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Thread: m.2 nvme drive size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    m.2 nvme drive size

    Good morning to all,
    I am in the midst of upgrading one of my systems.

    Use case: Surfing the web; interacting in Ubuntu Forum; light programming (bash, perl, python); LibreOffice; audio playback; download/install Linux distributions; access to printers and fileserver over local network. Devices on network are mixed Linux and Windows that normally do not interact.

    Would appreciate your thoughts on the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of the following configurations:

    a) one large m.2 nvme (OS and home both to reside on the m.2)
    b) one moderate size m.2 nvme (OS only) plus large [SSD | HDD] for /home
    where large => 480GB and moderate < 480GB
    Last edited by him610; February 25th, 2020 at 04:09 PM. Reason: added use case

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SW Forida

    Re: m.2 nvme drive size

    I just converted from your second option to your first.

    When I built system in 2016, NVMe drives were expensive, so I used a 250GB M.2 SATA drive & 1TB HDD. I do not have Windows but put (now) two Ubuntu installs, 16.04 & 18.04 on SATA drive and space for booting install ISO directly. Then also had large amount unallocated. HDD had large /data partition but for me large is 100 to 200GB as I do not have much media.

    So I upgraded to a new NVMe drive with Ubuntu, ISOs & data with still room for more installs & unallocated. And then HDD is mostly for backup, and test installs just to experiment with something.

    I also moved SATA drive to a M.2 USB adapter. Becomes bit larger, but faster flash drive.

    My sda is USB M.2 drive, sdb is HDD and sdc is a flash drive. NVMe drive is now main install.

    fred@fred-Z170N-focal:~$ lsblk -o name,fstype,size,label,partlabel,mountpoint
    sda                232.9G                                
    ├─sda1      vfat    49.8G ESP       ESP                  
    ├─sda2      ext4    30.3G xenial    xenial               
    ├─sda3      ext4    20.5G ISO       ISO                  /media/fred/ISO
    └─sda4      ext4    25.4G bionic    bionic               /media/fred/bionic
    sdb                931.5G                                
    ├─sdb1      vfat   510.2M ESP_B     EFI System Partition 
    ├─sdb2      ext4    30.3G bionic_b  bionic_b             
    ├─sdb3      ext4    49.8G ISO_b     ISO_b                
    ├─sdb4      ext4   147.6G backup_b  backup_b             /media/fred/backup_b
    ├─sdb5      ext4    30.3G focal_b   focal_b              
    ├─sdb6      ext4   302.8G data      data                 
    ├─sdb7      swap     2.1G                                
    ├─sdb8      ext4    24.4G disco     disco                
    └─sdb9      ext4      24G eoan      eoan                 
    sdc                 28.9G                                
    ├─sdc1      vfat     4.7G ESP_32GB  ESP_32GB             /media/fred/ESP_32GB
    └─sdc4      ext4    14.7G data32    data32               /media/fred/data32
    nvme0n1            465.8G                                
    ├─nvme0n1p1 vfat     512M ESP_NVME  esp_nvme             /boot/efi
    ├─nvme0n1p2 ext4    29.3G focal_0   focal_0              /
    ├─nvme0n1p3 ext4    29.3G                                
    ├─nvme0n1p4 ext4    29.3G                                
    └─nvme0n1p5 ext4   195.3G nvme_data nvme_data            /mnt/data
    Last edited by oldfred; February 25th, 2020 at 04:21 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Albuquerque New Mexico, U
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: m.2 nvme drive size

    I like the idea of having a small(ish) fast nvme device for the O/S (or three) and the working data sets in company with a largish spinning rust hard drive for backup and scratch storage purposes.

    As for size, my nvme0 is a 512 GB device and has three operating systems installed and 360GB of unallocated space. nvme1 is 2TB and mostly unallocated. My personal data lives in a 256GB partition on that device and it's about half-full. The rest of the space awaits future requirements.

    The hard drive is 4TB and used mostly for backups and scratch purposes. I also symlinked /var/logs to the hard drive because I have a chicken superstition it would be more reliable/survivable in case of catastrophe, but mainly because neither of my backup machines have nvme sockets but they do have SATA sockets and I'd like to be able to read the logs if the main machine stops cooperating for some reason.
    Last edited by rbmorse; February 25th, 2020 at 05:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Santiago DR

    Re: m.2 nvme drive size

    I did choose the size of the nvme-SSD based on what applications needed that read/write speed of 3400/3000 MB/s. In my case it was the Host OS (Ubuntu 19.10) and my most used and recent Virtual Machines (currently 17 VMs, including Windows 10). I use ZFS so all my stuff is lz4 compressed with a compression ratio of ~1.8. I did choose a 512GB nvme-SSD from Silicon Power and currently I use 280 GB of lz4 compressed VMs. Note that I halved my Linux VM boot times from ~20 seconds for a sata-SSD to ~10 seconds for a nvme-SSD.

    My other stuff like photos, music, family videos, software are all stored on 2 HDDs (500 and 1000 GB). All that data worked fine in the past from ancient IDE HDDs or USB 2.0 HDDs, so no reason to replace my existing HDDs with a SSD. A HDD can run music or family videos with two fingers up its nose (Dutch Saying for very very very easy). My classical VMs like Windows 3.0, Windows 98 and Ubuntu 4.10 are also stored on those 2 striped HDDs, because for the true authentic feeling it should take ~1 minute to boot those oldies .
    Last edited by lammert-nijhof; March 1st, 2020 at 07:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Re: m.2 nvme drive size

    Quote Originally Posted by lammert-nijhof View Post
    My classical VMs like Windows 3.0, Windows 98 and Ubuntu 4.10 are also stored on those 2 striped HDDs, because for the true authentic feeling it should take ~1 minute to boot those oldies .
    Yes, a minute at the very least. And for added realism you should reduce the resolution and add some fake blur (if at all possible) and BSoDs (well, they will do that on their own sooner than later).

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