Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ?

Posted by: justanoldmuso

Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/14/22 05:29 AM

via add in card in a pcie slot ?
ive googled crazy cant find how many m.2 nvme can be accommodated. reason i ask is lots of pc's often these days come with no spare m.2 slots ?
and pcie 4 is double throughput...over pcie 3.

why is this important ?

well...i want a new pc with 3 m.2/nvme ssd's...which are blazing fast for running biab/rb/reaps/dealing with complex song projects....ie..
..one m.2 drive for win 11/programs.
..one m.2 for recording to/playback.
..one m.2 for vi's//orch libs.

any input gratefully received from people running multiple m.2 via pcie etc...as i'm lacking knowledge in this area.

best
om
Posted by: Mike Halloran

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/14/22 12:58 PM

There is absolutely no advantage to running multiple SSDs unless you require a) more storage space than one will allow or b) you are able to format them as RAID 0 for increased speed if your PCI architecture allows for more than 4 lanes on the bus (most can't). With a typical 4 lane bus, a single blade is faster than RAID 0. You can get them up to 8TB if the cooling is good enough.

NVMe 3 x4 m.2 blades come in inexpensive 'slow' such as the Crucial P2 or expensive 'fast' types such as the 970 EVO.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/14/22 02:10 PM

Mike.
Thanks for commenting..much appreciated.

What i find interesting , is, at the retail level and manufacturers of desktop pc’s web sites…it seems difficult to get deep specs on pcie implementations…thus..
I suspect some people are purchasing desktops with the older pcie spec..ie 3…which is slower than pcie4. Which i understand is 64gb/s ?...then there is new pcie5 ?

This is kinda interesting…pcie4…
https://www.techreviewer.com/tech-answers/which-motherboards-support-pcie-40/

And pcie5…lol..its getting confusing…

https://www.techreviewer.com/learn-about-tech/is-pcie-5-worth-it-the-benefits-of-pcie-5/

As to ssd’s or any drive…i like to use a divide and conquer strategy…thus the 3 ssd idea.
Cos if i slap everything on one drive, like some folks do…if it goes on the blink i’m in the proverbial….the main reason being how BIG orch libs are.


Cheers
om
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/14/22 03:46 PM

om, I have three drives on my music computer. The C drive, and SSD, is for programs only. All of my sounds are on another SSD while my data is on a 7200 RPM HD. Everything is backed up.

If possible one should never put their sounds/patches on the same drive as the program. YMMV
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 05:12 AM

Mario.

I’m same as you… re ssd drive organisation. Ssd’s are cheap. I’ve never looked back.

The more i delve into advanced vi’s//orch libs the more i’m aware the importance of using the right configged pc. Otherwise one could end up with a lemon pc that doesnt do the job.

Re…importance of lanes. More the merrier ? so one doesnt get bottlenecks in a pc.

Yesterday i came across this very interesting article from a custom builder of recording studio pc’s…and it clarified lots for me…particularly how certain cpu’s support more lanes than others.
Why am i doing this deep delve into pcie and lane support by different classes of processors ?
Because ive realised impact on performance. For example some processors support fewer lanes (highways) than others. The following explains why lanes matter.

https://silentpc.com/articles/performance-and-pci-express-bus-lanes

Above prolly explains why so many daw users encounter probs, ie pc puffs out if all but the kitchen sink is loaded over time onto an underpowered pc.

And now to confuse things more…lol… pcie 6 was announced earlier this year…

https://www.anandtech.com/show/17203/pcie-60-specification-finalized-x16-slots-to-reach-128gbps

But looks like its gonna be a few years yet for it to trickle down to us consumers.

I urge any daw user to delve deeply into pcie and cpu lane architecture before next purchase of a pc for daw work, particularly if one anticipates heavy workload. This stuff aint trivial....and these articles and others of their ilk might save buying the incorrect pc vs workload.

Happiness to you mate.
om



Posted by: MarioD

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 06:11 AM

om, those were very interesting articles.

What jumped out at me was the power consumption and the amount of cooling needed. Thus the bigger heat sinks and fans needed for cooling. If one is doing a lot of audio recording I wonder how loud those fans are? I'm sure that liquid cooling is another option is it not?
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 07:08 AM

Mario.
I’m no expert in liquid cooling, but i wont be doing such.
There are even now fanless high power pc’s …eg on the silent pc site.

https://silentpc.com/fanless-pcs/

If you look around the above site as well as other recording studio pc builders sites…there is a wealth of nice info and config guides.

I personally will prolly go upper end i5 or ryzen with pcie 4 support.
Cos i’m not doing huge orchestral live sessions.

Definitely pcie 4 is a nice improvement over old pcie 3 , but i dont think i need pcie 5.
i also agree with the microsoft guy pete that has a nice studio...will go desktop this time. more flexibility than
laptops.

did you notice the no of lanes supported on xeons and threadrippers viz normal consumer cpu's ?..WOW ...support for more lanes. no wonder big studios often use such.
but the price is too rich for me.

Btw i showed my wife your ‘time gag’ in your sig. We cant stop giggling.
Keep the gags coming…they are fun.

Happiness
om
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 08:27 AM

Real soon I will be in the market for a new music computer. My friend whom used to own a computer store sold out and moved so I will have to look at other sources. My main problems are I'm on a fixed income, chip shortages, and raising inflation. Not to mention the things around the house that need repair.

