Does or has anyone upgraded from a good 2.5 sata SSD to an NMVe on a newer CPU?? Just wondering if there is a human perceivable noticeable real world improvement??
I am planning on building a new machine probably this summer, and I don't know if I should pay the premium to get NVMe or a larger capacity 2.5 SATA SSD??
I basically use the PC as a web-surfer and occasional gaming, with some occasional AutoCAD 2015. Just wondering if it's worth it??
I have done this recently. TL;DR would be that for Windows, an SSD with caching software like Crucial or Samsung is the best option for desktop use. Best speeds, best boot times, best app load times, best value, least wear and tear of flash. If that drive costs less in a 2.5" formfactor, get it. It's still more portable overall and is less likely to throttle, overheat, and get otherwise damaged. (spills, screwdrivers, static) Long-winded anecdotes ahead.
Main boot+system drives for about the last 5 years have been a series of Crucial m4, MX100, and a few MX200s (one is m.2 SATA), spread through desktop (MX100 250GB), laptop (MX200 500GB after a Samsung 830 128GB), and NUC (m.2 SATA 250GB). Basically, I have a lot of practical experience with SATA3 SSDs. Desktop has been FX-8320 until recently, when I upgraded to Kaby Lake i5-7600K, and a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB. As awesome as the new NVMe SSD is, the bigger upgrade was the CPU, and probably secondarily was DDR4-2400 from DDR-2133 (Intel vs old AMD IMC is just no freaking contest). The NVMe SSD is
an upgrade, but desktop workloads (yes, even us power users) just don't saturate it. It's like octo-channel memory for a Skylake or Kaby Lake i7-x700K. You can benchmark the streaming throughput, but it's hard to notice. Yes, 4K I/O is faster than SATA3 with the Samsung drives, but not always on some of the cheaper NVMe drives now. One game I like is Cities Skylines, and loading a map fills up a good chunk of my 32GB RAM, so it is safe to that faster drives do this operation faster - but I need a stopwatch to tell. CPU and DDR4 were still the bigger upgrade.
IF I was putting together a new NUC (or upgrading a laptop) and budget was a concern, I'd get the taller NUC and a 2.5" drive - and put the savings toward a gadget like a USB3 NIC or DisplayPort hub or whatever. If you want to build a clean-looking desktop beast that's set for the next 3-5 years, then the value proposition of the recent Sammy PRO/EVOs goes up.
One other quick scenario while we're on the topic. For the past few months I've had an all-flash vSAN across 3 hosts in a homelab. Two retired FX-8320s and an Opteron 6328 (also Piledriver and octocore, similar) all with 32GB RAM. All with 10GB Intel NICs and a Quanta LB6M 10GB SFP+ switch. Each FX-8320 system had a 480GB Plextor/Lite-On PCIe AIC NVMe 480GB SSD caching a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SATA3 SSD. The Opteron is in a 1U rackmount with PCIe riser limiting me to one PCIe slot, which is taken by the 10GB NIC, so no NVMe via PCIe. Also, the old-ass AMD server chipset doesn't have SATA3 like the 990FX boards of the FX systems, so it's storage subsystem should be considerably slower since I'm using the old laptop Samsung 830 128GB SSD on SATA2 to cache an SK Hynix 500GB TLC SSD on SATA2.
Reality was that the Opteron's vSAN storage subsystem, which was half the size, with a quarter of the cache, and all limited to SATA2 with no PCIe boost, often outperformed the FX systems' larger NVMe+SATA3 combination. Also, on the FX's, the NVMe cache tier just never outperformed the SATA3 850 EVO storage tier - so having seen my particular vSAN setup in action, I've decided to rethink my homelab strategy. 1) I think the native ESXi 6.5 NVMe driver is not very good. 2) I think the Plextor m8pe series drives, even with the giant heatsink, are not very good. 3) Having setup, tested, played around with, and benchmarked vSAN, I have removed it and migrated the VMs I'd like to keep over to the NUC with the m.2 SATA MX200. The 3 AMD hosts were great for testing but I cannot justify 600W vs 15W any longer than necessary!
One more? My office PC is kind of the management hub of a small business - it loads a lot on startup, and pegs while Dropbox and Dashlane (in particular) start up. And then I load up a bunch more stuff. The Richland A8-6600K APU at 4.4GHz is rarely idle but settles down and copes. I did some minor experimentation to attempt to get faster boot times and possibly a less-loaded CPU. Starting point is an Intel 530 180GB SSD plus Toshiba 2TB 7200rpm HDD (mainly Dropbox and some backups). Attempt #1 - clone system to one of the Plextor PCIe AICs. Boot times unaffected - responsiveness during boot unaffected. Hmm...tried migrating to an FX-8320 for 8 cores instead of 4, plus L3 cache. Unaffected, except for a much hotter office - instead of reaching 100% CPU during boot, the system reached 50%, but wasn't much more responsive. In the end, the best combo seemed to be Richland with a dGPU and a Crucial drive (the MX100 from my home desktop that was replaced by the 960 EVO) with their caching software. I tried an 850 EVO, but Samsung Magician would not enable caching with the SSD attached to an AMD SATA/AHCI controller. I managed to eventually fool it by moving the EVO to the ASMedia controller, booting, installing Magician with caching, then moving the drive back to the AMD controller. It worked, but ultimately I did not need to boot from a 1TB SSD at work - so I settled on the MX100. I also swapped the 2TB 7200rpm Toshiba for a 1TB VelociRaptor, which made Dropbox's boot-up indexing a lot snappier.