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What NVME SSD should I get?

I am planning to rebuild my gaming PC. I was originally planning to go with a 512 GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD. However, I am considering getting an NVME SSD instead. Unfortunately, I am uncertain which NVME I should get. I know that I want to have around 500 GB storage capacity for the OS and software for the hardware components (sound card, printer, webcam, etc) and a few games. I don't plan to overclock. I plan to game at 1080P (possibly higher resolutions in the future), rip my audio CDs, and stream HD video (possibly 4K in the future), and upload and download documents and files to and from my Google Drive account. I have looked at benchmarks and reviews online but understand that general real world usage does not stress SSDs to the levels of benchmarking tests. The Samsung 960 Pro seems nice, but if it is more than what I need for the tasks at hand, I wish to avoid overkill and save some money. What reliable NVME SSDs that would out perform the 850 Pro would you guys recommend? Thanks in advance.
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  1. I personally have been looking at the Samsung 960 EVO, cheaper than the PRO, but still kick ass speeds. I've also heard decent things about the OCZ RD400A, but I haven't used any newer OCZ products so I don't know for certain. I own both the Kingston Predator 240gb M.2 and the Intel 600p 256gb M.2 and both are pretty darn fast, but the Samsung 960 EVO would smoke either of them. I know this isn't a definitive answer, because I've been asking the same questions.
  2. I just picked up an M.2 1TB 960 Evo, so far so good. Replaced my striped 256GB SSDs which I bought nearly 5 years ago for over $400, so it wasn't a bad trade to double/triple? (they claim 3200MB/s) performance and size for just under $500.

    @Mcconkeymike, I pushed the easy button on my Gigabyte Z270 Gaming 5 and got 5Ghz out of the 7700k. I think that Evo is good for maybe 4.8Ghz.

    I should add that I am going to try and lower the voltages it applied this evening. One step at a time. Saw some scary 1.45+ volts, though under a full load it drooped all the way back down to ~1.3, so probably going to have to go overboard on the LLC, which is probably where the high voltages are coming from.
  3. Eximo said:
    I just picked up an M.2 1TB 960 Evo, so far so good. Replaced my striped 256GB SSDs which I bought nearly 5 years ago for over $400, so it wasn't a bad trade to double/triple? (they claim 3200MB/s) performance and size for just under $500.

    @Mcconkeymike, I pushed the easy button on my Gigabyte Z270 Gaming 5 and got 5Ghz out of the 7700k. I think that Evo is good for maybe 4.8Ghz.

    I should add that I am going to try and lower the voltages it applied this evening. One step at a time. Saw some scary 1.45+ volts, though under a full load it drooped all the way back down to ~1.3, so probably going to have to go overboard on the LLC, which is probably where the high voltages are coming from.



    I'm thinking about trying to overclock more, but I'm unsure of the voltages and heard that the 7700k can be given too much voltage if using the "easy button", so that's why I did a very mild overclock for now. I'll also most likely end up with a 960 EVO at some point as well, but I need to recoup a little money that I shelled out on this "unnecessary" PC build.
  4. I have mine under two 280mm radiators. Out of the box it booted up at 1.38 volts, so they weren't playing it too safe. Glad I used my old monster Tuniq 120 Extreme when I breadboarded it though. (Lesson learned from my i7-920, I had to memorize the keyboard steps to get into the BIOS and turn the voltage down quickly, took three tries and I had to wait for everything to cool back down to ambient)

    I was only using the easy button to see if it would crash. Ran cinebench and a round of Unreal Tournament with it, so their default settings are at least stable.

    Going to post the build log tonight on partpicker. Topping off the loop took up my time last night.
  5. What motherboard do you have?
  6. SgtScream said:
    What motherboard do you have?


    I am looking at going with an Asus Maximus IX Hero Motherboard with an Intel i7 7700K. I have not ordered the parts yet.
  7. Gigabyte Z270X Gaming 5 is what I built around.

