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Help a noob choose a M.2

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by j.col, 5 Apr 2021.

  1. j.col

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 May 2010

    Posts: 4,200

    Location: Bedfordshire

    I am thinking of adding a M.2 drive for games storage and not an os drive.

    My current mobo is
    Asus Rog Z97 Maximus Hero VII and only has a slower m.2 drive built onto the mobo, so not using this.


    I am thinking of getting a pcie adapter and a M.2 drive and adding it to my second red x16 pcie slot.
    I understand that will make my gpu run at x8 but its negligible to performance afaik

    Just looking at a 500gb drive for now but i am lost with the nvme, sata, m.2 etc......

    Can anyone spec me a drive and adapter please?
     
  2. mickyflinn

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Mar 2011

    Posts: 12,616

    Location: West Side

    Theres no real point in getting an adapter an another M2 unless you need the extra speed but generally you wont se any diffrence in loading times , etc.

    If your set on getting one you could use the bottom pcie slot which is pcie2 x4 slot should get about 1000mbs read write speed.
     
  3. EsaT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 10,795

    Location: Finland

    SATA drive always needs support for SATA signaling.
    Which isn't supported by that board's M.2 slot supporting only PCIe.
    Also according to manual M.2 slot couldn't be used with PCIEX4_3 at x4 mode.
    http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/MAXIMUS-VII-HERO/E9192_Maximus_Vii_Hero.pdf

    Four PCIe v2 lanes give 2GB/s bandwidth, which wouldn't be really problem for bang per buck drives not capable to much faster transfer rate anyway.
    For example in most games there's very little loading time difference even between ~0,5GB/s SATA SSD and NVMe (PCIe) SSD.
    Doom Eternal is only game in TechPowerUp's test which shows more than marginal difference.
    https://www.techpowerup.com/review/team-group-cardea-iops-1-tb/13.html
    (there are couple drives capable 10x or higher sequential transfer rate compared to SATA in those results)

    And even fewer games are capable to really scaling with sequential transfer rates...
    But at that point those highest benchmarketing numbers NVMes don't make much real world difference over bang per buck models.
    Second or two difference just isn't significant in human scale:
    https://www.realhardwarereviews.com/silicon-power-us70-1tb-review/11/


    So priority should be in bang per buck/having actually useful capacity for drive to last without soon becoming small with 100GB size games.
    https://www.overclockers.co.uk/search?sSearch=WD+blue+sn550
     
  4. j.col

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 May 2010

    Posts: 4,200

    Location: Bedfordshire

    thx chaps for the replies.

    Dont forget i haven't got a clue about what most of the stuff you are saying lol

    @mickyflinn i dont have any M.2 drive on this pc, just a sata ssd with Win 10 on it

    @EsaT i was't planning on using the onboard M.2 slot as i know it will be too slow.

    i was doing a bit of reading and found this https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/ssd-upgrade-pcie-lanes-on-asus-maximus-vii-hero.3643375/

    "If you use PCIE M.2 adapter card in second PCIE x16 slot (x8 mode), then you can get full speed of PCIE 3.0 x4 M.2 drive.
    This will limit first PCIE x16 to x8 mode though. But performance impact is minimal. So, it's ok to do that.

    M.2 slot on motherboard is limited to PCIE 2.0 x2 mode. So it's 1/4 of PCIE 3.0 x4 bandwidth.
    With PCIE M.2 adapter in third PCIE x16 slot (x4 mode) it's limited to PCIE 2.0 x4."


    So using a pcie adapter and a M.2 drive will it be faster than a sata ssd? Or is a standard sata ssd as good?

    Its only going to be used for the games i play most atm and not an OS drive
    World of Warships. (my div mates results always load about 2 to 3 secs faster and he has a M.2)
    Civ VI
    Valheim
     
  5. marms

    Gangster

    Joined: 5 Nov 2005

    Posts: 366

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Using an M2 drive in the onboard slot will be about twice as fast as sata.
     
  6. mickyflinn

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Mar 2011

    Posts: 12,616

    Location: West Side

  7. j.col

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 May 2010

    Posts: 4,200

    Location: Bedfordshire

  8. EsaT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 10,795

    Location: Finland

    Four times as fast. (/three times faster)
    Single PCIe v2 lane almost equals SATA port and M.2 slot has four of them.
    While NVMe protocol's lower latencies give slight extra performance.
     
  9. marms

    Gangster

    Joined: 5 Nov 2005

    Posts: 366

    Location: Lincolnshire

    J.col Said in post #4

    M.2 slot on motherboard is limited to PCIE 2.0 x2 mode. So it's 1/4 of PCIE 3.0 x4 bandwidth.