I will go PCIe 4 also. I need a desktop as I need a number of USB cards installed; I have a number of MIDI controllers and other USB peripherals. My music computers have always been the most expensive computers in our house. At my age this may be the last computer I buy so I am going to try to go big, like I did 11 years ago.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 10:31 AM

Bleeding edge always costs high but becomes mainstream remarkably (alarmingly?) quickly.

The PCI lanes article to which JOM linked dates mid-2020 and lists mostly generation 10 CPUs.

My local independent is listing mostly series 11 and 12 CPUs and has chipsets like Z690 and Z590, multiple PCIe 4, multiple M.2 on its mid-range (~$140) motherboards and H610 on most its lower-end motherboards(~$80) and even most of those support series 10 CPUs.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 01:37 PM

Mario.

What ive found doing my deep google dives is that ‘sometimes’ one is better buying...next cpu down but its top version instead the base cpu in the next higher range.
Eg the top of the range i5 instead of the base i7.

I saw one report of a comparison whereby getting a top range i5 one saves quite a bit and the next cpu level up one wouldnt notice huge processing time diffs due to other factors. Dont know veracity of such.

For example , if i remember i found an upper range i5 cpu on benchmark.net with single thread score of over 3000. I would recommend cpubenchmark.net for cpu/price/performance comparisons.
they have great tables of passmark scores for all cpu's.
ive been useing em for ages.

Gordon.

Hey hampshire ..your a better man than moi.
That silent pc article on lanes was the best i found after many many deep dives in google cos there are so many sites with little info i found..
So if ya got better please post back mate.

In addition ive had difficulties finding how many ssd’s can hook up into pcie. or even put in the new desktop
vendors pc's.
So if you know , i’m begging you..lol…tell moi.
Optimally i want to run 3 fast ssd’s //m.2/nvme.’s
i really dont care how they hook up, as long as they perform uber fast and dont hog resources/bandwidth from other components or each other.

I dont need gigundous ssd’s as i offload a songs traks to multiple backups once a song is done and store backups at various off site (from home daw pc) locations.


Happiness
om
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 03:15 PM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso

Gordon.

Hey hampshire ..your a better man than moi.
That silent pc article on lanes was the best i found after many many deep dives in google cos there are so many sites with little info i found..
So if ya got better please post back mate.


No, nothing better. I was only a little aware of it, which is partly why I read the article.

I don't tend to dig too deeply into these things as they change too quickly. What's new today is everywhere in six months and "old hat" in 12.

The things I tend to note regarding performance are (a) that i7 and i9 seem to be more geared towards interfacing with graphics processors, rather than towards audio processing, so that part of the extra power is just not of much use, and (b) that a larger number of cores and threads is useful provided the applications use them ... I think most now do, certainly in the DAWs area, anyway. Number of data lanes will be similarly important I'm fairly sure ... certainly on the embedded stuff I do, DMA channels and busses are similarly important for getting data into and out of the CPU(s).

My buying philosophy for a long time now has tended to be to buy current mid- to upper-mid-range kit, working on the basis that the latest and greatest will just be the norm in a few months time and I'd have wasted lots of money just "driving the machine out of the showroom".

Actually, AFAICR, the only time I ever spent as much as I could possibly afford was on my very first PC ... AMD383SX40 with about 1MB of RAM and a 10MB hard drive. About 1.5k somewhere around 1986/7. Since then it's been bang-for-buck rather than bleeding edge.

If it's of interest, I usually use these people +++ Novatech +++, but they're not music specialist, or one of a couple of ITX places. My studio PC is rack-mounted.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 04:41 PM

Gordon.

Thats a great approach/pc buying strategy mate…kudos. Makes a ton of sense.
Same idea buying a house…lol…dont buy most expensive on the block.

Heres a new processor at budget level..might be useful ? for lower load needs ?
Introduced in 2022.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/223095/intel-core-i312300-processor-12m-cache-up-to-4-40-ghz/specifications.html

Prolly a response to ryzens ? and apple going with its own silicon ?

note the no of lanes !

Happiness
om
Posted by: Mike Halloran

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/15/22 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: MarioD
om, I have three drives on my music computer. The C drive, and SSD, is for programs only. All of my sounds are on another SSD while my data is on a 7200 RPM HD. Everything is backed up.

If possible one should never put their sounds/patches on the same drive as the program. YMMV


No reason to do that on a new PC unless terrible performance is the goal.

SSDs do not access or store data like HDDs. Get one big enough to hold everything. Do not partition or split onto multiple drives. Never, ever, ever run any so-called disk optimization utilities — the good ones do not run on SSDs but there is crapware that does.

Do back up.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 06:17 AM

Mike.

With greatest respect , now i’m confused.

For years it was standard procedure in win based studios to use multiple seperate drives.
At least 2 separate drives…one for win and one for recording activities.
Various user pro recording threads/sites reflected this.

The introduction of massive sample libs further complicated matters,....
Thus lots of studios would add more drives.

The reason that win had its own drive was it was found that otherwise having all on the win drive could lead on larger trak counts to ‘audio stutters’ cos sometimes win interrupted to do a win os task.
I personally experienced the stutter problem on one drive pc’s.
As soon as i gave win os its own drive the stutter problem ended.
Now admittedly this was in the old drive tech era.
But i know loads of studios have carried the divide and conquer idea into the ssd era. even tho' we now have higher bandwidth. i gotta say seperate ssd's have worked great for me. and i'm not alone in this.

Maybe things are different on the mac ?
Perhaps you might explain further reasoning behind your position ?

Happiness.
om

Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 06:53 AM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
Gordon.

Thats a great approach/pc buying strategy mate…kudos. Makes a ton of sense.
Same idea buying a house…lol…dont buy most expensive on the block.

