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Quick schooling on NVM drives

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torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
I just got an ASUS Z170-WS motherboard. It has 2 M.2 slots available. I'd like to switch over to either

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G5528289 (Samsung MZVLW256HEHP PM961 256GB M.2 - $149)

Or, if there is a better bang for the buck option, I may go for that, though about $250 is probably going to be my top-out price.

If my reading is correct, to install Win 7 on it, I'll need a optical drive with the USB-3 drivers on it, a USB with the Win 7 ISO, and another USB with the NVM drivers for Win 7 on it.

Also, in a system with with up to 4 video cards (probably some on riser cables for heat management) in an open air benching station, is heat from the M.2 SSD going to be an issue.

Also, Is NVM the best option, or is PCI-Express better (or are they the same thing?)? (Edit: I see NVM = PCI-E 4x)

Thanks! Hope I'm asking intelligent questions.

Also, hoping to buy the drive today, so I can have it set up this week when I'm not working.
 
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caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
please give us a link to your board at the asus site.

heat will not be an issue, my 960 evo m.2, pcie is around 5 watts.

read ALL the specs, my first "NVME" go around sucked and I wound up with a dog..........


Is this for your folder?

Would this >>>>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132686 <<<< be the board we are talking about?



if that's the board and that's the drive you are ready to go.

On my win10 rig there was nothing fancy to the install and os migration, Samsung has great software that made it a nice, lazy, breeze.
when you go to the Samsung web site you will not find the 960's listed for the driver, I just picked out the 950 and it all worked fine.
the one thing I noticed was benching the drive with crystal disk, the scores dropped some with the Samsung driver installed but, the drive is so fast, who cares!!!!!



a link to the Microsoft page. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2990941

and from hp.
 

Attachments

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OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
Caddi, thank you! Yes, that is the ASUS board I have. And thank you for the Windows 7 install instructions. I'll be printing that out and making sure to follow it.

This is for my home computer. Primary use folding, secondary use general PC for web browsing, and some moderate business applications. I will also use it to remote into my work environment to manage things there. Tertiary use, some moderate gaming.

It looks like my problem is going to be finding a place that has the 960 Evo in stock with fast enough shipping to get it to me before my end of the year break is over.

ED, thanks for that link. Yes, I'm aware that I'm not going to be finding much difference between the PCI-E versions and the SATA-3 versions, but I figured a little bit of future proofing would be nice, and the price difference between the the two at the size I'm looking at is not killer.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I see over in motherboards it is a folder.
In that case I would opt for an m.2 sata drive.
Why? lower cost, they perform better than a 2.5 form factor ssd, they cost less than nvme and will leave all the pcie lanes for the cards.


" I'm aware that I'm not going to be finding much difference between the PCI-E versions and the SATA-3 versions"

Oh, yes you will with the Sammy 960.
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
I see over in motherboards it is a folder.

Yes, primarily a folder.

In that case I would opt for an m.2 sata drive.
Why? lower cost, they perform better than a 2.5 form factor ssd, they cost less than nvme and will leave all the pcie lanes for the cards.

The board has a PLX chip, and even running 4 cards on it, that leaves 8 lanes free, 4 for each m.2 connector. And according to the manual, it deactivates the U.2 connector, not one of the PCI-E 16x slots. Also, I have 6 drives currently connected to the board I'm going to replace. 1 OS SSD, 4 data drives and 1 optical drive. Freeing up the extra SSD port would help out a lot for my storage issues. I know I should consolidate down to fewer / larger drives, but I'm not there yet.


" I'm aware that I'm not going to be finding much difference between the PCI-E versions and the SATA-3 versions"

Oh, yes you will with the Sammy 960.

I meant end user perception, while using the computer, not benchmarks. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to be schooled differently.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
"I meant end user perception, while using the computer, not benchmarks. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to be schooled differently. "

if you use other machines day in and day out, they will seem like the slowest dogs, I see no windows splash screen, asrock splash screen BOOM, fully booted.
the Dassault systems program I use needs to be on the OS drive, it used to just kind of roll open, now it kind of pops all at once and right now.
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
"I meant end user perception, while using the computer, not benchmarks. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to be schooled differently. "

if you use other machines day in and day out, they will seem like the slowest dogs, I see no windows splash screen, asrock splash screen BOOM, fully booted.
the Dassault systems program I use needs to be on the OS drive, it used to just kind of roll open, now it kind of pops all at once and right now.

The other main systems I use have 850 or 840 EVO drives in SATA-2. Sounds like I'll have some improvement then.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I would think so, it just makes it nicer to use.
I have 2 rigs with the 4790K/asrock extreme 9 and I can tell witch one I booted just by the way they behave, this one is just a lot snappier.
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
the samsung pm961 is a tlc ssd and from what I have gathered its not a truly high performance drive by any means when compared with other nvme drives. I would look to the mydigitalssd bpx nvme for value. you can get the 480gb for $199 on amazon. I actually picked up the plextor over thanksgiving weekend for $189 but they have since gone crazy on price. I would look into the 960 evo at 256gb over the pm961 as it seems to perform better and has some warranty as well
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I have Patriot Hellfire for couple of days and it runs great. Max temp without additional airflow near drive is ~68*C. Looks like it's slightly slower than Samsung 960 and I'm not saying it's best around NVMe drive but quite interesting option about which no one is mentioning.

