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 Post subject: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:23 pm 
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I'm preparing to build my next near-silent PC. My computing requirements are modest so I'm focused more on power & heat than performance. Today I'm researching 240GB SSD's -- that's way more than enough capacity for OS and data storage. My current system's C: partition only takes about 43GB, and I have maybe another 40GB of stuff stored on other internal partitions. I have a 3TB external drive for backups.

Here's what worrying me regarding selecting an SSD... I've seen plenty of complaints that some NVMe SSD's can get quite hot, even though M.2 specification limits bus power to 7 watts. Apparently that's enough to push temps above 80C since the SSD is so small.

I've been looking at SSD's that support PCI-E 3.0 x 4 bus, mostly @ newegg since they show idle and active power specs for most SSD's. I find that most have active power around 4 to 5 watts, and idle power ratings are well under a watt. Idle is clearly important in terms of cumulative consumption, since a storage device spends the bulk of its time at idle. But peak power is important to consider in cooling system design and fan performance (and SSD longevity I imagine).

I was shocked to see these specs for the WD Black SSD: 135mW (Avg.), 50mW (Low Power Mode PS3), 5.5mW (Low Power Mode PS4)

THOSE are unbelievably low power numbers!! At first I figured it was a misprint, but WD's datasheet confirms. Also, the ADATA XPG SX8000 is rated @ 333mW active, 140mW idle. Not quite as low as the WD, but in the same ballpark compared to all the other PCI-E 3.0 x 4 SSD's. In contrast, the Corsair MP500 is rated at 4.9W active, 400mW idle. The MP500 has significantly better performance than the WD, but I just can't see a 36x difference in active power!

I think the problem is a lack of any standards for rating active power consumption. So I want to solicit from others who care about 'penny pinching' their power budgets. Is there any way to objectively compare SSD's in terms of typical power/heat under load?

Also, from what I gather, the M.2 slot is typically located under the video card slot, presumably so it can benefit from the GPU fan. But that's a horrible place to put an SSD for those who use a passively cooled video card. I'm considering the fanless GeForce GT 1030 for my new build. Is there any reason why I can't move it to a lower slot to separate it from the M.2 header? Alternatively, do some mobo's have the M.2 header in a different position? (I haven't selected a mobo yet, but it will need to have Intel 2xx chipset for 7700T CPU I just purchased).

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:05 pm 
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If you truly want an NVME SSD, i would go with SAMSUNG 960EVO 250GB and add some cooling to it, for example Gnome Tech 560W/mk SSD Heatsinks DIY Laptop PC Memory Cooling Fin Radiation Dissipate. Some people attach copper heatisnks to the nad/controllers like ENZOTECH Memory Ramsink BMR-C1 or Enzotech BMR-C1-LE Memory Ramsink.

I would suggest against getting an Nvidia GTX1030, unless you do need it or benefit from anything that it does, todays intels iGPUs are good enough for anything thats not gaming, unless you are planning a ryzen build, but if you do wait to see the Ryzen 3 that will have a built in gpu. And you save on another thing creating heat inside your setup, thus needing more airflow. I would also try to find a motherboard with the m.2 on the bottom or away from the gpu, specially if you go with a passive GPU, the heat from both will afect them, so farther away the better. Another option is to go with motherboard has has the m.2 near the cpu, some have it on the first pcie (usually a 1x), and have a CPU cooler that blows down, for example Noctua NF-C14S will indirectly cool it.

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:05 pm 
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Abula wrote:
If you truly want an NVME SSD, i would go with SAMSUNG 960 EVO 250GB and add some cooling...
I looked at that ssd but I was scared off by an unusual number of 1 and 2 star reviews @ newegg, many by folks that seemed to know what they're talking about. A couple were related to AMD compatibility issues but most of the complaints were quick failures or firmware issues.

Quote:
I would suggest against getting an Nvidia GTX1030, unless you do need it or benefit from anything that it does, todays intels iGPUs are good enough for anything thats not gaming.
Good to know. I recall that wasn't always the case, but I've been out of the loop for a very long time. The 7700T I just purchased for my new rig has the "HD 630" GPU, whatever that is. I assume this solution requires a mobo with integrated graphics, no? If so, that's going to make video performance a selection criteria for my mobo.

Quote:
Another option is to go with motherboard has has the m.2 near the cpu, some have it on the first pcie (usually a 1x), and have a CPU cooler that blows down
Or up. That assumes I can find a case with vented side panel. My current case, EverCase 4252, has vent holes above CPU, although I'm using the more conventional cooler design that blows out the rear. That case is no longer being made, but I'm considering using it for my new rig and buying something cheap to keep my XP system operational for some legacy apps. (I also plan to try cloning my XP install/apps in VirtualBox)

I'm not familiar with "1x" terminology for PCI-E slot, but I was under the impression that the video card should go in the slot closest to the CPU. PLEASE correct me if I have this wrong. Still learning...

