2tb vs 4tb NVMe performance?

Dracarys

Senior Member
Hello,

Just wondering if that's too much throughput for konakt instruments on a SSD in general, or is it better to have several 2tb SSDs? This would be for my laptop BTW, and possibly next desktop if I run out of ports.
The alternative is one 2tb internal, and a 2tb nvme to USB C with reads of 1000mb/s

Thanks!
 
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MartinH.

Senior Member
Always depends on your usecase, but imho as long as the samples are on SSDs you're probably fine. HDDs mainly suck because of seek-time for random reads, not because of the performance difference in long sequential reads.
 
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Dracarys

Dracarys

Senior Member
Always depends on your usecase, but imho as long as the samples are on SSDs you're probably fine. HDDs mainly suck because of seek-time for random reads, not because of the performance difference in long sequential reads.

What about if you throw something like omnisphere on that same drive? Or would it be better to keep it on your OS drive which is also nvme
 

method1

New Member
What about if you throw something like omnisphere on that same drive? Or would it be better to keep it on your OS drive which is also nvme
Shouldn't be an issue, Omni patches are not that big compared to Kontakt instruments, plus it's not like you'll be loading 4TB worth of samples all at once.
 
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Dracarys

Dracarys

Senior Member
Shouldn't be an issue, Omni patches are not that big compared to Kontakt instruments, plus it's not like you'll be loading 4TB worth of samples all at once.

True, but there will be quite a bit, strings, brass, choir, perc, synth, etc all from the same drive, so I'm wondering if having a separate 2tb NVMe to USB C will be better. Bottlenecked at 1000mb/read but still good enough if it means splitting up the workload.
 
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Dracarys

Dracarys

Senior Member
Which nvme chasis are you looking at?
Something like this:



4tb for laptop:


Currently own this 2tb:



I can get the 4tb for $700 second hand. I have 8 days to return the 2tb, so trying to make a decision. Or I could keep it for 6tb storage.
 
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VladK

Member
In general separate drive for samples is better - it avoids concurrency with other OS/app data operations (but if both drives share the same SATA lines, then the difference is less noticeable).

Does your laptop's internal slot support only SATA nVME, or PCIe3, or PCIe4?

If only SATA, then external USB-c might be good enough (and Thunderbolt might be even better if your laptop supports Thunderbolt).
If PCIe3, then single internal PCIe3 NVMe 4TB will provide max performance (it has more chips than 2TB, and reads from them concurrently).
If PCIe4 - then second internal PCIe4 NVMe 2TB just for samples is the fastest option, about twice speed of PCIe3 (there are no 4TB PCIe4 drives yet).
PCIe might be overkill, but if you hit limits with available RAM, the fastest possible drive allows to load samples on the fly without glitches.
 

Technostica

Senior Member
1. (but if both drives share the same SATA lines, then the difference is less noticeable).
2. Does your laptop's internal slot support only SATA nVME, or PCIe3, or PCIe4?
3. If only SATA, then external USB-c might be good enough (and Thunderbolt might be even better if your laptop supports Thunderbolt).
4. If PCIe3, then single internal PCIe3 NVMe 4TB will provide max performance (it has more chips than 2TB, and reads from them concurrently).
5. If PCIe4 - then second internal PCIe4 NVMe 2TB just for samples is the fastest option about twice speed of PCIe3 (there are no 4TB PCIe4 drives yet).
1. SATA drives don’t share a SATA port so this is not an issue.
2. There is no such thing as SATA NVMe as NVMe is reserved for PCIe drives.
3. USB-C is a connector type and doesn’t define the bandwidth. You can even get USB Type-C ports that are USB 2.0 only. You need to check the port’s USB standard to determine the maximum bandwidth. USB 3.x can be 5, 10 or 20 Gbps.
4. They all read currently and beyond a certain size there is no performance gain, so generally a 2TB drive will not be slower than a 4TB drive from the same family. It’s much more common for the largest in the range to be slightly slower than the next one down for some reason!
5. There are no laptops that support PCIe 4.0 yet. Probably because it’s too power hungry and battery life and heat take precedence.
Whilst the PCIe 4.0 protocol does have a headline gain of 100% over PCIe 3.0, the current crop of controllers aren’t capable of saturating the bus. So in practice the speed gains are much less than that for sequential workloads and for random workloads they aren’t necessarily faster. A high end PCIe 3.0 drive will still beat a low to mid-range PCIe 4.0 with some workloads.
Future generations of controllers and NAND will change this though.

