Question Would a fast M.2 SSD help with load times?

Murasaki

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Hey, I've been wondering if I were to buy a fast M.2 PCIe SSD, would that help with scene and file browser loading times or are those load times mainly held back by the game?
I'm currently running Windows and the game's cache on one SSD and the game on an other but both of those are just SATA ones that run about 530 MB/s read and write speeds.
So, I'm thinking maybe a fast M.2 one with 2500+ read and write speed would help?
 

TToby

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To go from a HDD to a SSD VaM installation brings you a good amount of speed IMHO, but some are still saying they can't feel a difference. I can't think of a similar or even of a experianceable plus of speed from going from one type of SSD to another type. There are several reviews in the net for SATA vs M.2, and most of them saying it makes no big differentce for most users. Maybe if you have to deal with very big files, like graphic designers... but VaM loads a big bunch of small files at startup, or so it seems to me.
 

Fferrett

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Hey, I've been wondering if I were to buy a fast M.2 PCIe SSD, would that help with scene and file browser loading times or are those load times mainly held back by the game?
I'm currently running Windows and the game's cache on one SSD and the game on an other but both of those are just SATA ones that run about 530 MB/s read and write speeds.
So, I'm thinking maybe a fast M.2 one with 2500+ read and write speed would help?
The current Samsung 980 Pro PCIe4 NVMe M.2 blazes at 7GB/s reads (7000MB/s)... it will make VAM astoundingly fast paired with a PCIe 4.0 mainboard. That's twice as fast as the 970 Pro/Evo PCIe3 NVMe M.2 at ~3.5GB/s (which is still more than 6x the speed you are currently galumphing at.)

I run mine on an EVO 970, connected to a ASUS Prime X570-Pro and 12 core Ryzen 9 3900X, and EVGA Copper Hydro Super 2080. The game changer for loads is the NVMe Evo 970. Running it on a Sata SSD or thunderbolt attached RAID just is too slow.
 

Smellyone

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I say you need 4 gigs of SYSTEM ram for every 1 gig of GPU ram !!!
so a 4gig desktop lets you run a 1 gig GPU
8gig runs a 2gig GPU
and so on, I have 16gig ram and my GPU has 2 gig, but want a 4 gig soon...

as for SSD's... there are 4 types of ssd: storing anywhere from 1 bit of data per spot up to 4 bits of data per spot... (the fast end)
but the more bits of data per storage spot affects the LIFE of the SSD so Don't plan to NOT ssd crash earlier than hdd, and backk up externally frequently!!
 

everlaster

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I say you need 4 gigs of SYSTEM ram for every 1 gig of GPU ram !!!
so a 4gig desktop lets you run a 1 gig GPU
8gig runs a 2gig GPU
and so on, I have 16gig ram and my GPU has 2 gig, but want a 4 gig soon...
Although the amount of VRAM has nothing to do with the topic (which is about SSD's, not GPUs), I'd like to point out that it doesn't work like that. You can have any ratio of system and GPU ram, there's no rule that says it should be 4:1. What matters is that you have enough of each to run the software you want to run. For VAM, 16GB of system RAM is good and 32GB is excellent, while the amount of VRAM is not the spec you should be looking at - what matters more is the performance of the GPU itself.
 
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urukyay

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Although the amount of VRAM has nothing to do with the topic (which is about SSD's, not GPUs), I'd like to point out that it doesn't work like that. You can have any ratio of system and GPU ram, there's no rule that says it should be 4:1. What matters is that you have enough of each to run the software you want to run. For VAM, 16GB of system RAM is good and 32GB is excellent, while the amount of VRAM is not the spec you should be looking at - what matters more is the performance of the GPU itself.
Could you elaborate on the VRAM part if possible? I'd think that with this amount of 4k textures per person you'd reach the limits of a low VRAM gpu quite quickly. In practice it _seems_ to run fine on a meager 3gb, but I'm wondering if using 2k textures instead would up my fps and loading time with acceptable-ish quality, and I haven't had the time to actually try it. A quarter the amount of texture data to load could be significant, maybe, if it doesn't look like ass?
 

everlaster

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Could you elaborate on the VRAM part if possible? I'd think that with this amount of 4k textures per person you'd reach the limits of a low VRAM gpu quite quickly. In practice it _seems_ to run fine on a meager 3gb, but I'm wondering if using 2k textures instead would up my fps and loading time with acceptable-ish quality, and I haven't had the time to actually try it. A quarter the amount of texture data to load could be significant, maybe, if it doesn't look like ass?
VAM is probably pretty VRAM heavy, true. You could check that by monitoring VRAM usage in Task Manager's performance tab, or with a third party software like GPU-Z, HWInfo64 or MSI Afterburner. But usually if VRAM actually runs out, it will cause very noticeable fps drops because your GPU will be storing data in the much slower main memory instead. Just adding more VRAM won't increase your framerates if they're already playable, since having too little VRAM means you're probably looking at a slide show.

VRAM amount shouldn't matter for loading times. VRAM speed shouldn't matter either since the write speed of VRAM is far faster than the read speed of the disk where the textures are loaded from.

Another thing is that games prevent you from running out of VRAM by keeping fewer textures cached in memory. The less you have cached the more you're going to see things like texture pop in, or momentary hitches as the game loads textures from the disk. So having a lot of VRAM can enable a smoother experience. I think it'd have to be a pretty extreme situtation where you'd be so strapped for VRAM that there's not even room for the textures currently required by what's being rendered, forcing the GPU to use main memory.

In any case, my point was that when it comes to GPUs, the performance of the GPU is the important metric, and the amount of VRAM is a less important metric. Usually you'll want to pick the faster GPU over the one with more VRAM, but not always. Most of the time the amount of VRAM will be suitable for the GPU's performance, meaning that playable framerates will be achieved with settings that don't use up all the VRAM. But then again, as soon as there's one outlier game that uses much more VRAM than others due to e.g. very high res textures, you might see it being a seriously limiting factor.
 
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TToby

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Hi, I also have a fast PCI 4 M.2 and indeed, it is much faster than a SATA SSD on paper... but in most cases you will not get a benefit of those speed in the same way. Speaking only for me, I simply can't feel a difference in everyday use. There are other things in the read/write process, that will slow down the SSD, like for instance the difference between many small files vs. one big file. But maybe you will like to take a look at the internet. There are many many M.2 vs SATA comperations.
 
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