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SSD or NVMe?

Concerning a gaming system, is it better to get a Samsung 850 Evo 1TB SSD to house Windows, drivers and games (Steam/Origin) or just get a 960 Evo NVMe 1TB and slap everything on it. I know it doesn't give me an edge in FPS or MMORPGs. I was also thinking an 512GB 960 Evo and putting Windows and drivers on it while a 850 Evo houses all my games. I was looking it up on Amazon and it seems less expensive to get 1 HDD than 2. Over $500 for NVMe and a SSD or 1TB NVMe for $479. If I get a Samsung 850 Evo 1TB, that's $340.

One thing concerns me, the NVMe sits near/under the video card. I plan to get a Asus ROG 1080ti OC Edition. Part of me wants to get 2 to SLI it. I plan to make this system my gaming system for years and years.

* I have the ASrock x370 Tachi paired with a x1800 (got it for $349 and the MB I got for $169)*
* I do play Battlegrounds, Planet Coaster, No Man's Sky, Civilization 6 to name some games I play*
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  1. Best answer
    I would just use the one large 960 Evo. NVMe SSD are so fast you won't see any real world advantage using separate SSD. Time differences between various NVMe SSD in real world workstation productivity tasks is less than a second. That is comparing a low end NVMe model with a high end NVMe model. The combined throughput of say a MyDigital BPX plus 850 Evo is less than a 960 Evo on its own. Given that those two have less than a second difference adding an 850 Evo to a 960 Evo will have little or no effect on performance. You only really see differences at very high IOPS and que depths which is practically impossible for a single user.

    Just take a look at this article for example. You'll see impressive looking number differences. Then you get to real world tests and performance between the lowliest and fastest NVMe is practically identical. It is sort of like a multi-core CPU. A 16 core CPU can be much faster than a 4 core. If your tasks can't make use of anything more than 4 cores. You'll never see a difference.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mydigitalssd-bpx-nvme-ssd,4780-2.html

    Games will load faster off the 960 Evo than they will off the 850 Evo. In gaming you will see a difference. Not in FPS but in the time it takes for levels to load. Not as stark as a HDD vs SATA SSD. Still a modest improvement.

    As for lifespan. You shouldn't worry. A 1TB model of the 960 Evo has such a high write endurance (400TB). Only the heaviest read/write environments would have a chance of wearing it out. Such as a high traffic server or surveillance DVR. I use my computer quite a bit. My 3+ year old 840 Evo only has about 25TB written.

    There should be no worries about placement. If your case has good airflow you won't get heat buildup.

    As for SLI. It generally isn't worth it. A few games get a big boost. Most get little or no boost. Some get a negative impact on performance. The negative impact is on games which don't make use of SLI. So, splitting the data between cards just adds work for the CPU (decreasing FPS). Better to spend that money on great peripherals or a superior monitor. To improve your immersion. People often skimp on peripherals. Once you have a good computer to run a game. Peripheral devices are what make the environments come to life or give you that split second of reaction time.
    Reply to velocityg4
  2. velocityg4 said:
    I would just use the one large 960 Evo. NVMe SSD are so fast you won't see any real world advantage using separate SSD. Time differences between various NVMe SSD in real world workstation productivity tasks is less than a second. That is comparing a low end NVMe model with a high end NVMe model. The combined throughput of say a MyDigital BPX plus 850 Evo is less than a 960 Evo on its own. Given that those two have less than a second difference adding an 850 Evo to a 960 Evo will have little or no effect on performance. You only really see differences at very high IOPS and que depths which is practically impossible for a single user.

    Just take a look at this article for example. You'll see impressive looking number differences. Then you get to real world tests and performance between the lowliest and fastest NVMe is practically identical. It is sort of like a multi-core CPU. A 16 core CPU can be much faster than a 4 core. If your tasks can't make use of anything more than 4 cores. You'll never see a difference.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mydigitalssd-bpx-nvme-ssd,4780-2.html

    Games will load faster off the 960 Evo than they will off the 850 Evo. In gaming you will see a difference. Not in FPS but in the time it takes for levels to load. Not as stark as a HDD vs SATA SSD. Still a modest improvement.

