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Old 05-11-2020, 03:34 PM   #1
enorbet
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Need Advice on u.2 NVME for Slackware -Current


Greetz
It may not be likely I'll gt feedback before I pull the trigger but I'll have 30 dqys to return if the problem is devastating so here goes.

In about 10 hours from this posting the Newegg Sale will be over and I just discovered it a few hours ago. This is my first SSD so I've been crash-coursing the technology. I want performance but stability and reliability are premium to me so this is what I intend to buy...

1) PCIe x16 U.2/SATA controller - https://www.newegg.com/syba-sy-mra25...1B0-001B-00092

2) Enterprise quality Seagate u.2 2.5" SSD -
https://www.newegg.com/seagate-nytro...quicklink=true

(just in case that fails - https://tinyurl.com/ybmw7tah )

I have an Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 with the latest beta BIOS so I'm certain it can handle NVME BUT...
I'm unsure of whether that's restricted to, say, m.2 or even SATA. Obviously due to the dual purpose arrangement I could still just connect to SATA III but why would I accept such a loss? I want the PCIe interface to work and I have PCIe v3 16x available so that's what I hope for.

The last remaining question since it states that Win7 won't recognize the drive, is whether or not Slack Current will?

It's quite possible since I will receive it in a few days that I may not get a solid response yay or nay before I find out for myself. Still, I don't want to just assume it will just work or not on my first few attempts, so please anybody with any u.2 experience with Slackware jump right in!

UPDATE: I let the sale slide until I learn a bit more but so far nothing has come up indicating an important loss for going with u.2 over m.2 so I'm still leaning toward the Enterprise grade u.2 Seagate 2.5" and PCIe x16 adapter.

Last edited by enorbet; 05-12-2020 at 12:20 PM.
 
Old 05-11-2020, 04:06 PM   #2
AlleyTrotter
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I have a Plextor PX-512M8PeY card plugged into a PCIe slot for over a year. Works perfectly, lightning fast, no issues. Way faster then my SATA SSD (subjective analysis)
On the box description 'HHHL Add-in Card / NVM Express SSD PCI Express Gen 3 x4 with NVM Express'
I believe this is similar to what you are looking at.
I modified the Slackware64-14.2 installer and it also works on that OS.
HTH
John

The controller and drive are both on the card
I boot from that drive in both current and 14.2
same MoBoard here Asrock Z77 Extreme 4

Last edited by AlleyTrotter; 05-11-2020 at 04:45 PM.
 
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:11 PM   #3
kingbeowulf
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I have no idea about the U.2 expansion card. I do have a Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series Solid State Drive PCIe NVMe M.2 256GB plugged into the motherboard NVME slot (MSI Krait X99 SLI). Slackware64-curret rips...

I see you also have another post on this: https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...ts-4175675011/

Thus, I'd recommend M.2 and not U.2. For example: https://www.newegg.com/asus-model-hy...82E16815293043 (this one is a bit overkill, just as example). Then get the M.2 NVMe which yo ucan transfer easily to a more modern motherboard later on. All new motherboards now have NVME slots (and most laptops too). My MSI just has one, but the new Gigabyte Aurus miniITX has TWO!

So maybe a better deal is:
https://www.newegg.com/western-digit...82E16820250093
https://www.newegg.com/silverstone-m...82E16815256031
 
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:13 PM   #4
bassmadrigal
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There shouldn't be any limitation in the BIOS/UEFI Firmware for the device except for possibly booting off of it. However, I suspect that modern motherboards are more than capable of booting off PCIe devices.

I would be really surprised if -current doesn't recognize the device. 14.2 recognizes my m.2 NVMe device without issue (mine is built in on my motherboard).

(According to Newegg, the sale is only $10 off the drive itself and the PCIe card seems to be normal price.)
 
Old 05-11-2020, 04:48 PM   #5
enorbet
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Thanks guys this is working better than I expected. Not only am I getting a nice cross section of info on SSDs and their interfaces but the pressure is off at only a sawbucks savings as bassmadrigal has noted (I just saw the time and got jumpy). I'm not going to rush over 10 bux.

While I did expect to get very few comments with experience about u.2, I still hope (or hope against is more accurate) discovering there is some compelling reason that tips the scales since my instincts are to prefer Enterprise quality. The 5 year warranty isn't huge for me beyond being an indication of confidence but the attention to random reads seems wise and frugal. Laptop use concerns me zero. I am almost exclusively a tower kind of guy. I build my own and I vastly prefer being able to choose and upgrade as I can any and all components. Besides that limitation on laptops I positively hate how hot powerful ones tend to run. I freak out if even my GTX 1070Ti exceeds 58 C. Right now it's at 43 C and I'm thinking it is time for a thorough cleaning.

