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M.2 hard drive compability with mobo

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Juan71287

Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
Hi all. I have read over and over my mobo specs and I thought I was on the right track but now I am lost :/

Motherboard: http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z97E-ITXac/

I went on newegg and click on pci e 2 x2 as that is the best my mobo can handle according to the docs on the link above. But it seems to be I couldn't find the Samsung 850 evo that I thought was compatible. So yeah I am a bit lost and need some help.

Can someone recommend a good fast m.2 hard drive is it called or ssd? I just need a 120 for Windows boot really and that's all. I prefer Samsung.

Ps. If you can explain me a bit more why you recommend and why it works so I can learn a bit more that would help a lot.

Thanks.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Very short list of compatibility on the board you linked...

If you're going to get an M.2 drive it does say the slot supports SATA or PCIe based modules. I suggest a PCIe based drive unless you're only looking to save space in your case.
 
OP
J

Juan71287

Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
Thanks for the reply guys..... This is where its located on my board:

9-Socket M2-BG3.jpg

Can someone who knows more than me recommend me a good 120 and 256 M.2 preferable Samsung?

Thanks.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Not sure you'll find many 30mm or 42mm M.2 SSD's out there...
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Another option...if you have a spare PCIe slot...you can get a PCIe card that can support all different types and lengths.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Another option...if you have a spare PCIe slot...you can get a PCIe card that can support all different types and lengths.

Only one slot, its mITX.

Juan, is there any reason you can't use a 2.5" SSD like most people do?
 
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Juan71287

Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
I am noob with computers so please don't kill me because of my lack of knowledge.

I just want an m.2 as I think its the newest faster way no? Plus I have an SSD and I have noticed files just taking a bit longer than before to transfer. I am sure its just because I need to edit something or I need to connect the SSD to the correct port on the MOBO but it is what it is. So I am either going to have to buy a new computers (I dont have money for that right now as my wife just came from the hospital she had an accident and cant work for 4+ months depending on how things turn out) or just try a cheap m.2 see what happens ;).

I got the m.2 from amazon today: http://www.amazon.com/ADATA-USA-Pre...&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

Lets see if it fits/ works :)...

I may have to go into bios no, to change things to boot from it?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
With an M.2 drive you gain nothing over a 2.5" drive for performance unless you're going to a PCIe based drive.
The drive you linked to, the ADATA, is SATA based. A 2.5" Samsung 850 EVO would blow the ADATA you purchased out of the water.

You need to either reinstall your OS or clone it over to the new SSD to boot from it, this depends how you did the install the first time around.
If it was a UEFI install, you'll have a harder time cloning the OS and having it still function properly.
It is also very possible you'll need to install the drivers to use the M.2 slot, this will need to happen during the OS install unless you install them to your OS before cloning.

The reasons for the slow down is most likely some configuration in your OS, not an issue with your current SSD.
 
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Juan71287

Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
I see..... I guess I will just leave it the way it is then. I really just want a new PC the money cant be spent on that right now.

Thanks for all the INFO :)

PS. So the PCIe slot SSD like the intel ones are a lot faster then M.2? Like all? Or just the crap I got?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I see..... I guess I will just leave it the way it is then. I really just want a new PC the money cant be spent on that right now.

Thanks for all the INFO :)

PS. So the PCIe slot SSD like the intel ones are a lot faster then M.2? Like all? Or just the crap I got?

There are plenty of faster M.2 drives out there. As I said, they're all running a PCIe controller instead of a SATA controller.

Yes, all the expansion slot PCIe drives are faster than SATA based drives. It's because they use a PCIe based controller.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
^^^ +1 ... what he said.

M.2 is a form factor and connection standard. Having an M.2 drive does not guarantee that it will be faster.

There are some VERY fast M.2 drives...for example the Samsung 950 pro I am using now. But your motherboard must have dedicated PCIe lanes for the M.2 slot. You have to read your motherboard specifications carefully, as some motherboards will claim M.2, but only give you SATA speeds.

You can get a PCIe drive like the Intel ones, but they require a PCIe slot with 4 lanes for maximum speed.

You can get a card (for about $20) that plugs into a PCIe slot and has an M.2 adapter on it. But you must have the PCIe slot with 4 lanes available on it for maximum speed.