    As for lifespan. You shouldn't worry. A 1TB model of the 960 Evo has such a high write endurance (400TB). Only the heaviest read/write environments would have a chance of wearing it out. Such as a high traffic server or surveillance DVR. I use my computer quite a bit. My 3+ year old 840 Evo only has about 25TB written.

    There should be no worries about placement. If your case has good airflow you won't get heat buildup.

    As for SLI. It generally isn't worth it. A few games get a big boost. Most get little or no boost. Some get a negative impact on performance. The negative impact is on games which don't make use of SLI. So, splitting the data between cards just adds work for the CPU (decreasing FPS). Better to spend that money on great peripherals or a superior monitor. To improve your immersion. People often skimp on peripherals. Once you have a good computer to run a game. Peripheral devices are what make the environments come to life or give you that split second of reaction time.


    That was my concern with a 960, since I use Steam 99% of the time to access my games. My system is only a gaming machine but I don't leave it on. I also was wondering If Steam and my games will work ok with a NVMe drive. I guess Im used to the mechanical HDDs and SSDs. Im looking for this system to last at least 5 years or more.

    I have the Corsair 760T case. I thought SLI would help games even games that don't "use" it. Two cards kind of helping each other out and putting less strain on the CPU.

    Peripherals, I still have my Razer keyboard, mouse, and mouse Pad. Tournament edition RGB. Im keeping these but the mouse is starting to get on my nerves when it suddenly stops tracking on the pad then tracks. I never had that issue with Logitech.

    I was going to go all in video card; Asus ROG Matrix OC edition- 1080ti and monitor: Asus ROG 27" g-sync IPS monitor. It's actually on sale at Microcenter for $750 and I have some gift cards to use on it :) Was thinking of getting a second monitor. That's also why I was thinking of SLI as well.
    Reply to mikeny
  3. You don't want to game with two monitors. The focal point of a game ends up right in the middle. Which might be fine for a strategy game like Rome Total War not for any shooter or third person game. Either one or three matching monitors. Different sizes, resolutions, refresh rates &c screw it up. If it is just a second monitor to show the desktop. It's impact on gaming is negligible.

    The 960 Evo will take anything you throw at it. SSD in general are very reliable. I wouldn't worry about it not lasting. It will likely last longer than the computer will be useful. While there is always a chance of any hardware failing. It is far more likely to be bad luck than your daily use of it. If failure is a concern two SSD is a worse bet. You double the odds of failure. As you now have two points of failure. The 960 Evo also has a three year warranty.

    The CPU has to work more in SLI not less. The cards only help each other if the game is designed to utilize them. Most aren't and the trend is moving away from SLI as very few gamers use it. DX12 and Vulkan also make developers work harder to enable multi-GPU support. The question becomes is it worth all the extra effort to satisfy a very small group of gamers who can buy two high end video cards?
    https://developer.nvidia.com/explicit-multi-gpu-programming-directx-12

    Since you are going with a 2560x1440 monitor. A single GTX 1080 Ti will dominate games at that resolution. You can look up individual games and see how they perform under SLI. Then decide if the investment is worth it. It could be on fairly optimized games. I couldn't see it at 2560x1440 on those optimized titles. Perhaps at 4K or triple 2560x1440 monitors.

    Before buying two cards. I'd say buy the single card. Max out the game settings and see if it looks good. Then ask yourself if a second card would actually make a noticeable difference to the quality of gameplay.

