M2 SSD experience

Discussion in 'hardware' started by djg05, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Just wondering if anyone has any experience of using a M2 SSD. I know they are faster on paper but what is the actual experience?

    Thanks
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Compared to what?

    It is important to note that your standard SATA III SSD is so much faster than even the fastest hard drives, that you will be amazed at the difference if you are comparing performance with a hard drive. The step up to a M2 SSD from a SATA SSD is much less, if noticeable at all (except on paper/benchmarking programs).

    Of course, your mileage will vary depending on many other factors including the programs/tasks you will be running/performing, amount of RAM, network connection, CPU and GPU horsepower, and more.
     
  3. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Compared to SATA III

    There are some that use the M.2 slot that run at more or less the same speed, but some boards have the
    NVMe interface that run faster. Bit pricey at the moment but looking to future proof :) my next board.

    Anyone had any experience of using them?

     
  4. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Yea, djg05 is right in saying that not all M.2 ports are the same. The port has to support the NVME protocol (along with the SSD, obviously), otherwise it'll perform the same as a normal SATA SSD. I haven't really done much reading on them other than looking at a few benchmarks here and there, but I will say that if my motherboard had M.2 NVME support, I'd already have a 950 Pro. Raid 0 SSD's were blazing fast when I tried it and these are significantly faster than that. Whether or not the 'real world' difference will be noticeable depends on the person, but I tend to be more sensitive to that than other people. I'd give it a go just to see how it is, but I'm also considered an enthusiast on here so take that how you will.
     
  5. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    The support does not seem to be consistent at the moment. I have been looking at ASUS boards and those with the Intel 1150 skt have M.2 slot and NVMe support, but the Intel 1151 skt have M.2 but no mention of NVMe which seems curious to me.
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I think the problem is money (thus supply and demand). Being an enthusiasts is one thing. Having the deep pockets to satisfy that enthusiasm is another issue.

    Many who really want the best performance still balk at the price of a decent SATA III SSD compared to a decent harddrive with several times the storage capacity. They will stretch their budgets with a better graphics solution, faster CPU, more RAM, and a better PSU first - all of which make total sense.

    As I noted above, even the slowest standard SSD will run circles around the fastest hard drives. But even though more and more computers are coming with SSDs instead of HDs, HDs are still very popular and not going away any time soon.

    So unless you have money to burn, getting a M.2 SSD is just out of reach for most buyers - even most enthusiasts. That means the demand is just not there. With little demand, there will be little supply. That is, there just is not the demand for motherboard makers to supply the latest M.2 support, except on their high-end (read: expensive) boards.
     
  7. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I really don't think this is the case at all. Additionally, I don't know what you're arguing. Are you saying that any SSD is fine? And M.2 support is pretty prevalent these days. Newegg has 20 motherboards under $100 (read: affordable) with M.2 NVME support with the lowest being $68.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, I've seen it over and over again. People buying computers don't want to spend a lot of money. So even buying a computer with a standard SSD instead of a hard drive (with much more capacity) causes many to balk at the prices. So buying a M.2 SSD, which cost more, often considerably more than standard SATA SSDs is even more reason for them to balk (in their minds, maybe not yours or mine).

    Enthusiasts drool and dream and buy. I am not talking about them. I am talking about the vast majority of computer buyers - not enthusiasts (whose numbers, in comparison, are few) who are more than willing to shell out the big bucks.

    Yes, Newegg has 20 boards under $100 with M.2 support, but I see 260 total for $100 or less (86 AMD and 174 Intel) so I would not say 20 out 260 is "pretty prevalent". And with only a few (compared to all buyers) enthusiast willing to spend the extra money on M.2 SSDs over a SATA III SSD, and fewer still able to spend the extra money on M.2 SSDs, the demand is just not that large - yet. It is trickling down as prices drop and will continue, but it is not there yet. Most new computers (including self-builds) are still coming with hard drives! :( Even most notebooks still come with hard drives even though less weight, lower power consumption and less generated heat of SSDs are significant advantages in battery powered notebooks. :(

    No, of course not. And of course, it depends on what the user is looking for.

