies at once. The MP510's controller, the Phison E12, is 8-channel with 4 CEs (chip enables, how many dies the controller can switch between) per channel for a total of 32 CEs. This means write performance will increase up to that maximum. Since 64L NAND is 256Gb/die (32GiB/die), this means 32 * 32 = 1TiB of NAND, as used on the 960GB MP510 SKU. At 480GB you are not saturating the controller so maximum IOPS and write speed is lower (read is not as much of an issue). This drive also loses performance at 1920GB because it exceeds the CE limit but I won't get into that here.

    So at 480GB the write speed is 2000 MB/s in the SLC cache (vs. 3000 at 960GB), direct-to-TLC is ~600 MB/s (vs. up to 1200), folding is ~300 MB/s (vs. 600). However, the MP510 has a relatively small (~30GB) SLC cache so it will never hit the folding state, but on the other hand it will quickly exhaust its SLC cache (15s for the 480GB SKU, 10s for the 960GB SKU, roughly). But if you're doing 30s of writes on the 480GB SKU it will average ~1300 MB/s.

    Probably more than you ever wanted to know but there you go.
     
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  9. TheSlySyl

    TheSlySyl n00b

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    If you're going for a 3900X and an X570 motherboard, i'd wait to see if any of the PCI-E 4 NVME drives are worth it, or at least see if their release will cause older NVME drives prices to lower.

    I guess we'll find out tomorrow?
     
  10. Eyeball Kid

    Eyeball Kid Gawd

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    I recently replaced a 512gb 950 Pro with a 1tb 970 Evo Plus. I benched both with Magician, the 970 beats the 950 by about 1.5x in reads and 3x in writes (Possibly the other way round, I'm not near my computer, but still a big step up either way!) but I honestly see no difference. Save your money and don't get a Pro Samsung drive, the lower end drives have great endurance now and you won't see the extra speed - I didn't even see a difference from moving from a SATA SSD to an NVME, tbh. I'm waiting until Prime Day to pick up the 2tb Corsair for storage, but you'll be happy with any of the drives you listed.
     
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  11. Eyeball Kid

    Eyeball Kid Gawd

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    Benches Capture.PNG

    To put this in perspective: my 3 year-old 950 Pro feels instantanious. Endurance-wise, I've only written 8.1tb over that period to the 950 Pro with light-ish usage. If you look at the figures, the 970 Evo Plus bests the same generation Pro right now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  12. EnderW

    EnderW [H]ardForum Junkie

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    As much as I like MLC, the newer TLC drives are probably the way to go.

    I’d either go with a 1TB 970 Evo Plus or a 512GB plus the 660p. Just up to you if you need the space and are ok with managing 2 separate disks. If it was me, I’d probably get the 1TB Evo Plus now and add a QLC drive later when you actually need it, assuming you don’t need 2TB+ now.