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Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Double Punctuation posted:

Guys, it's the Flash MEMORY Summit, not the Flash Fire Summit!

now you see the value of liquid backups!


Hungry Computer posted:

Does anyone have any good sources for how low space on SSD affects the lifespan?

There's a PC at work that has a 128GB 840 EVO and only ~8GB free after the software and user profiles. Recently they added security camera software that keeps a 8GB cache, filling it to literally 0 bytes free. Every day the cache gets deleted and the last 8GB is filled again.

That's really bad for the SSD, right?

Yes. The drive will attempt to move stuff around so that it's not writing to literally the same 8gb of flash cells every time, but that means it has to shift other data around first to do it. This can quickly escalate to 3 or 5 extra writes for every normal write -- this is called write amplification.

If this is just a "generic business" PC, there is no point to having SSDs in office machines. The size limits and added expense aren't worth the minimal improvements to standard office apps, and normal users can't be expected to manage a 2 drive system. If I wanted to give my users a treat with a somewhat snappier system, the seagate SSHDs would be an ok compromise.

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Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


eames posted:

All I want are slow 8TB SSDs at roughly twice the price of a 8 TB HDD. Maybe in 10 years...

Companies were announcing Quad level chips at the event before it lit on fire. Hella storage capacity with that, read speed is still pretty ok, but you can only erase it 100 times.

Evidently it's gonna be made in specialist hardware at first for people like facebook and google, but I could see a future multi-TB consumer SSD with 3 levels of flash, just like the Evo's 2 now. Put all the stuff that rarely changes into the QLC zone, it should work fine as a replacement for the media storage drives people have now.

priznat posted:

I shoulda read more when it said there was a working group with most of the big players already on board. I was thinking if it was an Intel proprietary form factor guys like samsung would be not too keen..

This is a good looking setup overall!

Sounds like a measured approach to a new form factor. Normally these standards inch along at a slow pace, hopefully this one was shared far enough in advance that it's squared away and there's a level playing field. Hate for this to start on the wrong foot.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Real world boot and game load times are the area where faster SSDs have the least impact, and spending money has the least consistent return. If your use case is occasionally moving files around and loading games, you're probably fine with a midrange ssd.

(Note that they use 8.1 for OS boot tests. 10 might have more benefit for fast ssds since, unless you turn it off, a win10 "boot" is actually more of a resume from hibernation.)


craig588 posted:

Yeah, booting is the one thing I don't need to measure. From pushing the power button my computer is up in less than 20 seconds while I still have the 840 in another computer and it takes basically twice as long.

Are they identical computers other than the SSD, with the same OS and software installed, and the same amount of life in-use?

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


CLAM DOWN posted:

That lifespan concerned me a bit when I first saw it but I don't think I need to be worried.

Intel are super duper extra conservative about lifespan with respect to total writes. That 40% life remaining is 40% of an amount that's well under what the drive could statistically likely do, but is intentionally given a very low bar to make any sort of wear-related errors very unlikely.

So you should feel pretty comfortable using it all the way up to 0% life remaining. At which point an Intel SSD will lock itself into read-only mode to keep you safe from data loss, then brick itself after the next power cycle.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


As a note, a SSD does not make a good backup drive if you're doing the usual backup style, plugging in an external drive every couple of weeks to sync data, and leaving it unplugged the rest of the time.

To continue the bucket analogy: the water in the buckets evaporates over time. The electrons stuffed into the charge cell don't want to be there, and will naturally migrate out. At some point the controller can't tell how much water the bucket was supposed to have and you get read errors. Particularly with TLC cells this can be a bad source of read errors -- the 840 Evo problems were all rooted in charge migration.

When powered and in use, the SSD fixes this as part of it's normal self-maintenance program. Data gets shuffled around to balance wear, cells get refreshed if old data is getting hard to read. If it's unpowered it can't do that.


So for Red_Fred's purpose of a drive to dump photos to this isn't particularly relevant, as long as you're then grabbing that data to a different system before you leave the drive sitting on a shelf for a month. And for traditional backups a spinner is still the best option.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Red_Fred posted:

This will be dumping photos to during the trip and then clearing it once I'm back and have backed up everything to the cloud. So SSD should be fine?

Yeah you're fine. It was more a note on the potential drawbacks of SSDs for general-purpose backup.