Heres a new processor at budget level..might be useful ? for lower load needs ?
Introduced in 2022.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/223095/intel-core-i312300-processor-12m-cache-up-to-4-40-ghz/specifications.html

Prolly a response to ryzens ? and apple going with its own silicon ?

note the no of lanes !

Happiness
om

Interesting that they divide many CPUs into "performance cores" and "efficient cores" and state the clock rates supported and consequential power dissipation by each. By using "efficiency cores" at a lower power dissipation, then can increase the number of cores within the dissipation envelope available. This could be simply to make the chip appear better by having more cores, without having it really work any better.

It may just be me, but I have a tendency to look for parts with the better power efficiencies, i.e., lower TDP. There are several reasons I do that. Lower TDP means cooling the chip is easier, so I can run quieter fans or cheaper heatsink+fans or even no fan; lower power also means less energy wasted.

To be honest I find the whole variants business with CPUs really rather unmanageable now ... the 12th generation i5 alone has 26 variants, the chipsets have another whole raft of variants, and all of that is still dependent on what the motherboard makers do with them.

Out of curiosity I used Intel's website and cpubenchmark to compare i5-12500T, i5-12600T and i5-12600K. What differs between them and what doesn't differ between them shows how fraught and confusing it can be trying to make sense of it all.

Life's too short to get hung up on too much of this, especially when it'll all have changed anyway in a few months time.


Regarding performance with single or multiple drives, I believe a main issue is seek time on hard drives. AFAICS, seek time on SSDs substantially irrelevant as there's no head to move.
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 07:13 AM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
Mike.

With greatest respect , now i’m confused.

For years it was standard procedure in win based studios to use multiple seperate drives.
At least 2 separate drives…one for win and one for recording activities.
Various user pro recording threads/sites reflected this.

Mike can answer this as well but I think on his post he meant partitioning a single physical disk into separate drives. I also agree on that one. Yes, it's good to use and save data on separate physical drives. Just don't split a physical disk. Keep it as individual.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 07:43 AM

Gordon.
Yep good points…its all getting confusing with all the various processors.
Thats why i look up passmark ratings on cpubenchmark.net.
There is a very looooong but interesting thread on gearspace.com bout building a recording pc….

https://gearspace.com/board/music-computers/560019-quot-today-we-build-our-studio-pc-quot-thread.html

Over 500 pages…go to the latest few pages….cos thread has gone over a long time.

Steve.

To clarify i never partition. I use physically separate ssd’s cos dirt cheap.
Tho’ i know other people have had a ssd fail. I never have even tho’ i use em’ tons.
(never had an old tech drive fail either.)

Steve i know ya got a superb pc…is it pcie 3 version only ??
Frankly i still get lured back to monster refurb HPZ//lenovo//dell off lease workstations…lol…but the older pcie aspect has me concerned.
What i still love bout em’ is often they are superb monsters ideal for daw and are expandable and ive seen em’ as low as a few hundred bucks with 1 year warranties.
My ‘refurb guy’ sells loads of refurbs. Never put me wrong yet…and sets em’ up to be really fast // boots etc.

Best
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 08:49 AM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
Steve i know ya got a superb pc…is it pcie 3 version only ??

Yeah, looks like my mobo is all Gen 3 per the board spec below.
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 09:19 AM

P.S. - I also have a M.2 dual card on this machine too. I haven't invested in an SSD to put in it at this point since the machine already had a normal SSD drive in it. Looks like I could put up to 4TB in it. I imagine that would be fairly expensive.

Edit: Looks like it would run $400 to get two 2TB SSDs. Popular one on Amazon below:

Amazon - SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-V7S2T0B/AM)
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 10:41 AM

I don’t have M2 SSD drives in my six-year old PC. I do have three SSD drives.

From what I’ve read, you could expect to double your throughput by using an M2 drive over a regular SSD.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 10:49 AM

Steve...v nice pics..thanks.

Yep i like samsung ssd’s. Got several here.
Fyi…i’m kinda torn tween a brand new high end desktop stuffed with 3 ssd’s /loads of ram and pcie 4 or 5…OR a refurb beast stuffed with 3 ssd’s/loads of ram..but pcie 3.
Ive had real good luck with refurbs over the years. Not a problem ever...or a failure.

Frankly i only need max 512 gb ssd’s…cos my trick is…once ive done a song project i offload the song project to multiple offsite back ups, as mentioned before/up thread.
Thus freeing space up on the internal pc tracking ssd. This way i keep ssd costs down.
..but of course now looking at big orch libs i’ll prolly need added big capacity ssd.

Happiness.
om

Matt.
you are correct sir..thats why i'm looking at m.2 .
i will migrate my current older ssd's into a dock for added back ups.
heres an idea cos i'm not sure matt...youll have to check but in your older pc possibly you might be able via a add in pci add in card say add m.2 ssd's ??
a pc tech i'm sure will know.

happiness.
om
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 11:29 AM

Yes, thanks, I know I could add a PCIe card and try an M2 drive, but I found there are too many potential hazards to get the right parts to match when doing it by mail order. I'm OK as is, until I get an entire new PC.
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 11:40 AM

Well, I got floating around in geek heaven and ended up ordering the 2 SSDs I listed above. I took some performance stats of my current SSD hard drive for the OS and will take tests again on the new setup. I'll plan on the new drive as a clean Win 11 OS drive after I back stuff up.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/16/22 12:21 PM

One thing somewhat related that might help someone, since Samsung was mentioned: Pro is better than Evo which is better than QVO.
Posted by: Mike Halloran

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/17/22 08:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
I don’t have M2 SSD drives in my six-year old PC. I do have three SSD drives.