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:21 pm 
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ginahoy wrote:
I looked at that ssd but I was scared off by an unusual number of 1 and 2 star reviews @ newegg, many by folks that seemed to know what they're talking about. A couple were related to AMD compatibility issues but most of the complaints were quick failures or firmware issues.
Samsung has been one of the best SSD manufactures over the years, this is not to say they are perfect of flawless, but they have been pioneering most of the high end stuff on ssds, and its one of the few to have fully integrated chain of supply so they can control everything. Personally i trust 3 manufacturers, Samsung would be my no1, i have uses more than 8 ssds of them and no issues whatsoever, Intel would be my second, i also have used 4 of their ssds no issues, their new ssds are good, just not as fast as samsung, still very good overall, and Crucial would be my third, i have used 6 ssd from them, no issues aside from a bug with a firmware that was fixed very fast with a new firmware, but overall they have been working fine, they are more my gotto for value ssds.

With SSDs, you dont need the fastest to get the feeling that SSD gives you, the snappy feeling and zero latency will be given by any ssd, even sata II old ssds are very responsive, what we have gained over the newer generation is not percievable by the end user, only very specific tasks benefit from the progress we have seen from sata to m.2, so if you plan to save money and want a lower temp running ssd, go with Sata III ssd, they most of the time will be cheaper, the only downside is the cabling that you save with m.2, but overall its something that we already are a custom to.

ginahoy wrote:
The 7700T I just purchased for my new rig has the "HD 630" GPU, whatever that is. I assume this solution requires a mobo with integrated graphics, no? If so, that's going to make video performance a selection criteria for my mobo.
No, you dont need a integrated graphics motherboard, the integrated graphics comes inside the CPU, and its the HD630 on the 7700T, you just need to check that motherboard you select has the outputs you need, for example if your monitor has Display port then search for motherboard that has displayport out, same with HDMI or DVI, some motherboards have more outs than others, some have dual of one connectors, etc, its up to you which will serve you and the monitors you plan. Btw for your information, intel with the iGPU can do multiple monitors, so if you have that in mind, chose a motherboard that has the connectors you will use in the future.

As an extra recommendation, i would simply go with the 7700, the T models are just crippled standard models, nothing special, so you are paying more for less performance. You can always limit your cpu via bios or software (windows allows you to % limit it). But the 7700 will be a much better buy as you can cripple it if you want to for lower temps, in case thats your aim, but if you need it or down the line you need more processing power you can free him to deliver you the total of what its capable. I only recommend T models if you dont have any option or you need the low profile cooler that T comes, but overall its just simply paying for a crippled cpu. Also consider the 7600, its cheaper and it should run cooler with no hyperthreading, that if you dont benefit from hyperthreading, this is something that you should check with the software you plan on using.

ginahoy wrote:
I'm not familiar with "1x" terminology for PCI-E slot, but I was under the impression that the video card should go in the slot closest to the CPU. PLEASE correct me if I have this wrong. Still learning...
Usually dedicated GPUs are connected on a PCIe 16x slot, in most cases (not all), the first PCIe 16x is the second PCIe slot, most of the time you will see a smaller PCIe in the first slot, that its a 1x PCIe slot.

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:12 pm 
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@Abula, thanks for your insight on SSD's and on-chip GPU! A lot to absorb.

Regarding CPU, I think I can still cancel my order if I do it tonight but I have questions.

Like my current 2008 system, I'm building the new system to be near silent. But I like the idea of going with 7700 if I can operate it at lower power. My OS will be Linux Mint. If I'm understanding you correctly, if not supported via OS, I at least will have the option of limiting the CPU in BIOS, right? And TDP would theoretically be the same as the T version at a given speed, right? (I say theoretically since power consumption is a moving target).

One other question if you happen to reply quickly enough... newegg has a sale on the K version @ $309 that ends in an hour. Would I likewise be able to operate K as a T via BIOS?

THANKS!!

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Last edited by ginahoy on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:39 pm 
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ginahoy wrote:
@Abula, thanks for your insight on SSD's! A lot to absorb.

Regarding CPU, I think I can still cancel my order if I do it tonight but I have questions.

