The best SSD to Nvme M2 setup to avoid bottlenecking (advise wanted)

I keep having my IT and computer wiz trying to force me over to Nvme M2’s .Im using all SSD drives at the mo
1 for OS
1 for projects
1 for Steinberg content
Im a little confused on what would be the best to update to nvme to get the best out of it , i know ultimately swapping to fully Nvme would be the option but for at the moment it’s not feasible .
I’m think of just the OS one at the moment and making to drive partitions and have the second partition for active projects with all audio consolidated in those projects , do you think this would a performance boost and lessen the bottleneck with Cubase projects but also allow more performance for the new SL10 ?

id like to hear your thought’s

I would go in this priority order for max benefit of storage speed/throughput

  1. OS
  2. Sample libraries
  3. Projects

Cheers for you input

I can understand that , the problem i’ve made myself if all Steinberg content is on a separate drive to my samples but i do use Steinberg content more than samples , when i do you use samples i consolidate to projects .

So to start do you think if i put the Steinberg content on the second partition and then i can add other M2’s to suit ?

Yes, that seems to make sense to me.

However, there’s also larger contexts.

  • Newer PCIe generations (assuming motherboard and NVMe drive match) give faster throughput.

  • Some SSD and NVMe drives also allow system RAM to be used for caching, thus increasing their IO significantly - albeit at a risk associated with power failures during write operations. I use that trick to with Samsung SATA SSD (i.e. non NVMe) via their Samsung Magician utility. It effectively raises the throughput for cached content of a SATA SSD to NVMe levels. Using that trick with a drive that’s mostly used for reading, like Steinberg content or other sample libraries would make this trick rather low risk.

  • If NVMe slots are at a premium, then getting fewer, but larger NVMe devices might make sense (partitioned as needed to make the migration from multiple drives easier).

Ah cool
I have 3 nvme slots but i’m only going to use one at this point , cheers for the info about the Samsung utility , OS and partition for the Steinberg content looks like the way to go

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Hi @Nico5
Could you recommend a decent migration software which will achieve the following :
Allowing to clone the C drive,
Adding 2 more partitions for Steinberg content and projects
cloning Steinberg content to new partition so i don’t have the pain of trying to redirect all contents manually ?
I know there’s a few on the market but im unclear on which can do all of these .
I have a new Samsung 980 1TB ready to rock and roll :wink:

Just a couple of things for the record:

NVME drives are SSD drives. Solid State Drives. I’m thinking you guys are maybe using “SSD” to mean “SATA SSD”. Just be careful with this because there actually are m.2 drives out there that are SATA, not NVME, so there’s the potential to get confused.

Also, are multiple partitions on individual drives really worth it these days? I don’t think I’ve seen this on SSDs for at least half a decade. Seems like more effort than it’s worth.

As for cloning I use Macrium Reflect, which is good. I’m sure there is other software out there that’s equally good, or better. But it works.

My goal is to migrate 3 x ssd drives to 1 Nvme drive , so yes partitioning would be the way to go to keep the configuration i have with the content otherwise it’s a possible complete new install of content

Yes this is a Samsung SSD 980 Nvme M.2

Why? Can’t the software relink to folders as usual? I’m just not following why you’d need to do a complete new install etc.

Dunno , you tell me ? My way of thinking is if i copy all installed content to a new drive something is bound to break with the Library manager, so cloning the original partition was my idea to keep the links but i’m here asking advice

In my view partitioning is pointless now, and it also adds complexity to the config. I would expect more problems doing that than using the content authors’ utility for moving content, especially Steinberg stuff.

So what would you suggest Steve , im looking for the smoothest way to move OS and content to the Nvme , just clone the OS (which is fully optimised and newish ) and then just copy over the Steinberg content and link with the library manager again ?

This migration to Nvme i’m over thinking i think but i can see a couple of full days of redownloading all Steinberg content come up :rofl:

I would do a fresh Windows install and use the content authors’ utility to copy library content to the new drive.

Ahhh sod it , i’ll wait till i build an 11th gen 19 to move to Nvme or if this drive fails , to much to install just to squeeze a little bit extra out of this machine 'if it ain’t broke ’

If I was in your situation, I would not bother with the partitioning either. You’d end up with smaller buckets and spend time worrying about them as you run low on space in each.

I’d just make the Samsung NVMe my new C drive and use the Samsung Magician utility to mark 10% of that device for Overprovisioning. Here’s the setup of my Samsung 980 Pro:

If my Windows installation was in pretty good shape and I’d want to use the minimum time to migrate, I’d use the Data Migration in the Samsung Magician utility to copy from my current C drive to the 980 Pro. I’ve done data migration, when staying on the same motherboard and fresh install of Windos and apps when I upgraded my entire PC.

Only after using the new C drive for a while, if I still found sample library/patch loading too slow, (Steinberg or other), I would make a new folder on the NVME drive and as @steve suggested use the appropriate location management features from the library maker to move the libraries in there.

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Thanks Nico , this is very useful info , i’ll have more of a delve into this tomorrow , i need to download the Samsung Wizard , didn’t realise it could migrate the OS from a Non Samsung drive

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I took your advice and migrated with Magician , only took 5 mins , but then 3 hours to rebuild Cubase as it was the only program on my system out of SL10 ,Halion ,Wave lab 11 pro , Ga5 not to see the Rme driver , had to let it rebuild the preferences , even thou all other programs opened great with the RME ,Cubase refused , just shows how fragile it really is . Anyway ,it’s all working apart from all the performance stuff in the Magician that you mentions doesn’t seem supported for some reason , i suspect it’s the motherboard bios but hey , it’s all working , i will attempt to move all the content over later lol
Cheers for the advise , it was very simple in the end , just like me :sweat_smile: :smile:


Glad you’re back in business!

3 hours for rebuilding Cubase is a lot less than it would have been to rebuild your entire Windows environment with every other driver and piece of application software. It took me several days to build my C drive from scratch, when migrating to my new system earlier this year.

Weird about Cubase getting all messed up about the RME ASIO driver. Yeah there seems to be some fragility in the Cubase code base with so much functionality from many generations of software development in there. No wonder, Steinberg are eager to deprecate a bunch of stuff - even if deprecating causes considerable grief with customers.

I think the Samsung Magician performance (effectively using regular system RAM as cache for the SSD) works only with Samsung SATA SSDs? And to the best of my knowledge it works only on 1 of those in a system. When I had it active in my previous system, it brought that Samsung SATA SSD speed to roughly the same as NVMe speed (if something was in the cache). So it might make sense, that it doesn’t show up for NVMe devices. (It also doesn’t show up for my current Samsung 980 Pro.)

Side note: Decent NVMe SSDs often run at speeds of the slower of the respective generations of the motherboard and the NVMe device.e.g.

  • If an NVMe 4.0 SSD (like the 980 Pro) is in a PCIe 3.0 motherboard, it will be limited to PCIe 3.0 speeds.
  • If an NVMe 4.0 SSD (like the 980 Pro) is in a PCIe 5.0 slot, it will be limited to PCIe 4.0 speeds.

So your 980 Pro should get a nice speed bump, if/when you upgrade to a newer system.

In the meantime have fun with your upgraded current system!

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Ahhh i see , apparently i’m getting the full speed of the new drive so it’s all good , all the app works now , that was just me being an idiot .
Yep , sure was quicker , the OS is only 3 months old so it was worth cloning .
I backup a project and loaded it on the new drive and i have a lot more resources to work on a the same project , great stuff .
Cheers for your advice

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