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M.2 Drive With Z97X Fatal1ty Killer

Volvo240

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Hey,
So I am building a budget PC based on the motherboard in the title. I have figured out everything but the SSD. I know it is SATAe, or PCIe 2.0x2. This should be capable of 1,250MB/s, which is ok for cheaper SSDs. My questions are:
A: Will I get this speed provided I have a capable NVMe?
B: Is there anything in the BIOS of this board that will allow me to maybe use more PCIe lanes or make it run faster?
C: What drives will not be bottlenecked by this interface? I was thinking like an ADATA XPG SX6000 Lite (512GB).
D: Aside from those insane AsRock boards, (Extreme6 and Extreme9), is there a Z97 board that will allow an M.2 SSD run faster?
I do not want a SATA or PCIe adapter card, as I am going for a specific look with this build, and I need as many free PCIe and SATA connections as possible for future products. Thanks in advance and stay safe!
 
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Check my sig , similar setup.

Pcie 2.0x 2 is 1GBs so theoretically around 800MBs is the norm

Answer to A : see below-here is what im getting with my nvme drive
answer to B, no i very much doubt it
answer to C i think no nvme will bottle neck at these speeds.
answer to D without using a pcie lane and a adapter card most Z97 boards are this speed(apart from the 2 you mentioned and maybe some others) also you will loose some Sata ports when you use the M2/nvme slot
1631910836753.png
 
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Volvo240

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What board are you using? Aslo, if I maybe adjust the BCLK, will that help?
 

Mussels

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We've had a few Z97 NVME threads lately

Apart from a few boards that let you disable devices in the BIOS to add bandwidth (this feature is RARE), you're stuck at 2x 2.0, under 1GB/s


Usable, better than SATA, and the SSD has room to improve if and when you upgrade in the future

That board has "PCIE6 (PCIe 3.0 x16 slot) is used for PCI Express x4 lane width" which would let you use 4x 3.0 riser cards for full NVME speeds (Unsure if bootable!)
This will drop you to 8x/4x/4x but sheet, even a 3090 is barely hurt by 8x 3.0

1631924847477.png

1631924661164.png


Read the manual, thrilling stuff. You get no option to move lanes over to it, just that using Sata express or certain SATA ports disables the slot.
 

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Volvo240

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Hmmm, so what speed can I expect from that M.2 slot? Also, my GPU is a 5600XT, so wayyy slower than 3090 Which boards allow you allocate more lanes to that slot? Also, the chipset offers 8 PCIE 2.0 lanes. This board has 3 PCIe X1 2.0 and a PCIe X1 NIC. What happened to the other two lanes? Shouldn’t there be 4 lanes for the M.2?
 

Mussels

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Hmmm, so what speed can I expect from that M.2 slot? Also, my GPU is a 5600XT, so wayyy slower than 3090 Which boards allow you allocate more lanes to that slot? Also, the chipset offers 8 PCIE 2.0 lanes. This board has 3 PCIe X1 2.0 and a PCIe X1 NIC. What happened to the other two lanes? Shouldn’t there be 4 lanes for the M.2?
just run a riser card in the third slot, enjoy the speeds. If you cant boot from that slot, just use a bootloader on another device... been a while since i farted with those, but you can boot from a USB drive etc and point to the NVME
 
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What board are you using? Aslo, if I maybe adjust the BCLK, will that help?
MSI Z97 Gaming 5 and no i doubt it

Hmmm, so what speed can I expect from that M.2 slot? Also, my GPU is a 5600XT, so wayyy slower than 3090 Which boards allow you allocate more lanes to that slot? Also, the chipset offers 8 PCIE 2.0 lanes. This board has 3 PCIe X1 2.0 and a PCIe X1 NIC. What happened to the other two lanes? Shouldn’t there be 4 lanes for the M.2?
You can expect around the 800MBs mark as shown by my screen shot.