But I'm with nielsm in that a SSD seems like overkill for the purpose. A laptop drive can stand plenty of travel abuse as long as it's not being shaken around while in use, so unless you are going to some extreme places you shouldn't need to worry about that. And the SSD's speed advantage is not gonna make a difference when moving photos from the camera to the drive, the camera's gonna be the limiting factor. It seems like extra money being put to little advantage.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Potato Salad posted:

If you're using m.2 nvme hard enough that thermal throttling is an issue, you need to be using the HHHL cards.

The "temps are over 40 while idling and 60C while gaming" means this guy's issue is all about overall system heat, not the SSD itself. Games just don't have an intense continual workload by SSD standards. Either it's got level loads and there's plenty of idle time between the bursts or heavy reads, or open-world type games where data is being streamed into memory all the time but at a fairly sedate pace (relative to its capability) mostly.


For Ihmemies my main question is what type of CPU heatsink he's using. If it's a stock intel or another type that blows downward onto the mobo, that's where I'd put most of the blame because the M2 slot location is getting hot air blasted directly onto it. Just moving it to the other slot location will probably solve your problem.

In the hypothetical case where there wasn't another M2 slot, or you had 2 drives and wanted to use both: I'd also experiment with leaving that "heatshield" (aka advertising placard) that sits on that M2 slot off. I'm often skeptical on a lot of that type of performance-bling -- most of them have think squishy heat pads cause they have to fit any possible SSD. I think depending on the case layout etc, it's not hard to do better just leaving the SSD exposed to airflow.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Mephistopheles posted:

I'm hoping to pick up a 500 GB SSD to replace my 250gb crucial mx300 which limits me to the number of games I have installed. Looking at work the Samsung evo 850 or the WD Blue. What I'm not clear on is for the blue, what is the difference between 2D nand and 3d nand and which one should I get?

This will be my os drive and gaming drive. Appreciate the help.

The 3d is better is every way vs the 2d.

An Evo is marginally better than the WD Blue in some performance, their SLC cache is still the best even though everyone else is also doing that trick. But the main difference is write performance, which may not be a difference to you for an OS and games drive. So I'd get whichever is cheaper between the two.

Skandranon posted:

3d NAND just means it's a lot cheaper for Samsung to produce, doesn't really change much for you. Also, you don't have to upgrade your boot drive to get faster games, you could have multiple drives and simply install your games on a separate drive. If you aren't strapped for cash, get the Samsung one, WD doesn't make it's own SSD drives, they just repackage someone elses.

no and no.

the 3d nand on those has better performance and endurance -- the last gen of 2d the traps were on the edge of being too small for TLC.

and WD isn't repacking someone else's drives. They bought Sandisk, who were making quality drives, and in most markets re-branded to WD. So it's "their" drives.

Klyith fucked around with this message at 22:54 on Nov 22, 2017

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


CatelynIsAZombie posted:

Since NVMe is the new protocol moving forward I wonder how soon I'd start to see similar bottlenecks over the live of the SATA ssd

Not really, the "bottleneck" of SATA isn't going to get any smaller. Not until we have another generation or two of SSDs come out that are so fast the sata bus actually becomes a real hinderance instead of the small penalty it is now.


CatelynIsAZombie posted:

My current use case is upgrading from a hdd to ssd for better performance in my operating system,

Here's an approximate visual description of your situation:
HDD |------------------------------------------------------------> Sata SSD
HDD |---------------------------------------------------------------> NVMe SSD

Just get a regular sata SSD, if you're putting this into an old pc it's not a good use of money to pay the nvme premium. Save the $100 or whatever for the next time you need a whole new computer.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Koramei posted:

I need to buy a separate mount for it right, it won't fit on normal hard drive ones?

nielsm posted:

If it's a desktop computer just hang it from the cables. SSD's weigh next to nothing and can safely sit loose in the case. Only bother screwing it in if you don't like things potentially rattling about.

Adhesive velcro is the perfect mounting system for SSDs.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


keevo posted:

I just bought this cable from Fry's today. Only other SATA cables I have appear to be SATA1 cables. Can I use those to test and see if it's a cable issue?

yes

Also if you have the drive installed in a location where the cable is doing tight turns, or the case might be pinching or putting force on the connector, try just letting it sit in the bottom of the case to test it. Or somewhere with the cable going loosely to the drive.

