NVME PCIe Technology and Gaming - do you need it?

Ebernanut

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Just going off the still frame that's not the NVME most people are talking about(M2 slot) and if it's Intel PCIe it's either overpriced or slow/small unless things have changed drastically in the last few months,

Beyond that NVME is never a need for gaming but it certainly might be a want if you hate long load times in certain games.
 

samops03

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No reason to pay the NVME premium for a game drive. Load times would prob be the same as SATA SSD i bet.
 

Derangel

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I think this is pretty well known. You're not going to see a huge difference in game load times after a certain point. It might have a minor effect on texture streaming, but even that is hard to say. I look at M.2 drives as a way to get rid 2.5" drives and a couple more cables. Might as well go for NvME at that point anyway, given the constantly falling prices.
 

FLECOM

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for gaming probably not, but why wouldn't you? the price difference is usually minimal (I bought 1TB NVME for my /home directory for less than a SATA one would have cost me)

but let me tell you, sure makes booting and every-day stuff feel blazing fast, and running a bunch of virtual machines and not feeling any kind of performance impact is pretty neat
 

limitedaccess

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I'm not saying NVMe is worth over SATA SSDs necessarily but I do want to bring up some considerations with respect to this video -

- Windows Task Manager and Performance Monitor don't really break down the type of IO and other details

- HD Tune Pro can capture more details including how much data was read/write and of which type (4k,8k, 16k, 32k, 64l, 128k, 256k, etc.)

- The most common activity with game loads is 4k reads, although I've seen exceptions to this and the actual % being 4k read can vary. Fallout 4 is predominantly 64k and 128k reads as an example. Some games may only read a few hundred MB throughout the load process, others may be several gigabytes. The previous two factors might even have variation for a game based on what is actually loading (eg. loading the game up, loading different modes, different saves, etc.) Basically much like other performance benchmarks (CPU, GPU, etc.) be wary of sample size and outlier scenarios.

- SSDs have not progressed much in terms of low queue depth 4k reads. Some NVMe drives, even ones considered high performance, are actually slower than SATA drives in this area. Some newer drives are also even slower than the drives they replace and improve upon. NVMe has only improved random read/writes at queue depths not really achievable in actual consumer use. Sequential read/write is much higher due lack of SATA limitations.

Here is two samples that show NVMe can make a good difference over SATA, or at least the same difference SATA SSDs have over a HDD. Although interestingly neither the 970 EVO or 860 EVO (at least from my research) are actually ideal gaming drives from a pure loading stand point (they're beaten in random 4k reads by in class competitors) even though they are considered the best in class as far as "general" performance are considered.

Battlefield V Last Tiger -
NVMe (970 EVO) - 1m:09s:25ms
SSD (860 EVO) - 1m:20s:29ms
HDD (Seagate Barracuda) - 1m:33s:33ms

GTA V -
NVMe (970 EVO) - 30s:34ms
SSD (860 EVO) - 41s:58ms
HDD (Seagate Barracuda) - 56s:47ms

But a problem with online results is I'm not sure how controlled a lot of tests are especially for things like ram caching.

A big elephant in the room in terms of buying right now is the upcoming consoles in which there are rumors in terms of the how the storage/memory subsystem might be handled and how that might effect game development/behavior going forward.
 

Snowdog

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for gaming probably not, but why wouldn't you? the price difference is usually minimal (I bought 1TB NVME for my /home directory for less than a SATA one would have cost me)
That is the critical part. Unless you are out of NVME slots why wouldn't you use them preferentially. Not only the fastest option, but takes up no space, and adds no cabling. NVME is win-win.
 

Thunderdolt

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That is the critical part. Unless you are out of NVME slots why wouldn't you use them preferentially. Not only the fastest option, but takes up no space, and adds no cabling. NVME is win-win.
The lack of cabling is a major win for the OCD among us. Also nice for doing large builds. Most of the cables in a build are 1990s artifacts even though we put up with them today. Why can't we daisy chain fans and RGB in 2019?

Secondary effect (or maybe tertiary) is that everyone hopping on the NVMe bandwagon will help CPU makers justify why they're offering extra PCIe lanes. Intel's 10-series CPUs basically did exactly that: they enabled support for one more NVMe drive.

That said, I don't really know what I would do if I were planning a substantial build for 2020 that really relied on having the best storage performance. Would I go AMD for PCIe 4 (which was announced back in 2011, ratified in 2017) and get a moderate performance boost? Or would I take a gamble and wait on Intel under the assumption that they'll skip the already antiquated PCIe 4 and instead jump straight to PCI 5 (announced 2017, ratified 2019) for the real performance boost?
 

Derangel

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The lack of cabling is a major win for the OCD among us. Also nice for doing large builds. Most of the cables in a build are 1990s artifacts even though we put up with them today. Why can't we daisy chain fans and RGB in 2019?

Secondary effect (or maybe tertiary) is that everyone hopping on the NVMe bandwagon will help CPU makers justify why they're offering extra PCIe lanes. Intel's 10-series CPUs basically did exactly that: they enabled support for one more NVMe drive.

