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NVMe VS SATA upgrade on an older machine

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Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Mar 12, 2002
Ok so I still have my trusty old. green gorilla FX8320 machine. Its currently equipped with a 1Tb SATA SSD.
I am considering upgrading to a PCIe adapter NVMe SSD. Price on PCIe3.0 x4 drives is pretty good. Im thinking about either a 1 or 2 Tb.
I know it has much higher IOPS and about triple the bandwidth, but will I really be able to appreciate the improved speed on a machine this old?
Storage is ways your slowest part. That said the difference between a HDD to a sata SSD is markedly more than going from ssd to nvme/pcie m.2. There will be some improvements, but don't expect miracles on the butt dyno. :)
Since we are on the topic. What are your thoughts on NVMe RAID? I was considering it for my next build. I know that if I do though I will get a controller I hate messing with motherboard raid.
Useless to me. I don't work with large files frequently and it doesn't really benefit on the buttdyno otherwise. Still cool as hell to see big numbers, but if you aren't working with large files to make it worthwhile, I wouldn't.
NVMe RAID is good if you want to use RAID1 or RAID10 and have a good RAID controller. RAID0 is pointless as not all operations are scaling and depends on the controller, low queue random operations can be even slower than on a single drive. Barely anyone needs really high sequential bandwidth (like 10GB/s+).
Generally, Intel solutions for desktop motherboards seem much better. I find AMD RAID on desktop motherboards unreliable. I was testing it in various ways on a couple of chipsets and there were always some problems. The software and drivers are also problematic. The last time RAID error on the X570 motherboard caused two Samsung 980 Pro SSD to lock with a corrupted device error and I had to send them to RMA as I couldn't do anything like erase cells, or clean it with diskpart or other tools. Drives were working in a small server at work (2 VM with one database application, nothing really serious as there was a backup). It was like half a year no problems and one day *poof* and it's dead. SSD were in RAID1 and data was lost on both of them.

If you want 2+ additional NVMe SSD as additional storage (not OS) then somehow I can even recommend Windows dynamic volumes. They work like RAID and you can move them to another PC, and should work once you bring them online. I wasn't testing it in more cases so I can't guarantee it will work every time.
On some chipsets, dynamic volumes work faster in random operations than RAID created with a software RAID controller.

Btw. I guess this thread should go to the storage section.
While I can't speak for your RAID questions, I will say the jump from SATA to NVMe is substantial. In my review of the ADATA XPG ATOM 30 kit, which includes both a SATA drive and NVMe, there are direct comparisons between the two. The NVMe (Gen3) drive is 10 times faster not only in large file transfers (which is where you will notice the difference the most) but in every aspect (i.e. Seq read/write, RND4k Q32T16 R/W, etc.).

While the SSD will not improve the frames per second that all gamers crave, it will make the overall system faster. Boot times, game load times, and of course file transfer speed. In my opinion, it is a worthy upgrade for an aging system and will transfer over to your new build when you decide to build your next one.
If the motherboard supports both then of course NVMe is a better idea, especially in current prices.
Yeah I would need to get an NVMe to PCIe 3.0 card. My trusty old Sabertooth 990FX pre dates the M.2 format.
If you're attempting to open every possible bottleneck, NVME its the way to go. I have (2) 1TB Crucial on a Startech bifurcation card, with heat sinks. If I transfer 5-10GB between the two, it so fast that by the time the progress meter appears, it's done! The first time I thought there was a problem, like nothing happened, or it got cut short. But, not the case. But the Startech board uses a very expensive 4Ghz switch, so it costs like $180.00. But I ran short on PCIe slots, so it was a cheap fix. OTOH, booting is about the same speed on a nearly identical machine with a Samsung 850 Pro 250GB SATA 2.5" drive. So, not everything goes faster. I'm also not convinced of the value of RAID interleaving with NVME drives. Theoretically it should be faster, but with NVME speeds it doesn't always work out that way.
Yeah I pretty much put this idae behind me. However I will probably be getting a simple NVME to PCIe card just because I need to pull some drives and prep some machines to be sold. I have about twice as many PCs as I need for my lab/studio right now, and it's time to thin the heard.
Yeah I pretty much put this idae behind me. However I will probably be getting a simple NVME to PCIe card just because I need to pull some drives and prep some machines to be sold. I have about twice as many PCs as I need for my lab/studio right now, and it's time to thin the heard.
Don't forget your old computer's PCIe bus is probably too slow for any NVME drive to run at full speed. If you do use an NVME to PCIe card make sure your computer will boot with it.

I have an old computer with a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard and an AMD FX8350 CPU. I replaced its 3.5-inch 1TB SATA HDD with a 2.5-inch 1TB SATA SSD. Now it not only boots a lot faster but it is faster at the desktop.

BTW, I have a much newer computer which I boot from an M.2 2TB NVME SSD. It only has one M.2 connector so I used a NVME to PCIe card to add a 2nd M.2 2TB NVME SSD for data.
Yeah I dont need it to be bootable. I just need a place to connect the drives so I can wipe them and put the windows installer partitions in.
i've been lurking in this thread for a wee bit, hoping to learn something, because i actually don't know much about the adapter cards. One thing that's been on my mind, though, is that my Asus pcie x16 to 4x m.2 adapter card says that i need to enable the setting in BIOS for whatever slot it's in. (i'm assuming the option doesn't even come up if the card is not installed, because i haven't even seen that option yet because i've never installed the card in favor of an SLI setup) i'm curious if all adapter cards are like this, requiring enablement in the BIOS (or if it's just an ASUS thing), and if so, how does that work on pre m.2 motherboards that don't even offer that BIOS option? does that option even matter in older motherboards?
It's going to be for all boards, but Asus boards have two options (VROC and normal) while non-Asus you just set the slot to Hyper M2 x16, and AMD boards have a setting too. You should be able to confirm that information in your manual.

I don't know if that has changed for new boards/systems, however. I don't use those cards as I don't need the transfer speeds/complication so I'm not sure.
I used some of the carrier cards Pcie to nvme and was able to get them to boot with a usb stick with "Clover" installed onto it. Strangely, my old samsung 850 pro NVME drive works with all the computers I ever tried to put it in without the use of Clover

so, if i understand this right. using the cards is rare enough that the boards won't actually include documentation for using the m2 adapter cards, and each motherboard may have a different way to use the card based on age (i assume). some boards is a simple BIOS setting, but some boards need clover, and some boards it just works.

i think i've heard that you can use the x16 cards in smaller electronic slots (as long as the x16 card will physically fit) but with reduced bandwidth. for example, if you use a Asus Hyper m2 x16 card in a x8 (electronic) slot, you could still use all the m.2 slots in the card without a problem, but it's unadvisable to RAID them unless it's an actual full x16 slot
some of the carrier cards look to be x16. I believe that they are almost always just x4 electrically. That is enough bandwidth for a storage device
Absolutely, Dejo. For one PCIe 4.0 x4 on an AIC, that's all you need. If the AIC has four 4.0 x4 sockets then it needs the full slot/bandwidth or you'll lose speed/some may not work (not sure if the card allocates full bandwidth only or limits to spread across all sockets on the AIC).