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Anyone use their PCI slots for m.2 drives?

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I have a z390 E board from Asus and both m.2 slots are filled and I'd like a little more space (thanks a lot Modern Warefare.) Both are in PCIe mode.

Is it worth it to use the empty PCIe with m.2 adapters? Some adapters have 2 m.2 drive slots as well. Will Windows read that as two separate drives? I have no idea what the speeds would be. I also tend to use more budget friendly drives as well, such as the Silicon Power or Inland Professionals.
 
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If you have an available X16 slot, ASUS makes a 4x M.2 to PCIe X16 card called the Hyper V2. I use it in my NAS and it works great, you'll need a board that supports PCIe bifurcation though. If not you can only use one device per PCIe slot.
 
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$1500 is pocket change lol

If you have an available X16 slot, ASUS makes a 4x M.2 to PCIe X16 card called the Hyper V2. I use it in my NAS and it works great, you'll need a board that supports PCIe bifurcation though. If not you can only use one device per PCIe slot.
Thanks! I've never heard of PCIe bifurcation before, I'll have to look into that. There seems to be a lot of "generic" adapters as well. Any thoughts on those?
 
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$1500 is pocket change lol


Thanks! I've never heard of PCIe bifurcation before, I'll have to look into that. There seems to be a lot of "generic" adapters as well. Any thoughts on those?
kidneys are overrated anyways :p lol anyway its just an idea having 8tb is nice
 
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I had an mp9y 512 in pcie
mostly cause it was a good buy - it was same price as regular nvme m.2 but came with an adapter and a heatsink

I sold it tho.I barely used it for anything other than testing cause I have 6 other ssds and due to price spike and weaak currency I was able to get more than I bought it for.
a guy tried to put it in h110 on windows 7 but can't boot.but it's his problem really.should've asked me.
 
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Some adapters have 2 m.2 drive slots as well.
Most of cheap dual m.2 adapters provide one slot for M.2 PCIe, and one for M.2 SATA.
True dual M.2 PCIe cards have x8 connector, for example AOC-SLG3-2M2.
To fully use it, you need an option in bios to split x8 link into x4+x4 link. If such option exists, then such card would have to be placed in second full-width PCIe slot on your board.

There are also active cards (example: AOC-SHG3-4M2P) with a controller on them, but those are extra pricey.

If you only need an extra one, grab a simple x4->M.2 adapter.
 
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This will work, been there, done that...just be sure to check the same stuff as listed above (m.2 conector type, pcie speed etc). And W10 will see the drive on the card just like any other that is connected to the board :)

If you want basic adapter card(s) I have some FS that I was using with my previous Z170 rig...
 
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Benchmark Scores Faster than yours... I'd bet on it. :)
it will work....but you may not be able to boot from it(?)...
 

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Note that if you put a card in the 2nd PCI-E x16 slot, then your graphics card will drop down to x8. Probably not a big deal, since most graphics cards don't need anything more than x8 anyway.

Though you might just want to grab a cheap PCI-E x4 to M.2 adapter and stick it in the 3rd PCI-E x16 slot, which is electrically only x4 anyway. Not only are these the cheapest kind of adapters, but this also won't limit your graphics performance.
 
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Thanks! I've never heard of PCIe bifurcation before, I'll have to look into that. There seems to be a lot of "generic" adapters as well. Any thoughts on those?
Your motherboard doesn't seem to support bifurcation unfortunately if you're going to be using the one in your system specs list. So you're left with these options:
  • Get a SATA drive, for games there is no difference anyway
  • Replace existing drive with larger capacity
  • Use an active card like @Flaky mentioned, expect a price premium
  • Get a PCIe card, like a Fusion IODrive (3.2TB of MLC that has a practically infinite lifespan for ~$450)
The problem with those cheap adapters are, like mentioned, they aren't 2x NVMe, they're 1 NVMe and 1 SATA. If you wanted to use one of these, you could only put in one additional NVMe M.2 drive and one SATA M.2 drive, at which point you could just get a PCIe x4 to single M.2 adapter and use a normal 2.5" SATA drive to save a few bucks.

