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Need help, new to m.2 in general and want to get an nvme? Which do i buy?

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New Member
Feb 26, 2004
I have an ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA z270 and Im hearing that these new m.2s are really wild.

I have the metal bracket that came with my board but I cant find the screws.

Here is my exact board.


right now I have a https://www.amazon.com/PNY-CS1311-120GB-Internal-Solid/dp/B019H3B3P6

So you can see why Im curious about these new M.2s.

im wondering which m.2 I should get, I dont need much space and i only want to spend around 100$. Any help would be appreciated, I dont even know which port it goes in. I want the newest technology, How much faster is it actually going to be?

M.2 nvme i think its called? any pointers and explaining would do me wonders. I have all this crazy stuff and I dont know what to do with it.
the cheapest but most respectable drive will suffice. and which port would it go in on my board? if i dont have screws, will it be fine until i get them?


Nov 16, 2004
You will get a screw with the drive. You'll want PCie NVMe. The different types of M.2 drives on the market right now are M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe PCI-Express.

NVMe is a new transfer protocol used for PCIe. PCIe NVMe M.2 drives are going to be 2-5x faster than traditional SATA SSDs. Whether or not you will see that performance first hand is up for debate.

It looks like your motherboard supports 2x M.2 slots - from pictures it appears one of the M.2 slots is near the bottom just between the last two PCIe slots. As long as you aren't running SLi you shouldn't have any issues with lane availability. If you're using SLi, you'll need to make sure your motherboard has enough free "lanes" for NVMe to function.

Keep this in mind (it's directly from your motherboard specs on newegg): * When the M.2_1 Socket 3 is operating in SATA mode, SATA port 1 will be disabled.
**When the M.2_2 Socket 3 is operatin in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode, SATA ports 5 and 6 will be disabled.

So it looks like in your situation if you run an M.2 drive in socket 3 and in PCIe you'll lose SATA ports 5 and 6. Just something to remember. On my board none of the SATA ports seem to be effected which was new/unique as far as I know to the board itself.

You're severely limited on choices if you don't want to spend more than $100 - I highly recommend going for at least 500GB. You could get by with less, but the performance from these drives makes it more cost effective around 500GB and less so at 256 and lower. You could probably grab a 256GB at just over $100, but could grab a 500GB just shy of $200. If you are strictly using this as a boot drive and nothing else then I suppose you could try to go cheap and buy another 120GB, but I'm a "bang for my buck" kind of guy and again have to recommend going larger for cost effectiveness. A lot of the 120GB models I have looked at are nearly just as expensive as their larger versions.

I can't say this is the best time to buy M.2 - for about the last 2-3 months M.2 drive prices have gone way up for certain models. I bought the Samsung 950 Pro roughly 6-7 months ago at $300 and now it is at a whopping $570 since they discontinued it. I'd watch the prices for a while before making a final decision - look for sales - that sort of deal. I waited 4-5 months watching the 950 Pro before I pulled the trigger and grabbed it on sale.

I'd look at Western Digital if you are on a budget - they just came out with a new line of M.2 SSDs that are supposed to be solid. They are probably fairly exceptional for entry level drives.

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Jan 10, 2012
everything he^^^^^^^^^ said.
if you just game and surf the web m.2, nvme is really only going to help with boot times other than that you will not notice anything a sata ssd will do.
if you just dig the bling, go nvme, I have an nvme in every board i have that holds one and they are all 500 gig as he^^^^ daid.


Benching Team Leader
Jan 2, 2005
I have Patriot Hellfire M.2 NVMe SSD in RAID0 on ASUS Apex but really I'm not sure why I got 2nd one. I got one for review and just wanted to try RAID on additional DIMM card. Since Hellfire 240GB drives were quite cheap then I just got 2nd one. Looks nice in benchmarks and that's all.
I see no difference in daily work, games etc between M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe so I'm not sure if it's worth to pay for faster drive at the cost of capacity. Prices are now high and won't be lower anytime soon.


Premium Member
Feb 1, 2011
I have a few programs on my NVMe which load noticibly quicker, but by noticibly I mean a couple of seconds on SATA vs. eyeblink on the NVMe. Boot time is outrageously fast, around 5 seconds consistently. Like was said above, a screw should come with the drive. With six SATA ports I didn't miss the drop of one for the NVMe, but your mileage may vary.


Benching Team Leader
Jan 2, 2005
Most SSD don't have screws in the package. There are also different screw sizes depends on motherboard. For instance typical screws which were added to Crucial SSD didn't fit to ASRock Taichi while were just right for ASUS.
Laptops with M.2 socket usually don't have screws in the box. All motherboards have screws or mounting kit with heatsink.