WD Blue M.2 worth it?

Mosie100

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I was checking out this crazy deal on a 2TB WD Blue 3d NAND 2TB SSD for $175 when I realized that it says the read speeds are 560 MB/s and write speeds at 530 MB/s.
Does that just make this a glorified M.2 without the benefits of the extra speeds I've been looking at with other M.2s?

I was hoping to upgrade my hard drive to an m.2 2tb with totally unnecessary rgb lighting if I found a good deal because of the 3500/3000 r/w speeds.
Please tell me I'm notcrazy and I'm reading the description right on that WD Blue and it's not a good purchase.
 

pitingres

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It's just a SATA drive in an m.2 form factor. That's fine for a lot of uses, and avoids some cabling as compared to the usual 2.5" SATA SSD, but it's not any faster.

If you're coming from a hard drive, even a SATA SSD will seem like magic. The jump from SATA to NVMe looks huge on paper but actually doesn't matter in a lot of use cases. (There are some situations where it can make a big difference, of course, large sequential reads or writes for instance.) 2 TB NVMe drives are up around $240 or so, US; it's up to you whether the incremental added speed is worth $60+.
 

criccio

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Yeah, like pitingres said, its just a SATA drive in an m.2 form factor.

This whole thing gets a lot of people confused, "M.2" does not denote the speed, its just a pysical connector. Currently, you can buy both SATA and NVMe drives that use a multitude of connectors with M.2 being just one of them.

So yeah, you're looking at a SATA drive using an M.2 connector and IMO, that's a great drive for modern bulk storage. Personally, as my main boot drive I'd opt for an NVMe drive but I like SATA m.2's for game storage. The difference between those rated speeds isn't going to really make a difference loading games.
 

Mosie100

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Yeah, like pitingres said, its just a SATA drive in an m.2 form factor.

This whole thing gets a lot of people confused, "M.2" does not denote the speed, its just a pysical connector. Currently, you can buy both SATA and NVMe drives that use a multitude of connectors with M.2 being just one of them.

So yeah, you're looking at a SATA drive using an M.2 connector and IMO, that's a great drive for modern bulk storage. Personally, as my main boot drive I'd opt for an NVMe drive but I like SATA m.2's for game storage. The difference between those rated speeds isn't going to really make a difference loading games.
This is super helpful info. So what is the significance of the r/w speeds then?? Why does one say 500/500 and the other say 3500/3000?

If I'm not going to notice a difference getting the m.2 nvme with speed then might as well go for the best deal overall right?
 

jarablue

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You want the nvme for your windows install and the sata for your games drive. 3500/3000 is the speed of the m2 nvme. 500/500 is the speed of the m2 sata. Def get the nvme m2 for your windows install and the m2 sata for your games drive.
 

Mosie100

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You want the nvme for your windows install and the sata for your games drive. 3500/3000 is the speed of the m2 nvme. 500/500 is the speed of the m2 sata. Def get the nvme m2 for your windows install and the m2 sata for your games drive.
Thanks for that advice -- if I just get the 2tb NVME for my windows I'll most likely be putting a lot of games on it. Will they run the same as any of my current ssds (samsung 850 and 860)
 

doubletake

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Don't forget to check your motherboard manual to see which m2 slots support SATA. Some only support PCIe operation.
 

criccio

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This is super helpful info. So what is the significance of the r/w speeds then?? Why does one say 500/500 and the other say 3500/3000?

If I'm not going to notice a difference getting the m.2 nvme with speed then might as well go for the best deal overall right?

Those are the two speed ratings for both SATA and NVMe.
 

Mosie100

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Don't forget to check your motherboard manual to see which m2 slots support SATA. Some only support PCIe operation.
Thanks for bringing this up --- the new mobo I just bought (Asus z390 Prime) has to M.2 sockets that support both SATA & PCIe 3.0 x 4 modes.
 

jarablue

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Thanks for that advice -- if I just get the 2tb NVME for my windows I'll most likely be putting a lot of games on it. Will they run the same as any of my current ssds (samsung 850 and 860)
More than likely you'll see no difference in game loading times. Maybe some but pretty much no. Benchmarks will look good between the two though.
 

jarablue

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So barely any difference between SATA and NVME load times.
Pretty much. Maybe a second or two. That is why huge sata ssds are very worth it for fast game storage. Until direct storage from Microsoft comes out next year, that is when nvmes should really shine.
 

pitingres

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Those numbers (550 vs 3500) are best-case sequential numbers. It looks like a lot, but unless you are dealing with files that are at least 500MB+ in size, you won't actually notice; it's hard to tell the difference between 1/3 second and 1 second, especially when there's a lot more going on than just the transfer itself.

I do database work on a server with both NVMe and SATA drives (970 Pro and MX500 respectively). Doing large builds, the two feel just about the same, although the build on the NVMe finishes a few seconds faster (out of several minutes). If I run an hour long benchmark, the NVMe might have a 10 minute advantage. If all I do is copy giant files back and forth, that's when I can see a 3x or 4x advantage but I have to set the test up very, very carefully.

So yes NVMe can be faster but you need to think about what you're doing before you sink additional money into an NVMe drive. The good news is that the price gap has narrowed significantly from a couple years ago.
 

Mosie100

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Those numbers (550 vs 3500) are best-case sequential numbers. It looks like a lot, but unless you are dealing with files that are at least 500MB+ in size, you won't actually notice; it's hard to tell the difference between 1/3 second and 1 second, especially when there's a lot more going on than just the transfer itself.

I do database work on a server with both NVMe and SATA drives (970 Pro and MX500 respectively). Doing large builds, the two feel just about the same, although the build on the NVMe finishes a few seconds faster (out of several minutes). If I run an hour long benchmark, the NVMe might have a 10 minute advantage. If all I do is copy giant files back and forth, that's when I can see a 3x or 4x advantage but I have to set the test up very, very carefully.

So yes NVMe can be faster but you need to think about what you're doing before you sink additional money into an NVMe drive. The good news is that the price gap has narrowed significantly from a couple years ago.
Okay so basically it’s sounding more and more like I should just get an m.2 that is a good price and has the space I want at this point. I’m not transferring a crazy amount of files over. Just gonna play some games and that’s about it. Thanks for the insight
 

zandor

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SATA M.2 drives have their uses, but it's kind of a niche. Basically they're good for boards (and maybe laptops... not sure) where plugging a PCI-e something into an M.2 socket turns off a slot or something else you want to use, particularly if you're doing a really compact build. Just on a cursory glance $175 for 2TB is a nice price per gig, but it won't be any faster than a 2.5" SATA SSD with similar specs plugged into an SATA port. In other words, more space but not much different from the 2.5" SATA SSDs you already have. That said it'd work fine. The main perk of SSDs for most workloads is access time, not throughput.

At any rate, if you'll have room for your existing collection of drives I'd either just stick with it and save $ or get a PCIe M.2 drive as your new boot drive and keep all or most of the rest. Maybe ditch that 1TB spinner in your sig if you don't need the space.
 
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