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M.2 SSD Motherboard compatibility question

Tifforo

3 months ago

Will an M.2-2280 SSD like the Kingston A400 240 GB M.2-2280 (B+M) work on a motherboard with a 110mm SSD slot like the AMD B450 AORUS M from Gigabyte (with 4 PCIe)? A larger slot is compatible with a shorter M.2 SSD?

Also, would this M.2 SSD without a cache be faster/better than a SATA III 6GB/s SSD with a cache like the Crucial MX500?

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Is there any disadvantage to getting an M.2 SSD if you have the slot for it? I was under the impression that the biggest speed difference between one SSD and another is that M.2 ones are faster. Maybe if the motherboard fails and you want to hook your old storage drive up to a new computer as an external drive, an M.2 SSD would be harder to use externally? Would a motherboard failure take out an M.2 that was attached to it?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Linus says at about 3:10 in this video that some M.2 drives actually just use the SATA bus rather than PCIe and are basically just SATA cards that fit in an M.2 slot. How would you check for that?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=opwON-7J_wI

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

The A400 M.2 is a SATA based M.2 and you would just have to check the motherboard manual to see if it is supported or not. Without checking myself with that motherboard I would be 95% sure it is supported.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

The naming is the size, a 2280 is 22mm wide by 80mm long. As long as you don't exceed your MB slot size it will fit fine. 110mm slot will fit up to a 110 long m.2.

Nvme is just the protocol the drive uses to talk over pcie3.0 x2 or x4 lanes or now the new pcei4.0.

Any Nvme will run faster than sata3, even on pcie3 x2 lanes though x4 lanes is the fastest setup, it depends on how good a ssd it is some are faster some are cheaper. Note that a ssd is far faster than any hdd even on sata2, far as seconds you save waiting for it. So for a casual user the sata ssd is fast, the Nvme is faster and great, and great for big files like video editing. But if you have budget then any ssd is better. Its just that now m.2 nvme are about the same price as sata ssd so you might as well get Nvme if you can use it. Far as I know any ssd can saturate sata3 on sata or M.2 connection, I could be wrong, ssd is just plain faster than sata3 can do so its bottlenecked. in that case I doubt any cache is going to matter.

With m.2 the MB can use either M (Nvme on pcie x4) or B (slower pcie or sata, usually sata in practice) and some old MB are only sata, some MB the 2nd m.2 is slower. With the M.2 ssd drive its either sata only, sata and Nvme, or Nvme only iirc (I think most Nvme today will run at sata). With Nvme the speeds are all over but always faster than sata3. Brand new m.2 Pcie4.0 x4 drives are coming out now that are faster than pcie3.0 x4 currently are. Pcie 4 is double pcie 3. However I have a fast Nvme pcie 3 x4 and its very fast in use, I think pcie 4 drives are mostly for power users moving big files a lot, or for the future. In general a m.2 ssd is the same thing that is inside a ssd sata drive, the sata drive casing spec were made to house a spinning drive that is no longer needed for ssd chips.

So last thing yes, look up your MB (motherboard) and it will say m.2 slot takes X length m.2, you can not put larger length in there. Then look up speed of slot it will be sata/pcie x2/or x4 lanes is required for top speeds. Note your 2nd m.2 may be all different specs. Note some MB m.2 shares lanes with pcie x1 slots or with sata drive ports, so you can only use one or the other. You may not be able to use m.2 and all 8 sata drive plugs for example.

[comment deleted]
  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Just as a small add on for the OP, the Kingston A400 is not a great drive in either form factor. The Crucial MX500 or ADATA SU800 would be a much better choice for a SATA drive.

For NVMe, the Intel 660p and Sabrent Rocket are both good choices that don't cost much more than SATA drives of the same capacity.

motherboards are going to be pretty accommodating

Most modern motherboards have at least one B+M key slot that can take SATA or NVMe drives, of at least a 2280 size, sometimes larger. Most common M.2 drives seem to have settled on the 2280 size, so I generally don't worry about physically fitting. When buying a PCIe to M.2 adapter, things get more interesting and you have to be more careful about B key only slots requiring use of a SATA cable etc.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

The NVMe filter is useful! Thanks!

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