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When researching NVME, what should I look for?

I plan to purchase a nvme. Not sure what size or what to look for when making a decision to purchase a nvme drive.

My main goal is to get back into linux. I plan to install a linux distro(not sure which one yet) to the nvme. I will most likely dual boot linux and windows. Windows 10 is already installed on my two 256 stripped ssds.

I am so out of the linux/tech scene that I’m not even sure if it’s possible to dual boot: linux installed on the nvme and windows installed on two stripped ssds?

Back to my original question: What info about nvme drives should I look for when purchasing one?

SSDs store data in semiconductor cells.

“SLC” = Single Level Cell = 1 bit of data per cell.
“MLC” = Multi Level Cell = 2 bits of data per cell.
“TLC” = Triple Level Cell = 3 bits of data per cell.
“QLC” = Quad Level Cell = 4 bits of data per cell.

SLC is the most reliable, durable and fastest, but has lower capacities and is expensive.

QLC is on the other end of the spectrum. Not particularly reliable, durable or fast, but available in the highest capacities and is cheap.

MLC and TLC sit logically between the two.

Choose your SSD technology based on the value you place on data integrity, how long you want/need the drives to last, the capacity you need and how much you are willing to spend.

Unless you have something very demanding in mind, TLC and QLC will be fine. I’ve been v.happy with my Samsung 960 Evo (a TLC NVMe SSD) for the last four years. Hasn’t missed a beat.

The only comment I’ll make about NVMe size (technically M.2 size) is to suggest that you go for the largest (2280) — if you can. You end up with heat spread out over a larger area, so your hot spots won’t be as intense and your drive will last longer.

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Ive bought a wrong kind kind of Samsung SSD where it gets slow the more the drive is used.

Higher SSD capacities are also faster, but also more expsensive.

LTT also did a blind test of which kind of SSD feels fast. They found out that older SATA3 feels fast enough for gaming and daily use.

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Not strictly, see samsung’s 980 specsheet
image

And to add to this, you will also want to look at wether the drive has or has not DRAM, it’s used as a cache for writes and some other drive operations. This reduces the wear on the drive.

I can’t speak for how much it matters for drive longevity with a decent drive, with my oldest drive being a samsung 850 evo from just 2017, but you will probably see better performance in large move operations (from/to another fast drive).
Normal usage (including gaming) won’t make any noticable difference.

With that said, even for DRAM-less, I’ve heard the 980 is reliable (I’m only mentioning this drive specifically because I was forced to buy nvme for my mini-pc server so I looked for the cheapest reliable drive and was skeptical for a second).

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