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Your choices for the M.2 slot are (in performance order):
A. NVMe M.2 SSD
B. SATA M.2 SSD
C. Optane Memory module
Your choices in the 2.5" SATA drive bay are (in performance order):
- SSHD (a hybrid drive that has its own internal SSD to accelerate the HDD portion of the drive)
- HDD (which can be accelerated by a Optane Memory module)
From an overall performance standpoint, your ordered list of choices (IMHO) are A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3, B4, D1, C2, C3, D2, D3.
Before anyone argues with me, note the following regarding why I ordered the way I did:
- For secondary storage, I prioritize having some as being better than not having any.
- The performance of Optane depends upon usage patterns and does improve over time. Does it ever get better than a SATA SSD? Yes, it certainly can, but this isn't the case initially, so I leaned the other way.
- Fact is, I am just not happy with the instability that appears to be happening a lot with Optane.
Hope this helps,
You've got choices A, B, C and D for what to do with the M.2 slot and choices 1, 2, 3 and 4 for what to do with the 2.5" SATA drive bay. Each entry in my performance list is a combination of a choice of what to do with the M.2 slot and a choice of what to do with the 2.5" SATA drive bay. A1, for example, says use M.2 NVMe SSD and 2.5" SATA SSD.
Yes, one of the choices for what to do with the M.2 slot is to leave it empty. If you then put a SSD in the 2.5" drive bay, you end up with choice pair D1. You can see where, in the overall performance list, the D1 pairing falls.
Make sense? Clear as mud?
Thanks for the explanation.
It makes sense to use empty m2 slot with SSD drive in a NUC kit.
There may be a comparative performance benchmark for what you have already explained.
If someone also posts that performance comparison benchmark with its prices then it would help before choosing a combination of Intel NUC kit.
It's really hard to choose a system without using it as per your user/application requirements.
You are the only person that can decide what to put into your system. You can watch reviews on youtube of certain types of devices you are considering like NVMe SSD, mSATA SSD, SSD hard drive, hybrid-SSD, plain platter disk drive.
You have to ask yourself some questions to get to your final decision.
1. What will this system be used for 80%+ of the time? If you answer just browsing the net and doing light-duty tasks on the PC... you do not need the added expense of going with an SSD hard drive module like a Samsung 950/960/Pro. If you say... but I want to also game. Well... get yourself a PS4, Xbox1 or build another gaming computer apart from the NUC. Most gamers build a gaming system that will ALSO serve as media and multimedia machines, not vice-versa.
2. What is your budget?
Also, I am not saying NOT to use fast/better tech hardware like the excellent Samsung 960/960PRO NVMe SSD modules as a main hard drive. I just built a friend a NUC with a 500GB 960 as his primary storage. He was explicit that he did not want to upgrade or change systems for several years so he wanted a build with quality/proven performance and parts that would perform well over 2+ years without feeling outdated/slow. Granted... the 960 module was almost as much as his entire NUC Box Kit, even tho he will never use the machine for extensive tasks, I felt I built a machine that will be trouble-free and fast for several years.