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Storage The Sudden Small-SSD Availability Crisis (Aug 2016)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by boiled_elephant, 5 Aug 2016.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    I dunno if anybody else has noticed this, or if I'm just missing a trick. Admittedly I only look at Amazon, because they've been cheapest for flash memory products for as long as I've been in business.

    For ages now I've been able to obtain a decent 120GB/128GB SSD for less than or around £40. First it was the Plextor M6S (a sort of poor man's Samsung 850 EVO), then it was the Sandisk Plus for about £36 (rubbish, but so cheap I didn't mind), and when I was pushed I'd plump for the 850 EVO at about £52.

    Now, though, the market's gone mental. The 850 EVO 120GB is suddenly only available through third party sellers, and prices are steadily climbing (now about £72, which is a ludicrous £20 hike over a few weeks ago). The Sandisk Plus 120GB (which was always kinda crap anyway, but it was super cheap) is now unavailable except through the marketplace, where it too as jumped in price (and its successor is a TLC-based piece of rubbish that's much slower), and the Plextor M6S has jumped from £42 to £60.

    What makes this all very confusing is that the larger 240/250/256GB SSDs are still the same prices they always were. There's just suddenly a big gap in the market in the sub-£50 region. Things like the BX, MX, UV and V series are still available but their performance stats compared to the M6S and the Samsung 850 EVO are dreadful. (Oh, and the V300 is currently at the centre of a storm of negative reviews following an apparent bait-and-switch between the original drive and some inferior version.)

    Has a factory burned down, or something? Some news back in May suggested a shortage of 2D-NAND drives was on the way as manufacturers transitioned to 3D-NAND fabrication, but this all seems rather severe.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2016
  2. teamtd11

    teamtd11 *Custom User Title*

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    From the suppliers I work with in the channel, I was told there was a disaster at a factory, Like we had with hard drive production a few years ago. So supply will be down.
     
  3. Harlequin

    Harlequin Modder

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  4. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    i think you must be looking in the wrong places, as a 2 second google shopping search gives https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/3149509963013013994?q=850 evo 120gb&prds=scoring:tps - where awd-it are selling it for ~£57...

    The only issue i ever had with them was back in Jan 2015 when they randomly sent a HDD to my folks nr Cambridge (i'd ordered some stuff for them previously), rather than to my address in Sheffield... ...& it was a b nuisance to resolve.


    Alternatively, whilst it's obviously a noticeably slower drive, there's the 120GB 750 which is readily available for ~£50 https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/1093536664835035563?q=120gb evo&prds=scoring:tps...


    ...or £47.50 if/when Amazon have them in stock again - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B01AAKZRPW/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new



    As to the reasoning, additionally to Harlequin's comment it's largely going to be some combination of -

    - larger nand die capacities making the idea of new sub-250/256GB drives increasingly pathetic + having running through the old nand stock whilst what's being manufactured is different

    - that i would imagine that the 250/256GB are now the more popular models

    - & stupid Brexit making the pound worthless.


    So, whilst i would expect the higher capacity SSDs to become a little more expensive d.t. the exchange rate, demand influences the numbers that the manufacturers are making in terms of economies of scale + that then influences the kind of prices suppliers can negotiate...

    ...so that there's no major rise in prices for the 250/256GBs is almost certainly in contrast to that they would/could have instead fallen in price if the pound had remained stable.
     
  5. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    I got a 500gb 850 Samsung for £100 just last week. That's about the cheapest I have saw.
     
  6. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    That's a pretty good deal. I nabbed a 500GB 850 last November for £90 in a Lightning Deal, so it's good that they're now coming close to that as a regular price.
     
  7. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Just to try to get a rough gauge on things - checking the Euro exchange rate vs the South Korean Won (which i'm guessing is the relevant currency) & the price of the 120GB 850 Evo...

    ...between the 13th of Feb & today, the Euro has dropped by almost exactly 10%...