From what I’ve read, you could expect to double your throughput by using an M2 drive over a regular SSD.


Try 3–6x.

A SATA III (2.5”) SSD is rated 500–560 R/W, about the same in a USB 3 external. There is no way to get these faster other than pairs in a RAID 0 or 10 array.

A ‘slow’ m.2 blade like a Crucial P2 is rated 2000 internal, 1550 in an external USB 3.2 enclosure due to the 2 lane limit.

A ‘fast’ m.2 blade like the 970 EVO is rated 2800 in a Thunderbolt 3 external enclosure, 1550 over USB 3.2 and 3600 internal on a PCI 4 lane bus. Multiple blades will increase capacity if configured RAID 0 but the 4 lane limit will reduce speed (4 blades will each use 1 lane).

NVMe 4 x4 will not be faster in a PCI 3 bus — doesn’t work that way.

PCI 4 and 5 are faster only if using m.2 blades designed for these bus standards. Google is your friend.

Over at Apple

The new M1 Mac Studios with single blades (512GB, 1TB) are rated 5600 as the M1 Mini. Those with twin blades (8TB onboard) are rated 8000. No one has torn down the 2TB and 4TB Studio to see if those SSDs are single or twin blades—the Mini is single only. This applies to the M1 MBPro and MBAir. Older Intel TB3 Macs like the iMac Pro (all twin blade) are rated 7000 while the Mini (all single SSD blades) is rated 3600.


Unfortunately, the internet is full of armchair experts who haven’t a clue as to how any of this works.

Fortunately, if doing audio, you don’t need a very fast computer. I’m not saying that having one isn’t very nice—but I do a lot of AV where a faster computer can shave hours or even days off a project. I never want to work on something slower than my 18 core iMac Pro. At the moment, the 4TB onboard storage is at the limit and the continued offloading and onboarding of files is time consuming. I can either upgrade to 8TB for $2,800 (plus labor) or apply that money to a new Mac Studio. Since an 8TB Studio the way I want it is about $6k and I should be able to get around $5k for my iMP, upgrading the storage on the machine I own doesn’t make any sense.
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/17/22 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Halloran
-Google is your friend.
-Unfortunately, the internet is full of armchair experts who haven’t a clue as to how any of this works.

True on both counts. Here's another quote, "This stuff isn't for the timid or non-technical PC users". I was VERY fortunate that my Dell Precision Workstation already had a Dell Ultra-Speed Duo M2 PCIE-3 card in it. Apparently, they are hard to get a hold of.

Also, this wasn't a simple plug and play to work. I had to follow a few steps:

1) Disable BIOS setting for Intel VMD (Volume Management Device) Technology (Got lucky and found a YouTube vid that showed this. I had NO idea this was related to allowing the M2 disks to activate).
2) Showed up as individual disks in Disk Management on boot to Windows.
3) Opened Control Panel-->System & Security-->Storage Spaces-->Create a Storage Pool
---This is done to combine them to make it a single disk. Basically RAID disk settings.


PERFORMANCE WRITE TESTING VIA UserBenchmark utility:
C:\ SanDisk Ultra II 960GB - MY INTERNAL STANDARD SSD DRIVE
SusWrite @10s intervals: 374 246 246 211 209 225 MB/s

F:\ Microsoft Storage Space Device 4TB - THE NEW M2 DISKS
SusWrite @10s intervals: 1955 1959 1963 1953 1921 1958 MB/s

M2 appears to operate about 10x faster than standard SSD drive.


My next challenge on this is I want the new M2 drive to become my Windows OS drive since it operates so fast. I'll update as I get this done if it's allowed to boot.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/17/22 09:44 AM

Thanks Mike and Steve, great info. I should have clarified that the 2x improvement was what I was led to expect if the rest of my aging equipment was unchanged. On a new PC, I agree with you, it's well worth doing!
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/17/22 10:22 AM

Mike.
Thanks for the stats…much appreciated.
Yep i want to go m.2/nvme this go around.

Steve...lovely pics.
Yes i’m gonna be interested to see how speedy win runs on m.2.and cold boot times.
Right now i’m looking closely at the new i3 12300 processor stats.
Its rather an interesting new intel processor and is cheap.
The single thread score passmark looks good also..over 3000 ?
It would certainly blow away anything i got currently.
Tell me your opinion of the i3 12300 .
Right now i’m thinking , as i dont need huge trak // plug in counts to do my crazy songs that …the i3 12300 or a i5 11400 or ryzen 5 with 32gb ram and 3 m.2’s (one for win) will do the job for me.

Happiness to all.
Om



Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/20/22 06:24 AM

All.
For those that might be unaware…and looking to buy a new pc for daw work..
Ive found this invaluable…

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html

It includes cpu pricing so one sees cost/benefit.

By clicking on a processor youll get further performance metrics…including stats like integer math etc etc. floating point math etc etc…
Ive realised this time around i probably need a single thread score over 3000, and passmark
Over 17000 for my new desktop.

In addition ive been doing deep dives into new laptops just in case i can find one that will support multiple internal m.2 very high speed ssd’s. In my case 3…cos i want one for win, one for tracking , and one for sample libs etc.
But i’ll tell you its a deuce of a job trying to find deep info often on new laptops m.2 features./support. Most only have one m.2 sadly.
Finally after doing tons of googling i DID find , yep there are laptops that will support 2 or even 3 m.2…BUT often expensive. Thus at the prices i saw , i feel at these pricing levels its prolly better to buy a laptop from a dedicated custom builder of laptops for recording studios.