Sata cables are occasionally finicky about physical installation, for example having one folded tightly in half is a good way to give a drive all kinds of screwy problems. Behind-the-mobo SSD caddies are sometimes really bad at this. It's not helped by the cables being flat, so they feel like they should be good to go through 90 degree corners.

Klyith fucked around with this message at 12:22 on Dec 2, 2017

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


GRINDCORE MEGGIDO posted:

I think that's the first time I've ever had a hosed up sata cable.

Oh man, I guess you never used a sata cable that came free in the mobo box during the first couple years of sata? They were terribad.

Nothing like plugging in the cable, having the super-thin plastic on the plug immediately break for no apparent reason so that it wouldn't keep a good connection on the contacts, throwing it away and pulling out the other cable, and having that one break too.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


keevo posted:

I haven't really changed anything but it suddenly works fine. Tried a different cable and managed to get it to work fine, but it also started working again when I plugged the original SATA3 cable back into it. The cable isn't pinching anywhere or putting force on the connector either. No idea why this is working now but everything seems to be fine now. Thanks guys.
Sata cables: proudly upholding the nintendo cartridge tradition in 2017


GRINDCORE MEGGIDO posted:

the Asrock user manual ... was written by a lunatic.

as if asrock would employ anyone that wasn't from the occupational therapy outpatient program of the Taiwanese Asylum for the Dangerously Psychotic

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Kerning Chameleon posted:

EDIT: Of course, I apparently need to be mindful of this:

So, if I did that willy-nilly, it'd wipe the HD despite me not wanting to boot from it anymore?

It doesn't wipe the HD just from enabling RAID mode, not unless you actually make a raid array. It does tend to make older versions of windows stop booting.

Assuming you want to do a Vista->10 upgrade so that your mom has the most continuity with her old stuff, I'd do it this way:
1. mirror the Vista OS onto the SSD
2. upgrade to Win 10, have a USB stick with Win 10 installer available
3. change IDE->RAID
4. if no boot, try repair with USB stick

Lastly, I'd debate whether TRIM is totally necessary on a Mom-PC. "Absolutely vital" is an overstatement, SSDs are still functional without TRIM. The downsides of not having TRIM (slower writes, write amplification) are not as apparent under the typical Mom workload. Not having TRIM won't make the drive die, and the badness of missing TRIM is exactly proportional to how often files are being deleted. If getting the thing to enable TRIM turns into a nightmare of incompatible crap, I'd just shrug and move on if it was my mom's pc.



Also totally just stick it wherever with zipties or velcro.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


GRINDCORE MEGGIDO posted:

Ah sorry, in M2. If that drive even was 128GB w 4xPCIE M2 I might want one.

the high-capacity optane drives need heatsinks to drive fast enough to saturate a 4x. they couldn't go in a M.2 without melting, this new 800p version is using new "low power states"


58gb is interesting, you can fit an OS on that. probably gonna be like $3 per gb though.


Naffer posted:

I have a 240GB PNY 8LR8 Pro that I bought about 4 years go and used relatively lightly. At the time, it had rather positive reviews. About a month or two ago I noticed something seemed off, and after benchmarking it realized that while reads were fine, writes to the SSD had slowed to a trickle. Random and sequential writes of ~ 3MB/s. I backed it up, swapped it and formatted and trimmed it but it's still hosed even empty. Should I chuck it in the bin or does anyone have any idea how to rescue or repurpose it?
1) grab crystal disk and check it's stats for reallocated sectors, wear leveling, etc to get a better answer on whether the thing is just proper hosed.
2) if step 1 is ok, try swapping to different PC if possible?

Klyith fucked around with this message at 14:44 on Jan 11, 2018

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Naffer posted:

Just tried it using the old free version. Still seems hosed. The benchmark below is after a secure erase on an empty disk.

It looks like a ton of people who reviewed this drive on amazon had similar failure issues.

yuck, that seems like a firmware fuckup. are you sure that pny has deleted all firmware for the drive? it kinda looks like this might be an all-in-one utility for all their ssds?


anyways I'm surprised PNY aren't on the shady scammers list in the OP along with kingston, since they were pulling a lot of the same crap with mixed-bag NAND and selling different things with the same label.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Ersatz posted:

I'd primarily be using it for gaming.

you will not notice the difference, it's a waste of money.