    ...&, according to Pricerunner.de (, the price of the 120GB 850 Evo is pretty much 10% higher - http://www.pricerunner.de/pr/36-3076933/Festplatten-Samsung-850-Evo-MZ-75E120RW-120GB-test - which 'might' suggest that it is purely an exchange rate issue.

    However, the 250GB model's only increased by ~6% -> so, whilst the cost in Euros has increased, the cost from Samsung appears to have fallen...

    ...so there's seemingly something about the cost of the 120GB that is different to the 250GB...

    ...& it doesn't currently appear to be anything to do with total nand production (or at least Samsung's) since it's provisionally the case that Samsung are now charging less for the 250GB.


    i really do appreciate that the prices don't necessarily alter on a day by day basis based upon the exchange rate - however it's about trying to look at the info that's available to try to get an overall idea of what 'might' be going on.
     
  8. Harlequin

    Harlequin Modder

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    crucial are `limited stock` on the entire range of SSD except the latest stuff

    which to me lends weight to the change over to 3D NAND
     
  9. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    i really do not dispute that 3D nand does have an effect here, however, in terms of 120/128GB drives, it's *currently* simply not the effect that you've linked to.

    i also do not dispute that there 'may' be a longer term nand shortage - however the question was about the 2.5" 120/128GB drive prices & availability *currently*.


    Now, as we all know, SSDs effectively act as a R0 (or R00 with larger capacities) array internally (other than the old 2nd gen SandForce drives which were effectively R5 - or an odd thing that would be R00 + a single parity die with larger capacities)...

    ...we also know that, for example, if you had 2x HDDs in a R0 array & doubled the capacity of a drive but halved the number of drives in the array to keep the capacity the same - unless the new drive was twice the speed of the old ones then the (esp sequential) speeds suffer...

    ...we know that between consecutive nand generations the speed does not double...

    ...& we know that TLC nand is slower than the equivalent MLC nand.

    Therefore, if a SSD manufacturer were to double the nand die capacity used then this can cause issues with lower capacity drives (since there then can be insufficient dies to maintain speeds), & if they move to TLC nand this will tend to increase the effect.


    Samsung & Crucial (the latter using intel/micron nand of course) have taken different approaches; both with 2D & 3D nand.

    - Until the last few months, all of Samsung's current 2.5" SSDs used 128Gb dies - with 3D nand in the 850 drives (either MLC or TLC) // but, due to the transition to 48 layer nand, this currently has a die capacity of 256Gb for the TLC nand, so the larger capacity newly manufactured Evos now use 256Gb nand.

    'if', however, they had used 256Gb nand across the board, this would have caused significant performance issues with at least the 120GB model; however, what Samsung have done is -

    (a) to only use the 256Gb dies in the higher capacity models - so it had no meaningful effect on performance... ...but reduces power consumption.

    (b) to release the 750 as something of a stop gap measure to ensure that they can sell lower capacity drives that are kind of reasonable.

    (c) & to state that they're looking at limiting the capacity on 256Gb drives to 128Gb so that there can still be decently performing lower capacity drives.

    (the first & last points are confirmed - http://www.pcper.com/news/Storage/S...SSD-Capacity-Expansion-their-New-48-Layer-V-N)

    - Crucial, however, are pretty much reliant upon whatever intel/micron decide to make in terms of nand; at least in terms of price per GB.

    So Crucial were using 256Gb planar nand in the MX200 & BX200 / & are now using 384Gb 3D TLC nand in the MX300.

    This means that excluding any other advantages that Samsung's controllers or nand may have, Crucial's drives both have been & still are inherently prone to being pathetically slow at lower capacities - & hence is the reason why none of Crucial's recent drives came in 120/128GB capacities...

    (ttbomk, the last consumer 120GB drive they had was the BX100 which used 128Gb nand)

    Well, their 250/256GB drives were/are already slower than the Samsung's - & having 120/128GB capacity options using 256Gb nand would have been (comparatively) dreadful...

