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Help with understanding pci-e ssd drives

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Trypt

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Location
Mississauga, Ontario
As you can see in my sig, I have only a 80GB Intel SSD for my operating system. Now, I could buy another SSD now, but that would make my Intel obsolete, and I am totally happy with its performance for my OS, a second loading time with any OS stuff is nothing. That being said, it's not enough space for games etc. So right now I'm down to under 5GB on it, and I have all my programs on it (Firefox, Photoshop etc.) but I keep my games on the 150GB WD Raptor. Needless to say, no matter how fast the Raptor, it pales in comparison to a SSD.

So, I figure my best option is to keep my 80GB only for Windows, and maybe some everyday proggies, so that it will have more free space, but I'd like to buy one of these "new"ish pci SSD drives for my games. I have the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev 02 according to CPU-Z) motherboard, and two Nvidia 580GTX's in SLI. So, from this picture of my mobo: (http://www.gigabyte.com/fileupload/product/2/3894/5499_big.jpg) it seems that I only have access to the last PCI slot, the one called PCIEX4_2, or if not that, then PCIEX4_1, I forget, it's been a while since I looked inside the case.

In any case, my mobo doesn't have the M.2 socket, so I'll need a PCI card that has one, but I have no idea what kind of PCI-E slot this can plug into, or where to even look for one, or if it is plug and play, or anything else for that matter. All I do know is that since I found out about it, and saw the prices and speed, I can't think of any better solution than to put that baby in there and throw all my games and big proggies on it. Like I said, Windows itself can stay on the 80GB Intel SSD, it's fast enough.

So, which PCI slots can a m.2 SSD drive on a pci card plug into? Can I just plug and play (if I do indeed have the right slot open), and once that is done, anything else that i need to know about?

Also, after an explanation, a link to a 128GB or bigger would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
With your system, just grab an 850 EVO 2.5" SSD. The biggest your budget will allow for.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I'm with atm on this one.
get a second, larger ssd, put your os on it and use the one you have now also, put all you can on the non os ssd.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Agree with these guys as well.

However, to answer your question...you need to have a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot available to run the PCI SSDs at full speed. You need to have 4 lanes available on the PCI slot (something to check as you are already running SLI.

Again - the 850 EVO would be your best option.
 

tachi1247

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Jr is right.

Plus it would probably be a waste of money to put just programs and games on a pcie ssd and not move your os over. Not to mention they are also relatively expensive for what little performance gain they would give your specific system over a standard sata ssd. But a 500gb evo, pocket the extra money and call it a day.
 
OP
Trypt

Trypt

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Location
Mississauga, Ontario
Ah thank you, that helps. I just wanted to take advantage of the pci-e slot while still using my 80gb ssd for the OS only, and getting another SSD (I already have the 850 EVO in my two laptops, the 250GB versions, excellent). But like I said, the OS is very quick with even the Intel SSD I have now, so I don't really care for that, just extra space for games, as the Raptor is nothing compared to any SSD.

Thank you anyhow. Maybe the prices will come down for the pci-e ssd? And while I am using my pci-e x16 slots for sli, you're saying that even my x4 slot is not enough?
 

tachi1247

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
unless it is a pci-e 3.0 slot it is not enough. As far as I know only X99 and Z170 chipsets have multiple pci-e 3.0 slots. Others only have pci-e 3.0 for the one graphics card slot if any at all

Edit: your mobo would fall into the category of doesn't have any pci-e 3.0 lanes at all.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Also realize that the games will certainly load faster on an SSD but after that it will have little if any impact on game performance or FPS as long as you have adequate system RAM so as not having to page file while gaming.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
I love my RevoDrive. I cant believe that I let it sit in a drawer for over a year before installing it........

That said your UD3 While it is a good mobo is probably not gonna really show off the performance of one of these new fangled PCIe SSDs.

These things are super duper fast though, like some games I notice now that they pretimed sequence thats supposed to hide the loading time is actually longer than the loading time is now. Like Dirt2 theres like a 30 second sequence that plays when you try to start a race but it only takes a few seconds to load everything.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Also realize that the games will certainly load faster on an SSD but after that it will have little if any impact on game performance or FPS as long as you have adequate system RAM so as not having to page file while gaming.

