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Get SM951 256 GB NVM for ~110 or hold out for something better?

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Nov 14, 2006
Found some good deals resulting from wealthier clients replacing those with larger drives on day 1. Effectively the 'used' drive has simply been unpackaged and tested and used for maybe 5 hours total. That would mean no SATA drives in the computer at all unless I need to to use DVD (Windows on a stick, so not very likely), and HDD cages removed from the case.

On the other hand, I (i) worry about M.2 drives overheating; (ii) am not sure I'll even notice the difference.


1. SATA-based 850 Evo 512 GB for ~$140, NIB (used ones cost too close to consider). Used as sys/app drive until something really good is really cheap on M.2, or until it dies.
2. Increasing the budget to get the 512 GB version of 951 and avoid needing any separate storage drive for years to come.

Work: XML-based bilingual files (autosave every 5 minutes, file can be anything from small to huge) with bilingual translation memories attached (checking for matches and updating constantly); huge/complicated/bad office files are not standard fare but distressing enough when they happen. With no macros or errors I wouldn't even need an SSD for work, as the loading is near-instant anyway.

Games: RTS, grand strategies (Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis etc.; rather frequent auto-saves), Total War, other strategy, RPG & adventure (not infrequent autosaves), car race, rally and similar games.


Senior Forum Spammer
Jun 6, 2002
unless your transfers are taking longer then 5mins or longer then get something else. i dont know the numbers for bw when it throttles but i doubt even then you would notice much difference for your saves ect. if your that worried about it just get a 850 pro or non-pro, or wait to find a place that has the PM961's in stock with the new controller that doesnt over heat.


AKA: JrMiyagi
Sep 25, 2015
When the drives throttle for temperature reasons, the throughput drops by about 20%...but still over 2 x the speed of a regular SATA SSD drive

You can see it on benchmarks, but you can't notice in practical use.

The m.2 drives are fast...my advice...get the biggest m.2 you are comfortable spending the $$ on.