M.2 (nvme) on Z170

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by fleggy, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. fleggy

    fleggy Active Member

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    Hello,

    I'd like to buy a M.2 (nvme) SSD but I am not sure if it will work at full speed (or at all) because:
    - I already have 5 SATA devices on internal SATA 6G ports (intel ports only)
    - one PCIe 1x slot is populated by a sound card

    Do enough chipset PCIe lanes remain for nvme? I can't find any clear information about this topic. Chipset Z170, board Asus MAXIMUS VIII Ranger. Thanks
     
  2. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    It will disable 2 SATA ports because 1 NVME drive uses enough PCIE-E lanes.

    There is little point in NVME for a gaming machine.
    The performance difference compared to SATA III in real use is negligible.
    Check this review, among many
    https://techreport.com/review/30813/samsung-960-pro-2tb-ssd-reviewed/5
    The performance difference between first and last place is so low that its not worth chasing.
    Get the cheapest reliable drive with consistent performance over time.
     
  3. fleggy

    fleggy Active Member

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    Thank you. I read in the manual that SATA 0-1 will be disabled only if M.2 SSD is in SATA mode. The chipset has 20 PCIe lanes. I found this information about the chipset lanes allocation:

    - Secondary x16 slot (x4)
    - Two x1 slots (x2)
    - M.2 slot (x4)
    - Gigabit LAN (x1)
    - PCI bridge (x1)

    but it says nothing about SATA. Do SATA ports use PCIe lanes? I am still not sure what combinations of SATA+M.2+PCIe population are allowed/disallowed...
     
  4. wheeljack12

    wheeljack12 Master Guru

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    your manual ( i know mine does) usually has a graph showing when a m.2 is installed which ports are disabled.
     

  5. fleggy

    fleggy Active Member

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    My manual does not contain any information about PCIe lanes allocation/distribution. On the other hand it shows how PCIE_slots are shared (not possible to use them all at once) so I am beginning to think that M.2 (nvme) cannot make more limitation because then PCIE slots would be unusable at all.

    EDIT: I know that SATA1-2 will be disabled if M.2 is in SATA mode. But I have no exact information about nvme mode.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  6. joey79

    joey79 Member

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    @ Mufflore: wrong - its a NVMe PCIe SSD, in PCIe Mode the activation of the M.2 Slot will NOT disable any SATA ports.

    @ fleggy: It's no problem with your desired configuration. I have the exact same thing running.
    1 PCIe Graphics Card x16 GTX980
    1 PCIe Soundcard ASUS Xonar
    1 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD in M.2 Slot Sammy 950 PRO
    And all SATA Ports are populated with SATA HDDs and SSDs
    Works like heaven!
     
  7. fleggy

    fleggy Active Member

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    @joey79: thanks for the confirmation. I've just installed 960 EVO and everything works. Just USB ports have been somehow changed. My HOTAS throttle has lost its setting and I've had to re-plug my Asus STRIX Tactics PRO keyboard. Though not checked all my USB devices yet...
     
  8. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    There is a point if you are running out of sata ports. The M.2 (NVMe) SSDs aren't anymore costing an arm and a leg compared to sata SSDs.

    I have 2xSSD, 3xHDD, and a DVD drive. If I want to add more space, it's either M.2 or replacing one of the existing ones. Why not get an M.2 solution in that case? Totally not pointless considering the M.2 would otherwise be only collecting what little dust gets into the case through the filters.
     
  9. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Not if using the M.2 slot prevents the use of 2 sata ports.
     
  10. fleggy

    fleggy Active Member

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    @Mufflore: M.2 NVMe does not block any SATA ports. Neither any PCIe slot (at least on Z170 motherboards).
     

  11. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    I never understood sata M.2 devices in the first place, at least not outside of laptops, where space is a premium commonity. I'd only ever consider NVMe for the M.2 port.
     
  12. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Information about this is generally not precise.
    According to Anand, it will block extended SATA ports.
    But some motherboards seem to block the first group of 6 SATA ports.

    An NVME slot requires 4 PCI-e 3.0 lanes.
    This is the same amount of lanes that 2 SATA ports need.
    By extension, the use of NVME will remove the use of 2 SATA ports on some boards at least, depending on mfrs configuration.
    If you intend on using NVME and need most of your SATA ports, you need to be sure of what will happen.

    If you have found anything concrete on this topic, pls post.

    ps I am referring to onboard NVME.
    Although some PCI-E 3.0 x4 slots can also disable SATA ports. Again depending on mfr configuration.
    Fun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  13. fleggy

    fleggy Active Member

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    Well, I'll try to be exact:
    I can confirm that onboard NVMe blocks neither SATA ports nor PCIe slots on ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII motherboards.
     

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