(even a regular nvme drive like a 960pro is extremely marginal. at the current time, reading data from a fast SSD is not the bottleneck for video games, even in level loads. the difference between top-of-the-line nvme optane and a sata evo is inside the error bars for many games.)


e: people have put games on ramdrives and found no improvement versus a ssd

Klyith fucked around with this message at 09:54 on Feb 6, 2018

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


LifeLynx posted:

We're all leaking electrons (some of us more than others) but I always thought SSDs held data better than one of the old fashioned spinny disc ones.

The magnetic part of a spinny hard drive is actually fantastically reliable. Assuming the rest of the drive works perfectly it should have effectively zero errors over any reasonable length of time.

The weak part is the whole moving parts deal, but a home backup drive where you're turning it on once every couple days to dump photos and then unplugging it is the least stressful job for a HD. I got an old 200 gb HD that's my secondary backup which I only pull out once a year to sync. Easily over a decade old.


Of course, the important part about data protection is to have backups. If you get your GF to move everything from flash cards to a drive you've gained nothing because the drive could fail. A HD is more reliable than cheap flash cards but it's still not perfect. You need two copies.

Geemer posted:

Am I reading this chart correctly? Is retention time really significantly improved by writing at 55C and then storing at 25C (or probably colder) over writing at ambient temperatures?

quantum mechanics yo. flash storage works by tunneling electrons into trap, and more heat means there's more energy in the system which makes tunneling easier.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


necrobobsledder posted:

Against conventional wisdom, I got an M.2 NVMe SSD, a Toshiba 1TB XG3 drive, and I put it into a Z97 ASUS board (Z97I-PLUS). I'm not sure what's going on ...
Anyone have any ideas on what I might have overlooked?

BIOS updated to whatever the latest asus offers?

Between the first-generation NMVe motherboard (with only 2 PCIe lanes and no sata delivered to the M.2 slot) and the ebay OEM-only SSD I am not shocked by a compatibility nightmare. I might try using a linux boot stick or cd, which will come with up-to-date nvme drivers, and seeing if you can get the drive writable in any way shape or form.

It's called the bleeding edge for a reason, and unfortunately you are still on it despite NVMe being generally reliable for more recent systems.



(Also apparently there exist sata express variants of the XG3, so unless you 100% verified what the gently caress you were getting ahead of time it may not even work.)

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


necrobobsledder posted:

I should have clarified but Windows works just fine with the drive after it boots up from another drive, so it seems to physically work. I can install Windows to the drive, but the BIOS is not registering the boot sector of the drive somehow post-install and rejecting booting from it.

Oh. Um, you say UEFI bios. Are you 100% sure your bios is booting in UEFI mode and not legacy mode? NVMe can only boot from UEFI, and pretty much everything still defaults to oldschool BIOS/MBR unless you force it into UEFI mode. (when I installed win10 on my machine my bios was set to "both" and win10 stuck with the old despite being installed from a UEFI mode USB stick.)


somewhere deep in your bios settings, asus calls it "Boot device control" and you want that set to "UEFI only"

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


TITTIEKISSER69 posted:

I know Intel made 180GB SSDs, do they still? Are there any SSDs in between the 120/128GB and the 240/250/256GB capacities?

180 gb intel drives are still available on newegg, but they're all old stock from 2016.

128 isn't even being made in the good models anymore. As flash gets bigger the minimum size you can do anything with goes up -- both from a perspective of performance & endurance, and from the economics where you still have to pay for a controller, a PCB, and assembly/QC.

256-ish is the new baseline, a MX500 with 250 is $80.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Shaocaholica posted:

So will all NVME SSDs operate in AHCI mode if necessary? How much faster is AHCI mode on PCIe x4 vs 6G-SATA?

