REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
NVMe SSDs are becoming very popular, and the ability of pushing 2-3GB/s of throughput and a half million IOPS through a storage medium the size of a stick of gum is amazing. Equally as impressive is the fact that, with this performance, comes a zero footprint on the motherboard. As with our demonstrations today, the only concern with RAIDING three NVMe SSDs is the fact that, depending on your needs, lanes become very precious. As appealing as the thought of having three M.2 NVMe PCIe X4 SSDs running under three graphics cards is, a bit of investigation might be necessary as to chipset or CPU lane travel and route chosen by the manufacturer. The Z170’s 20 lanes dedicated to PCH and 16 lanes dedicated to the CPU still isn’t enough for the true geek at heart.
Just as important is the need to do a bit of reading before you run out and buy an NVMe SSD, or decide upon your build for a new NVMe SSD contained system. There have been more than a few motherboards returned and more than a few Samsung 950 Pro SSDs returned because preparation wasn’t there before purchase. Again…the cart before the horse. Having said that, this is what we do and whenever hesitate to answer site comments, e-mails or Forum threads requesting assistance. All we ask is to do a bit of reading first (Google is your friend) to help us to help you.
It is also amusing how we are always pushing for faster speeds without realizing how far this technology has grown so soon. We can pull off 3GB/s read and write speeds without a heat or space concern today, whereas I remember only a few years ago when a certain company sent their newest PCIe Add in Card capable of 2.5GB/s and valued at somewhere around $1400. Yup, I toasted it within 15 minutes not realizing I needed to throw a few fans on it to provide for “active cooling”. We were all stunned when they got another to us within 24 hours (California to Niagara, Canada) without a complaint. Today we are pushing in excess of 3GB/s from a zero footprint; who would have figured?
Our recommendation for any M.2 SSD setup simply has to go with the ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ motherboard and three Samsung 950 Pros SSDs. What a sweet combination for a media professional!