    ...whilst with Crucial now shifting from using 256Gb MLC planar nand to 384Gb TLC 3D nand in the MX300 similarly means that a 120/128GB would be pretty pathetic; & so instead have only released 275, 525 & 1TB models.



    [EDiT] This is wrong, as also fully accepted below, it was 128Gb MLC in the MX200 & 128Gb TLC in the BX200.

    The issue instead was that, using 128Gb MLC nand, the performance was limited to ~185GB/s sequential writes with the MX100 128GB model - &, with falling prices, there weren't the gains to replace it when trying to compete with Samsung who were already using 3D nand...

    ...whilst the BX200 was already starting to show speed issues with the 480GB model d.t. TLC nand - & whilst an okay 240GB probably could have been made, a 120GB would have been dreadful.


    A *much* better example is the M500 vs M550 below - & this mirrors what Samsung are going to be doing.

    [End EDiT]


    Conclusion.

    So, as the question was about 120/128GB drive availability & pricing...

    1. With Crucial, it's simply because they stopped making any - since the nand die capacity of what they that they could readily buy made a 120/128GB drive a stupid option. there were no gains to be made over the MX100 using 128Gb MLC, & the MX300 is now using 384Gb TLC which would make a ~128GB drive pathetic.

    2. With Samsung -

    (a) The 850 Evo used a smaller nand die capacity than Crucial were/ are using so they could make a reasonably performing 120/128GB drive using 3D nand (esp vs the MX200 & BX200) .

    (b) &, whilst they have significantly transitioned to 256Gb 3D TLC dies, because they have a vertically integrated supply chain, they have more flexibility to still provide themselves with lower capacity nand dies to give options for lower capacity drives that are not pathetically slow.

    3. &, more generally, the former case will apply to all SSD manufacturers who are buying in nand, whilst the latter can apply to manufacturers who also make nand; should they choose to.


    Now, this is *exactly* the same thing we've seen before, where, for example, back in late 2009-2011, there used to be mainstream 60/64GB drives which, whilst slower than the 120/128GB models, performed reasonably - but these were increasingly dropped as nand die size that was most cost effective to manufacturers increased...

    ...so, again, i do not dispute that there 'may' be supply issues with nand into the longer term - but this has nothing to do with the price & availability of 120/128GB models.


    Then, as a final point, because using 256Gb dies is cheaper than twice the number of 128Gb drives, this almost certainly answers my question about why the 128GB Evo has roughly stayed at the same price in South Korean Won...

    (using the Euro since we obviously have issues in the UK where prices haven't generally increased to the level that the fall in the pound should dictate)

    ...whilst higher capacity drives have comparatively fallen in price; once the exchange rate is removed from the equation.
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2016
  10. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    I ordered a cheap no name 128GB mSATA SSD four days ago for my spare laptop - it arrived today and cost me ~ £22.

    What crisis? :p
     
  11. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    mSATA are a very different beast; not least since they've (comparatively) got a much more ltd & pretty exclusively legacy market - & so any stocks that retailers have of smaller models are likely to last for half of ever... ...well, until they suddenly become stupidly rare just at the point someone *needs* one of course.


    The OP did also state that it was a "decent 120GB/128GB SSD" they were after - & whilst it's still dead easy to pick up something like a 2.5" 120GB Kingston, they're really shonky drives (comparatively)...

    ...so, even if you hadn't been talking about mSATA, i'm not convinced that a 'cheap no name' brand would quite fit the bill for them.
     
  12. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    All very good points, but it has a two year warranty and very few people will notice the performance difference a "shonky" drive and a "good" one. I certainly won't in this case - my laptop now boots to desktop in under 20 seconds, and the mSATA bus on it is only SATA2 so it can't make full use of the drive's speed.

    While there are differences between drives, most of it is marketing-manufactured snobbery.
     
