Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

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Calavera
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Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by Calavera » Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:17 am

And I really don't know a whole lot about them. I'm looking to spend a max of $100 and would like it to be 1TB capacity. So far the best one seems to be this one. Intel 665p Series M.2 2280 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 3D3, QLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDPEKNW010T9X1

Seems like a good price for 1TB but like I said I'm not that educated about them. I assume the more expensive ones that are NVMe 3.1 vs 3.0 are going to be faster. I guess my main question would be is this drive good enough speed wise or should I spend a bit more and get a faster one? I probably won't be spending more than $100 so if a faster would really be that much better I'd most likely have to get a 500GB version of a faster model.

My current drive main system drive is an Samsung 840 120GB SSD. When I get a M.2 drive my plan would be to clone the Samsung drive onto the new M.2 and use it as my boot drive. Then with it being a 1TB it would allow me to install games on it that would really benefit from the faster speed. Even though the Intel 665p isn't top of the line I'd imagine it would be a great deal faster than the old Samsung 840.

Here is a link to a userbenchmark I did that shows my current drives and their speed among other things.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/37056550
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melancholy
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Re: Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by melancholy » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:42 pm

I looked at the reviews, and they aren’t bad. About middle of the road on most benchmarks. They say that drive is fast handing small files, but can struggle a bit on large file transfers. As long as you aren’t moving around a ton of ISO or 4K movies all the time, it should be fine. And for comparison, even this ‘average’ M.2 benches about 3 times faster than the fastest SATA SSD. So yeah, definitely be an improvement.

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Calavera
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Re: Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by Calavera » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:55 pm

melancholy wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:42 pm
I looked at the reviews, and they aren’t bad. About middle of the road on most benchmarks. They say that drive is fast handing small files, but can struggle a bit on large file transfers. As long as you aren’t moving around a ton of ISO or 4K movies all the time, it should be fine. And for comparison, even this ‘average’ M.2 benches about 3 times faster than the fastest SATA SSD. So yeah, definitely be an improvement.
Sounds good. 3x faster than the fastest SATA SSD will be a huge improvement because my SSD is far from the fastest. I'm assuming once I get it installed I can just copy the entire contents of my old SSD onto the M.2 using something like a linux distro on a usb stick and then just set the M.2 as the primary boot drive?
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melancholy
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Re: Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by melancholy » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:59 pm

Calavera wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:55 pm
melancholy wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:42 pm
I looked at the reviews, and they aren’t bad. About middle of the road on most benchmarks. They say that drive is fast handing small files, but can struggle a bit on large file transfers. As long as you aren’t moving around a ton of ISO or 4K movies all the time, it should be fine. And for comparison, even this ‘average’ M.2 benches about 3 times faster than the fastest SATA SSD. So yeah, definitely be an improvement.
Sounds good. 3x faster than the fastest SATA SSD will be a huge improvement because my SSD is far from the fastest. I'm assuming once I get it installed I can just copy the entire contents of my old SSD onto the M.2 using something like a linux distro on a usb stick and then just set the M.2 as the primary boot drive?
No. The files needed to boot a modern OS are inside a hidden partition that sits at the beginning of a drive and is a very specific partition size. You can clone the drive, but honestly, it’s better to just reinstall Windows. Might as well start fresh.

Also, when you do the Windows install, be sure to unplug the old SSD. Otherwise, Windows will see the boot partition on the old drive and will update the files on it instead of creating a brand new boot partition on the new drive. Which means it would essentially tie to two drives together in a way that would make your system stop booting if either drive is removed.

Once Windows is up and running, then you can plug the old drive back in and do whatever you need. Once it’s all transferred, though, I do recommend a complete format of the old drive using the Diskpart command ‘Clean’ to get rid of that old boot partition on it.

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Calavera
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Re: Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by Calavera » Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:58 pm

melancholy wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:59 pm
No. The files needed to boot a modern OS are inside a hidden partition that sits at the beginning of a drive and is a very specific partition size. You can clone the drive, but honestly, it’s better to just reinstall Windows. Might as well start fresh.
I agree 100 percent that doing a fresh install is ideal but I'd rather just clone the drive than have to download all the updates and get certain things setup correctly again. I guess it comes down to just being lazy. :zzz:

In the reviews for the M.2 drive a user mentioned using EaseUS Disk Copy to copy his boot drive to the M.2 and claimed it worked fine. I don't know why I said about booting into linux and just copying the files over. I knew about the boot partition I guess I just wasn't thinking. That or always messing around with old ass computers caused me to think hey it worked 25 years ago so it should still work fine today. :olol:
Newegg Reviewer wrote:With the use of EaseUS Disk Copy software, the transfer of data to the Intel SSD was seamless. When it finished, I removed the SATA drive and rebooted. The Intel drive, in the motherboards #1 M.2 slot, booted rapidly and has operated without issue for the last few weeks
So I'll most likely try that. I've used EaseUS software in the past and it has worked great. It helped me completely repair/recover the contents of a drive with a damaged file system and also helped me get back a 30gb+ folder that I stupidly accidentally deleted.
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melancholy
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Re: Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by melancholy » Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:11 am

Yeah, EaseUS should work fine.

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Calavera
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Re: Looking to buy my first M.2 Drive

Post by Calavera » Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:14 pm

I just cloned my SSD boot drive to the NVME using a tool called Clonezilla and it boots from it just fine. If I want to use the old SSD in this machine I'll have to format on another machine or with a tool on a USB boot stick because it has a signature collision with the NVME now since it is a clone. This is no big deal. I'll probably end up using my old SSD for messing around with older computers. Either that or just keep it around as a backup drive. I was getting too many drives hooked up anyways. Right now I've got the 1TB NVME, two 3TB and one 4TB drive so I should be good on storage for awhile. I've got 10TB total with 5.4TB free. Just 20 years ago an 80gb(0.080TB) drive was considered huge and now a 128GB usb stick can be had for around $15. We live in the future! :olol:

I was surprised it cloned the drive so quickly with no errors. The only unexpected thing that happened was since it cloned my old SSD (111gb total space shown in Windows) it cloned it to a 111gb partition on the NVME. So now on the NVME I have the C drive at 111gb total and also as drive G with 842gb. It isn't a big deal since 111gb is plenty for a Windows partition. Pretty much the only time I've run low on space with it before it when I let a bunch of crap build up in the download folder. I prefer the system files to be on their own partition anyways.
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