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SSD Questions: sata 3 vs PCIe and NVMe vs AHCI

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Adi Frank
SSD Questions: sata 3 vs PCIe and NVMe vs AHCI
on Aug 5, 2016 at 12:28:49 am

I'm researching a purchase for a video editing laptop. Will be mostly editing HD video (Adobe products) and normal office work, web browsing. No gaming. No 4k (at least for near future)

I'll have Windows 10, Adobe CC and some other programs on a dedicated system drive.
All media and personal files will be on a separate drive.

About NVMe vs AHCI - should this be of any real concern to me? Would one be significantly better than the other?
If I could only get one SSD with NVMe protocol. Would it be more advantageous to have it on the system drive or the media drive?

Also I've been getting mixed and contradicting information regarding the advantages and under what circumstances these advantages are substantial regarding SATA 3 vs PCIe.
Again — say I can only get one SSD with NVMe connection, which should I choose to use it for: system drive or media drive?

I read this article by B&H ( that says:

...their (solid state drives) main advantage is their near-instantaneous seek times, as well as their ability to read many small files at nearly the same speed as one large file. This is excellent for storing operating systems and programs, as they often require accessing large numbers of small files. However, for video editing, what you really need is a sustained transfer rate, and while SSDs are still faster than hard drives for this, it's not by as much you may have thought.

Yet researching the web, browsing the forums and chatting with some computer savvy guys (gamers though, not video editors) - they actually said the opposite. They said the system would still be super fast on a SATA 3 drive and that it would be more beneficial for me to use the PCIe drive for media - that I'll definitely feel a difference when editing and rendering. They said something about (I might not be describing this correctly) the OS caching itself in RAM, so in effect, the difference in write/read speed for the system drive would not be much felt, if at all.

Would be glad to get some educated input on this, to help me make up my mind.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: SSD Questions: sata 3 vs PCIe and NVMe vs AHCI
on Aug 5, 2016 at 3:57:13 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Aug 5, 2016 at 4:00:49 pm

I think about this: the file size of a long-duration, high-quality 2K video file can easily run several gigs. That's probably more than the size of the application files. Since one tends to read application code far less frequently than the frame-after-frame reading of a video file -- not to mention frame-after-frame writing at export, and not to mention there are likely multiple video streams involved -- my choice is to put media files on the fastest-possible storage device.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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