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Which M.2 SSD for this board?

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by Marky, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Marky


    Joined: Apr 16, 2007

    Posts: 21,757

    Location: UK

    Hey all,

    I have an ASUS Z170-A Motherboard, and I realised that it has one of those fancy M.2 slots.

    I currently have a 500GB SSD that I use for everything, but I am often having to delete things to make space etc.

    What I would like to do is buy an M.2 SSD and use it to just run the OS, so I can have the whole 500GB SSD as a storage device.

    I've never used one before, but I hear they are just marginally faster than a standard SSD?

    Can I just use any M.2 SSD? I was looking at maybe getting this one

  2. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior


    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,025

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Get a pcie (nvme) version as opposed to a SSD version if you want speed

    How does NVMe speed compare to SATA?
    Modern motherboards use SATA III which maxes out at a throughput of 600MB/s (or 300MB/s for SATA II, in which case, it’s time to upgrade). Via that connection, most SSDs will provide Read/Write speeds in the neighborhood of 530/500 MB/s. For comparison, a 7200 RPM SATA drive manages around 100MB/s depending on age, condition, and level of fragmentation. NVMe drives, on the other hand, provide write speeds as high as 3500MB/s. That’s 7x over SATA SSDs

    There are some other considerations though, m2 SSD you can get a caddy pretty cheap, m2 NVme you can but really expensive

    The nvme seem to be about £10 more expensive most of the time

    My mobo the board will only support 4x SSD, so if I use one of the SSD in the m2 slot I lose one of the SSD lanes. Worth keeping an eye on if you have a fair few drives
  3. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior


    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,025

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Ah and there are some 2 lane and some 4 lane, they slots at the end of the board make a difference
  4. Pocah


    Joined: Jul 11, 2017

    Posts: 819

    They are not marginally faster, the are hugely faster. And don't listen to the nay-Sayers who will tell you there is no difference, there is a noticeable difference. However, I would call it a luxury item, because SATA is already darn fast. This is not something you want if you already have an SSD, but if you are in the market for a new drive then it is certainly something you should get.

    As far as I am aware your motherboard will run a PCIe or NVMe X4 which is the fastest you can buy. So you want something like this....


    The Asus board positions it very well, so unless you are going to flog the drive to death you shouldn't need additional cooling. Should you decide to get some anyway I would recommend the Gelid Solutions SubZero M.2 ... It's cheap and very effective.