That said, I don't really know what I would do if I were planning a substantial build for 2020 that really relied on having the best storage performance. Would I go AMD for PCIe 4 (which was announced back in 2011, ratified in 2017) and get a moderate performance boost? Or would I take a gamble and wait on Intel under the assumption that they'll skip the already antiquated PCIe 4 and instead jump straight to PCI 5 (announced 2017, ratified 2019) for the real performance boost?
It usually takes a couple years to go from ratification to adoption. I wouldn't expect Gen 5 until 2021, at the earliest.
 

HAL_404

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The price difference between NVMe and SATA SSDs is so small nowadays, there is no reason to buy SATA any more.
That's not the main point though ... I have 3 SSD's and will be building a new rig on Monday and I didn't know if a NVMe drive would make a difference now that I'll have one M.2 slot available. Turns out I saved $90 buy watching that video. Anyone who now says "it's only $90" can have my paypal or Venmo ID and you can send me $90 ...
 

LodeRunner

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Anecdotal, but at least in Destiny 2, loading into the same strike instance, my NVMe based system beats my wife's SATA 6G system by 30+ seconds. D2's netcode may be part of that, but my prior system, running on SATA3 was usually significantly behind. Our systems are closer to parity now (my old system was a X58 with a W3690; new is e5-1620 v3 vs the wife's i7-4790k).

My NVMe drive is an Inland Premium 2TB vs a 860 EVO.
 

Nightfire

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Games surely do not need it. NVMe is still great for a boot drive, but games will not see any real benefit.

Nvme is not much more, but you can still get around 50% more capacity at the same price with ssd. (on average - I dont need a bunch of microcenter links for blow out deals.)

Honestly, I like having my OS and programs on a separate drive. Having a 512GB OS nvme plus a 1TB or larger SSD for games is still the best setup for performance and price.
 

Thunderdolt

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It usually takes a couple years to go from ratification to adoption. I wouldn't expect Gen 5 until 2021, at the earliest.
I'd agree with this 99% of the time, but:
  • the first Gen 5 controller already came out in 2019
  • The 4x speed jump of Gen 5 actually enables new uses whereas the 2x speed jump of Gen 4 can be summed up as "same shit, different day."
At least, that's my dream. Maybe the reality is that we wait two more years so we can get the same shitsandwich but with new bread.
 

Flogger23m

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for gaming probably not, but why wouldn't you? the price difference is usually minimal (I bought 1TB NVME for my /home directory for less than a SATA one would have cost me)

but let me tell you, sure makes booting and every-day stuff feel blazing fast, and running a bunch of virtual machines and not feeling any kind of performance impact is pretty neat
Any real advantage when it comes to boot speeds? Seems like the motherboard BIOS takes the longest. I have the option for a faster boot, but if I ever want to change settings I would need to reset CMOS if I enable that.
 

seanreisk

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I only have one HDD in all of my systems, and it's in my 3TB Toshiba Canvio that I use as a backup drive. I don't build NAS's anymore, and I don't run any local servers, so a platter drive doesn't make sense.

I get it, you don't need an NVMe to run games, but at the same time if you need a new drive and it's going to be 1TB or less you'd be foolish to buy a mechanical HDD. I realize people need to replace storage in computers that don't have an NVMe slot, and I realize that HDDs are a bargain once you start climbing above 1TB, but if you need anything less than 2TB you should consider an SSD.

And regardless of my needs, I'd rather have a 1TB SSD than a 3TB HDD because ... because I am smurt. Bask in the beauty of my wisdom. Crave my words, and I will whisper them into your pear-shaped ears.
 
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FLECOM

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Any real advantage when it comes to boot speeds? Seems like the motherboard BIOS takes the longest. I have the option for a faster boot, but if I ever want to change settings I would need to reset CMOS if I enable that.
It feels faster, could just be my imagination... but since I don't have any SATA drives I disabled all the controllers in the bios so it doesn't even try and auto-detect anything on boot, so maybe shaves a second or two off the bios screen? I am also not really taking full advantage of my nvme drives since my system only has pcie v2
 

Flogger23m

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It feels faster, could just be my imagination... but since I don't have any SATA drives I disabled all the controllers in the bios so it doesn't even try and auto-detect anything on boot, so maybe shaves a second or two off the bios screen? I am also not really taking full advantage of my nvme drives since my system only has pcie v2
Wonder if having an HDD plugged in slows down the boot times even if just a data drive. Not a huge deal for me though.
 

TheSlySyl

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From my own personal experience, the difference between Spinner, SATA, NVME and RAMdrive are all a noticeable improvement. Of course, I deal with bigger data sets than just game loading.
Fuck I love having tiered storage.
 

Azrak

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The speed reasons are secondary to me (but really, really nice to have). It's the noise, or lack thereof, of SSDs that keeps me happy.
 

Snowdog

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That's not the main point though ... I have 3 SSD's and will be building a new rig on Monday and I didn't know if a NVMe drive would make a difference now that I'll have one M.2 slot available. Turns out I saved $90 buy watching that video. Anyone who now says "it's only $90" can have my paypal or Venmo ID and you can send me $90 ...
In what case is the NVME premium $90?
 

Dark12

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In what case is the NVME premium $90?
He wasn't saying the premium is $90, but rather that he doesn't feel that it's necessary to buy an additional drive because he already has some SATA ssds.
 
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