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Calling on @Folterknecht to laugh at me and tell me what a waste of money this is :)

(Disclaimer: I "only" paid $151 for each of these, not the incredibly marked up $389.99)

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How to spend $6k on your computer over time... (https://pcpartpicker.com/list/DPZdRJ)

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Nothing to laugh about. I'm just curious what your usecase is for these (beside nice to have = hobby) and if you 'll go RAID with them. And is that contraption bootable in RAID going through that PCIe card?

 

That aside I 'd strongly suggest to investigate the temps (influence performance at a certain point) of the SSD-controllers with and without the shroud of that ASUS card. If you detect throttling you can always remove the stickers and mount small "heatfins" to the controller chips.

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1 hour ago, Folterknecht said:

Nothing to laugh about. I'm just curious what your usecase is for these (beside nice to have = hobby) and if you 'll go RAID with them. And is that contraption bootable in RAID going through that PCIe card?

 

That aside I 'd strongly suggest to investigate the temps (influence performance at a certain point) of the SSD-controllers with and without the shroud of that ASUS card. If you detect throttling you can always remove the stickers and mount small "heatfins" to the controller chips.

Intel, in their infinite wisdom, only supports bootable raid of a bifurcated PCIe slot with their own optane m.2 cards. Unlike AMD who supports any NVMe. I'll have to software raid them, thankfully there's not much of a performance hit with software raids of SSDs.

I've lost two windows NVMe installations to attempting to upgrade the NVMe driver. So I've moved windows back to SATA SSD. Yes I could have booted up something off a USB and fixed it, but both times Windows was getting close to a much needed reset anyway.

The shroud does have thermal pads, I know they aren't super effective but they're at least good enough as a thermal medium for GPU memory. I considered removing the stickers but until I can actually get the drive to work, I'm not 100% sure I won't return them. It's also hollow between the padded plate and the brushed top cover, so the fan has some air to move around in there.

The really annoying thing is, after spending around $700 on the drive, I realized that bifurcation, while possible on the x99 platform, has no support. Though I did have successful attempts of flashing modded bios to the board, I was unable to get the CPU to read the slot as four separate devices. Hence the move up to the x299 platform and another $1600 upgrade.

The MSI board I got has its own "dumb" 4x NVMe card that requires PCIe slot bifurcation. It has what appears to be a much more effective GPU looking heat spreader with a single large fan on top, but it's 2 slots wide and I don't think it will fit with my GPU mounted vertically in the slot region with the cooler master vertical GPU mount. I wouldn't be able to fit any cards if my case didn't have 9 expansion slots. The adapter takes up 7 but the new RTX cards are all unusually tall and it sticks at least a half slot width above the 7th slot.

As for a use case... I'm not really sure yet. My steam library will go on it, but the raid won't really help with the loading of lots of small files. It might even hinder performance but I'll have to do some testing.

I filed a late FAFSA after learning I'm now old enough to not have to claim my parents income, and the government just gave me a bunch of grant money for a semester that I had already paid for. What better way to spend taxpayer money than to squeeze another 15-20% more speed out of my computer for the price of a brand new reasonable gaming PC? :minidoge: And yes, I will hit the cap on my IRA this year so that was out too.

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I've considered NVMe RAID in the past, but every real world benchmark I've seen of it showed no improvement over a single NVMe drive.  Even in Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve there were no improvements to video editing or encoding speed.  There weren't any measurable difference in game load times or level load times either.  I've experimented with NVMe raid on another person's PC in the past(Four Samsung 970 EVOs) and the benchmarks showed amazing speed.  However I couldn't find any real world performance improvements just like all the tech people on YouTube and the other web sites that cover computer hardware.

With NVMe drive prices falling, I guess it could be a cheap way to get an 8 TB NVMe drive with some 2TB NVMe drives being found on sale for under $200 now.  The 2TB NVMe drives can be found lower priced than 2TB 2.5" SATA SSDs now when they are on sale.

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