SSD advice hard mode

Hi.

I come seeking advice regarding storage upgrades. My 1TB WD Blue HDD just died. No biggie though cause that was only games. I’m planning to upgrade to an SSD which would be simple for most folks except for:

1: I live in India and hardware prices are insane.
2: I have a pretty old system.

System:
Intel 2600k
Asus Z77 V-Pro Deluxe
32GB RAM
Vega 64
2x 256GB 870 EVO (Boot drives: Windows, Linux)
2x 2TB WD Green HDD (Media)

Dilemma(s):
1: NVMe. So my motherboard does not have any m.2 slots and even if I were to get a PCIe carrier card I’m pretty certain I can’t boot from it. Should I get one just as a game drive?
2: DRAMless SSD. From what I understand, cheap SSD’s usually don’t have DRAM and use system memory. Most places I’ve looked at mention that’s not a big deal. Does it hold true for my 10 year old Sandy Bridge?

Here’s a few 1TB drives I’ve shortlisted with local pricing:

  • Kingston NV-1 NVMe: Rs 8175
  • WD Blue SN550 NVMe: Rs 8400
  • Crucial MX500 2.5": Rs 8500
  • Crucial P2 NVMe: Rs 8500
  • Samsung 870 QVO: Rs 9000
  • Kingston A2000 NVMe: Rs 9500
  • Intel 660p NVMe: Rs 9650
  • Samsung 870 EVO 2.5": Rs 11700

I appreciate any help. Thanks

Just get whatever is cheap imo if you arent doing anything special and dont have something that generates money being done on the drive.

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I’ve barely noticed a difference between sata and NVME

Sata will be cheaper anyway, try and get a dram cache if you can

DDR3 has lower latency which is good, but lower bandwidth which is bad

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I haven’t noticed a difference between SATA and NVMe myself either, and although your system is still old it’s still quite usable. If you really wanted to try and get some more performance you might be able to find a cheap Ivy Bridge CPU to upgrade to. Personally I would grab myself a Crucial MX500.

Think I have 3-4 systems with the MX500s (just bought 2 more actually) and they all run great you will notice a big difference between them and the old mechanical HDD you had.

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Using system memory isn’t really a big deal, but not all dramless drives use system memory. Some of them just use the onboard flash instead, and are bad and should feel bad.
The A2000 is a pretty good budget drive with onboard dram cache, MX500 is solid for SATA speeds. I’d go with one of those, personally.
For the sake of simplicity, though, you may as well get the MX500. It’s cheaper, won’t hold you back in performance on that hardware anyway, and a PCIE NVME card would mean eating up lanes from your GPU anyway, and would limit other expansion options down the line. Though, you could have a pair of 4x cards in the bottom two slots, so it’s not really a big deal.

Also, I don’t know how bad Windows is about it, but you can boot off one drive, and run entirely off another post-boot. Windows does this by default a lot of the time, so it’s more a matter if if you can get it to install to the NVME drive on that board, I would think.

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Honestly I am not even sure if his board supports NVMe since it’s Z77 I don’t know if ASUS would of done a BIOS update to add support to it for people using them on a adapter/carrier card. Like I know ASRock did for my Z87 Extreme 6 board, but it’s only a beta BIOS they never made a full release version with it, but I sort of doubt ASUS would bother at all for a Z77.

Since it’s just PCIE, I would think that, as long as the OS has the NVME driver, it should be fine. Booting is another story, since no OS is loaded at that point, so it needs to recognize storage on PCIE that isn’t SATA or USB as bootable.

If your requirements are only games:

  • NVME vs. SATA is currently a wash. I have 2x NVME and 3x SATA in my gaming box and can’t tell where games are installed without checking. Seriously… The NVME drives are faster but games aren’t going to be any different really.
  • SATA is cheaper
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I agree with the others here, SATA is the way to go, given that you need to buy an m.2 expansion card which will set you back at least $40 extra. That card would also only fit your second x16 PCIe slot and would halve your VEGA output to x8. Just too much hassle for that old system.

That said, you should consider replacing your boot drive with something bigger and even look at the 2TB drives if you can afford them. Up to you and your budget though! Besides that, go with whatever is the cheapest 1TB SSD drive you can find.

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Thanks for all the help guys. 3x 1TB Crucial MX500 are on their way as I type this.

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