NMVe is its own thing, and a NVMe drive can only operate in NMVe mode. Setting AHCI or RAID mode on the bios should have no effect on it, that only effects the SATA drives. don't confuse NMVe with M.2

SATA: a bus standard (the wires, connector, and which protocols the devices on it will use)
AHCI: an interface protocol (the commands & data that both sides use to talk)
M.2: a physical standard (a connector & dimensions of the device) with 2 bus standards (SATA and PCIe+NVMe)
NMVe: an interface protocol used over the PCIe bus standard

Simple!


a NMVe drive can be a lot faster than AHCI at some tasks, but those tend to be outside the zone of most home user or even prosumer use. Big databases love it, regular "read a gigabyte of data" jobs don't really see much benefit. NVMe drives that use all 4 PCIe lanes won't hit the bandwidth cap that SATA has with fast SSDs, but even that isn't exactly a common thing for most people.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Shaocaholica posted:

Thanks. I got confused a bit reading some other articles online about how some(?) Samsung NVME SSDs will also fall back to AHCI if the chipset or whatever doesn't support NVME.
afaik nope, and definitely not any of the standard sold-to-consumers drives. links?

quote:

I'm looking into some hackery with a Z87 that usually doesn't support NVME booting and would require a M.2 PCIe card for said fuckery.
unless you have a real use case for this you are probably entering a world of pain. save your money.



Chimp_On_Stilts posted:

1.) How do you recommend I diagnose the issue?
2.) (Related) How do you recommend I determine if the HDD is ok, or if it's malfunctioning?
1. how full is the SSD? if it's 90% full you should remove some stuff.

2. get crystaldiskinfo, look at your ssd, post a screenshot.

3. do you also have a regular HDD in the system? add a second library location on the spinny disk and install some indie game there, see if it still takes a minute to load. sometimes steam can get hosed up where it's always trying to install directx or whatever every time you launch a game.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


mobby_6kl posted:

poo poo forgot to post the most important part which is that the model in question is A400 240GB

Kingston is on the poo poo list because they have a tendency to replace decent NAND/controllers with mediocre NAND/controllers on their midrange parts. With the A400 that's not a problem because it's mediocre to begin with.

That said, it's a SSD and it'll be an upgrade from a HDD.

Though I don't see why you'd need a SSD for a HTPC. And if the SSD is going to be the storage that you're recording TV shows to, you might actually want something with better write endurance than the absolute bottom of the barrel.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


oohhboy posted:

Depending on the game it can load several time faster if not near instantaneous compared to 30+ second wait on a HDD.

I would love to see the example that gets that much improvement.


Level loads are way down the list of things that get optimized by devs. An SSD that you can put a bunch of games on is a nice luxury, but given the choice between a big SSD with 20% faster load times, or a small SSD and a video card with 20% better FPS, I know which one I'm taking.


Cygni posted:

there are also junction links if windows won’t let you move stuff, but ive never tried them on win10 (or even know if they work there)

Works the same on 10 as it always did (ie requires Pro, plus either cmd line or separate app).

I love junctions and do stuff like this to evict things that dump gigs of crap into appdata or the like, but I'd never recommend doing this for casual users because it's not exactly intuitive and there are still weird gotchas.

e:

Potato Salad posted:

Junctions within user library directories work fine, but setting one as a junction isn't recommended especially on the W10 upgrade cadence.
Mine have survived W10 upgrades just fine, but I'm targeting subdirectories of the user directories. Top-level ones might be different.

Klyith fucked around with this message at 17:15 on Apr 7, 2018

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Bob Morales posted:

Have the guys at Slickdeals decided if there's a warranty on these or not?

Even if it does have a warranty, it would only be one year which is kinda meh anyways. I would be looking more at using a credit card with good protections. Throw it in a machine and immediately give it a couple TB of writes to stress it -- if that's good then the warranty is likely arbitrary.

People on the internet say the 2TB model actually has worse performance than the 1TB, which makes me raise my eyebrows a bit as to what's going on with it. But I suppose if you're looking to go completely solid state, the price is real good.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Atomizer posted:

Indeed, although I'm having trouble rationalizing a huge, expensive SSD over an HDD of the same capacity at a much lower cost. I can understand if you need to have a rugged, vibration-insensitive system, or if you only have physical space for a single drive and need a high-capacity system drive, but if I was building a new system I'd go with a faster (maybe NVMe or just a plain faster/better drive like a Samsung) but less capacious SSD for the OS and then a larger HDD for bulk storage. If you just need 2 TB of storage for games/media then why not go with a same-capacity HDD for 1/3 the cost? Or if you're adding storage to a desktop then you have far better price/capacity options in 3.5" drives.

Video games are pretty much the perfect use for something like this. They're enormous these days. (I have a 500 gb SSD these days and have to pick and choose a lot about what games go on it.) And games generally see a benefit* moving from HD to SSD, but no real difference between a mediocre TLC SATA drive and a top-spec NVMe drive.

