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M.2 vs SATA SSD as boot drive and software

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:37 pm
by brainglue
I have three 1 TB M.2s and a couple SATA SSDs. I am trying to decide which to use for the the operating system (Windows 10) and softwares (eg, Cubase 10.5, Kontakt, Omnisphere). I am thinking about using one of the SATA SSDs for the operating system and softwares and saving all three of the M.2s for storing sample libraries (eg, Kontakt libraries, East West libraries). Which would be a better option in terms of better performance and project load time?

Thanks in advance!

Re: M.2 vs SATA SSD as boot drive and software

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:31 pm
by MrSoundman
I would suggest the SSD for the OS as I don't think it matters whether Windows boots in 12 seconds or 10. The M.2s are premium storage but bear in mind that Kontakt in particular doesn't seem to load large libraries any faster from M.2 when compared to SSD, i.e. disk is not the bottleneck byond a certain point.

Re: M.2 vs SATA SSD as boot drive and software

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:40 pm
by brainglue
MrSoundman wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:31 pm
I would suggest the SSD for the OS as I don't think it matters whether Windows boots in 12 seconds or 10. The M.2s are premium storage but bear in mind that Kontakt in particular doesn't seem to load large libraries any faster from M.2 when compared to SSD, i.e. disk is not the bottleneck byond a certain point.
Thanks for your input! When you say that Kontakt libraries do not seem to take heavy advantage of M.2s (vs SATA SSDs), do you mean that from personal/anecdotal experience or did you get that from a benchmark posted somewhere?

Re: M.2 vs SATA SSD as boot drive and software

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:31 pm
by MrSoundman
Personal and anecdotal I'm afraid! When I moved my largest Kontakt libraries from a 7200rpm disk (~110 MByte/s) to SSD (~550 MByte/s) they did not load 5 times faster. Faster, yes, but not 5 or even 4 times faster. I'm planning to fit an M.2 NVMe and I read a detailed test which indicated something similar re. SSD->NVMe but I can't for the life of me find it now, apologies.

Be aware that there are both NVMe (fast) and SATA (slower) M.2s out there so if you already have SATA SSDs (2.5" form factor) then only moving to NVMe makes sense, but they are orders of magnitude faster.