So if anyone knows of some serious issue that tips the scales in favor of m.2, I'd like to hear it. As it is although I do see some decent m.2 drives I am willing to sacrifice a bit of performance for reliability especially where storage data is concerned. So I am leaning in favor still on the Seagate Nytro drive. Naturally the Samsung m.2 monster is very attractive but I've never been disappointed by server quality gear. It's all but certain my next PC build will be based on a supermicro mobo... which incidentally has both m.2 and u.2 slots.
 
Old 05-12-2020, 08:24 PM   #6
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
While I did expect to get very few comments with experience about u.2, I still hope (or hope against is more accurate) discovering there is some compelling reason that tips the scales since my instincts are to prefer Enterprise quality.
Yes, but m.2 has enough of a track record now that I see no argument against it. Since you're only looking at a single 2TB unit, you probably won't see the true benefits of u.2 anyway.

It's anecdotal (which you don't seem to mind ), but I know of a NUC5 with a Samsung Pro m.2 NVMe SSD in it that gets hammered daily... It's a vmware host with 5 users logged into different guests most days. It has been up 24/7 since it was first powered on the best part of 5 years ago (except for scheduled software upgrades of course). That's hardly equal to enterprise use, but not bad at all for a single little box... and it's proof that m.2 is more than capable of coping with heavy daily use.

Last edited by rkelsen; 05-12-2020 at 08:33 PM.
 
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Old 05-13-2020, 12:29 AM   #7
bassmadrigal
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I've had my Samsung 960 1TB NVMe M.2 drive as my primary drive for almost 3 years, although, I'm not sure why it only shows 1.25 years power on hours, since it's been on for just under 2.5 years (it was off for a little under 6 months when I moved). I wonder if this value is calculated differently and needs an updated smartmontools? I'd expect the number to be about double what it is.

But I have a the root partition, swap, my home directory, /tmp/, /var/ (including /var/log/), and anything else in the system that might hammer this thing (except for torrents... those are on an HDD). All my compiling is done on this drive as well. So far, in about 2.5 years, I've written around 10TBs to the drive (and surprisingly read only 7.23TB) and Samsung suspects I've used 1% of its wear capacity. Even if it is at the high end of 1% and really close to 2%, I'm looking at probably close to 100 years before I hit the limit. The warranty is good for 3 years (which I've already passed) or 400 TBW (TBs written), which would likely also take 100 years to hit 400TBs of written data.

To give some data, I have 515 SBo packages installed, almost all compiled on my NVMe. I also have 18 kernels that I've compiled on the system I have 63GBs in /usr/, 33GBs in /var/, 598GBs in /home, and 112GBs in /tmp/ (I should probably clear tmp... I have 57GBs in /tmp/SBo/ alone -- and /home/ since I have 24GBs free there).

I have not done anything to minimize writes to this system except for specifying noatime,nodiratime in my fstab (and nodiratime is redundant since it is included with noatime, I just found out after I set up my fstab and I'm too lazy to change it). I have used it just as I've used my SSD and HDDs prior. I have confidence that this drive will not run into wear limitations any time soon.

Code:
=== START OF SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

SMART/Health Information (NVMe Log 0x02, NSID 0xffffffff)
Critical Warning:                   0x00
Temperature:                        27 Celsius
Available Spare:                    100%
Available Spare Threshold:          10%
Percentage Used:                    1%
Data Units Read:                    14,130,424 [7.23 TB]
Data Units Written:                 19,599,040 [10.0 TB]
Host Read Commands:                 451,560,371
Host Write Commands:                730,457,835
Controller Busy Time:               5,941
Power Cycles:                       93
Power On Hours:                     10,992
Unsafe Shutdowns:                   65
Media and Data Integrity Errors:    0
Error Information Log Entries:      28
Warning  Comp. Temperature Time:    0
Critical Comp. Temperature Time:    0
Temperature Sensor 1:               27 Celsius
Temperature Sensor 2:               35 Celsius
 
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:31 AM   #8
rkelsen
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^ Are you using EXT4 as your filesystem on that drive bassmadrigal?
 
Old 05-13-2020, 05:30 AM   #9
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
^ Are you using EXT4 as your filesystem on that drive bassmadrigal?
Or F2FS? I am interested as I plan to set F2FS by default in auto-partitioning mode in next Slint installer for solid state devices.
 