*in loading times

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Atomizer posted:

I just recently read an article comparing game loading times, and I wish I'd saved it. The gist of it was that most games didn't show a huge difference in load times between the SSDs and HDDs, save for one RPG or something that has very frequent level loads.

This was either talking about consoles, or intensely wrong. The difference on an up to date PC is not trivial.

The part where you could argue that a HD is still fine for games is that, for most titles, the most dramatic difference is during dedicated loads. (IE level load, or loading a save, times when the game is re-initializing lots of its memory.) When it's a non-interactive black screen with a loading bar, does it really make that much difference if you're waiting 10 seconds or 15? Some multiplayer games have a competitive advantage from loading in faster, but presumably if someone is going esports enough to care they can put that one game one their ssd.



Atomizer posted:

I hate to beat a dead horse here, but it's not like there's much else being discussed in this thread.

Eh, ultimately this is a still a no right answer thing. The difference isn't so dramatic, and SSDs are not yet so cheap, to be a slam dunk for everyone. I didn't buy that Micron drive because I'm a cheap bastard and I don't need to spend $250 just for some marginal game performance.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Klyith posted:

I didn't buy that Micron drive because I'm a cheap bastard

4 days later one of my HDDs kicks the bucket, motherfuck me


now I'm sitting here thinking, if I had a big fuckin SSD I could re-do my storage system and be set for years

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Anime Schoolgirl posted:

you should have bought a squirrel

for it's superior caching strategy and ability to quickly identify my nuts when I'm being kicked in them?

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


franchise1 posted:

I suspect they are going to stick with the existing drives but thought I could sell a 25 SSD to them.

sell them on SSDs increasing the usable lifetime of the computers


Anyways those WD Greens are fine for reliability. They're still using last-gen 15mn flash, not the 3d stuff -- which is why their write endurance is so puny. But for work desktops write endurance is not a problem. And the rest of their cheapness is explained by a low-end controller and no dram cache. (Though despite being a cheap controller, it's optimized for workloads that are mostly reads and not bad in that department.)

There's a reason that WD Greens are only available in 120gb and 240gb sizes: if they did 500 or 1tb size versions at the same price they'd risk cannibalizing the more expensive drives.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Streak posted:

Am I mistaken or is the 960 not significantly faster than the mx500?

yes, if you do tasks that require 10k iops or sustained reads and writes that would saturate the sata bus. if you don't, you're paying a premium to have that IO capacity sit idle.

OTOH with a sata drive you can probably get 1TB for roughly the same price as the 960. on newegg it's $20 difference between them. if your local prices are similar, a higher-capacity SSD is generally a better purchase than NVMe drive for anyone with a budget.




to answer your original question, the differences between the 960 evo and the 970 evo are extremely minimal.

Streak posted:

Are there any brands/models that are to be avoided? I do have concerns about drive failures and longevity down the road. I had one SSD die on me a few years back and it sucked.

Buy from this list if you put a premium on reliability: Samsung, WD / Sandisk, Crucial, Mushkin


2nd edit: it's not that everyone else is unreliable or to be avoided per se, but they're just rarely discounted enough to be worth it.

Klyith fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Jun 22, 2018

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Also, I just thought of this: 256GB is IMO the wrong size for the PC enthusiast.

I first got an SSD in like 2011, a 90GB drive when they were just getting down towards the $1/GB mark. Used that for more than 5 years continuously* and was very happy with it. Thing had just enough room for OS, applications, page file, etc. The basics. Everything else stayed on HDDs and it was all just peachy.

Then I bought a 256GB drive, and it lasted less than a year before I moved up a 500GB one. The 256 was big enough to put stuff on, and that paradoxically made it feel smaller than the 90. It wasn't enough space to not need to care about space if you get what I mean. 500 isn't so huge that I'll never delete anything again, but it'll be a clean-up once or twice a year.


*which is surprising since it was an OCZ. still works in fact, I have it in a usb3 caddy for ultra-fast sneakernet

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


I'd be more concerned about the Steam games than the OS, but it depends on what type of games you play and your style of playing. Anything even vaguely AAA is 50+ gigs these days, even some indie-ish games are getting pretty big. OTOH if you play only one game at a time and uninstall when done, you should be fine. I'm very ADD about games & always have a bunch of stuff installed at once so 250 felt really cramped.

