Is it a good idea to install Windows on SATA SSD and DCS/XP/IL2 etc on NVME M.2?

Is it a good idea to install Windows on a slower SATA SSD as C drive and the games’ program files on a faster NVME M.2 SSD as D drive? It seems a good idea to install these big programs in a separate drive from C in case of installation of Windows (don’t have to re-download and reinstall the large programs). But is it OK to have C on a slower drive? Thanks.

It’s a balance between storage size and speed I guess. I personally would install the booting O/S (and pagefile depending on much memory you have) on the fastest available drive you have, i.e. the NVME (hopefully in a x4 slot).

It will work fine the other way around as you said though, as when getting to the differences in access read times between SSDs and NVME’s we’re talking diminishing returns here - a lot of people would be hard pressed to notice as the bottlenecks aren’t pure I/O.

Thanks for the quick reply!!
Hmm, so using SATA SSD for everything would be just fine, you mean?

I might be a bit of an outlier, but I’m not super keen on the cost/value balance of NVME’s. I think they make good O/S boot drives, but considering how big games are then SATA3 and a SSD is still pretty good. When it comes to DCS or IL-2 then it’s all about CPU and GPU saturation first, with load times being improved a bit, but not as dramatically as I’d want. I don’t think it helps frame-rates, as potentially the only thing it is helping is ‘paging in’ stuff into RAM quicker in maps etc, and I/O isn’t a the bottleneck for that, it’s usually the destination RAM anyway.

For X-Plane, it is a little advantageous, but I have so much stuff to store on that (ortho etc) then it means I’d need an enormous (and disproportionately expensive) NVME to make it worth it.

Others with NVME’s should chime in if they think it is worth it, as I don’t want to just say ‘I’m right’, as that’s just my opinion (man :slight_smile:).

If I did a lot of video work, then a good PCI-E x4 NVME might be good, but for sims I think SSD’s are still doing pretty good on the cost/value curve. Of course, if money is no object… :money_mouth_face:

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Got you. Cost/Value ratio is definitely an important KPI to me :money_mouth_face: I will stick with SATA for now, since looks like the price of SSD is only going down. Appreciate your help! :smile::+1:

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A few years back I bought a Samsung 850 Evo 512GB (SATA) as a boot drive and migrated my OS over from my WD HD.
Wow, it was so much faster.

Then I got a WD Blue 1TB SSD (SATA) and moved most of my games to it. It’s not as fast as the 850, but close.

Last month I got a 970 Evo 1TB (nvme) and migrated my C: from the 850 to it.

Boot times improved over the 850, as well as general OS tasks. Games not so much to note. Faster, yes, but not enough to really make an impression over SATA SSD.
I have DCS and Windows on the 970, but most stuff is on the WD SATA one and I feel no need to move it. I still need to wipe the 850 and turn it into a storage/gaming drive.

So my opinion is NVMe does help a bit for boot/OS, but not for games. Standard SATA SSD speeds are good enough there, way ahead of HDDs.

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Thanks for sharing your experience! So it’s pretty consistent with what fearless frog said. Really appreciate it!

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Few years ago I received as a gift an 850 EVO 500 GB ssd and I only used it for OS and few selected games (mostly DCS and few other intensive things).
All in all, booting up takes 40 seconds and loading games is just noticeably, pleasantly short.
Not immediate but definitely it’s consistently better than mechanical HDDs.

Where I think it helps most in a game (aside from loading times, but if you’re a patient person that bothers you less than if you’re impatient) is the ones that have streaming data from the drive.

If 100% is loaded into RAM and that’s it, once loading is done SSD vs HDD is irrelevant. If the data instead is only partly loaded and streams in and out of RAM on the fly as you move about, then an SSD is a godsend.

The amount of stuttering, pauses, jittering, whatever you may get with an HDD is largely gone or very minimal.