    Some of the other disadvantages are more heat, more power used and a lot more noise. The top card will have a really hard time cooling itself if it is a dual or triple fan card. There isn't sufficient space to recirculate air. So, the fans have to work at a much higher RPM and your case fans have to work harder to expel hot air more rapidly. Generally you want a blower style card. As they intake cool air, exhaust the hot air out of the case and have a high static pressure. They work better in a restricted airflow environment. Blower style fans are also much louder as they spin at a very high RPM. Although the noise problem is moot if you go with open loop liquid cooling for the cards and CPU.
    Reply to velocityg4
  4. Great points. I would have to look at the list to see which benefit SLI and yeah, if only a small amount out of Steam library benefit; buying another $700-800 card would be a waist. I was thinking 3 monitors also since I have Eurotruck SImulator 2 and American Truck SImulator but not really worth the extra $1300-1600 for just 2 games. Thanks, you saved me money- I'll stick with one monitor. Perhaps if I'm so bent on multiple monitors; I should check the 34" monitors. I figure to go with IPS- I like the picture and when I was playing FPS; didn't seem like an issue being my present IPS monitor has 4ms response time similar to the Asus ROG IPS 27" monitor I was looking at.

    I'll also get the 1TB NVMe Samsung 960. Thanks, you broke my deadlock on which to buy. Very true...one drive one possibility of breaking, 2 drives, 2 possibilities! I saw 3 yr warranty. Would you believe my Samsung 830 SSD is going on 5 yrs. With NVMe drives, is there anything special that needs to be done? I know when SSD drives are first placed in, you have to go into the BIOS to make sure it's ACHI. Microcenter has Windows 10 on USB drives, I was thinking of getting that. I have to check on my Microsoft account to see if I can grab Windows 10. I only downloaded it when it became available and it automatically downloaded over my WIndows 7 back in 2015
    Reply to mikeny
  5. The Samsung 960 1TB EVO is $399 at Microcenter, $462 on Newegg. Funny, I've been buying most of my parts from Microcenter; even with Newegg not charging tax, Microcenter is the lowest.

    I was looking at this video card:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814126186&cm_re=gtx_1080ti_asus_strix-_-14-126-186-_-Product

    It's up in price because it's out of stock. I guess the mining is back again.
    Reply to mikeny
  6. For gaming storage speed is one of the least important issues. Running the OS on an SSD is nice, but for your use NVMe is overkill, a large SSD is fine. And you can keep your entire STEAM library on the HDD if it exceeds the SSD space limits with very little difference, only loading the game/level is affected.

    A high end video card will kill your budget with the stupid miners buying everything up, try to wait on that or plan to pay a fortune.
    Reply to RealBeast
  7. Newegg has a triple fan Gigabyte 1080 Ti for $720. As for the ultra wide monitor. You can run one of those 3440x1440 models off that card easily enough. Plus you have no bezels in between screens using one ultra wide. The only downside is old games may not support that aspect ratio. At least not without modding.
    Reply to velocityg4
  8. The 960 EVO is great for shaving time off of install, boot, etc., and, may even shave some time off of loading assorted gaming levels, but, for multiplayer games such as Battlefield 1, you still wait the full minute for everyone else to enter the game before it starts anyway, so....the speed is somewhat wasted. (Naturally, a faster drive does nothing to gaming performance.)

    In short, the NVME speed is great, but, if on a limited gaming system budget, I'd rather have a faster GPU and CPU before prioritizing on storage speed...

    If you've got a good CPU and GPU and adequate amounts of RAM, sure, get the NVME if you have the extra money to spare...
    Reply to mdd1963
  9. Was looking at my storage in my present computer; With windows, drivers, and games, I used about 500GB. Granted I've uninstalled games I haven't played but that's why I was thinking.....Samsung 850 EVO 1TB for everything or 960 EVO 1TB for everything.

    I have the Ryzen 1800x (got it for $349), Asrock x370 Taichi MB and 16GB- GSKILL FLare X dd4-3200 CL 14

    Yeah I see the miners are at it again lol. I'm set on 1080ti (was looking at the Asus ROG Strix which is in stock as we speak from Amazon, or even the FTW3 EVGA card although I'm a little weary of EVGA...they screwed me royally concerning a MB a had.

    monitor; I was going to get the 27" ASUS ROG IPS g-sync....Microcenter has it for $650 and I actually have $125 in gift cards to use :) I was looking at the 34" monitors but seems like only Acer is available and not sure about there monitors but I heard that they have the same panels as Asus.
    Reply to mikeny
  10. Money is not the issue since Im not holding back on myself for my system but was just wondering if getting an NVMe would be a waist since I don't do any video editing or game buidling. This is just my gaming system along with watching youtube videos and listening to music :)