Like my current 2008 system, I'm building the new system to be near silent. But I like the idea of going with 7700 if I can operate it at lower power. My OS will be Linux Mint. If I'm understanding you correctly, if not supported via OS, I at least will have the option of limiting the CPU in BIOS, right? And TDP would theoretically be the same as the T version at a given speed, right? (I say theoretically since power consumption is a moving target).

One other question if you happen to reply quickly enough... newegg has a sale on the K version @ $309 that ends in an hour. Would I likewise be able to operate K as a T via BIOS?

THANKS!!
Im not that versed on linux, so i cant say if its capable of limiting the CPU, if you go for K version and Z270 motherboard, you should be able to change the clocks and voltages inside the bios regardless of the OS you use. Today's aftermarket tower cooler, can handle the 7700K fine quietly (as long as you are not overvolting and overclocking), you can still downclock it in the bios if you wish and this should lower temps and operation, its up to you. Remember you are paying a lot here for hyperthreading, the 7600K is a very good and capable cpu, but without the hyperthreding, that if you are not using it or your programs dont take the advantage of it, its not worth the extra money, usually between the 7600K and 7700K there is like 10C temperature on load difference, the 7700K is a more capable CPU as long as you do use hyperthreading, else go with the 7600K, thats what i would do.

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Abula wrote:
Remember you are paying a lot here for hyperthreading, the 7600K is a very good and capable cpu, but without the hyperthreding, that if you are not using it or your programs dont take the advantage of it, its not worth the extra money.
I should have mentioned the other prices. The best price I can find on 7700 right now is ~$300 shipped at B&H Photo (which is actually $10 more than I paid for the 7770T from different vendor). If I can undervolt or underclock the K (not sure of the difference), it's certainly worth an extra $9, no? If you reply quickly, I'm going to grab the K while it's on sale.

As for software, the primary 'heavy lift' will be running my XP OS in a VM. Not sure to what extent it would take advantage of hyperthreading, but the K also has higher peak clock rates, should I ever get into VR or some such nonsense.

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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:55 pm 
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ginahoy wrote:
Abula wrote:
Remember you are paying a lot here for hyperthreading, the 7600K is a very good and capable cpu, but without the hyperthreding, that if you are not using it or your programs dont take the advantage of it, its not worth the extra money.
I should have mentioned the other prices. The best price I can find on 7700 right now is ~$300 shipped at B&H Photo (which is actually $10 more than I paid for the 7770T from different vendor). If I can undervolt or underclock the K (not sure of the difference), it's certainly worth an extra $9, no? If you reply quickly, I'm going to grab the K while it's on sale.

As for software, the primary 'heavy lift' will be running my XP OS in a VM. Not sure to what extent it would take advantage of hyperthreading, but the K also has higher peak clock rates, should I ever get into VR or some such nonsense.
The 7700 clocks (3.6ghz) are lower than the 7700K (4.2ghz) thus it will run cooler, but the 7700K run hotter as it has a higher top multiplier, but at base clocks, IIRC both underclock under windows to 800mhz, where temperature should be the same (on idle all 3, 7700/7700K/7700T, as long as linux allows the cpu to underclock to 800mhz), its more on load that the K can reach 4.5ghz on turbo, while the none K i believe its 4.2hz. The K you can still change the multiplier (up will be overclocking and down will be underclocking) on the bios (as long as you buy Z motherboard) the none K i dont think you can (but i have never tested to underclock a none K cpu on bios, i would still be able to do it on windows, but you are on linux). Btw i don't think the Vm of XP will stress much a 7700K or a 7600K or 7700 or even a 7700T, but some do have ciertain VM instructions enable while others have them disable, this you can read on intel page for each SKU, important since you are into VM.

Btw chose carefully the motherboard, since you are on linux, i would chose one that has good bios fan control so you can setup all your fans. MSI and AsRock both have very good bios fan control, but crosshceck the compatibility of the mobo with your linux distro so you dont have issues later on.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | SimMi


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 Post subject: Re: choosing an SSD - focused on power/heat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:08 am 
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Thanks for quick replies Sunday night. I was able to cancel the 7700T, so I ordered a 7700K. Thanks for steering me away from T version.

I will use picoPSU-150XT power supply. I plan to initially set up the system without the video card while I figure out how to get the processor set where I want it. My RMS power meter should come in handy!

I purchased ASRock Z270 Extreme4 mobo, which has 2nd M.2 PCIe 3.0 x 4 slot at bottom rear corner, well clear of the video slot, and I confirmed this slot supports an NVMe boot drive.

I have a question about memory. If I underclock the CPU, can I still operate the memory at the supported 2400 MT/s? Or are CPU and memory speeds interlocked at a fixed ratio? (not sure if I'm asking the right question).

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