What would you do? Linux and storage

I’m looking for some general advice. But it is more of a what would you do. I am running linux (Ubuntu 20.04LTS) and have a MSI MEG Unify Motherboard and a 500GB Samsung 970 EVO NVME drive. I’m looking to expand storage. And I’m just indecisive.

I’d like to add at least 1TB more. Primarily because I am gaming again and could use the space. My board can do PCIe4. And I have 2 free M.2 slots available. But I also have SATA available.

Even though firmware for drives is rarely needed, I would prefer the option to update firmware if/when it is needed without needing a Windows box. So I would prefer a manufacturer that at least has a bootable USB option for firmware updates if not a native linux option.

I am currently thinking that a 2TB Crucial MX500 would do the job for the most space for the least cost per GB. But part of my is saying why don’t I future proof things and get a PCIe4 NVME drive and make that my new primary. But I don’t know that I really have a use case for the extra speed right now.

I know first world problems and in the end there is no real right answer. So what would you do?

Thanks for any suggestions!


There is nothing wrong with the “old” PCIe3 drives. And you can save quite a bit of money if you don’t need >5GB/sec seq or 1M IOPS.

Gaming storage I’d go for 2TB PCIe3 drives. Stay away from SATA drives, unless you want to timeshift back into the stone age. If you got M.2 on your board, you buy M.2.

Difference in speeds between SATA and M.2 is a factor of 10 while the difference between PCIe3 and PCIe4 is like 1.5. (SSDS).

SATA SSDs are to M.2 what HDDs are to SSDs. pathetic relics of the past :slight_smile:

That MX500 is about 190 at my vendor and most of the PCIe3 M.2 SSDs are around 240-260. That extra 50 bucks is worth the upgrade.


If you have no use case to justify the additional cost of an NVMe drive over SATA, then don’t spend the money. Save it for a later, much more impactful upgrade on your workflow or gaming experience. Fact is, even SATA SSD drives can saturate the system if the rest of your components aren’t up to speed. That includes your body :wink: The human “3D computer” isn’t geared for extremely high speed data processing, the extra speed an NVMe drive allows over SATA isn’t really noticeable in real life. For data centres it’s a totally different ball game, of course, but gaming or ‘normal’ PC use (browsing, email, etc) chances are you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Unless of course it’s a bit of an OCD thing that you really “need” to have the fastest, sickest, most bad-ass gaming system to get your mates green with envy :money_mouth_face:


I’d get the MX500 and hook it up as a sata drive. It’s not the speediest option, but it’ll do the job.


Get a 2TB MX500 and have it as a dedicated game drive. You honestly won’t benefit any from having games on a NVME. They will load and run just as fast with either types of SSD. Future proof? I guess you could opt for that, but there is literally nothing out now or in the proximate horizon that could use, let alone need a fast NVME (talking about games). Of course, unless you come upon a similar priced same capacity NVME (which there are, just not PCIe4 nor top performers).
As for firmware updates, the only manufacturer that has anything useful for that working in Linux is, to my knowledge, Seagate. Their SSDs are rather good and they rival Samsung drives in both performance and price, unfortunately. There are command line utilities that can upgrade firmware, but it does not support all brands, and it’s CLI.


I, as an owner of the MX500 2TB, can say that it is plenty even for MS Flight Sim 2020. I do have a 1TB NVMe in my System and don’t really feel any difference. The funniest part about my setup is that the SSD isn’t even hooked up via SATA, I have it in my Server and use ISCSI to connect to it via 10G. So latency and speed is even worse than it could be.

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