12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2016 5:39 PM by patmiller75

    Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo


      Hey everyone,


      So I have a Asus Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 motherboard with an i7-4770k:




      I want to know the fastest SSD I can get for this board. I do not have any M.2 slots, so I presume a PCI -Express 3.0 x4 SSD would be my best option? Something like this:




      I have a PCI-E 3.0 x16 graphics card installed, and if I use the other PCI-E 3.0 slot for the SSD at x4, my graphics card will be reduced to x8. Now, from what I have researched, the results in gaming will be negligible. Going from x16 to x8 will barely affect FPS and overall graphics performance since the bandwidth at x8 is still super high. I also use the GPU for GPU-Accelerated playback and rendering in Premiere, but I don't know if that matters...


      So, am I correct with everything I've mentioned above? Or should I go with a PCI-E 2.0 x8 SSD? Which again I get confused, because the ASUS webpage says this about my mobo:

      1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode, black)


      Thanks for all the help!


      Side note:


      The whole reason I want this SSD is for storage of my media files for video editing. My boot drive is on and will remain on my SATA 3 SSD. I have some VERY large Premiere Pro projects, and currently the HD and 4k media files are stored on a 2TB 7200RPM drive. When I load up these large projects, Premiere generates thumbnails for 100's+ files that currently takes forever. I plan on moving over my active files to the new SSD.


      Is this the right solution for me? Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

          I would suggest just getting a standard Sata SSD such as the Samsung 850 Pro as your media drive. The GPU performance is important for Adobe GPU acceleration and I wouldn't use valuable PCi-E lanes on that Z97 board for storage.




          • 2. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

            For some reason your Newegg links are useless.  Eric is the man. 


            I hope since you have the i7-4770K that you are overclocking it at least a little.  You can easily get 4.5 GHz out of it.

            Generating thumbnails is probably as CPU intensive as disk intensive.

            • 3. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
              JFPhoton Level 3

              ...you may want to use two or more Samsung 850 Pro SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration off the motherboard to give great performance and much more capacity than the 500GB Samsung 950 Pro PCI SSD. The Crucial MX 200 SSD series offers only a hair less performance at a cheaper price . Only the Samsung and Crucial higher level SSDs have the better controllers that are the best for video editing....i.e. handling " incompressible data", and other features. Crucial SSDs are very reliable. Eric has mentioned that 500GB and above models provide the best reliability.

                   Only OS, programs, and Windows page file should be on the "boot drive". All else should go on that SSD RAID 0. The 2 TB spinning drive can be the backup for your RAID 0.

                  Example : 3 Crucial 500GB MX 200 SSDs cost $139 each today at new egg...$417 total cost for 1.5 TB capacity  compared to around $350 for a 500GB Samsung 950 Pro....without considering adapter card.


              Below is a link to the performance test of 3 MX 200s in RAID 0 :



              Crucial MX200 500GB 3-Drive SSD RAID Report



              you will see for "incompressible data" a read speed of over 1.2 GB/second and a read speed of 645 MB/sec. Three Samsung 850 Pro SSDs actually performed slightly WORSE in the exact same test by tweaktown with incompressible data.


              A 2 TB 7200 rpm spinning disk has TERRIBLE performance compared to the RAID 0 I described, or, even just asingle SSD, like Eric described. Under the BEST conditions with a quality "enterprise level" HDD equipped with 128 MB of cache, a maximum of 200MB/sec can bee achieved, read and write, on an empty drive. However, the performance will drop to half that when the drive is close to being filled, and will drop FURTHER if not "defragmented". In addition the "latency" of the HDD impedes performance,,,,ESPECIALLY if there are multiple streams of video trying to come off of that drive during editing.

                  A RAID 0 of 3 MX 200 SSDs will provide at least 3 to 6 times the speed of your current disk drive ! The speed of your " media drive" is very important.

              • 4. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                patmiller75 Level 1

                Thanks for the advice! From the research I have done, going from x16 to x8 PCIe lanes for my graphics card would have negligible effect on real world performance because x8 still has very high bandwidth. Do you think that Adobe GPU acceleration would noticeably suffer if I dropped my GPU down to x8 lanes?

                • 5. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                  RjL190365 Level 5

                  Going from x16 to x8, as Bill had demonstrated, increased the encoding time from PPBM's MPEG-2 DVD timeline by about two seconds when using a higher-end GPU. So yes, there will be a slight loss of performance.

                  • 6. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                    The amount of PCi-E lanes required for the GPU is dependent on which GPU you have. The higher end 900 series cards are definitely making use of the 16 lanes of PCI-E 3 which means the coming Pascal 10xx cards will most definitely use the 16X lanes. Keep that in mind before using PCI-E slots for storage.




                    • 7. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                      RjL190365 Level 5



                      With new higher-end GPUs utilizing close to the full bandwidth of PCI-e 3.0 x16, expect more than a few-second difference. The reason why reviews have shown negligible difference between x8 and x16 is that the games used in the benchmarks do not take full advantage of the higher-end GPUs to begin with. Whereas most well-designed CUDA content creation apps do.


                      With that said, the thread starter's ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark I does not leave any room whatsoever (PCI-e 3.0 lane-wise) for any additional PCIe 3.0 components without degrading the throughput of the board's primary PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot. And current PCI-e m.2 NVMe adapter cards use four PCI-e lanes. With that board one would be forced to utilize the third long slot, which is only PCI-e 2.0 x4 maximum electrical (but is configured to run at only x1 throughput by default).


                      As a result of these limitations, the thread starter's only sensible choice for an SSD would be a fast SATA 6.0 Gbps SSD. But do not put more than two of those in a RAID 0 configuration because the maximum practical write throughput of the Z97 PCH is only about 1.3 GB/second total. That leaves barely enough room, bandwidth-wise, for an OS/boot SSD plus two SATA 6.0 Gbps SSDs.

                      • 8. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                        patmiller75 Level 1

                        My GPU is a EVGA GeForce GTX 770 4GB Dual Superclocked ACX.


                        Do you know if this GPU is even capable of handling the x16 bandwidth?


                        Thank you so much for all the info, it has been a great help.

                        • 10. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                          JFPhoton Level 3

                          I am not sure if I am correct, but, you MAY be able to use a free utility, like MSI Afterburner,or, similar, to safely overclock the "memory clock" on your GPU to increase GPU performance because you have a 7xx series Kepler NVidia GPU which overclocks far better than the 9xx series Maxwell GPUs.

                             Bill would know for sure. We are both overclocking the 765m mobile GPU in our same laptops. My testing showed a good improvement on render times with the overclock and accelerated effects on the timeline. Our laptops have a LOT of "headroom" for this , because the "stock clocks" are conservative in order to save battery power. The desktop GPUs might not have as wide a margin,but, I know that Bill has gotten a good overclock on 7xx series NVidia GPUs.

                          • 11. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                            Yes I have used EVGA PrecisionX 16 to overclock the Memory Clock with great results very many times.  Unfortunately with the new Maxwell based graphics cards it does no good and actually when you run any CUDA application the Maxwell cards throttle back the Memory Clock.

                            • 12. Re: Best/fastest SSD for my z97 mobo
                              patmiller75 Level 1

                              What about using something like this:


                              HyperX Predator Half-Height, Half-Length (HH-HL) 240GB PCI-Express 2.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SHPM2280P2H/2…


                              It's PCI-E 2.0, so it would not take away from my GPU's bandwidth, and the reviews are great.