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Last reply by 10-29-2018 Unsolved
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10511

XPS 13 9360 SSD Upgrade advice SATA Vs NVMe

 

From everything I read the SATA ssd's run cooler and in real time world application the difference is minimal compared to NVMe ssd.  I was looking at getting either the Samsung 970 Evo ( 500 - 1 TB ) or the WD Blue SATA ssd.  As far as I can tell the WD runs much cooler.

Laptop:  Dell XPS 13" 9360.  SSD is 128 gb SATA.  I use my laptop for some video editing and browsing (No gaming).  Might install photo shop and do some photo editing as well.

For me it is not the price issue but generated heat I am worried about.

Any advice?

Replies (7)
10373

Every notebook is a compromise between portability, performance and reliability.  You cannot expect desktop-level performance out of the CPU, GPU or drives in an untraportable system, any more than you can expect trailer hauling out of a subcompact automobile.

 

10383

I think the OP bought his Dell XPS from the same Amazon vendor I did. 128 GB 'SSD' correct? Only to find out it's actually a SATA III drive.

Just been there, done that. The cheapo vendor on Amazon sold me a Dell XPS 13 for under a grand earlier this year. Ran CrystalMark recently: 500/500 R/W, so the sucker put in a SATA III SSD!

So last week I picked up a 1 TB 970 Evo, hoping to hit 3400/2700 R/W, only to find out tonight the **bleep** Dell is crippled by a neutered PCIE controller. Yup, I can only hit 1800/1800 R/W as jphughan said.

I can tell you right now, I don't see any speed increase from the SATA III drive I had in there, even though theoretically the NVME drive is running 3X faster. Bootup time is the same, as is the annoying lag in Bluetooth recognition of my mouse when posting into Windows. NADA, no seat-of-the-pants improvement in overall system speed and responsiveness at all. I am thinking of putting the 970 EVO in one of my two desktops to get the most out of it. If I had paid $400 for the 1 TB Samsung I would be really upset except prices have dropped a lot on the 'outdated' 970 EVO so I got it for $277 from Newegg.

Why can't Dell fix the controller issue via a BIOS update, to enable the 4 lanes of performance??? Is it a hardware issue? Are the Dell XPS 15s saddled with the same issue? 

I actually returned an Intel 1 TB SSD before the Samsung because I thought it was defective, as it hit only 1500/1500 R/W. It was rated at 3200/1700. The same drive on my MSI desktop, purchased a few months after the Dell, hits 3000/1500 with the same drive. There is no excuse for a state-of-the-art laptop like the Dell to have such deficient HDD performance. I mean I bought my XPS 9360 in April of 2018! One realizes now how the XPS is actually a dated platform. To wit, the neutered 2-lane TB3 port.

 

10444


@Tom Cruise wrote:

Actually no I am open to both, but so far I have not seen any concrete evidence of much improvement in "normal" use of laptops.  Here is a video of one guy testing a SATA Vs NVMe this is with a 16 core system and a much more powerful GPU than what exists on the XPS 9360.  His results show that there are minimal gains in video editing.  

Here  is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu4q-lQrJr0&t=203s

His conclusion is that the CPU is the limiting factor NOT the SSD.  

The other issue is battery as mentioned before, there are several articles that show 1 -2 hrs difference in battery time on the XPS.

So basically in conclusion your laptop is only as fast as the slowest component, thats not always the SSD.  As mentioned earlier my research has also shown that NVMe is MUCH faster for file transfer, large file processing and boot up / opening large apps. 

For me its not the price issue, rather heat, lower battery life and minimal difference for my usage.  

So yes in conclusion I have decided to go with SATA SSD, however was this a desktop with really powerful CPU and GPU I would go with NVMe.

Cheers


Unless you'll be doing video editing, I don't see why you think the results of a video editing comparison are relevant to you.  Yes, video editing is quite often CPU-limited, but video editing is not a representative example of most people's PC usage.  If you take a typical user's PC and open Task Manager (or perform long-term observation with Perfmon), you will see that most people's workloads dramatically underutilize the CPU and very often the memory as well, even on systems that have slower CPUs and less memory.  By comparison, storage utilization on a typical user's system peaks frequently.  Copying large files is certainly one use case (and if you're making a copy onto the same drive, NVMe certainly helps there), but even basic Web browsing involves downloading a ton of tiny files and writing them to your disk -- HTML pages, images, tons and tons of cookie files, etc. -- and that happens for every single page you go to.  That plus the fact that the nature of file systems means that writing a ton of tiny files takes a lot longer than writing one large file that's the same total size means that storage very often is the bottleneck for the average user's workload.  And that's all before even considering benefits in scenarios like application and OS load times.

All of the above is precisely why SSD upgrades on old systems are so popular.  That single upgrade dramatically extends the useful life of that system far more than a CPU or memory upgrade would have, because the older CPU and lower amount of memory weren't the bottlenecks for the user.  They needed faster storage to notice a real-world difference for their use cases.  But it sounds like your mind is made up and you're prioritizing battery life and (for some odd reason) heat, so enjoy your choice.


10449

Actually no I am open to both, but so far I have not seen any concrete evidence of much improvement in "normal" use of laptops.  Here is a video of one guy testing a SATA Vs NVMe this is with a 16 core system and a much more powerful GPU than what exists on the XPS 9360.  His results show that there are minimal gains in video editing.  

Here  is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu4q-lQrJr0&t=203s

His conclusion is that the CPU is the limiting factor NOT the SSD.  

The other issue is battery as mentioned before, there are several articles that show 1 -2 hrs difference in battery time on the XPS.

So basically in conclusion your laptop is only as fast as the slowest component, thats not always the SSD.  As mentioned earlier my research has also shown that NVMe is MUCH faster for file transfer, large file processing and boot up / opening large apps. 

For me its not the price issue, rather heat, lower battery life and minimal difference for my usage.  

So yes in conclusion I have decided to go with SATA SSD, however was this a desktop with really powerful CPU and GPU I would go with NVMe.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

10473

The issue is that you've made up your mind to buy the SATA drive.  There is no problem with that, and one will work fine.

If you're looking for justification here, you won't find it in the facts.  The ONLY place in which SATA holds an advantage over NVMe where both are supported is in price.  The power consumption and heat generation differences are small (and as noted, the system is designed to run with an NVMe drive).  Yes, NVMe drives running in full out 4X mode will heat  up more than SATA drives - but this system won't allow that anyway.  And there is no way you can claim a negligible performance difference.

You exchange price for performance with SATA vs NVMe, plain and simple.

 

10491

Thanks for your reply.  I am aware of the benchmark differences, however looking at youtube and actual application uses the differences are minimal, the only place seem to see major differences from my research is in file transfers and database usage.  This is what I have been able to see from the research I have done today.  Also from what I see the NVMe increases battery usage.

7 Plutonium
10498

The difference is nowhere near “minimal”. SATA SSDs top out around 550 MB/s, whereas NVMe SSDs when not bottlenecked by the system can do 3 GB/s, although in the XPS 13 9360 they’ll be limited to around 1.8 GB/s — but that’s still over 3x faster, and that’s more than enough to be noticeable in most people’s real world usage. However, people seem to be having problems with the Samsung 970 units even though the 960 units work fine. I have a 9360 with a 960 Evo myself. As for heat, yeah SATA SSDs may run cooler, but Dell offers that with NVMe SSDs from the factory, so I don’t think that’s a real concern.


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