AnsweredSSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA?

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PAL Music
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2017/08/03 15:24:08 (permalink)

SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA?

Hi everyone, I'm looking at finally upgrading to an SSD but which one? I know M.2 and PCIe offer faster speeds but is there a real world advantage over just standard SATA in audio production? 
#1
Jim Roseberry
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/03 17:39:37 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby PAL Music 2017/08/03 17:54:09
Scale your system's SSDs to your needs.
  • SATA SSDs sustain ~530MB/Sec
  • M.2 Ultra (PCIe x4) SSDs sustain 3200-3500MB/Sec
IMO, It's overkill to use PCIe x4 SSD for a boot drive.
If you're using disk-streaming sample libraries (and you need heavy polyphony), this is where PCIe x4 SSD is a huge benefit.
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
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PAL Music
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/03 17:52:25 (permalink)
Thanks Jim, I really appreciate your advice.
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soens
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/05 23:51:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby PAL Music 2017/08/06 11:36:29
SSDs and M2s are super quiet and fast over SATA drives. Today's laptops are probably the most noise cancelled systems you can use as towers still need hefty fans for big CPUs. I use M2s for boot drive, sample libraries and main file storage. SATA for DAW projects.
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fireberd
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/06 10:52:32 (permalink)
I just got a new Dell Inspiron 15 (5577 "gaming") laptop.  It came with a 250 GB SSD and as it turns out it is an M2 type (Sandisk X400 M2).  Among other things I plan on using the laptop for "on site" recordings (I have two coming up one this month and one in September).  I installed basic Sonar Platinum on the SSD - all I need as I'll transfer the projects to my desktop DAW for processing and have an external 2TB USB 3.0 hard drive for storing projects and easy transfer to the desktop.
 
I considered adding another drive to the new Laptop, as it has space for a hard drive or "full size" SSD, but the cabling is not there since it came configured with the M2 SSD.  I could upgrade the M2 to a larger size but the external drive should suffice for any recording I'll do with it.

Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Steel Guitar Black Box. Nashville Telecaster 
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Sanderxpander
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/06 20:38:01 (permalink)
Generally there are sockets for extra drives in laptops, in the place where you're supposed to mount them. I've never seen a laptop where you needed to get your own SATA cabling. Are you sure you're not overlooking something?
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/07 13:11:16 (permalink)
soens
SSDs and M2s are super quiet and fast over SATA drives. Today's laptops are probably the most noise cancelled systems you can use as towers still need hefty fans for big CPUs. I use M2s for boot drive, sample libraries and main file storage. SATA for DAW projects.



Disagree with laptops being lowest noise.
 
A laptop is a super confined space.
"Mobile" CPUs and GPUs exist because performance-throttling is necessary to keep the units from overheating.
Due to the proprietary structure and confined space, you're essentially "stuck" with stock cooling options.
Most laptops (especially off-the-shelf) don't expose parameters necessary to control fan performance.
 
With a Tower, you've got a faster CPU... but you have the option of using a *large* heat-sink to dissipate that heat... along with large low-RPM fans.  Most motherboards allow detailed control over fan performance.
A tower based machine can be built to operate extremely quiet... with zero compromise in performance.
 
Laptops have their place...
For a high-performance "workstation", I much prefer a tower.
A tower can be built to *exactly* what you want/need.
ie: My main studio DAW has 10 SSDs (two M.2 Ultra), 6850k CPU, GTX-1060 video... and it's quiet enough to have a condenser mic recording in close proximity.
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
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mudgel
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/07 14:19:53 (permalink)
My Hp laptop is far noisier than my studio PC. There's no way to throttle the fans any lower than they are. I can only use it at a live venue where there's already a significant background noise level already and you're a good way from mics and the stage and performers.

Mike V.

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Raven MTi + 43"HD TV Monitor
 
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mudgel
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/07 14:22:39 (permalink)
Jim, when you talk about M2 (PCIe x4) SSD that's what's also called NVME isn't it. M2 SSDs connect just like other drives to the SATA bus not direct to the PCIe buss so don't benefit from any speed increase beyond ordinary SSD on SATA?

Mike V.