Hellfire_pic3.jpg

Hellfire_pic5.jpg
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
All I can tell about is the 960 evo as this is my first, proper nvme drive that I managed to install correctly.
a few other points about m.2 sata and m.2 pcie.
with m.2 sata I give up 2 sata ports, but not with the m.2 pcie.
with both m.2's i can get rid of one sata data cable and one sata power cable per drive and this helps with my lousy cable management.
the screws for m.2 are very tiny, so go to the hardware store and grab a bright flashlight to find the thing when you drop it and some kind of magnet on a stick to pick it out of the crevice it rolls into.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
with m.2 sata I give up 2 sata ports, but not with the m.2 pcie.
with both m.2's i can get rid of one sata data cable and one sata power cable per drive and this helps with my lousy cable management.
the screws for m.2 are very tiny, so go to the hardware store and grab a bright flashlight to find the thing when you drop it and some kind of magnet on a stick to pick it out of the crevice it rolls into.

On my board I can't use 2x M.2 pcie with "cheaper" CPU ( like 6800K or 5820K ). I wish I had an option to disable one of the pcie slots to add lanes to M.2.
On some boards PCIE M.2 drives are using PCIE lanes from slots so when you use them then last PCIE slot will be locked. When you use SATA M.2 then it's not locking slots and depends on motherboard design it may or may not disable 2 SATA ports.
At the end a lot depends on motherboard design so before you buy NVMe or SATA M.2 then better check if it will work without issues on your motherboard.
M.2 screws are pain. There is no store in my area which is selling so small screws and most SSD manufacturers are not adding them. Laptop manufacturers are also not adding them. Motherboard manufacurers are usually adding one screw. On ASRock OCF I had 3x M.2 slots but 2 screws. Crucial added 2 screws to their M.2 SSD but Patriot didn't add even one.
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
Well, the MyDigitalSSD 480GB looks pretty good. The numbers on it are only slightly slower than the Samsung 960 EVO, and I can't find the EVO in stock at any place I trust right now.

However, this is the compatibility list for the Z170-WS for M.2 PCI-E SSDs:
nvm.jpg

I was bitten by the compatibility trying to use a Samsung 830 SSD on a UD5, so I'm a bit concerned. I didn't see Patriot on there at all.

Btw, since I work in a machine shop, I'll get the specs for the screw and stand off for the M.2 in case anybody needs it.

Edit: Well, PCpartpicker's site says it is compatible.
 
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caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
the m.2 list for mine is short also, they all have worked.

when I preorded my 950 evo it was out of stock for a long while, ordered on the 8th, due on the 13th, they shipped me the 960 evo on the 20th, upgrade!!!!!!!!!
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
I have several of the micron m600 m.2 256gb drives- a Sandisk x400 512gb m.2- a pair of the Samsung 950 pro 256gb m.2 drives and the Plextor m8p 512gb and have not had any issues with them in any of the boards I have attempted.
trying to load windows7 on a raid0 array is a different story- windows8 or windows 10 was pretty straight forward. The raid array seems to eat up about as much performance as it offers- in different types of transfers. They are all pretty impressive to say the least.
You should know that once you are on nvme- it seems to me that you want to load windows with uefi and then disable csm to get good boot times. It seems there is a delay before windows starts to load when loading as non uefi.
My skull canyon nuc with the pair of 950 pro drives will be booted into windows just about as fast as the monitor shows color. All other options with m.2 seem to be almost the same for boot times into windows
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
1 of my 950 pro drives I ordered as a refurb from here https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-950-...id=1482883551&sr=1-9&keywords=samsung+950+pro
the price was good and when I recieved the drive it showed to have no writes on it- not sure if smart info was removed, but the drive appeared as brand new and have not had any issues with it at all. If you dont need more than 256gb- I would highly recommend it. It is MLC nand and seems to work well almost everywhere. the high qd writes seems to be low- but all the pcmark benchmards seem to think it is as fast as anything, and not much lower scoring than a 960pro
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
M.2 screws are pain. There is no store in my area which is selling so small screws and most SSD manufacturers are not adding them. Laptop manufacturers are also not adding them. Motherboard manufacurers are usually adding one screw. On ASRock OCF I had 3x M.2 slots but 2 screws. Crucial added 2 screws to their M.2 SSD but Patriot didn't add even one.

Verified the threads are M2x0.4. I just ordered a box of 100. I haven't found a source for the standoffs though. Smallest thread I can find on standoffs is M2.5