    Guess when I was ready to buy, I had reservations. My only things left to buy is the HDD, monitor, and video card. Everything else came! :)
    Reply to mikeny
  11. mikeny said:
    Money is not the issue since Im not holding back on myself for my system but was just wondering if getting an NVMe would be a waist since I don't do any video editing or game buidling. This is just my gaming system along with watching youtube videos and listening to music :)

    Guess when I was ready to buy, I had reservations. My only things left to buy is the HDD, monitor, and video card. Everything else came! :)
    Then yes, it is a waste.
    Reply to RealBeast
  12. The extra $100 for the 960 EVO 500 GB over the 850 EVO 500 GB I sometimes question, but, why not have 5 second boot times? (It almost makes Windows seem as fast as Linux Mint with an conventional hard drive!) :)
    Reply to mdd1963
  13. mdd1963 said:
    The extra $100 for the 960 EVO 500 GB over the 850 EVO 500 GB I sometimes question, but, why not have 5 second boot times? (It almost makes Windows seem as fast as Linux Mint with an conventional hard drive!) :)
    So save perhaps one second for $100 on your boot time? While I spend a whole lot on computer gear, that sounds like a waste to me.
    Reply to RealBeast
  14. It is not the night and day difference some would hope..; in fact, I saw an NCIX TechTips video that said not one second was saved off of game load times in a barage of testing perhaps 8-9 games...

    I'd still buy it anyway, but only after everything else is taken care of! (I like fast storage!) :) (Not sure I'd recommend anyone else to pay that $100 premium , however, depends on usage cases....; gaming, not so much of 'must buy' case there, to be sure...
    Reply to mdd1963
  15. My system is strictly gaming. Reason I'm aiming for a 1TB HDD, I added up Windows/drivers/Steam/Origin about 500GB. I saw one place NVMe had really no blow you out of the water affect on games but on another yourtuber- results showed a shaving of seconds. Doesn't seem worth it. Neither are mechanical drives and the difference between SSD and NVMe is not really big unlike mechanical to NVMe. I hate second guessing myself or hearing, why did you buy the 850; should have bought the 960. So at Microcenter; 850 EVO 1TB: $365 and 960 Evo 1TB: $399; Sounds like the 960 for 30 bucks more and a little more speed; seems like a good deal.

    I'm just a little hesitant with the NVMe; silly question but will games accept the NVMe? Does it consider it a HDD? GUess the part of me has the notion in the android phones; apps don't like the added SD card and won't install onto it. I know two different "planes."
    Reply to mikeny
  16. mikeny said:
    My system is strictly gaming. Reason I'm aiming for a 1TB HDD, I added up Windows/drivers/Steam/Origin about 500GB. I saw one place NVMe had really no blow you out of the water affect on games but on another yourtuber- results showed a shaving of seconds. Doesn't seem worth it. Neither are mechanical drives and the difference between SSD and NVMe is not really big unlike mechanical to NVMe. I hate second guessing myself or hearing, why did you buy the 850; should have bought the 960. So at Microcenter; 850 EVO 1TB: $365 and 960 Evo 1TB: $399; Sounds like the 960 for 30 bucks more and a little more speed; seems like a good deal.

    I'm just a little hesitant with the NVMe; silly question but will games accept the NVMe? Does it consider it a HDD? GUess the part of me has the notion in the android phones; apps don't like the added SD card and won't install onto it. I know two different "planes."


    All the games know is that it is a drive connected to the computer. It could be a tape drive, rewritable blu ray, SSD, HDD, SD Card, Flash Drive, &c. To the game it doesn't matter as long as it is a valid storage location.

    Just buy the NVMe drive. It'll just nag at you if you don't. You'll always wonder how fast your computer could have been if you just spent a little more.

    I've learned to buy the best your budget can afford. That way you don't wonder what you could have had. No one sits around and thinks, "Gee, I wish my computer was slower" or "what would my computer be like if I just cut that corner and saved a little bit of money."