This link might help some - KINGSTON
 

VladK

Member
1. SATA drives don’t share a SATA port so this is not an issue.
2. There is no such thing as SATA NVMe as NVMe is reserved for PCIe drives.
3. USB-C is a connector type and doesn’t define the bandwidth. You can even get USB Type-C ports that are USB 2.0 only. You need to check the port’s USB standard to determine the maximum bandwidth. USB 3.x can be 5, 10 or 20 Gbps.
4. They all read currently and beyond a certain size there is no performance gain, so generally a 2TB drive will not be slower than a 4TB drive from the same family. It’s much more common for the largest in the range to be slightly slower than the next one down for some reason!
5. There are no laptops that support PCIe 4.0 yet. Probably because it’s too power hungry and battery life and heat take precedence.
Whilst the PCIe 4.0 protocol does have a headline gain of 100% over PCIe 3.0, the current crop of controllers aren’t capable of saturating the bus. So in practice the speed gains are much less than that for sequential workloads and for random workloads they aren’t necessarily faster. A high end PCIe 3.0 drive will still beat a low to mid-range PCIe 4.0 with some workloads.
Future generations of controllers and NAND will change this though.

This link might help some - KINGSTON
1. you are right, they share same PCIe lane but it is irrlevant speedwise.
2. you are right, they share the same M.2 form factor.
3. I've never seen laptop with USB-C ports that are not USB 3.x. Adapters - yes.
4. Incorrect. There are not many 4TB M.2 NVMe drives yet, but if we look at PCIe3 from the same maker, then Sabrent rates sequencial read/write and random read/write of their 4TB Rocket higher than that of 2TB. 4Tb is also faster than their 1TB in sequential read, but 1TB is faster in random read. Same E12S controller, different memory chips. Therefore 4TB can be fastest even for the same family. Right now 4TB NVMe drives are best option for sample library speed and capacity wise (if you use many and/or big libraries, of course). I leave U.2 aside as irrelevant.
5. You are right about laptop support for PCIe4,however, existing PCIe4 drives are at least 30-40% faster than PCIe3 drives of the same capacity from the same manufacturers (Seagate and Sabrent) in all 4 metrics (sequential/random read/write).
 

Technostica

Senior Member
1. you are right, they share same PCIe lane but it is irrlevant speedwise.
3. I've never seen laptop with USB-C ports that are not USB 3.x.
4. Incorrect. There are not many 4TB M.2 NVMe drives yet, but if we look at PCIe3 from the same maker, then Sabrent rates sequencial read/write and random read/write of their 4TB Rocket higher than that of 2TB. 4Tb is also faster than their 1TB in sequential read, but 1TB is faster in random read. Same E12S controller, different memory chips. Therefore 4TB can be fastest even for the same family.
5. You are right about laptop support for PCIe4,however, existing PCIe4 drives are at least 30-40% faster than PCIe3 drives of the same capacity from the same manufacturers (Seagate and Sabrent) in all 4 metrics (sequential/random read/write).
1. M.2 sockets that support both SATA and PCIe SSDs are wired separately for both SATA and PCIe lanes as the data is passed to different system controllers. That’s why if a system has multiple M.2 sockets often only one supports both as it adds to the cost and complexity of the board design.
3. Very likely, but the point being made was that USB Type-C isn’t an indication of performance. There are 5Gbps Type-C ports and 10Gbps Type-A ports. Then you have TB3.
4. If a drive doesn’t have the same controller and NAND then it’s not the same direct family, so more a cousin than a sibling say, so that rules out direct comparisons.
As NAND chips get denser the point at which smaller capacity drives offer less performance will change, so at that point 2TB drives may well frequently perform noticeably slower than larger drives, but that is not the norm for now I’d say.
5. If you just compare drives from the same manufacturer then I would hope that their latest drives with a faster buss are going to outperform the older ones. ;)
There are mediocre PCIe 4.0 drives that don’t outperform a high end PCIe 3.0 drive in many real-world usage tests. For synthetic benchmarks they should easily beat them but that’s not relevant.
I’m not suggesting that high end PCIe 3.0 drives are a better buy, more pointing out that just looking at raw metrics only gives you part of the picture.
If I was offered a free boot drive for my desktop I’d be very happy with a PCIe 3.0 Optane SSD even if my board supported PCIe 4.0.

