Can you use an NVMe M.2 SSD on an older motherboard via a PCI-e adaptor?

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by Darren Hodgson, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    As per the thread title, can I fit a 1 TB NVMe M.2 SSD to my PC via a PCI-e adaptor card so that I can use it for installing only games on?

    Just to be clear, I am not asking if I can boot Windows from it as my current Samsung 850 Evo SSD is perfectly fine for that.

    I don't want to upgrade my PC yet until the next-gen consoles are out but with NVMe M.2 SSDs going cheap at the moment - I can get a 1 TB drive from Amazon for £144.99 with an adaptor that costs around £14.99.

    Obviously, once I upgrade my PC then I can use the NVMe M.2 SSD drive with that to boot Windows from so it would not be a waste of money.

    If this is possible then what recommendations does anyone have for the ASUS Z87-Deluxe motherboard I am using from June 2013. It has the latest BIOS (2103, I think, from 2014).

    Does the BIOS need to support it?

    Or am I just wasting my money?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
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  2. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Your BIOS needs to support NVMe specifically and the PCIe card needs to be NVMe 1.3 compatible. Stricky to answer.
     
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  3. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Ancient Guru

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    A very solid and legitimate concern. I've spent the last few months researching NVMe drives., And my conclusion is this, if your motherboard supports it just get one and enjoy it. ;)
     
  4. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    Only if its a boot device or your intent is software raid, any most pcie adapter regardless of bios support will support an nvme data drive once the nvme driver is loaded going as far back as 7.

    Compatibility concerns in pcie adapted nvme lay with the nvme stick itself - Samsung are pretty good as they support legacy bios on their nvme parts

    Now if you are really wanting it to boot off it, you'll need to go the hybrid uefi route with uefi duet or something to chain off.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020

  5. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the replies. Still a bit confused though.

    I do NOT want to boot Windows off a NVMe drive, I only want to be able to access it from Windows as I would any other non-C or external drive for storing games on ONLY.

    I get that Windows would need to load NVMe driver during boot to be able to do this but I am still no wiser on whether it would actually work on my ASUS Z87-Deluxe motherboard using the 2103 BIOS which dates back to late 2014.

    Has anyone tried this and got it working with an older Intel i7 CPU such as my i7-4770K?

    I could just install another SATAIII SSD alongside the one I use for Windows but I wanted something more forward compatible and a drive that didn't require using a SATA port as mine are all used so I would have to remove one of the hard drives to use an SSD, something which defeats the point of me wanting faster and MORE storage for games.

    Guess I need to read up more on this and see if anyone has actually got this working. I see plenty of PCI-e adaptors for sale on Amazon for NVMe drives but Amazon being Amazon there isn't enough info to know whether it would work with my system.
     
  6. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    people have got this working as far back as x58 (even bootable), so with your samsung nvme, you're probably in the clear!
     
  7. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    I don't believe it will be an issue on a system if you are not using it to boot from. At that point, Windows is handling the device detection and drivers. So go ahead and order the NVMe and PCIe adapter.
     
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  8. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Not using as boot helps, but your BIOS still would need to be able to detect the device and thus needs to be compatible. Realistically I think you're good to go with Z87, but yeah a newer BIOS would help. Perhaps drop ASUS support a question about this specific configuration.
     
  9. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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  10. 386SX

    386SX Ancient Guru

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    Tried my native PCIE drive in a Sandy Bridge EP system (i7-3820 / X79). Worked like a charm, and as you require just as a data drive.
    But it was an Intel drive and they have their own driver. I am not sure about those without own driver. You should check this first before purchase.

    Btw.:
    I think the Z87 uses an AMI bios, correct? Then head over to win-raid.com if you like to get it bootable if you ever feel the need to. ;)
     

  11. 0blivious

    0blivious Ancient Guru

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    I am using a Z97 board (4790K). It has an m2 slot. But it only ran my drive at up to 800mb/sec. Better than sata, but still a bottleneck. I bought a pci-e adapter. I now have full advertised speed (1900/2400, or something like that).

    When I moved it from the m2 slot to that adapter, I didn't have to do anything in the bios or windows. It picked it up as the same drive. Your mileage may vary.

    That said, I want all nvme drives (2,3) and no adapters. New build soon and this nvme shortfall is one of the reasons.
     
  12. The Goose

    The Goose Ancient Guru

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    I had a z97 and the most i could get was pci-e 3.0 x2
     
  13. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Motherboards today have 2 or 3 M.2 slots.
     

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