Things You Can Do With NVME SSDs in 2019
It’s been a few years since our last article about NVME SSDs, and the technology has both matured and come down in price. Yay! Now, we can use higher capacities of NVME SSD in applications and workflows without having to break the piggy bank!
Uses for NVME SSD in Gaming
First and foremost, don’t expect a massive upgrade to your gameplay by using an NVME SSD to play your games on. In most games, you’ll lose about 1 second of load time, see this video for reference.
That being said, if you really want to have the best hardware in your gaming rig, NVME SSD is where it’s at. If game engines are optimized for NVME, we’ll see big drops in game loading times.
On the capacity front (related to price), if you wanted a 500GB NVME SSD for your enthusiast-class gaming rig in 2016, you generally were looking at a Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD, which was about $500. Back then, SSD was still very new, and very expensive. I remember buying my first SSD (Samsung 840 EVO 240GB) for about $200.
Now, you can get a Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVME SSD (afl) for about $200. We’ve moved from $1/GB to 50c/GB, AND we’ve also gained significant performance gains in reads, writes, and IOPS (Input/output Operations Per Second). IOPS are the more important measurement of storage speed, rather than sequential read/write numbers.
So, if you really want an NVME SSD in your gaming computer, you won’t get much of a performance boost in-game, but at least it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Uses for NVME SSD in Workstations
Now you’re probably wondering, what’s a good application for NVME SSD for a workstation? Will I get a speed boost in my workflow? Like most of what we talk about, the answer is “it depends”.
For most applications and use cases, NVME SSD will decrease load times and make for snappier cache, but not by a whole lot. In no surprise to us, the only workstations that had somewhat noticeable gains by using NVME SSD were After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC.
All of our other workstations use some manner of non-NVME SSD (typically standard SATA). In most photography, video production, animation, game design, CAD, digital audio, and rendering workloads, NVME SSD simply doesn’t have a large increase in performance.
This comes as no surprise though, because SATA SSD is so much faster than a hard drive, and software hasn’t really been coded to take advantage of the faster content-loading devices.
Put simply, more research has gone into improving the tech that does the editing (CPU and GPU), and holds the content temporarily (memory) than the tech that holds the media permanently (SSD).
If you plan on doing lots of things at once however, you might consider an NVME SSD for the long-term endurance and much lower latency.
Final Thoughts for NVME SSD in 2019 So Far
In conclusion, NVME SSD is much more affordable now, thanks to the maturation of the technology. It is however, still not really worth the price with regard to loading times in both gaming and workstation applications. That being said, some people want the best hardware (totally fine), and NVME SSD is certainly that.