I personally use a FusionIO Drive2 that I got off ebay for ultracheap and it works great for storing games when I was faced with the same conundrum as you. Later on I did put the M.2 drives on a Hyper V2 card in my server and stored my games there, but that's another story entirely.

As @newtekie1 mentions, if you use the second slot the top slot will drop down to x8. If you are using anything below a 2080 Ti however, this is not a problem :), and you can always use the x4 slot as they mention.
 
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One of these will do you just fine:

* https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Express-Adapter-Support-Converter/dp/B07YFW5HBN
* https://www.amazon.com/MICRO-CONNECTORS-Low-Profile-Adapter-PCIE-M21U80HS/dp/B07J6NHX8H

Or, if you don't want to pay 500% markup and are willing to wait a little longer:

* https://www.ebay.com/itm/NVMe-AHCI-PCIe-x4-M-2-NGFF-SSD-to-PCIE-3-0-x4-converter-adapter-caX-LXI/184331966372
* https://www.ebay.com/itm/PCIe-NVMe-M-2-NGFF-SSD-to-PCI-E-PCI-express-3-0-x4-x8-x16-adapter-card-co-F-EW/203019641007

I have a couple of these cards (not the same ones as above, they're all the same thing just sold by different vendors) and they work fine. As others have said, just make sure you use it in the bottom-most PCIe slot to avoid stealing bandwidth from your GPU - but unless you have a GTX 2080 Ti there won't be any performance degradation.
 
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According to asus website, this board should support bifurcating the PCIe link and support up to two NVMe drives in PCIEX16_2 slot.
This option may also be called "asus hyper" or something like that.

it will work....but you may not be able to boot from it(?)...
There are no problems with booting from drives connected via passive adapters, no matter the slot. x1->M.2 are also fine in that regard ;)
 
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According to asus website, this board should support bifurcating the PCIe link and support up to two NVMe drives in PCIEX16_2 slot.
This option may also be called "asus hyper" or something like that.
I checked the motherboard manual and there is no mention of any bifurcation/PCIe mode. There is a "hyper kit" option, but that's for a different product (ASUS m.2 to miniSASHD adapter). The list on the website you linked also does not mention any Z270 board like OP has. So I don't think it supports bifurcation.
 
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Benchmark Scores Faster than yours... I'd bet on it. :)
There are no problems with booting from drives connected via passive adapters, no matter the slot. x1->M.2 are also fine in that regard ;)
I've had issues in the past...but from generations previous to Z390. ;)
 
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Ah. Either OP hasn't updated their system specs list, or they mistyped. Their system specs mention a Z270 board.
 
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OP's cpu-z validation bar in signature mentions 9700k+z390, so it seems it's the tpu specs that are outdated.
 
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OP's cpu-z validation bar in signature mentions 9700k+z390, so it seems it's the tpu specs that are outdated.
Quite right. In that case it supports bifurcation, which means any passive adapter should work no problem.
 
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Whoops, my system specs are a bit outdated lol. I'm on a Z390.
Quite right. In that case it supports bifurcation, which means any passive adapter should work no problem.
So a passive adapter seems to be the easiest way. All the ones with dual slots seem to have a two different keys, and M and a B. Are there any with two M keyed slots? It's not a big deal, a single is fine anyway, but now I'm curious.
 
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Whoops, my system specs are a bit outdated lol. I'm on a Z390.

So a passive adapter seems to be the easiest way. All the ones with dual slots seem to have a two different keys, and M and a B. Are there any with two M keyed slots? It's not a big deal, a single is fine anyway, but now I'm curious.
B key means the second drive is SATA only.
Something like this would do two PCIe drives, but comes at a price, as it has a PCIe switch for boards that don't support bifurcation.
Much cheaper option in case of bifurcation support.

Used a simple one slot adapter in my previous system when I upgraded my SSD, as it allowed me to clone my drive easily.
They're simply mechanical converters, so there's nothing really to them.
 
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