One of the big problems obviously for starting a project daw studio, is often the new persons true needs are not matched by the proper computer config. So problems ensue.
This issue can be seen on various recording forums. Or as my granny used to say “eyes (needs) being bigger than ones belly (budget).”..

Due to the difficulty of finding budget powerful laptops with multiple m.2 support internally…
This confirms even more to go desktop for my new daw. More flexibility.

Happiness.
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/20/22 06:57 AM

Good site, I've used that one before. My PC is still listed on multicore CPUs - Xeon Platinum 8153

I purchased a tank of a laptop several years ago, a Dell Precision M6700. It makes a great mobile recording studio with my Focusrite 18i20 and a bag of microphones/cables.
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/20/22 09:57 AM

Some of you maybe interested in having a laptop that you can upgrade or repair. Take a look at +++ Framework +++ laptops.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/21/22 05:21 AM

Jim.

this is VERY interesting. kudos !
great concept , needed for ages.

Steve.

as you know i like refurbs like you.
perhaps you can answer this, cos i cant find details doing deep google searches.

i'm assuming one cant install multiple m.2's into an older hpz or lenovo or dell high end off lease refurb workstation due to bios ? and pci aspects ? or are there any tricks ?..lol.
it would be grrreat to put win on a m.2 in an older refurb.

reason i'm asking is i saw a refurb beast recently for peanuts. if i could stuff it with m.2's i would be a v happy cockney lad.

best
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/21/22 06:59 AM

The simplest way to accomplish this would be to get a NVME PCIE3 adapter card that holds 1,2, or 4 M.2 sticks. You can find them on Amazon. The cards are usually in the $50 or less range.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/21/22 08:31 AM

Steve.

Wow that would be great if i could do that…>>>> pci card add in.
I guess i didnt understand, cos in my research it suggested i couldnt do that due to lack of support in the bios of older pc’s for nvme//m.2. ??
So i dont have to worry bout any bios or other complications ?

In addition i looked on amazon a bunch of adaptor cards and had probs seeing which would support 4 ssd’s/nvme etc. the specs are not often clear...mind you i’m a bit vision impaired…so if you know a specific adaptor i would love to know…cos that means i’m golden.

in particular win should run ultra fast on the new tech m.2 tech.
It means also i could do same in a new pc also with pcie4/5 support instead of older pcie3.
Either way i would be in daw heaven..lol.
ie an older beast stuffed with nvme OR a new pc stuffed with same with a i3 12300 cpu or a i5 11400.

let me ask you...what would be your best choice ?

Respect//Cheers mate
om


Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/21/22 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
I guess i didnt understand, cos in my research it suggested i couldnt do that due to lack of support in the bios of older pc’s for nvme//m.2. ??
So i dont have to worry bout any bios or other complications ?

This depends on your needs. What I've found is that it's only an issue if you want to combine more than one M2 to be your boot drive (C:\). The BIOS needs to have RAID capability to allow multiple M2s to combine to be the boot drive. If you're happy with just one M2 to be the boot drive and another to be a separate drive, no issues. I've found out all this recently in my own searching and will post when I have it working.

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
In addition i looked on amazon a bunch of adaptor cards and had probs seeing which would support 4 ssd’s/nvme etc. the specs are not often clear...mind you i’m a bit vision impaired…so if you know a specific adaptor i would love to know…cos that means i’m golden.

Here's a couple of duals and quads I found.....

$12.87 - Dual M.2 PCIe Adapter Card for NVMe/SATA SSD - Support PCIe 3.0 x16 x8 x4 for 2280 2260 2242 2230 SSD, Compatible with Windows 7 8.1 10 and MacOS


$17.99 - Dual M.2 PCIE Adapter for SATA or PCIE NVMe SSD with Advanced Heat Sink Solution,M.2 SSD NVME (m Key) and SATA (b Key) 22110 2280 2260 2242 2230 to PCI-e x 4 Host Controller Expansion Card


$38.43 - Quad M.2 NVME SSD to PCI-E 4.0 X16 Adapter, High Speed 4x32Gbps Soft Raid Card with Individual LED Indicator Support 2230 2242 2260 2280 (ph44)


$45.99 - Quad NVMe PCIe Adapter, RIITOP 4 Ports M.2 NVMe SSD to PCIe 4.0/3.0 x16 Card with Fan Support 2280/2260/2242/2230 NVMe SSD (PCI-e Bifurcation Required)


Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
let me ask you...what would be your best choice ?

As referenced before, buy what you can afford. Although you can use M2 on PCI3, it will be a little faster on newer MOBOs that have M2 capability built in or using PCI4 specific hardware. For music applications I don't believe it matters which way you go. The key here is that M2 provides so much a read/write speed boost regardless of which route you take.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/21/22 02:22 PM

Steve.

Thank you soooo much mate. Your a prince.
I wont be using raid. Just 3 separate ssd//m.2//nvme.
One m.2 for win and program exe’s.., one for daw recording/playback , and one for sample libs.
I’m not gonna go crazy on sample orch libs.

Yes that would be great if you keep me updated on your progress on this topic.

Thanks again for the adapter links. I’m truly excited ..cos whether i go with a refurb or a new pc..
I reckon either will be ‘kick a”..lol.