  13. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    Outside of benchmarks most people would not be able to tell the difference on any SSD made in the last 2 years.

    I know I can not, I have 3 500 gb SSDs from 3 different suppliers, Samsung Scandisk and corsair. All 3 offer different performance so they say, In the real world a game on one drive loads as quickly as the one on the next one.
     
  14. spolsh

    spolsh Multimodder

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    Got to agree with this, the differences in normal use are tiny unless you get a really bad drive - The only SSD I have that is noticeably slower than the others is a SATA II Vertex (all others SATA III). Even then, it's way quicker than a standard HDD.

    On topic - a month ago I bought a Kingston 240 drive for £47, I look today and they're over a tenner more !
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2016
  15. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    The best part 20 seconds to desktop on a laptop??? That's seems really very slow - even for 3Gb/s SATA.

    The machine i'm typing on atm is an old HP G72 laptop (that i got for nothing & use for odd bits of typing when sitting in bed & am too lazy to go downstairs) with a P6100 in - & whilst also ltd to 3Gb/s then it's significantly faster than that; using a 512GB M5 Pro that i had lying around with no other use for.

    i actually hate using boot times as a metric btw, as they have little to do with r.l. usage as no one's restarting many tens of times a day...

    Well, my 5960X takes half of ever to boot, but then it's got a raid card with 28 HDDs attached - which delays both the time to bios & then subsequently going into Windows.


    You're comparing 3 500GB SSDs, not 120/128GB ones & so this has absolutely nothing to do with what i was saying about the effect of nand die sizes on smaller drives.


    * * * * * * *

    Looking at the overall point that you're both making, then yes, if you are comparing larger drives that are not affected by the nand die capacity then if *all* you are doing is a bit of browsing & word processing & gaming & the like then, other than warranty, then there's really no odds.

    However, to take a more reasonable case, most people should be able to notice a reasonable amount of extra responsiveness between a bottom of the line 120GB (say the Kingston SSDNow V300 or some of the OCZ offerings or...) & a more expensive 250/256GB or larger drive (say the 850 Evo)...

    So it's not true to say that, to paraphrase what either of you were saying, 'all drives are equal for a basic usage irrespective of model & nand die size & total capacity'.


    As to the idea that 'it's only benchmarks someone can tell a difference' with higher capacity drives, this is complete nonsense.

    Okay, *your* usage might just be browsing, word processing & games, but that does not mean that this is the only use that people might have...

    Well, as a quick example that i've used on here before (most recently about the pointlessness of spending too much on a m.2 SSD for most people), i do shed loads of multithreaded batch audio processing - which, whether using an o/c'd 3770K (previously) or an o/c'd 5960X (currently) is significantly bottlenecked by any single SATA SSD; though isn't by two half-decent ones in R0.

    Now, whilst that might seem like an extreme example, take the new 120GB SSDNow UV400 - & that has a sustained sequential write speed of ~270MB/s (according to CDM) - which is roughly half that of a larger higher end drive...

    ...& to suggest that no one, outside of niche prosumers/professionals, could have any task which involves writing sequentially wouldn't be a reasonable statement to make.


    This in mind, obviously the V300 is slow for all incompressible writes, since it's an SF using asynchronous nand (orig they were toggle nand but that changed a long time back)...

    ...whilst drives like the OCZ Trion 100/150 & the Kingston UV400 use a SLC cache - & as soon as that's filled then the sequential write speeds suffer significantly (with even the 480GB 100 & UV400 down to less than 150MB/s on average)... ...which is always more of an issue, more quickly, with smaller capacity drives than larger ones.


    Similarly, the new MX300 also uses a SLC cache - however because they have only sent out 750GB drives to reviewers (SSD manufacturers always send out the best performing drives they have to hand first), we can only make a reasonable assumption that this will perform more & more badly with lower capacity ones...

    ...& could be yet another reason why they're not making a 120GB.


