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PCIe NVMe Question

Professor78Professor78 Member UncommonPosts: 605
Can't seem to find a concreate answer on this googling quite a lot, so hopefully some experience here.

I currently have a 256gb NVMe 970 pro where my OS sits, and then 1tb standard SSD for games.

I will be upgrading to 3080/3090 by end of the year, and intrigued by possible tech advantages of faster storage drives, this ties in too as I have been wanting to expand size a bit. But question is:

Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?

I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.



Core i5 13600KF,  BeQuiet Pure Loop FX 360, 32gb DDR5-6000 XPG, WD SN850 NVMe ,PNY 3090 XLR8, Asus Prime Z790-A, Lian-Li O11 PCMR case (limited ed 1045/2000), Aorus 27" AD27QK Monitor, Logitech G560 LightSync Sound, Razer Deathadder V2 and Razer Blackwidow V3 Keyboard


Comments

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375

    I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

    Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.



    Pretty sure it doesn’t work this way.
  • JeroKaneJeroKane Member EpicPosts: 6,712
    Can't seem to find a concreate answer on this googling quite a lot, so hopefully some experience here.

    I currently have a 256gb NVMe 970 pro where my OS sits, and then 1tb standard SSD for games.

    I will be upgrading to 3080/3090 by end of the year, and intrigued by possible tech advantages of faster storage drives, this ties in too as I have been wanting to expand size a bit. But question is:

    Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?

    I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

    Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.



    Go AMD. That's what I did early this year. Full PCIe 4.0 support with two NVMe slots.

    Intel is sadly so far behind at the moment and with all the security problems that happened with their CPU's the last couple years. I could not in good consciousness stick with Intel anymore, when I upgraded this year.
    I went with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Asus ROG Strix X570-E gaming motherboard.
    It has litterally all the latest tech onboard, including USB 3.2.
    Gdemami
  • VrikaVrika Member LegendaryPosts: 7,577

    Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?
    No.

    The only advantage of having two physical drives would be that you could have back-ups of some important information on both drives. But that only applies if you're planning to do backups that way.

    Imho a single large drive is so much easier to use than multiple drives, that if you're buying a new drive I'd recommend a single large one.
    Quizzical
     
  • JeroKaneJeroKane Member EpicPosts: 6,712
    Vrika said:

    Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?
    No.

    The only advantage of having two physical drives would be that you could have back-ups of some important information on both drives. But that only applies if you're planning to do backups that way.

    Imho a single large drive is so much easier to use than multiple drives, that if you're buying a new drive I'd recommend a single large one.
    There is a definitive advantage of having the OS on a completely separate physical drive. Not just a separate partition of a larger drive.
    botrytisGdemami
  • botrytisbotrytis Member RarePosts: 3,363
    edited September 2020
    Vrika said:

    Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?
    No.

    The only advantage of having two physical drives would be that you could have back-ups of some important information on both drives. But that only applies if you're planning to do backups that way.

    Imho a single large drive is so much easier to use than multiple drives, that if you're buying a new drive I'd recommend a single large one.
    As JeroKane says, there is a definite advantage for having the OS on it's own drive. I have tried an SSD partitioned and found it was not as fast as the drive alone for just the OS. This was on a Samsung 960 NVMe M.2 SSD.
    Gdemami


  • Professor78Professor78 Member UncommonPosts: 605
    Ridelynn said:

    I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

    Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.



    Pretty sure it doesn’t work this way.
    I have seen info on this happening in 2 ways based on chipset, and regardless of how many lanes the motherboard has the CPU (8086K) has max 16. 
    Either it utilises 2x4 lanes (certain mobo types)
    Or the NVMe will still only use 1x4 but 'share' 

    I could be wrong here and welcome any concrete info as may change my need to consider consolidating drives. Been a while since I looked into this.