My suggestion is to look beyond the gross metrics many of which are hypothetical and learn to understand the jargon so you can make more informed choices. This is a general observation, not aimed at you.
 
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chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
I love NVMe M.2’s due to lower latency and quicker loads, TBD on application.

My recent 1U build is really my favorite.
2 x NVMe’s on the motherboard.
Then 2 x 2TB SSDs just for sample storage, actually everything I need for my software and hardware samplers.

I only keep what’s needed on the Sample NVMe, and swap out samples per project/gig to it as needed.
The other NVMe is OSs.

Now that NVMe support in Windows 8.2 is mature enough I prefer this OS.
Eventually I will boot with 10 and keep it.
Right now I boot into 10 and switch over.

I just want W10 to allow me to run offline without my CPU going nuts looking for an upgrade. Right now it’s okay as I update once a week.

I was offline for 3 months and 30% of my i7 was searching for files that didn’t exis. Reminded me of Matthew Brodericks movie War Games.

Took the advice and this dual NVMe set up is wickedly fast @ 4.4GHz.
 
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Dracarys

Dracarys

Senior Member
I love NVMe M.2’s due to lower latency and quicker loads, TBD on application.

My recent 1U build is really my favorite.
2 x NVMe’s on the motherboard.
Then 2 x 2TB SSDs just for sample storage, actually everything I need for my software and hardware samplers.

I only keep what’s needed on the Sample NVMe, and swap out samples per project/gig to it as needed.
The other NVMe is OSs.

Now that NVMe support in Windows 8.2 is mature enough I prefer this OS.
Eventually I will boot with 10 and keep it.
Right now I boot into 10 and switch over.

I just want W10 to allow me to run offline without my CPU going nuts looking for an upgrade. Right now it’s okay as I update once a week.

I was offline for 3 months and 30% of my i7 was searching for files that didn’t exis. Reminded me of Matthew Brodericks movie War Games.

Took the advice and this dual NVMe set up is wickedly fast @ 4.4GHz.

I would definitely go several 2tbs or a desktop setup, this would just be for my laptop. They are so powerful these days I can run a giant session on a 10750h cpu, almost same single speed as the 9900k.. But, something tells me not to stream every orchestra section from one SSD, maybe do the dual NMVe and deal with the USB C nvme
 

VladK

Member
Here is my PCIe4 2TB Windows 10 system drive, which is pretty well packed and never had SSD optimization (consolidation of free space) performed, so write speed sucks, but sequential read speed is still very close to 5000 advertized speed, same for random read. I don't think any PCIe3 drive can come close.
Capture.JPG
 
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Dracarys

Dracarys

Senior Member
Here is my PCIe4 2TB Windows 10 system drive, which is pretty well packed and never had SSD optimization (consolidation of free space) performed, so write speed sucks, but sequential read speed is still very close to 5000 advertized speed, same for random read. I don't think any PCIe3 drive can come close.
View attachment 30847

Impressive, but I don't see it mattering because of music software bottlenecks. I'm happy with 2000-3500 MB/s
 

VladK

Member
Impressive, but I don't see it mattering because of music software bottlenecks. I'm happy with 2000-3500 MB/s
Not all players have throughput limits.
Switching between VSL pianos or mic presets (up to 1 GB of samples loaded each time) while playing takes just couple of seconds! ;)
Might be irrelevant for many as you wrote but if you deal with frequent switches between big sample sets - the faster the beter.
I will need a new 4TB drive this summer, and hope there will be a PCIe4 one soon.

But as you said this is irrelevant for laptop.