Fast storage, but even faster!
In a previous post I talked about the difference between Storage and memory and now I’d like to introduce you to our favourite kind of storage; Samsung SSD Storage. Here’s why we think that they’re best in class and would highly recommend for enthusiasts, office and home use…
Everybody that uses a computer, needs some form of storage. Historically we used Hard Disk drives, floppy discs, CDs, DVDs and all kinds of other things. But in the last decade things really changed for consumers with the arrival of affordable SSDs, or solid state drives. With no waiting for mechanical parts to move into place to read data , SSDs were tens if not hundreds times faster than a traditional hard drive.
Today SSDs are commonplace in even standard home desktops and laptops as well as phones, cars and all manner of other places. But one brand seems to stand out among the others, with an excellent range of some of the most reliable SSDs on the market and some speeds that are truly mind blowing.
I’m talking about Samsung and their many different storage solutions ranging from standard 2.5” SSDs to ultra high speed M.2 NVMe drives.From their QVO to EVO to the PRO range, Samsung offers plenty of options for storage at affordable prices with excellent read and write speeds.
Now the latest innovation to hit the SSD market is NVMe M.2 SSDs that plug directly into the motherboard and give EVEN faster read and write speeds while taking up even less space and not even needing any cables to connect for power or for data transfer. But how fast is NVMe vs a standard Sata SSD? Well you can expect a standard Samsung QVO, EVO or PRO SSD to read and write at about 500+ mb/s comfortably. However the Samsung 970 PRO M.2 SSD… well that’ll reportedly write at up 2700mb/s and read at up to 3500mb/s! Which is insane!
And if you think that’s fast, the other reason the Samsung SSDs are our go to choice for storage currently is because of the 2 software tools that Samsung provide for free.
Samsung Magician and Samsung Data Migration.
Samsung Data Migration is an awesome bit of software that lets you plug in your new SSD into your system and provided your old drive still functions. It will take and clone all of your data on the old drive and put it on the new drive. Now plenty of programs can do this for you, but Samsung’s will also copy your OS and install all the programs it can so that once it completes and restarts, it’s all running off the new drive and all of your shortcuts and programs will still work. The only thing it won’t do is plug itself in.
Now Samsung Magician is a kind of optimisation and monitoring software that works with most storage drives, but requires a Samsung SSD to realise its true potential. If you’re plugging in with a different model of SSD or HDD then you can expect basic monitoring as well as the basic benchmark functionality. Whereas using a Samsung drive you’ll get the ability to encrypt, secure erase, troubleshoot and all other kinds of stuff. But the biggest draw if you’re plugging in with a non NVMe Samsung SSD has to be RAPID mode..
When using Samsung Magician you have the option to enable ‘Rapid Mode’. Rapid Mode does exactly what it says on the tin. It takes your 500Mb/s SSD and lets it cache information in your systems RAM, as well as utilise spare CPU resources to streamline the read and write process. While it doesnt physically increase the drives speed, it can result in MASSIVE sequential read and write speed increases for this cached information.
So armed with all this information, I went out and grabbed myself a brand new 970 EVO Plus M.2 NVMe SSD to install it into my home machine. At the same time I also added a new 2Tb Seagate Barracuda HDD to my already existing 2Tb Seagate HDD and 120Gb Samsung 860 EVO SSD.
After failing to locate my motherboards M.2 screw kit (and subsequently finding it later) I stuck the drive in with a random screw we had lying around that fit and booted it up. As soon as we were in windows we ran Data Migration, transferring the 60Gb or so from my 120Gb 860 EVO directly onto the M.2. It was seamless. Within 20 minutes the task was complete and the system automatically restarted. The boot speed was definitely faster than before and when we got into windows, everything was exactly as it should be, no issues launching anything or searching for files when loading up Movie Studio or issues with shortcuts to nowhere on the desktop.
We then benched all the drives and got some interesting results. The new HDD was around double the speed of the old one, the SSD was running at the expected around 500Mb/s and the NVMe drive was running at a blistering 3000+ MB/s. So we turned on RAPID and rebenched the 860 EVO. We ended up with an effective speed for the cached data of over 5000Mb/s. Even faster than the NVMe drive! But you have to remember that that’s only specific cached data that has that kind of speed, and it’s going to take up some system resources to use in that way. Whereas the NVMe drive, has 3000Mb/s all the time, for all its data without taking up extra system power to run.
Overall if you’re not already running and SSD, then you’ll experience a massive increase in system boot times and read/write speeds for anything going onto that drive and with prices of SSDs coming down to be very similar per Mb to that of traditional HDDs it’s a very affordable way to upgrade your system. However if your motherboard supports NVMe M.2 then that its definitely the way to go. It is more expensive for the same amount of storage, but the massive speed increases make a noticeable difference. And if you’re going to get either a standard SATA SSD or an NVMe drive, we would highly recommend Samsung for their exceptional software tools and hardware reliability.