STUDIO:Win 10 x64, SONAR Platinum x64, 
PC: ASUS P9X79 PRO, INTEL i7 E3930k, 32GIG DDR3 1800, 7 TB SSD & SATA III Storage
DIGIGRID IOS & IOX
Raven MTi + 43"HD TV Monitor
 
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/07 14:55:30 (permalink)
Hi Mike,
 
Yes, M.2 Ultra (PCIe x4) SSDs are NVMe.
They use four PCIe lanes... and sustain ~3200-3500MB/Sec.
 
Standard M.2 SSDs have performance identical to 2.5" SATA SSDs.
 
It can get confusing, because there are SSDs on a PCIe card that use four PCIe lanes (ie: Intel 750 series)
These drives are (also) PCIe x4 and NVMe.  
I'm trying to differentiate... 
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
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mudgel
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/07 15:11:25 (permalink)
Thanks mate. I just wanted the info to appear here from a credible source (being yourself) because I've had discussions with quite a few folks who think that an M.2 SSD is faster than a SATA SSD. Having bought one are then surprised to find no real performance improvement. I know the facts of it but lack the certainty of some of the things I think I know.

Mike V.

STUDIO:Win 10 x64, SONAR Platinum x64, 
PC: ASUS P9X79 PRO, INTEL i7 E3930k, 32GIG DDR3 1800, 7 TB SSD & SATA III Storage
DIGIGRID IOS & IOX
Raven MTi + 43"HD TV Monitor
 
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fireberd
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/07 16:49:28 (permalink)
Just to clarify the M.2 SSD in my new Dell Laptop is a Sandisk X400 M2 2280.  
As it is new, I haven't opened it to see if the cabling (SATA and power) and holder is there for a hard drive (or full size SSD).  But, according to one of the "experts" on the Dell Community Forums there is a very good chance the hardware is not there since the M.2 SSD is "standard" in this particular model.

Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Steel Guitar Black Box. Nashville Telecaster 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum 64 bit. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
Ozone, (backup unit Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Gen)

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#12
soens
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/20 06:00:39 (permalink)
Jim Roseberry
soens
SSDs and M2s are super quiet and fast over SATA drives. Today's laptops are probably the most noise cancelled systems you can use as towers still need hefty fans for big CPUs. I use M2s for boot drive, sample libraries and main file storage. SATA for DAW projects.

Disagree with laptops being lowest noise.



Far be-it for me to disagree with your disagreement Jim, but... I did say "probably". There is far more control over tower builds than laptop choices. But my i7 laptop is, for the most part, completely noise free. Running 2 M2 SSDs and only occasionally do my failing ears hear the fans. They're whisper quiet. If left on and working the CPU they'll kick in louder but only for a few seconds. And it has more than enough power to run Sonar for my needs. For the price I don't think it could be beat. (It was on sale tho)
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fireberd
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/20 10:59:15 (permalink)
Update on my post about my new Dell Laptop.  I bought a Samsung 500GB M.2 2280 SSD for it.  Opened it and replaced the original 250GB SSD.  I had a Macrium Reflect full disc backup and restoring to the new one went with out a hitch.  After it was up running, I downloaded "Mini Tool Partition Wizard" and used that to expand the "C" drive to the full capacity of the new SSD.  
 
Also, contrary to what I was told on the Dell forum, the cabling (power and SATA data) and hard disc carrier are there if I ever wanted to install a hard drive or full size SSD.
 
Resplendence Latency Mon shows the Laptop is "clean" for audio.  I plan on using it for on site recordings but only for the recordings.  They will be transferred to my desktop DAW for processing.   

Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Steel Guitar Black Box. Nashville Telecaster 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum 64 bit. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
Ozone, (backup unit Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Gen)

ISRC Registered

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E. Assn.
#14
soens
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Re: SSD's PCIe, M.2 or just SATA? 2017/08/21 01:06:36 (permalink)
fireberd
I bought a Samsung 500GB M.2 2280 SSD for it.  Opened it and replaced the original 250GB SSD.  I had a Macrium Reflect full disc backup and restoring to the new one went with out a hitch. 


Same here. For some reason the 250 filled up way too fast for my liking. With the 500 I'm only using 110GB. Not sure what happened there. The migration to the 500GB was a total fiasco costing me over $300 to fix so now I'd think 2x before doing it again. The original 250 stores all my samples and instrument libraries.
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