As @Mussels said just stick a riser card in or bare with the slower(not really that noticeable speeds)
 

Mussels

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Oh and heres a really valid point, with a top tier NVME 4.0 drive:

1631950478997.png


The most critical results (4k random) are WELL under 1GB/s, you still get the amazing response times on an SSD in a 2.0 x2 slot - it's only large reads and writes that slow down (at double SATA speeds)
 

Volvo240

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I found a few cheap secondhand drives that should be ok. Is there anyway I can like prioritize the M.2 slot so it can run at around 900MBps? I know SetFSB lets me adjust the PCIE frequency, will that help with speed? Is there something like that in the BIOS? I am looking at an XPG SX7000 or Toshiba THNSN5512GPUK
 
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@Volvo240, just get a PCIe x4 to NVME adapter board and stick it into one of the red slots. You should be able to get a full PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth and it's definitely bootable, since NVME DXE module is already in your BIOS. There's going to be an issue with GPU dropping to 8 lanes, but it should not affect the performance too much, especially if it's an older card.
But if SSD performance is not critical, then any cheap TLC drive in an onboard slot will do. Maybe it'll add an extra few seconds to your boot time, but other than that there is no perceivable difference.
I'm currently running a run-of-the-mill NVME SSD in my old HP Z620, and even at PCIe2.0 x4 bandwidth and I can't really tell the difference in boot time or usability comparing to my main Ryzen rig with SX8200 Pro. Used to have an old Samsung OEM SSD with PCIe2.0 x2, and as far as I remember it was just as fast (or maybe Windows was a bit lighter back then :D ).
 

Volvo240

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I think I will just get a cheap old SSD, I guess it is not that important. I don’t do anything that requires a super fast drive. Thanks for your help!
 

Mussels

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I found a few cheap secondhand drives that should be ok. Is there anyway I can like prioritize the M.2 slot so it can run at around 900MBps? I know SetFSB lets me adjust the PCIE frequency, will that help with speed? Is there something like that in the BIOS? I am looking at an XPG SX7000 or Toshiba THNSN5512GPUK
No, theres nothing you can do. In theory you can get upto 1250MB/s, but reality is somewhat lower than that and it does vary between the boards... something simple as other devices in use will lower it (network, audio, etc - intel was very lane starved for a long time)

the cheap adaptor card for the bottom 16x slot would let you get an NVME drive at full speed, and let you use it in future builds
 

Volvo240

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No, theres nothing you can do. In theory you can get upto 1250MB/s, but reality is somewhat lower than that and it does vary between the boards... something simple as other devices in use will lower it (network, audio, etc - intel was very lane starved for a long time)

the cheap adaptor card for the bottom 16x slot would let you get an NVME drive at full speed, and let you use it in future builds
I will consider that option. I still don’t get it though, there a 3 PCIE X1 slots and the onboard NIC uses one lane, why is the M.2 limited to X2? Shouldn’t be X4? The SATA ports don’t use PCIE lanes, do they?
 

Mussels

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I will consider that option. I still don’t get it though, there a 3 PCIE X1 slots and the onboard NIC uses one lane, why is the M.2 limited to X2? Shouldn’t be X4? The SATA ports don’t use PCIE lanes, do they?
because NVME drives of that era were a lot slower and really uncommon

All devices use PCI-E lanes in a modern PC - 4x may come from the CPU to the chispet and then it splits it up to everything else
They cant dynamically change them around without extra expensive hardware, so they made those boards work average at everything

I mean, a 1GB/s NVME absolutely destroys the 80MB/s mechanical drives common from that era
 

Volvo240

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because NVME drives of that era were a lot slower and really uncommon

All devices use PCI-E lanes in a modern PC - 4x may come from the CPU to the chispet and then it splits it up to everything else
They cant dynamically change them around without extra expensive hardware, so they made those boards work average at everything

I mean, a 1GB/s NVME absolutely destroys the 80MB/s mechanical drives common from that era
I am also considering Z87 because I am looking to do some experiments with SLI/XFire. Does Z87 support 5th gen chips at all? Maybe a BIOS update?
 

Mussels

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I am also considering Z87 because I am looking to do some experiments with SLI/XFire. Does Z87 support 5th gen chips at all? Maybe a BIOS update?
This is something you could look up very easily on the websites of these boards you're looking at
 
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