Thanks again for your kindness and info.

happiness.
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/21/22 10:37 PM

Holy crap! I FINALLY GOT THIS TO WORK AS I WANTED!!! It's late and I'm takin' my booty to bed! Here's the notes I took.......

GOAL: To have both M2 disks in the PCI card to be a single bootable C:\ drive on my Dell Precision Workstation 7920.

This would have been quick and simple if I didn't want them to be OS drives. It also would have been much simpler if I had just used one of the M2s as an OS drive. But by golly I was gonna make this work!!!! One week later....

1) Installing Win11 directly to the drives: Tried to use Windows Storage options to create a single virtual drive (Control Panel-->Storage Spaces). That worked so I started the Win install. After the initial file copy of Win11 and the first reboot, it never came back, didn't see the disks on boot.

2) Cloning the C:\ drive to the M2 virtual drive: I had just installed a base Win11 install on a small old SSD drive as the source disk. Everything appeared to clone OK to the M2s using EaseUS Disk Copy. On first boot after, it didn't see the disk(s). "No boot disk found".

So at this point I saw that in BIOS it always shows the M2s as separate disks and there's nothing Windows can do to change that. I found instructions on how I can RAID 0 the drives from BIOS.

3) Raid configuration: I started walking through the steps of using RAID in BIOS and I see the two M2s in RAID configuration but I cannot create the RAID array as the VROC (Virtual RAID on CPU) settings say "Bypassed". So that sent me down yet another rabbit hole. Turns out Intel has this money laundering racket on their motherboards for allowing people to use RAID. You cannot use RAID unless you have a $100 dongle plugged in to your mobo. Just a stinkin' piece of plastic. So I assume they just want to make their money for people that depend on RAID in a server environment.

3 days later.......

4) Intel dongle showed up. I was able to follow the instructions below and set up a new array from BIOS once that dongle was plugged in.

How to Configure RAID on a Dell Personal Computer
I followed step 3 & 4 - Follow "Newer Systems sold with Windows 8 / 10 installed on UEFI"

So I tried to install Win11 again directly to the disks again on boot. I get the message, "We couldn't find any drives. To get a storage driver, click Load Driver." So it obviously could not see the RAID array on preboot again. Arrggghhhh!!!!

5) Cloning Part Deux - Ran through and booted that old SSD drive like I did on 2) above. It did see the RAID array intact in Disk Management on drive D:\ (good sign). I ran Disk Copy again and crossed my fingers as I shut the machine down. Took out the SSD drive and turned on the machine. FREAKING EUREKA!!!! The damn thing booted straight to Windows. I finally got my way and have a 4TB C:\ drive. I also ran my write test again and it's even a little better than the last test I did:

Originally Posted By: sslechta
PERFORMANCE WRITE TESTING VIA UserBenchmark utility:
C:\ SanDisk Ultra II 960GB - MY INTERNAL STANDARD SSD DRIVE
SusWrite @10s intervals: 374 246 246 211 209 225 MB/s

F:\ Microsoft Storage Space Device 4TB - THE NEW M2 DISKS
SusWrite @10s intervals: 1955 1959 1963 1953 1921 1958 MB/s

C:\ Intel Raid 0 Volume 4TB
SusWrite @10s intervals: 2407 2357 2238 2130 1845 1974 MB/s
Posted by: rayc

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/22/22 02:21 AM

Ah folks,
read between the lines - confirmation of, & support for, bias is what is being sought.
All the great advice doesn't do that & will come to nought.
Some very good minds, awareness and problem solving displayed and, if nothing else, I've learnt a bunch of stuff which will probably be redundant by the time I get a new PC.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/22/22 06:11 AM

Steve.
My goodness, heck yeah !
Your a better tech than i am. Very impressive how you hung in there till you got it the way you wanted. I dont have that patience…lol.

This week the guy i like to deal with in the refurb company is back…so gonna phone him. see if a deal can be done. they also build new desktops...never put me wrong yet.

Out of interest (and i rather like win 11..) a friend with W11 has a boot time into desktop of just a few secs from cold…if you get time possibly post some stats…???
eg how long to mixdown a biab song to stereo...how long to gen rt's and rd's.

one reason i'm looking at a new system is to see if i can save genning time in both biab and realband....and of course have cpu reserves for more resource intensive plug ins in reaps//bb/rb. i reckon the types of set ups weve discussed will last me ages. its unfortunate that moores law bout power doubling every couple of years is broken.
courtesy of the laws of physics. what bugs me is the plateauing of cpu power. so they went to multi cores...
cos of the laws of physics. so we are stuck tween 3 to 5 ghz if we are lucky...sigh.

once more , kudos to you and thanks for the interesting info.

happiness.
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/22/22 03:58 PM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
Out of interest (and i rather like win 11..) a friend with W11 has a boot time into desktop of just a few secs from cold…if you get time possibly post some stats…???
eg how long to mixdown a biab song to stereo...how long to gen rt's and rd's.

Windows boot doesn't really take much less time for me as thing is pretty much a server at this point and it's now also initializing the RAID array on boot too. It's about a minute.