    Of course, sequential r/ws are not the only metric that can matter to anyone (though of course high QD random r/ws are *very* niche within the consumer end), as aspects such as latency & random QD1-7 r/ws will also play a part...

    ...however simply looking at those independently is not overly helpful unless you've a very specific main usage.

    This is what the Anand's light & heavy benchmarks helps to evaluate in general terms - the destroyer really isn't realistic for a consumer use.

    So, using http://www.anandtech.com/bench/SSD15/1195 & http://www.anandtech.com/bench/SSD15/1190 , as an example, there's a clear difference in testing which relates to a more basic usage...

    ...&, without looking at any specific i/o usage, this gives a strong indication of how a consumer either doing nothing exciting; or doing a bit more in terms of video or photo editing or whatever...

    ...will generally notice a difference (within the SATA spec ones) when it's looking at reasonably big differences...

    ...&, whilst some of them are better than others, none of the 120/128GB drives perform particularly well.
     
  16. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Just so that you don't feel left out, as i was typing when you posted, in what way are you comparing 120GB drives (either to each other or to higher end SATA drives) by stating you've bought a 240GB drive?

    & how does this relate to the fact that *if* 256Gb nand dies were to be used in a 120/128GB drive, the speeds would be noticeably slower than the current 128Gb nand ones?


    [Edit]

    Again, i am NOT stating that larger drives may not be much of a muchness for a very basic usage - as that's simply not what the thread is about...

    ...&, whilst i'm not actually annoyed by it, what's happening atm is that the 3 of you are not arguing against what i've actually written, but instead are pretending that i've stated something different; aka 'the strawman fallacy'.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2016
  17. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Whilst i was working on something dull this afternoon, 2 things crossed my mind...

    ...however, before that, i've realised that i completely misremembered a couple of things yesterday as the MX200 also used 128Gb nand - though there was, of course, no 120/128GB model...

    ...& the BX200, used 128Gb TLC nand - though there was, of course, neither a 120 or 240GB model - instead starting at 480GB.


    Anyway, the first thought was that, going way back in time, people were mentioning using programs like 'Steam Mover' to compensate for a small SSD.

    Now, whilst some HDDs are obviously dead slow, this doesn't mean that there are no mainstream HDDs which cannot exceed 150MB/s for 50% or more of their capacity - for example the current 2TB Barracuda & Blacks both do so... ...&, within models & up to a point, as you increase capacity the drives become faster for sequential reads...

    ...so, whilst i have absolutely no idea how common this usage is, it is a relatively basic usage & in certain circumstance (larger games with certain drives) the SSD choice would create a bottleneck which could noticeably increase the time that a basic user had to wait.



    Completely separately, i also recalled that, going back a couple of years ago, Crucial had major performance issues with their 120 & 250GB drives when switching from 64Gb to 128Gb nand when releasing the M500 - where particularly the sequential write speeds were very low.

    So, with the 128GB M500 barely hitting 130MB/s & the 256GB 250MB/s for sequential writes, they then released the M550 which, used 64Gb nand for the 128GB & 256GB models, & 128Gb for the higher ones.


    Now, obviously this was subsequently mitigated to a degree by Crucial over the following 12 months for 128Gb nand through newer controllers & faster nand & whatnot...

    ...since clearly the 128GB MX100 (as the last 128GB Crucial SSD with 128Gb nand) could hit ~185MB/s sequential writes...

    ...however it's another illustration of how increasing nand die capacity negatively affects performance.


    Now, going partially off topic, reading more about the MX300 then what Crucial are apparently doing is to virtually treat a third of each nand die as a separate die; however, until there are any tests for the 275GB model, it's impossible to tell exactly to what extent this will impact due to having fewer die than the controller's optimum.

    (if i had to guess, i would go for something around 370GB/s (+/- 20GB/s) for sustained sequential writes)
     
  18. spolsh

    spolsh Multimodder

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    Was just getting across that it's the same with the slightly higher capacity drives - prices are going up. Quite happy with how you're explaining 120GB drives are becoming less available, your posts are pretty educational and where I offer observations, you offer explanations.
     