Old 05-13-2020, 10:33 AM   #10
bassmadrigal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
^ Are you using EXT4 as your filesystem on that drive bassmadrigal?
Yes, I'm using ext4. I meant to include that, but I guess when you write a novel, sometimes things get left out...

When I originally installed this system, the benchmarks showed the ext4 was generally the better filesystem for the things I felt were important to my system. I haven't looked into more recent benchmarks to see if other filesystems might be a better option now, but I might look into it when 15.0 is released and I switch to that (I usually reinstall instead of upgrading, so reformatting the system partition wouldn't be an issue). I don't have any complaints with ext4.
 
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:39 PM   #11
volkerdi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didier Spaier View Post
Or F2FS? I am interested as I plan to set F2FS by default in auto-partitioning mode in next Slint installer for solid state devices.
My understanding is that ext4 is fine for use on SSDs. F2FS is more useful for simple flash storage that doesn't provide wear leveling.
 
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Old 05-13-2020, 04:02 PM   #12
bassmadrigal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkerdi View Post
My understanding is that ext4 is fine for use on SSDs. F2FS is more useful for simple flash storage that doesn't provide wear leveling.
I agree that ext4 is fine for SSDs, however, I do believe F2FS is designed for NAND that contains a Flash Transition Layer (FTL or basically the controller does additional things like wear leveling). (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong... I'm certainly no expert with F2FS.)

Quote:
Unlike jffs2 and logfs, f2fs is not targeted at raw flash devices, but rather at the specific hardware that is commonly available to consumers SSDs, eMMC, SD cards, and other flash storage with an FTL (flash translation layer) already built in.

SOURCE: https://lwn.net/Articles/518988/
And it seems like (askubuntu thread, so take it with a grain of salt) most decent quality sd cards have some sort of FTL to do wear leveling, but it isn't part of the SDHC spec. So, if you get a cheapy or knock-off sd card or thumbdrive, it may not have any wear leveling.

Which one is better is probably something that could have a heated discussion and probably depends on a number of factors. And indeed, in looking at some recent benchmarks, F2FS is holding its own against competitors, but it doesn't have a clear advantage across the board. You'd have to find what is important to you and make your determination based on those results.
 
Old 05-13-2020, 04:47 PM   #13
enorbet
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Special "Thank Yous" to rkelsen and bassmadrigal or substantial data on m.2 reliability. I will look harder at some m.2 devices now that sale hysteria has left the building.

Extra special thanks to PatV for saving my bacon today with an older post regarding elilo and UEFI configuration. One of the reasons I was so pumped about the u.2 Seagate was that I know almost nothing about both SSDs and UEFI and I figured I'd be pretty safe with Enterprise quality Seagate knowing nothing but their track record and reputation in hard drives going back to when I had SCSI drives in RAID. Now that pressure is lifted I can look deeper and today I started on a trial box to setup my first UEFI bootable drive in preparation for SSD. I kept getting boot errors largely because I'm not yet adept with elilo.conf and also May -Current Installer (at least with me at the helm) apparently didn't do a proper job on initrd, but then I don't ever use them... or didn't until UEFI. Patrick's sample elilo.conf brought me ultimate success and improved understanding so with a little more experimentation I'm confidant I will have gained enough experience whatever SSD I get should be a cakewalk.

LQN r0x.
 
Old 05-13-2020, 05:31 PM   #14
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkerdi View Post
My understanding is that ext4 is fine for use on SSDs. F2FS is more useful for simple flash storage that doesn't provide wear leveling.
That's also my understanding (although old SSD controllers were not as good as that than new ones). But my question was also about performances (even after having read some benchmarks).

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 05-13-2020 at 06:11 PM. Reason: s/although/also/ Oh, well...
 
Old 05-13-2020, 05:49 PM   #15
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmadrigal View Post
I agree that ext4 is fine for SSDs, however, I do believe F2FS is designed for NAND that contains a Flash Transition Layer (FTL or basically the controller does additional things like wear leveling). (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong... I'm certainly no expert with F2FS.)
Yes, cf. this document which provides a detailed information. But which leads to another question: what are the safe mount options for f2fs? I am going the ask to the developers as I have done for other questions in this thread. Now for an automatic installer properly detect the kind of a drive (that the user maybe doesn't even know) doesn't look so easy...

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 05-13-2020 at 06:05 PM.
 
  


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