The 500 will be better long-term value if your budget allows.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Atomizer posted:

Didn't SSD prices finally start to drop after the Chinese government went after the manufacturers for price fixing a few months ago?

that was specifically dram memory, not flash

quote:

That, and it wouldn't surprise me if plummeting prices have plenty to do with manufacturers trying to clear out their previous-gen flash, planar stuff or for example Micron and those cheap 2 TB drives (with their older 32-layer TLC.)

It's probably a combination of things. Phones are a huge consumer of flash and those are very spiky in demand (seasonal and whenever new iphones come out). IIRC there were some new chinese fabs coming online that were going to focus on flash -- cheaper stuff for their domestic phone market not SSDs, but filling demand from below works. Closeout on old flash like you said.

And just general the trend is getting cheaper $/gb all the time but sometimes it feels like it goes up because the mainline capacity is doubling.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Level Slide posted:

Does the Samsung 860 EVO have this DRAM stuff?
Yes. Most SSDs have cache. Every mainstream & performance SSD on the OP recommended list has it.

The ones that don't have cache are the cheapest value models, like the WD Green, and possibly some models of enterprise drives (the type where it's made by a major brand but there's no info about them on the internet because they're only supposed to be sold to OEMs). don't buy enterprise drives unless you know what you're getting

quote:

And there's been a few mentions of it in the OP, but how much difference is there between something with DRAM and without?

DRAM cache is the same thing as main memory on your PC: super-fast memory that improves response time but is not permanent. There is a big performance benefit to having it in pretty much all applications that care about performance. The things that don't need cache are single-thread sustained read and write of bulk data.

quote:

It sounds like something optional for SSDs, but highly recommended.

It's optional for SSDs because flash is kinda fast enough to get away without it. Old HDs also have ram cache but for them it's non-optional. The price difference is usually not large, especially on larger sizes of SSD. The dram memory they stick in these things ranges from 1/2 a GB to a couple GB, which is not a major cost for a $200 1TB drive.

For your OS drive, you really want cache. The OS drive often generates lots of little writes that can be packaged up in cache to a combined operation.

Where you could skip it: if you were going all-SSD, a second drive for games and media wouldn't care about being slower and cacheless.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Anime Schoolgirl posted:

the m.2 version is actually $200 on amazon regularly.

m.2 SATA drives are a dumb investment and a trap for the ill-informed enthusiast consumer

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Level Slide posted:

Is that the elongated port that's right next to the SATA connector? I don't remember ever having to use that on the Kingston, and it still booted just fine until it didn't.

what
the
christ

I think that you must have had power plugged in and it got dislodged somehow. the sata data cable does not have a power pin. not even for something like standby -- just 2 pairs of signal and 3 grounds. but a quick google shows you're not completely alone, so who knows!


if it really *was* working without power that means the SSD was doing something hilariously out of spec, like pulling juice from the transmit lines. and if so, that's why it stopped working -- abusing the controller like that would damage things over time. so now it is worn out enough that it can't take the abuse anymore, but not quite enough to be dead. so, uh, if some or all of your drives stop working in the future, don't be surprised. the drives will be fine, it'll be the poor controller that's given up the ghost.


Atomizer posted:

I turned down the SSHD because I was so turned off by the HDD experience

another good reason is that afaik those are all seagates and seagate has not been having a great time recently with reliability. (though that's with desktop drives, their laptop drives could be totally different)

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


500 GB Crucial MX500 currently $88 prime day



In non prime day news, M.2 heatsinks are bad for your drive, because NAND actually wants to be pretty warm when it's writing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzSIfxHppPY#t=375s

I always thought the mobo m.2 shields seemed like they'd be pretty lousy for removing heat, but now I get they really are just supposed to spread heat around and not radiate it particularly well. Thermal throttling is strictly a controller issue.

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Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week


Palladium posted:

Looks not bad at all, but once again for why not just pay $20 more for the tested and proven 4K IOPS champion MX500.

why not spend $50 more than that for a NVMe drive? way more IOPS!

saving money by buying something with known substandard quality is a bad idea. saving money by accepting a minor hit on performance (in this case, minor enough that most people won't notice) is a personal decision. don't fanboy.

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