  19. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    Absolute nonsense. Where have I even suggested that you stated something else?

    I said:
    I stand by that statement. The cheapo mSATA SSD I put in the spare laptop is cable of of higher speeds than the laptop can make use of. The SSD benchmarks I ran on it, topped out at ~ 280 read 255 write, which is what I commonly saw on SATA2 SSDs over the years. Conversely, many higher end low capacity SSDs have severely gimped write speeds.
     
  20. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Whilst the other 2 were comparing larger drives, not 120/128GB ones - you had brought the mSATA drive into a discussion which was about SATA drives.

    Moreover, you were both were & still are arguing on the basis of using a 3Gb/s controller; which, whilst obviously people with legacy systems (esp with laptops) will have, is completely ignoring that 6Gb/s has been mainstream for years... ...& to argue on the basis of something along the lines of "with a 3Gb/s controller i can see no difference" isn't exactly covering all of the reasonable situations that a basic user would be presented with.


    Anyway, there was no intent to offend, however, much as others talking about the difference in user experience with larger drives, when the OP asked about 120/128GB ones, is hardly sticking to the point...

    ...the OP simply didn't state that they were after "decent 120/128GB drives to use on a 3Gb/s controller" - so comparing SSDs on a 3Gb/s controller had absolutely nothing to do with my points...

    ...& altering the premise to then argue against someone's points on completely different lines is a definition of 'the strawman fallacy'.


    All of that said, the one way i 'could' be wrong about the above claim needs me to ask you a couple of questions...

    So, why are you using a(n unnamed) "m.2 256GB NMVe" SSD in your proper machine *if* there is no difference at all in the user experience from using a mSATA at 3Gb/s?

    Well, whilst i have consistently stated that they're a waste of money (given the price premium) for most of everyone in the consumer space vs either a half-decent 6Gb/s SATA one or, as in my case, 2x in R0... ...are you actually stating that you threw your money away & should have bought a cheap SSD that can meet the bandwidth limitations of 3Gb/s?

    Or rather, more precisely, two of the random mSATA drives you've just bought one of (so that you have the same capacity but all of the speeds are the same) &, using adaptors, connected them to a 3Gb/s port in your machine & run them as separate drives?

    Well, either -

    (a) you could notice a difference &/or you have a usage which could/would(?) (well, i highly doubt you have a key usage which involves uber high QD 4K r/ws - so there's perhaps a reasonable likelihood) add to my list of examples where it will matter

    (b) or you are stating that you would not be able to tell the difference between the random 128GB mSATA drive at 3Gb/s & the m.2

    - &, whilst i would be incredibly surprised if it were the latter then, despite not being convinced at all that this would be representative of most people's experience, if it is honestly yours then you have my unreserved apology.

    * * * * * * *

    Okay, that over with, let's look at what you're saying about your mSATA drive - albeit that i can't make everything 100% relevant to the OP's question.


    Now, without knowing what the mSATA drive is & the testing you've done, i clearly cannot look to try to see if what you're saying is sensible; since clearly some benchmarks do not represent what a drive is actually capable of irl.

    [NB there's little data on mSATA drives so it may be practically impossible for me to find any info.]​

    So, quite naturally, i fully accept that, since your laptop can only do 3Gb/s, it's immaterial if the mSATA drive can consistently perform exactly (or higher than) the limitations of the controller; & clearly i wouldn't have bought an 512GB M5Pro just for the free laptop i have.

    [NB it was bought, relatively cheap at the time, for a non-trim usage, where they're much more robust than the Samsungs.]​


    A. So then there's testing, where there can be issues; for example -

    (a) Looking at the 120GB 850 Evo scores brilliantly in AS-SSD's general test with ~495MB/s writes, but with rapid enabled, drops from ~430 to ~360MB/s in BlackMagic's video test when the memory cache is overwhelmed // whilst, without rapid, only gets to ~300GB/s in AS-SSD's iso file copy test & ~170MB/s in io meter...