If you come up with a step-by-step scenario using specific RTs/RDs for throwing something together, I'll repeat on my side then we can compare.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/22/22 05:02 PM

Steve.
some of my bb stats....useing my old i5.
1. 100 bars bb mix to stereo wav...40 secs.
2. boot into bb from win desktop..4 secs at most.
3. regen a trak ...same as 2 , 4 secs at most.
4. cliking >+ regen button or double clicking on a bar ,
same deal mate 4 secs or less.

ps i reckon what happens with regens is the low level bb code is prolly filling a few buffers then starts playing ..ie advanced look ahead buffer mgt // programming.
thus creating illusion of speed , similar to what mainstream daw multitraks do....fill buffers etc.

happiness/cheers.
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/22/22 05:04 PM

OK, I'll take note of that. I'm still in the middle of rebuilding my PC so it may be a bit before I have BIAB re-loaded.
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 05/29/22 10:43 AM

+++ HERE +++ is an article about modular Panasonic Laptops.
Posted by: rharv

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/01/22 02:34 PM

Well tonight I stood up my first virtual server with nvme and I am impressed.
I have never installed SQL server and management studio so fast in my life.

This server is going to be very impressive once it gets Live.
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/01/22 05:47 PM

Great to hear! I'm still having a blast on my new image too!
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/01/22 06:26 PM

Steve and Rharv.

as you know i'm getting a new studio pc.

but as most come with win 11...my concern is i never put studio pc's on the net....so following is worrying ...

ie i'm reading that win 11 soon might be closed off to users without an internet connection ??
i read this on msn.com lifestyle if i remember.

the problem is not everyone wants to be on the net.
and including lots of IT depts that want to keep their systems safely isolated from the net.

have you guys seen the above ??
would like your input.

its sorta forcing me back to refurbs with win 10 .

gimme your input please...cos lots of studios small and large dont want the net....includeing moi

respect/best
om


Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/01/22 06:35 PM

I don't agree with the "keep it off the internet" philosophy. For me as an IT nerd there's no reason to keep my PC away from the internet. If I'm going to be doing something like recording music I simply turn off the network card to keep interruptions down (you could also pull the internet cable out). I also turn the network off overnight when I'm not on the PC. The default Win11 tool Windows Defender works fine for anti-virus protection. I don't go to suspicious web pages or click email links and very rarely get anything dangerous on my machine.

Keeping your computer off the internet just causes issues by not keeping your software up-to-date.

P.S. - I listened to some of your Soundcloud recordings, very nice work!

Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/01/22 07:26 PM

Steve.
(ps thanks for listening to my sc songs.)

well prolly from what ive read lots of IT shops are not very happy bout it.

personally i dont like this ...cos, being from uk it harks back to the old days of the lord of the manor, and the serfs.

i'm a rebel lol !

i just feel many businesses these days seem to want control over our daily lives.

if pg had products for linux, i prolly would be all over it.
i just dont like being told what to do by a OS...lol.

happiness
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/01/22 07:58 PM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
...but as most come with win 11...my concern is i never put studio pc's on the net. the problem is not everyone wants to be on the net.
...and including lots of IT depts that want to keep their systems safely isolated from the net.

well prolly from what ive read lots of IT shops are not very happy bout it.

i just feel many businesses these days seem to want control over our daily lives.

These opinions seem kind of odd with my experiences. I've worked in IT for companies in the States for about 20 years and have never heard about a push in the IT community to keep PCs from the internet.

As far as Windows 11, it's pretty much the same OS as Windows 10 but has some cosmetic differences. I've been using it since last fall when it was released and have been using it on my main PC, laptop and on my wife's laptop and absolutely no issues.

Not sure what you mean with businesses wanting to control your lives. Most companies just want to have lots of antivirus apps on employee machines to keep them from being compromised and that's been going on since the internet's been around. Other than that, companies usually like to block non-work related websites but they can do that since it's their equipment.

Can you elaborate for yourself specifically what you are worried about by having your machine connected to the internet? Nothing I've read so far seems to be justifiable in disconnecting.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/02/22 02:15 AM

I have a few Android Apps that will pop up "we need to renew your license" and refuse to run until it's done. No warnings. That can be a real frustration on a WiFi-only tablet when I'm away from home. IIRC both MobileSheetsPro and iRealPro do that. I use the former for setlists and leadsheets.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/02/22 05:05 AM

The debate bout putting ones pc daw on the net or not has been going on for ages…like the mac vs pc debates…lol, ..so i dont want to extend it much more.
Just google etc.
I just found a gearspace thread going back to 2010 on the subject....

https://gearspace.com/board/music-computers/556961-can-i-use-daw-without-internet-access.html


The concern being dpc spikes and infection of the daw etc if on the net,..and the possibility of a non daw program impacting a running daw program.

I choose not to allow my pc on the net like lots of studios and others choose to allow the net.
Just go on www.gearspace.com and recording.org and search for topics like ‘should i allow my daw pc on the net’. Or post ones own topic in that vein. Youll get lots of comments.

Various commercial enterprises choose to ‘air gap’ their computers from the net. (see wiki and google).

I have a junker refurb for the net, and this el cheapo 100 buckies chromebook which i’m very happy with btw …its fast…also for the net. Just personai choice.

best//happiness
om
Posted by: sslechta

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/02/22 06:00 AM

Agreed, personal choice. You don't have to approve my point of view and I won't try to comprehend yours.... smile
Posted by: Simon - PG Music

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/23/22 05:17 PM

I honestly don't have the energy to read the whole thread here, so apologies if I'm repeating stuff, but just wanted to add a couple things:

First, yes it's possible to add a PCIe card to mount some NVMe SSD's to a machine that doesn't have any M.2 slots. However, if the CPU/BIOS/etc of that computer is too old it will not be able to boot from that SSD, but Windows should be able to access it after bootup. There may be workarounds depending on your machine (aftermarket BIOS, bootloaders, etc), but I haven't personally tried any of them.