    Core i5 13600KF,  BeQuiet Pure Loop FX 360, 32gb DDR5-6000 XPG, WD SN850 NVMe ,PNY 3090 XLR8, Asus Prime Z790-A, Lian-Li O11 PCMR case (limited ed 1045/2000), Aorus 27" AD27QK Monitor, Logitech G560 LightSync Sound, Razer Deathadder V2 and Razer Blackwidow V3 Keyboard


  • Professor78Professor78 Member UncommonPosts: 605
    JeroKane said:
    Can't seem to find a concreate answer on this googling quite a lot, so hopefully some experience here.

    I currently have a 256gb NVMe 970 pro where my OS sits, and then 1tb standard SSD for games.

    I will be upgrading to 3080/3090 by end of the year, and intrigued by possible tech advantages of faster storage drives, this ties in too as I have been wanting to expand size a bit. But question is:

    Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?

    I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

    Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.



    Go AMD. That's what I did early this year. Full PCIe 4.0 support with two NVMe slots.

    Intel is sadly so far behind at the moment and with all the security problems that happened with their CPU's the last couple years. I could not in good consciousness stick with Intel anymore, when I upgraded this year.
    I went with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Asus ROG Strix X570-E gaming motherboard.
    It has litterally all the latest tech onboard, including USB 3.2.
    Depending on how the 3000 series benchmarks go, and hardware in several months that may be an option, but until I get any degradation in games I have no need to change board/cpu yet
    My 8086k can run all cores @5.2 no problem, I don't yet, so still got some breathing room - no AMD cpu will give me a direct gaming benefit yet

    Core i5 13600KF,  BeQuiet Pure Loop FX 360, 32gb DDR5-6000 XPG, WD SN850 NVMe ,PNY 3090 XLR8, Asus Prime Z790-A, Lian-Li O11 PCMR case (limited ed 1045/2000), Aorus 27" AD27QK Monitor, Logitech G560 LightSync Sound, Razer Deathadder V2 and Razer Blackwidow V3 Keyboard


  • Professor78Professor78 Member UncommonPosts: 605
    JeroKane said:
    Vrika said:

    Is there any real world disadvantage of just having just a single large NVMe drive for both OS and games?
    No.

    The only advantage of having two physical drives would be that you could have back-ups of some important information on both drives. But that only applies if you're planning to do backups that way.

    Imho a single large drive is so much easier to use than multiple drives, that if you're buying a new drive I'd recommend a single large one.
    There is a definitive advantage of having the OS on a completely separate physical drive. Not just a separate partition of a larger drive.
    Apart from single point of failure (which not worried about) what is the actual advantage of separate?
    I have not been able to find any actual stats or data anywhere.

    Most forum threads are just 'yes its better to have different drives' - I am starting to get the feeling its just related back to where SSD was taking over HDD, and price was forcing just having OS on SSD at the time.

    Core i5 13600KF,  BeQuiet Pure Loop FX 360, 32gb DDR5-6000 XPG, WD SN850 NVMe ,PNY 3090 XLR8, Asus Prime Z790-A, Lian-Li O11 PCMR case (limited ed 1045/2000), Aorus 27" AD27QK Monitor, Logitech G560 LightSync Sound, Razer Deathadder V2 and Razer Blackwidow V3 Keyboard


  • achesomaachesoma Member RarePosts: 1,614
    Yeah I’m curious as well. I assumed for NVMe that a single large for OS and storage would be easier than 2 NVMe. That’s how laptops come now. 

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375
    edited September 2020
    Two benefits to having separate drives:

    System can read / write to oth drives simultaneously. With SSDs this isn’t that big of a benefit as it may sound - with spinners it was huge.

