My PC is over three years old now, and it's time for a mid-life upgrade.
So, to give it a quick performance boost, I decided to purchase and install a new solid-state drive (SSD).
This took in the shape of the new 1TB Samsung NVMe M.2 970 EVO SSD
. Phew, what a mouthful! Touted to contain the latest tech that can result in high-speed read/write performance, which after installation I had tested to produce approx. 3,542 MB/s for read and 2,490 MB/s for write! Compare that to the SSD it replaces which is the 128GB Samsung mSATA PM851 that maxes out at 400+ MB/s.
Actually, it doesn't replace the existing SSD; you see, the Dell Area 51 R2 does not have a M.2 slot to install the new SSD. So, the only way to put it into my PC is to have a M.2 PCIe adapter. After some reading, I opted for the Angelbird Wings PX1
that contains a unique heatsink design to dissipate heat. Since the 970 EVO is a single-sided SSD, I could make use of the two provided thermal pads to sandwich the SSD in the heatsink. It was quite easy to install the SSD into the PX1 and later plug it into a spare x16 slot in the Dell (the other two slots were taken up by the dual nVidia GTX 980 in SLI configuration - this pair might later be replaced with the new rumoured nVidia GTX 1180, but that's another story for later....).
Allah swt must be kind to me, as this whole installation and setup process worked the first time with no hitches whatsoever.
Before commencing with the SSD upgrade, I did a full system and data backup. Having done that, with the PC switched off, I plugged in the PX1, and restarted my PC and confirmed through Windows 10 Device Manager that the new SSD was recognised. I then proceeded to install the latest Samsung NVMe driver as well as Samsung's Magician and OS Migration software. Magician reported the SSD was working as expected (I used this to test its performance) and then initiated the cloning process using the Migration tool. Once cloning was completed, I restarted the PC and checked the BIOS that automatically detected the new SSD to be in the first UEFI bootable sequence. After Windows 10 was up, which I instantly noticed a faster bootup time, I ran Disk Management that showed the 970 EVO was online while the older SSD was offline (this was due to a conflict in Disk ID - as expected after successful disk cloning). I then shrunk the volume of C: drive to about 200GB and turned the remaining space to D: where I would copy all my data from the existing HD, which would later become my backup disk. I also deactivated the older SSD as I was not going to use it anymore.
To ensure everything was working fine, I ran all my programs including games such as Dragon Age Inquisition
, and noticed a much faster speed when loading mission data! Using HWInfo
, I noted that the SSD temperature averaged around 50C which was nice and cool. All in all, a smooth and more responsive experience with the Samsung 970 EVO.