All depends what game. If someone programmed it in the way that after loading it doesn't need any more files and everything is in RAM then you won't see any difference. However there are games that are constantly loading something what couldn't be planned like online games where new players are unexpected. This is the main reason why online games are using SSD much more than single player titles and actually in mmo you can see what really SSD gives as most of these games don't need fast CPU or graphics card but need fast access to memory, good internet connection and fast storage to load files.

Other thing is that most of the data used in games or other daily operations base on random transfers. PCIe SSD are totally overrated if we are talking about daily work. Most of them have still ~30-40MB/s random 4K read and everything else except sequential read/write isn't much better than the higher SATA SSD.
PCIe SSD would be great for servers like work on large databases but not really at home. At the end it doesn't really matter what SSD you have, what matters is that you have SSD.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Games are moving toward no loading screens (e.g. Batman Arkham Knight) more and more.
As they do this HDD's will be inadequate for gaming and a normal SSD will be a minimum. At that point, yes it would be a performance boost for gamers.
 

myndlessdayz

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Location
City of Sin
Just ran this this morning on my NVME PCIe drive.

Intel750AS SSD.png Intel750ATTO.png

As most say, these aren't meant for normal home PC usages. Those benchmark scores look pretty but when compared to using it vs my Samsung 830 where I installed my games, load times were really negligent. I would say a second to fractions of differences.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Humm interesting results. I dont usually mess with AS SSD

asssd.jpg
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
SSD are good for loading programs fast. The way it works is the CPU loads files to memory then the CPU accesses files from memory, if the game needs more files it will read way a head from drive not to interrupt the game or application. We would not need ram if the SSD was as fast as memory, maybe some day we will not need RAM just a SSD.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
A system will always need RAM cus you have to deal with temporary data. My buddy just wrote an AI program that generates so much new info on launch that it takes 26Gb of RAM to operate. I suppose if a disk were as fast as memory and did not suffer from write wear that would be true, but I think permanent storage will allways suffer from some form of write wear.
 

MNMadman

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
The Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD, benched just now. And yes, that's Prime96 v28.7 Blend in the background while the benchmarks were run. Most of the numbers were unaffected, but the drive doesn't normally have those dips below 2,500Mbps Read in ATTO.
Screenshot.png
 
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MNMadman

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
For comparison, the Crucial MX100 512GB SATA SSD (meant to do it last night, but got distracted):
Screenshot2.jpg
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Just ran this this morning on my NVME PCIe drive.

As most say, these aren't meant for normal home PC usages. Those benchmark scores look pretty but when compared to using it vs my Samsung 830 where I installed my games, load times were really negligent. I would say a second to fractions of differences.

It's about what I already said. 4K read makes the biggest difference here and it's at ~33MB/s. Samsung 830/50 or most other SSD like mentioned Crucial MX100/200 have ~30-35MB/s max. In games you can't see the difference. Run PCMark8 and you will see how it handles average load on various applications. HyperX Predator PCIE which I was testing made ~300MB/s average ( it's specified at 1500MB/s+ ). Crucial SATA SSD can make ~250MB/s.

In games or any home applications write bandwidth is not important as all is cached anyway. All what counts is random read and sometimes sequential read.

@ ssjwizard
All revo are like 2+ SSD in RAID0. All get only boost in sequential bandwidth but are generally slow comparing to newer single SSD. Also you are running on MS AHCI driver. Switch it to Intel/AMD driver and enable caching to boost transfers.

@MNMadman
Nice results on that Samsung. Finally someone improved 4K. Not as high as we wish comparing to other transfers but it's still huge improvement comparing to all other brands.
 

MNMadman

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Yeah, and those numbers actually do affect normal performance. The system overall seems "snappier" with the 950 Pro, noticeable even coming from a SATA SSD. The most obvious sign to me is playing MechWarrior Online -- with the Crucial SSD, I loaded into a match in the middle of the pack. There are 24 players in each match and some loaded faster, some slower. With the 950 Pro, I haven't been beat into a match yet. Of course that just means I wait longer for everyone to get into the match, but it's still cool being first every time.