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Any advantages to severely limiting what's on your boot NVMe and storing most everything on a separate unit?

Blind Dog

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Dec 23, 2019
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Near espresso, interior BC
I have a Firecuda NVMe Gen 4 500GB with the W10 Pro OS/drivers installed, and a 960GB Corsair MP510 960GB and just enough PC knowledge to be truly dangerous.

I've always had a notion that keeping a smaller/faster hd for just OS/drivers & maybe Photoshop, and a larger/slower unit for games, audio, and graphics files might be faster. Faster than putting games and stuff on, in this case, the Firecuda.

Or is my notion actually counterproductive? Perhaps it's up in theoretical numbers like audio -- only my dog will know the difference? No real world diff'.

The short: how should I be storing Steam games on a new build? And Photoshop?
 

Bond007

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Jun 24, 2009
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Some ssd do reduce in speed as you get close to full. If I remember correct the sx8200 pro is a good example of a very fast drive, but that slows as it approaches full. If you are <70% full I doubt you would notice any drop at all. Personally I keep my OS and almost all my main apps on one drive, and games all on a separate. Really it’s your call though.
 

Blind Dog

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Dec 23, 2019
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Near espresso, interior BC
Thanks Bond007, it's the way I've always done it -- but if all I'm ever going to do on this rig is play a few racing games & Photoshop I'm wondering with new tech & the size of today's games -- is it time to change the way I'm thinking? I've never used a 60 GB game before, and no real idea of what to expect in load times. The games, OS, and Photoshop would only take up about 50% of the Firecuda. I'm not so much a gamer, or game hoarder, as an old guy who just likes to race. I can't even be bothered redeeming the free games that came bundled with new rig's components. (Ghost Recon/Borderlands 3/Game Pass etc.)

Additionally; I understand the M2_1 slot my Firecuda is in, is reported to be the sweet spot for com's between the chosen drive and the cpu.

I just thought there might be an actual advantage to storing the limited games on the slightly faster, sweet-slotted, Gen 4.
 

CMetaphor

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@Blind Dog
Well since almost no nvmes take advantage of PCIe 4.0 yet, that part won't make a difference. But if the second nvme slot is, say, controlled by the Southbridge instead of the NB or directly by the cpu, then yes there may be a small difference in performance between two identical drives in the two slots. How big of a difference, however, is up to debate. TBH I'm not certain I've ever seen anyone undertake a benchmark of the exact same nvme drive in multiple "locations" and comparing performance. I think for old 2.5 SSDs and spinners it wouldn't make a difference, but for ultra fast PCIe ones, it might. Just can't say how much of a difference.
 

MARSTG

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Apr 22, 2011
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Only AMD X570 chipset and a Ryzen 3000 cpu can give you access to pcie 4.0 speeds right now, but the Firecuda 520 500GB, what you have is rated for 5GB/s reads 2.5 GB/s writes, so if you don't have the combo mentioned above you will be stuck with pcie 3.0 speeds which will limit your reads to like 3.5 GB/s but leave intact your write speeds. There is no downside to running 2 NVME drives in the system, except make sure the second drive runs off a x4 port, not a x2. Your mobo manual should be very clear on that, even on the specification page of your motherboard.
 

nToxik

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Apr 7, 2008
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181
Maybe not on X570, but don't some motherboards disable some SATA ports if you run a second M.2 drive?
 

Sagath

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Feb 7, 2009
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Edmonton, AB
Maybe not on X570, but don't some motherboards disable some SATA ports if you run a second M.2 drive?
Yes, this is quite common. Most boards have 6+ SATA ports, and enabling the second M.2 slot usually disables (the last) 2 of them.
 

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