    The biggest benefit is just in compartmentalization: you can wipe/ reinstall the OS and it won’t touch your data/ games

    Biggest negative: adds a bit of complexity, because now you have to remember where you installed what

    Can be somewhat less expensive depending on what size drive your looking at. Two 1TB drives will tend to cost less than a single 2TB right now, for instance.
    Post edited by Ridelynn on
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845
    Ridelynn said:

    I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

    Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.
    Pretty sure it doesn’t work this way.
    Motherboard vendors can make it work that way if they want to.  In most cases, it would be stupid of them to do so, so they probably won't.  But if you want to get multiple NVMe drives, it doesn't hurt to check the particular motherboard that you're looking at to see how the NVMe slots are configured.  Crippling the GPU isn't the only thing that can go wrong, and you could be looking at a motherboard giving one slot only a PCI Express 3.0 x2 connection or something like that.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845
    Ridelynn said:

    I Will go for one of the latest - even though mainstream Intel boards don't support PCI 4.0 yet. The reason behind not just adding extra storage, is that I believe each takes up 4 PCIe lanes - and with 2xNVMe - this would mean that PCIe lanes left for GPU would drop to 8x only, and this would have a greater chance of bottlenecking the 3000 series.

    Any info or experience on this would be helpful, thanks.



    Pretty sure it doesn’t work this way.
    I have seen info on this happening in 2 ways based on chipset, and regardless of how many lanes the motherboard has the CPU (8086K) has max 16. 
    Either it utilises 2x4 lanes (certain mobo types)
    Or the NVMe will still only use 1x4 but 'share' 

    I could be wrong here and welcome any concrete info as may change my need to consider consolidating drives. Been a while since I looked into this.
    If you're concerned about getting enough PCI Express bandwidth to feed a GPU and multiple SSDs, then that's a reason to buy AMD.  AMD's X570 platform has enough PCI Express 4.0 lanes coming off of the socket to give a dedicated x16 connection to the GPU and a dedicated x4 connection to each of two NVMe SSDs, with enough bandwidth left to not unduly cripple anything else.  Their B550 platform doesn't offer that, though it will let you have an x16 to a GPU, an x4 to an SSD, and plenty of bandwidth left for other, lighter uses.

    If you really want to go nuts, AMD's Threadripper platform has massively more bandwidth yet.  For example, here's a motherboard that can offer dedicated PCI Express 4.0 x16 connections to two GPUs and 4.0 x4 connections to five NVMe SSDs all at once, while still having ample bandwidth for whatever lighter uses you want:

    https://www.newegg.com/asus-rog-zenith-ii-extreme-al/p/N82E16813119227

    That's ridiculous overkill for most consumer uses, but having more bandwidth coming off of the CPU socket lets you do things like that.
    JeroKane
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845
    Unless you know that you're doing something that is extremely bandwidth hungry, I'd recommend just getting a single SSD of whatever capacity you need.  There are enterprise uses for more bandwidth than a single SSD can provide, but that's very unusual for consumer use.  The main reason to get multiple SSDs for a consumer desktop is if you already have one and want more capacity, so you buy a second and add it to the system without removing the first.
    Professor78
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,403
    From my experience, the sole disadvantage of fast nVMEs is data security. You will want someway to backup your data. Personally I use OneDrive to backup my data, it makes moving between PCs and having everything setup fairly easy. Just need to install the OS, applications, and poof everything is automatically put in the right spot.
  • JeroKaneJeroKane Member EpicPosts: 6,712
    achesoma said:
    Yeah I’m curious as well. I assumed for NVMe that a single large for OS and storage would be easier than 2 NVMe. That’s how laptops come now. 
    That's just for space and cost saving messures.

    One of the biggest reasons to have separate disks, is also to spread data around and not have a single hardware point of failure with a single disk.

    SSD's have become more reliable over time, but they can still fail just like anything else.

    You don't need a large SSD / NVMe drive for the OS. I have two NVMe's myself. A cheap 256 GB one for the OS and a more expensive 1 TB one for my games, etc.

    I also still have my previous rock solid 1 TB spindle disk where I store my other stuff. This gets hardly accessed, so is more for backup purposes.

    Very critical data I store on my OneDrive. So I can always wipe everything without worrying I lose critical data.
    achesomaAsm0deus
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