Second, yes PCIe SSD's are faster than Sata SSD's, but in most cases it's unnecessary to upgrade if you already have some sort of SSD. Access time is more important than throughput, and for audio-related tasks most people won't notice the upgrade. Of course, other non-audio tasks could see a speed improvement, so by all means go for it if you want to.


Originally Posted By: Mike Halloran
Fortunately, if doing audio, you don’t need a very fast computer.

Indeed. I regularly use a 10-year old laptop that has a 2nd gen i5, 16gb of ram, and a 500gb Sata SSD. No problems whatsoever.

A friend of mine uses a 13-year-old iMac with a Core2Duo and 6gb of ram (not 16, 6!), also with a Sata SSD. We collaborate on tunes a fair amount. He doesn't run into any performance issues.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/24/22 08:52 AM

Simon.

I’m interested in getting heavy into m2/nvme ssd and a new system for a few reasons..eg.

1. A 500gb m2 stick is 60 bucks or so . For great performance so its a no brainer imho.
I dont need frankly gigundous drives cos once a song is done i offload it to multiple off site backups anyway.
2. I want to get heavy into orchestral libs. And i’m very interested in seeing what synergies of merging some of my crazy rock ideas with orch instruments can work.

BUT from everything ive seen/heard sometimes people have problems adding big orch libs cos their rigs arent often up to the job of handling orch libs.

Yep thanks i’m aware of the boot issue , …just another wrinkle. lol.

Ive been reading up on pcie6 also…wow what a spec. Lol. interesting times ahead.

Best.
om
Posted by: Simon - PG Music

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/24/22 10:32 AM

Absolutely OM, if you have the choice of NVMe vs Sata then always go NVMe, the minimal price difference is worth it. In general though if you can't go NVMe then Sata is perfectly fine for most people.
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/24/22 05:02 PM

Justanoldmuso,

You might like +++ THIS +++ article about the 7.0 PCI Express standard. shocked Don't worry, they are not expecting the release of 7.0 until 2025.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 06/29/22 10:31 AM

Jim.
re pcie 7.
eek lol.

what we need is cheaper intel high end processors to beat the very fine apple M series processors.

btw if anyone is looking for a 2 mic pre usb interface...
apparently cad have brought out the u connect 2.
dunno how good it is. as always try and test out/rent before buying. its 70 bucks us apparently.

https://www.cadaudio.com/products/new-products/cx2

see the link n i guess you tube/google for more info.
and videos for intro and set up with pc or mac.

om
Posted by: Simon - PG Music

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 07/04/22 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
what we need is cheaper intel high end processors to beat the very fine apple M series processors.

Intel is looking at creating hybrid X86 and ARM chips. I'm not certain this is a good idea, as really the way forward is to abandon the X86 architecture, but here you go: https://www.extremetech.com/computing/331740-intel-plans-to-license-cores-that-combine-arm-risc-v-and-x86
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 07/05/22 05:33 AM

Simon.

I DO agree bout a move away from x86…its time.
Its also interesting to see how intel might respond not only to the m series , but also the ryzens taking market share.
I suspect from my background in a previous life with tech marketing…that intel might drop x86 prices….to combat threats. We shall see.
Eg already the i3 12300 has come out with its interesting single thread passmark score over 3000…which is good for daw work.
I used to do songs yonks ago with a humble athlon lol. I3 Certainly beats that by a mile.

As a stop gap till the processor tech and pcie stabilises, i still feel the off lease
Superb hp z (and lenovo and dell) workstation tower pc’s are a great alternative short term , due to their power//expandeability//low prices//saveings and warranties and the fact that windows is included.
I worked out even if i built a pc i cant beat the advantages of above refurbs , one reason alone being that on a self build the windows cost. its included with refurbs.

It still amazes me how many people buy a often underpowered pc (for daw work) instead the nice refurbs…
Eg for 320 bucks. ive seen hp z 240 with ssd included and win 10.
With lots of expandeability.

Heres a interesting site for cheap refurb workstations (also other desktopslaptops etc)

https://www.wintroniccomputers.com/474-0/refurbished/computer-workstation

Also check out dell refurbished…
Eg what a deal for 250 bucks ..

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/bus...mp;gclsrc=aw.ds

look at the large no of us ports on above instead a limited laptop or mini pc. one prob with mac mini is
lack of upgradeability // few ports. but i love the m processor.

Happiness.
Om

Posted by: Simon - PG Music

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 07/11/22 06:31 PM

Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
As a stop gap till the processor tech and pcie stabilises...

What's unstable about the current processor tech and PCIE? I have a 9th gen and 11th gen Intel machine (i9-9900K and i5-11400) both with NVMe drives, and both are way faster than necessary for typical audio work.

I always say - if you wait for technology to "catch up" to anything, you'll be waiting forever. Something new and exciting is always just around the corner. Unless you need specific hardware for a specific purpose, the best thing you can do is just buy what you can afford and be happy with it.
Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Anyone experienced in m.2 ssd and pcie ? - 07/12/22 11:41 AM

Simon.

This is what concerns me bout use of 12th gens…..cpu temps from what ive read on net.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/easy-mod-reduces-alder-lake-cpu-temperatures-5-degrees-celsius

Tho’ i think the i5 12400 would do me nice with its good passmark score…

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-12400&id=4677

I like the single thread score of the 12400 at 3500.
As you said the above i5 cpu would prolly eat my projects cos i’m a hard A** bout no more than 40 traks in a song.

I DO agree weve reached the point whereby the new generation cpu’s from amd and intel will keep most happy unless they use gobs of cpu hungry plug ins prolly ?

Best
om