    ...which are all noticeably slower than the 250GB+ models.

    (b) Or looking at the SFs where, across the board, the results were wholly dependent upon how compressible the data is.

    (c) Or, there's SLC cache drives quoted earlier where speeds fell dramatically under extended write loads; esp under lower free space conditions... (speeds will fall with all SLC cache drives, but some are *much* better than others)

    (d) or...

    - & obviously, knowing nothing about what the drive is or what testing you've done, i have no idea if there could be any issue with your mSATA where your results 'might' potentially be flawed.


    B. Then you have given absolutely no information about what the nand die capacity is - & we know that increasing the nand die capacity -> lower speeds with small drives (or, conversely, that smaller die capacities increase the speeds).

    So, *if* it were the case that your drive will consistently test to within, say, 85-90% of those speeds in any reasonable test (as there's always some variance), unless you can demonstrate that the mSATA is also using 128Gb nand dies, this does not disprove my point on that.

    indeed, irrespective of whether your drive does consistently test to that, just because you've happened on a drive that will do so, i have already demonstrated that there are other drives which do not - again, the sequential write speeds on the 120GB M500 were ~130MB/s due to using 128Gb nand...

    ...which, by itself, showed that there is at least one 'shonky drive' where the sequential write speeds are lower than some common HDDs' read speeds - & so there'd quite obviously a difference for a user copying (or writing, if the process isn't CPU limited) several GBs of data onto it.


    C. Then, whilst i have primarily used sequential r/ws as examples, this is simply as they are the easiest way to get across how there can be a difference, & i also clearly noted that these were not the only concern.

    So, even 'if' those mSATA sequential speeds were, say, 85% reproducible (as there's always variance), this does not mean that the mSATA drive is not hampered in some other meaningful way - for example higher latency &/or low QD (~1-7) random r/ws... ...which comparatively can give a very different feel to the user experience.

    Hence the reason why i suggested (& have consistently recommended) using Anand's light &/or heavy tests to compare SSDs as, unless you have a very specific i/o usage, these give a much better comparative gauge of what the user experience will be like; up to a point.


    Now, the reason for stipulating 'up to a point' is that, as with any component, there are levels where, for the type of usage, any increase becomes meaningless.

    So, as stated before, i am not claiming that larger SATA SSDs aren't generally much of a muchness for a basic user (with odd exceptions) // or that any modern SSD will not feel quicker than a HDD (excluding some drives with copying tasks) // & have separately made it clear in the past that, for most people, a high end m.2 drive is a complete waste of money...

    ...however that does not mean that there is no difference in the user experience between a 120/128GB SSD using 64Gb nand & a 120/128GB one using 128Gb nand...

    ...or, indeed, that one with 256Gb(+) nand would not be pathetically slow.


    Now, as an example, this is the same argument about there being a noticeable difference between a (reasonable) basic modern GPU & an iGPU; but -

    (a) whilst accepting that if someone's only ever going to be gaming at 1080p then, unless they have some other usage that's GPU accelerated, it would be wholly pointless for them to buy a relatively high end card...

    (b) this does not mean that every GPU that's better than an iGPU will give the same experience for that basic 1080p usage.

    - & so at the lower end of the market, it's about buying the best for the money.


    Well, the question "do you *need* to copy files quickly & have a more responsive machine?", is reasonably analogous to "do you *need* to turn all the effects in a game on at 1080p?"

    But these are completely different questions to "will you *notice* files copying more quickly & having a more responsive machine by getting a SSD that's half decent vs the cheapest SSD you can find?" & "will you *notice* a difference if you can turn all of the effects, whilst maintaining a reasonable frame rate, in a game by buying a better GFX card than simply something basic that's better than the iGPU?"
     

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