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SSDs for reliable music storage, which is best?

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Music data storage is write-once and data does not change, so it is suitable workload for SSDs.


Any modern SSD should work. If SSD breaks down, replace it with new one and restore music data from offline HDD backup 😄


About SSD reliability, this paper, especially §7 and §8 is interesting. They tested many drives with “many millions of drive days”



Note: “transparent error” means the read/write error that occurred on the lower level layer is successfully corrected by the error-correcting code. This error correction is performed on SSD firmware and correct data is delivered.


On Windows, when uncorrectable read error happens, the following error dialog will be shown and the app will stop:




Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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I just finished a marathon testing session on storage mediums impact on SQ.

1. Intel X25-E Sata II SSD

2.Samsung 860 Sata III SSD

3.Toshiba 7200rpm HDD 3.5 inch internal 

4.Samsung 970 Pro plus NVME

5.Intel Optane 64gb


Test PC was 1. Lenovo Ideacentre Y900 Z190MB 6700k Hqplayer 4.0  

2. Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra/ Intel 10700k Hqplayer 4.0 


The findings were largely driven by external power supply using quality 

5v LT3045 LPSU with 2A 


The NVME was installed on a USB holder plugged into a USB slot on a PCIE 3.0 card with an external power supplied from a  12V DC LT3045 LPS  with 1.5A


The Toshiba HDD was powered in the Lenovo PC using the ATX PSU with a Elfidelity SSD/HDD filter just as a baseline for SQ. The music files in the Lenovo PC are also stored in this HDD.


The Intel Optane COULD NOT Boot from the same arrangement USB/PCIE USB 3.0 hookup as the Samsung 970 Pro Plus. 

So it was used in the NVME MB slot first in the Lenovo Z190 MB and the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra 

The Music Files in the Gigabye Aorus Intel 10700k PC was stored in a Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB SSD.


All the drives including the Toshiba HDD were installed with WinServer 2019 Core stripped of most processes (usually down to 35 and threads about 500)

HQPlayer 4.0 4.60version is common.


The best SQ in Top to Lowest is:

1. Samsung 860 Evo 250gb

2.lntel X25 64gb

3.Samsung 970 Pro Plus in PCIe USB3.0 mode

4.Intel Optane NVME on MB slot

5.Samsung 970 Pro Plus in MB slot

6.Toshiba HDD in the Lenovo 6700K PC


The SQ differences were in the Color of the Sound presentation(not flat and lifeless), more dynamic, better stereo separation and depth. Not extreme differences but Audible using the same songs, Headphone mode (Abyss Phi/CC - Dana Lazuli Ultra) direct to 2 x 30watt Class A Headphone amp from the speaker Taps using a resistor Lpad setup.


There was more difference to in the SQ due to the speed of data transfer == The Toshiba HDD could be found to be lacking as the System probably had more CPU/Data Exchanges as this was also the Boot Drive as well as the Music Drive. 


I am NOT saying the SQ differences are Absolute and Universal in all setups. No my conclusion is: 

1. Powering the SSD MUST be done on as high quality a PSU as possible. I went from ATX to external 5v chinese LPSU to the Light Harmonic LPSU. The real jump is when I used 5v LT3045 LPSUs.

2.NVME is not so good for SQ - the remedy should be High Quality MB power - a LPSU with ATX capability is needed

3.NVME powered through PCIE/USB external power hookup is far better but still loses out to the winner

4. Music files MUST be separated from the Bootdrive

5. Data Transfer rates matter for Upsampling Music software such as HQPlayer 4.0

6. USB3.1 drive (Toshiba) was tested OK but was affected by Noise in the USB

    Controller. This fared a lot better plugged into the PCIE USB3.0 drive 

7. USB2.0 drives are so slow that HQPlayer stutters at the ASDM7EC/DSD256 setting


AND the winner is :>>


Samsung 860 Evo powered by LT 3045 PSU.


Please note that the above is only in my setup and to my ears. As always YMMV,






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I've used those SATA/SAS SSDs.


My testing is not millions of drive days but among those disks, Samsung 840 Evo is not recommended, which read speed slows down significantly after 6 month from writing data. It seems other models including Samsung 860 Qvo does not exhibit this problem so far.




Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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