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Why are most M.2 NVME SSDs without DRAM (Cache)?

Astroflash
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Having seen this video I would have assumed that it would be easy to find M.2 SSDs with DRAM but I can only really find Samsung SSDs with DRAM? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIXsrLCgdM

 

Is it not necessary for M.2 PCI-E drives? Or am I really only left with Samsung...

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1 minute ago, Astroflash said:

Having seen this video I would have assumed that it would be easy to find M.2 SSDs with DRAM but I can only really find Samsung SSDs with DRAM? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIXsrLCgdM

 

Is it not necessary for M.2 PCI-E drives? Or am I really only left with Samsung...

Most of them use SLC caching. Meaning a portion of the SSD is not running in the (relatively) slower TLC/QLC format, but rather in SLC.

How large your SLC cache is depends on how much of the SSD you are using currently.

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

 

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Because it adds cost, and despite what Linus keeps saying in his videos, for the vast majority of people it DOES NOT make it "slower than a hard drive".  For a boot drive having a DRAM cache is nice, but far from necessary.

Make sure to quote or tag me (@JoostinOnline) or I won't see your response!

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5 minutes ago, Astroflash said:

Having seen this video I would have assumed that it would be easy to find M.2 SSDs with DRAM but I can only really find Samsung SSDs with DRAM? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIXsrLCgdM

 

Is it not necessary for M.2 PCI-E drives? Or am I really only left with Samsung...

Capture.PNG

Most of those drives are cached, just not documented in PCPP. The best way to tell is either to look up reviews, or if you can get a good look at the PCB, you can usually spot the DRAM chip.

 

In any case, NVMe suffers a lot less from being DRAMless because it can cache in system memory.

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When it comes to NVMe drives, many if not most do have DRAM. The ones that are DRAM-less generally use host memory buffer (HMB) these days, which is some of your system memory (RAM) for caching. There are some exceptions, like the WD SN550. By far and large these drives do pretty well for themselves, certainly better than DRAM-less SATA (AHCI) drives, although in many cases a high-end SATA drive with DRAM will be equivalent or better. NVMe as a protocol (vs. AHCI) is superior for solid state as well. Note that SLC caching and DRAM cache have nothing really in common, different kinds of caching.

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8 hours ago, NewMaxx said:

When it comes to NVMe drives, many if not most do have DRAM. The ones that are DRAM-less generally use host memory buffer (HMB) these days, which is some of your system memory (RAM) for caching. There are some exceptions, like the WD SN550. By far and large these drives do pretty well for themselves, certainly better than DRAM-less SATA (AHCI) drives, although in many cases a high-end SATA drive with DRAM will be equivalent or better. NVMe as a protocol (vs. AHCI) is superior for solid state as well. Note that SLC caching and DRAM cache have nothing really in common, different kinds of caching.

Thanks. So what does the SN550 do differently?

 

 

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8 hours ago, Astroflash said:

Thanks. So what does the SN550 do differently?

 

 

Check my post/reply there.

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  • 1 year later...
On 5/7/2020 at 7:55 PM, JoostinOnline said:

Because it adds cost, and despite what Linus keeps saying in his videos, for the vast majority of people it DOES NOT make it "slower than a hard drive".  For a boot drive having a DRAM cache is nice, but far from necessary.

The issue is HOW do you use your NVME storage, OP? Lightly, moderately, or constantly? 

 

Fear of "Being slower than HDD" was NEVER my concern when buying an nvme. My issue was always that dramless has unstable write speeds for huge gigabytes of data, not slower than hdd, but after 5gb, youll notice a significant buffer, and that is per my experience. ALSO unlike most normal users, I always cleanup, download, redownload terrabytes of data, which significantly lowers the life of a dramless nvme. 

 

Though I do tend to heatsink the individual controller and dram, which does away completely with buffering time for me. And no, I don't sink the nand flash. I like leaving it warm and toasty :) 

 

 

So, OP, keep in mind HOW you manage your ssd: if you're like me: you move hundreds of gigabytes of data around a lot (i.e moving 100gb game files every week, doing "fresh windows reinstall"), then you will NOT want Dramless nor QLC. But if you moderately use the PC and rarely download/redownload stuff (I.e you mostly use microsoft word, go on facebook, rarely move 100gb game files a year), then Dramless and QLC is totally fine. 

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Just now, WarPigs said:

The issue is HOW do you use your NVME storage, OP? Lightly, moderately, or constantly? 

 

Fear of "Being slower than HDD" was NEVER my concern when buying an nvme. My issue was always that dramless has unstable write speeds for huge gigabytes of data, not slower than hdd, but after 5gb, youll notice a significant buffer, and that is per my experience. ALSO unlike most normal users, I always cleanup, download, redownload terrabytes of data, which significantly lowers the life of a dramless nvme. 

 

Though I do tend to heatsink the individual controller and dram, which does away completely with buffering time for me. And no, I don't sink the nand flash. I like leaving it warm and toasty :) 

 

 

So, OP, keep in mind HOW you manage your ssd: if you're like me: you move hundreds of gigabytes of data around a lot (i.e moving 100gb game files every week, doing "fresh windows reinstall"), then you will NOT want Dramless nor QLC. But if you moderately use the PC and rarely download/redownload stuff (I.e you mostly use microsoft word, go on facebook, rarely move 100gb game files a year), then Dramless and QLC is totally fine. 

Would like to add, although I still prefer to buy TCL +DRAM nvmes, I rarely move files around and do full reinstalls these days. This is thanks to less errors on my end, and knowledge of how to troubleshoot hidden problem, more storage capacity, and being better at space allocation. I also installed an internal dramless sata ssd on my mother's laptop, and it still works after 5 years without issue because she uses the storage very lightly. 

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On 8/26/2021 at 10:48 AM, WarPigs said:

The issue is HOW do you use your NVME storage, OP? Lightly, moderately, or constantly? 

 

Fear of "Being slower than HDD" was NEVER my concern when buying an nvme. My issue was always that dramless has unstable write speeds for huge gigabytes of data, not slower than hdd, but after 5gb, youll notice a significant buffer, and that is per my experience. ALSO unlike most normal users, I always cleanup, download, redownload terrabytes of data, which significantly lowers the life of a dramless nvme. 

 

Though I do tend to heatsink the individual controller and dram, which does away completely with buffering time for me. And no, I don't sink the nand flash. I like leaving it warm and toasty 🙂

 

 

So, OP, keep in mind HOW you manage your ssd: if you're like me: you move hundreds of gigabytes of data around a lot (i.e moving 100gb game files every week, doing "fresh windows reinstall"), then you will NOT want Dramless nor QLC. But if you moderately use the PC and rarely download/redownload stuff (I.e you mostly use microsoft word, go on facebook, rarely move 100gb game files a year), then Dramless and QLC is totally fine. 

This is over a year old.

Make sure to quote or tag me (@JoostinOnline) or I won't see your response!

PSU Tier List  |  The Real Reason Delidding Improves Temperatures"2K" does not mean 2560×1440 

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