    When making any buying decision on price I always remind myself.
    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

    Although the 850 Evo is by no means poor quality. I also apply this to products of lesser capabilities.
    Reply to velocityg4
  17. velocityg4 said:
    mikeny said:
    My system is strictly gaming. Reason I'm aiming for a 1TB HDD, I added up Windows/drivers/Steam/Origin about 500GB. I saw one place NVMe had really no blow you out of the water affect on games but on another yourtuber- results showed a shaving of seconds. Doesn't seem worth it. Neither are mechanical drives and the difference between SSD and NVMe is not really big unlike mechanical to NVMe. I hate second guessing myself or hearing, why did you buy the 850; should have bought the 960. So at Microcenter; 850 EVO 1TB: $365 and 960 Evo 1TB: $399; Sounds like the 960 for 30 bucks more and a little more speed; seems like a good deal.

    I'm just a little hesitant with the NVMe; silly question but will games accept the NVMe? Does it consider it a HDD? GUess the part of me has the notion in the android phones; apps don't like the added SD card and won't install onto it. I know two different "planes."


    All the games know is that it is a drive connected to the computer. It could be a tape drive, rewritable blu ray, SSD, HDD, SD Card, Flash Drive, &c. To the game it doesn't matter as long as it is a valid storage location.

    Just buy the NVMe drive. It'll just nag at you if you don't. You'll always wonder how fast your computer could have been if you just spent a little more.

    I've learned to buy the best your budget can afford. That way you don't wonder what you could have had. No one sits around and thinks, "Gee, I wish my computer was slower" or "what would my computer be like if I just cut that corner and saved a little bit of money."

    When making any buying decision on price I always remind myself.
    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

    Although the 850 Evo is by no means poor quality. I also apply this to products of lesser capabilities.


    Very true. $34 difference between the 850 EVO and 960 Evo....960 it is :)

    Anyone object?
    Reply to mikeny
  18. i got a samsung 960 evo 250GB 4 days ago and my experience has been great already. i suggest you get a nvme drive. even a smaller one like the one i have is great and will vastly improve your system. I myself experience about a 2-2:30 minute decrease in time from pressing the power button to my desktop loading. when im finished with my computer i tend to turn it off, so i usually turn it on 2-3 times a day. over a span of 1 year thats over 24 hours. i couldn't afford a larger one but if i could i would have. if you can't get a large nvme drive i suggest you get a larger secondary ssd later down the line, thats what im going to do.
    Reply to spookydudetree
  19. Difference in gaming for SATA SSD vs. 960 EVO...


    Hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIXSSOzyLbsard to argue with actual results in testing that proves such speed is worthless for gaming....
    Reply to mdd1963
  20. mdd1963 said:
    Difference in gaming for SATA SSD vs. 960 EVO...


    Hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIXSSOzyLbsard to argue with actual results in testing that proves such speed is worthless for gaming....



    it is worthless while in game i don't argue with that. the main advantage of an ssd is slower load times, not performance increase
    Reply to spookydudetree
  21. I picked the NVMe 960 1TB, with coupon on newegg :) While Microcenter was less expensive than all of them, newegg still for me doesn't add tax and they had a $60 coupon. If I picked the 850 Evo, I probably would have kept second guessing myself and thinking what if I got the 960 so I said screw it, I'll get the NVMe. Thanks everyone! I wish I can pick all your ideas as solutions. Much appreciated!
    Reply to mikeny
  22. mikeny said:
    I picked the NVMe 960 1TB, with coupon on newegg :) While Microcenter was less expensive than all of them, newegg still for me doesn't add tax and they had a $60 coupon. If I picked the 850 Evo, I probably would have kept second guessing myself and thinking what if I got the 960 so I said screw it, I'll get the NVMe. Thanks everyone! I wish I can pick all your ideas as solutions. Much appreciated!


    Good call. Long after you've forgotten about the extra cost. You won't ever have to spend time sitting around wondering what if you had just bought it.
    Reply to velocityg4
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