    I saw many issues with the ASUS Maximus VIII being reported here on Toms, pretty much all failure to get SLI working. Hopefully that isn't the case with the IX, but SLI isn't that critical unless you are running 4K.
  8. jpolk1138 said:
    SgtScream said:
    What motherboard do you have?


    I am looking at going with an Asus Maximus IX Hero Motherboard with an Intel i7 7700K. I have not ordered the parts yet.

    Try not to install your nvme card in the slot between the cpu and the gpu. That nvme card will be "pancaked" between two heat generating components, resulting in degraded performance due to throttling. If I were you i'd spend money on a higher capacity stat III ssd, due to how much space new games take up. If all your going to be doing is gaming, your not going to really see a difference in performance going from sata III to nvme. But hey if you want it, go for it. I'd just recommend using the m.2 slot in the lower right hand corner of the board, near your intake fans.
  9. Are you saying that I am better off with a SATA III SSD such as the Samsung 850 pro or EVO than an NVME?
  10. In my humble opinion, yes. New games like doom take up 80gb of hard drive space. I currently have an 850 evo 512gb and if I were to build something new in the future, it would be at least a 1tb ssd. That way I won't have to even think about or worry about space for the next 3 - 5 years.
  11. M.2 drives do have thermal throttling issues, but 9/10 times you won't be using the throughput necessary to cause that, or have a need for that much speed. You need very large sequential data pulls to see the high numbers out of a PCIe 4x NVMe drive.

    Samsung used a copper sticker and a firmware update to help out with the 960 Pro. I believe the Evo has a plain sticker.

    I was tempted to buy little memory heatsinks and put those on it. Though I have my CPU and GPU water cooled, so hopefully the radiated heat isn't too bad.
  12. Eximo said:
    M.2 drives do have thermal throttling issues, but 9/10 times you won't be using the throughput necessary to cause that, or have a need for that much speed. You need very large sequential data pulls to see the high numbers out of a PCIe 4x NVMe drive.

    Samsung used a copper sticker and a firmware update to help out with the 960 Pro. I believe the Evo has a plain sticker.

    I was tempted to buy little memory heatsinks and put those on it. Though I have my CPU and GPU water cooled, so hopefully the radiated heat isn't too bad.


    Also the new 270 chipset boards are starting to make nvme covers with integrated thermal pads.
  13. I had my eye on these little guys. Almost the perfect width to sit on the chips.

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/aavid-thermalloy-premium-black-heat-sink-23mm-x-23mm-x-10mm.html

    Really isn't necessary, and ideally the sticker would have to go, not sure I want to try that on such an expensive bit of kit.
  14. Best answer
    jpolk1138 said:
    Are you saying that I am better off with a SATA III SSD such as the Samsung 850 pro or EVO than an NVME?


    I'm of the same general mindset as SgtScream here.

    People praise the Samsung NVMe drives for their specs but in reality, it's unlikely that those numbers are ever reached for normal use. It's kind of like a top speed for cars. Sure there's some bragging rights in saying you car can go over 200mph but really, who cares.

    Gaming really isn't that dependent on the storage device. It's just that people building gaming PCs are people that tend to want high specs on everything. You might still see some performance improvement in gaming from a SATA to NVMe SSD but for the increased cost, the benefits are arguable.

    If you want to go with a Samsung NVMe drive, you can still save some money by going with the Evo instead of the Pro. Go with the pro for warranty or endurance. The Pro has double to endurance which is useful if you plan on writing and rewriting data on the SSD a lot (for 512GB, that's up to 200TB for Evo, 400 TB for Pro).

    Also, thermal throttling is a firmware feature that is present on ALL SSDs. It's just that in general, since it's running at higher speeds, NVMe drives and the more tightly packed ones like M.2 drives, tend to run hotter and so could trigger more thermal throttling. Throttling temperature tends to be in the high 70s C on the NAND package, which will usually begin showing up when the SMART temperature is in the high 60s. That's something you can look at to see if you need improved cooling.
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