    What I am saying is if performance is a priority, and if the budget allows, by all means get a SSD instead of a hard drive because even the slowest SSD offers much better performance than the fastest hard drives. Because even the fastest hard drives will introduce a bottleneck, especially with disk intensive tasks.

    And I am not suggesting you shop for the cheapest SSD you can find, either. You should always do you homework. That said, even budget current generation SSDs are very reliable and should be expected to last for many years.

    And yes, M.2 SSDs are faster than SATA III SSDs. But the step up is not near as dramatic as going from a fast HD to a slow SSD.

    To illustrate with an example, going from 2GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM typically offers a HUGE, significant, and clearly visible performance boost. But going from 8GB to 16 will offer just a small, if noticeable at all, boost in performance. Again, it depends on the user, their system and their tasks, but in general (and of course with exceptions) the rule applies.
     
  9. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Well considering AMD doesn't even support M.2, I don't think that's a fair thing to say. Also, M.2 has only been available for x97 and newer chipsets. If you take that into consideration, 20 out of 33 motherboards on Newegg support it.

    Also, nobody here has mentioned price other than you. I'd imagine OP is aware of how much they cost since he's specifically asking about M.2, not SSDs in general.
    These 'people' you refer to aren't the same people 'who really want the best performance'.

    NVMe is literally >4.5 times faster in sequential read/write than even the fastest SATA 3 SSDs. That is quite dramatic. It's actually even more of a gain than going from HDD's to SATA 3 SSDs. Now in terms of human perceived speed increase, will you be able to tell? It depends, as I already stated.

    I think it's important to point out that M.2 is only the interface type. NVMe is the protocol that allows the speed increase. M.2 ports without NVMe are the same as SATA 3 ssds in a different form factor.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I think it illustrates the point even more. M.2 is a, or trying to be a new "industry standard" and not just something Intel invented or is exclusively pushing. So the very fact AMD does not support it clearly indicates there is just not the demand for it - yet.
    I agree. That's why I made a point of differentiating "enthusiast" from the vast majority of users known as "normal" users. The problem is, there are only a handful of enthusiasts, comparatively speaking, amongst the 1.5 Billions estimated Windows users out there. And the rules of supply and demand dictate if no demand, there will be no supply.

    Excellent point. And why I noted it as well. A typically PC can have several bottlenecks.

    Oh, and BTW, in looking at some of the prices, some M.2 SSDs are becoming very competitively priced so that may help with industry acceptance. But history has shown over and over again that consumers don't always accept the best option. So time will tell.
     
  11. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Well the fact is, AMD's CPU and chipsets are quite old by tech standards. They haven't released a new chipset since 2011 so it's no surprise they don't have M.2 and NVMe support.
     
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    True, but you can add support to a new chipset without releasing a new chipset. Typically, a new chipset is needed when a new CPU socket configuration comes out. AMD has not needed to change that with their newest CPUs, so a new chipset has not been needed either. I have no doubt AMD will add M.2 support if they start seeing sales drop because of a lack of that support.

    But to that, no new chipset is needed anyway, at least not for NVMe support: MSI Debuts AMD 990FXA GAMING Motherboard With USB 3.1 and NVMe Support.
     
  13. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Interestingly, MSI's spec (as well as every retailer I saw) page for it doesn't list NVMe at all and it looks like they don't even make it any more. Your post has prompted me to do some more research and I still can't find any AMD boards with claimed NVMe support. I only could find one instance where an AMD board (ASUS A88X-Pro) booted with an NVMe SSD though the other AMD boards the site tried did not work.

    But yes, some features can be added retroactively, though it's up to motherboard manufacturers to add support.
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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  15. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    That MSI page you linked is specifically talking about Z97 and X99. The string "AMD" isn't anywhere on the page. But yes, those Gigabyte boards appear to be the first AMD boards to support it. They just came out less than ten days ago, too.
     
  16. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Hmmm - that is not the same MSI page I was looking at when I added the link. o_O :doubt: o_O I think my mind is playing tricks with me.

    But it really does not matter and I don't want to drive this thread OT. It just shows what I've been saying and that is there is still a lack of acceptance for this feature. Hopefully, it will trickle down and become more popular, giving consumers more options.
     
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